Friday, June 4, 2010

Hungover on a Cupcake

I love cupcakes.  In fact, my boyfriend calls me the Cupcakeasauraus.  It really is an obsession, I seek out cupcake shops the way that addicts find their next hit, and I've spent ungodly amounts of money on this adorable little treats.

Image Credit: Flickr User, Carianoff

With that said, I was excited to find out about The Cupcake Bar. Well, its not actually a bar, its a bakery owned by two sisters.  Katie and Anna bake up these creative cupcakes and deliver them directly to you or Coffee and Crepes, the only location where you can buy the treats because these ladies don't have an actual shop for you to buy them. 

The Cupcake Bar offers both full sized and mini cupcakes in a variety of flavors.  There are nine traditional (house) concoctions including red velvet, vanilla, chocolate, and mocha.  The best part is that you can choose what you want to be the cake and what you want to be the icing.  For example, you could have a vanilla cupcake with red velvet icing! How cool is that? Another neat thing is that you can customize house  cupcakes by having them filled with chocolate, cream, lemon curd, or peanut butter.  Now let's remember, it is a bar so the ladies are also baking up treats with rum and schnapps such as the mojito, strawberry daquiri, and firecracker* cupcakes. 

After meticulously reading their website, I finally made my way down to Coffee and Crepes to buy a few cupcakes to try.  Imagine my horror to see a mere 5 cupcakes left at 1:17 PM!  I say horror because I almost missed the boat, but lets be honest, this was a good sign: It means these cupcakes are good.  Given the slim pickings, I just grabbed one of each of the flavors left.  The girl working placed my three little munchkins in a box and told me $4.75.  I asked "are you sure?!" and she proceeded to hit the enter key a few more times and said "yes" confused as to why I would ask such a question.  Let me explain.  I went to grad school in DC so for my cupcake fix I would often head to Georgetown Cupcake.  I love Georgetown cupcakes, but I do not love their Georgetown price as one cupcake has a bitter $3.03 price tag.  Already, the Cupcake Bar was on my good side.  Plus I like that the cupcakes aren't huge like muffins with icing, but aren't wimpy either; they are the perfect size.  I ended up buying the pink lemonade, mocha latte, and vanilla cupcakes.  I buckled them up for safety and drove them home, anxious to eat them.

I gobbled down my dinner just so that I could have a cupcake tasting, as that is more scientific than just eating them like my inner fat kid wants me to.  Enlisting my boyfriend to form a panel (yes, two people can be a panel) I cut each in half, plated them, and grabbed a pad.  Our system: Taste the cake, taste the icing, taste it all together, judge.

Taste Test #1: Vanilla Cupcake

The first cupcake up for review was the vanilla cupcake.  Now this isn't some dull vanilla cupcake.  Filled with cream and topped with a strawberry buttercream icing,  the vanilla cake balances the fresh flavors of the icing nicely making it more than a plain ol' vanilla cupcake.  The icing is definitely the star of this cupcake and tasted like a strawberry patch that was sweet, but not diabetic coma sweet, and incredibly fresh tasting. The garnish was not only adorable, it also added a bit of texture to the morsel.  My one criticism is that it needed more vanilla for my taste. But overall, excellent cupcake!

Taste Test #2: Pink Lemonade Cupcake

Wowza! Summer in a cupcake.  This cake was fresh, zesty, and light and was lemony without being overpowering.  The icing had a nice bite and tasted just like pink lemonade. I thought the garnish was adorable and creative, but I wasn't a big fan of it.  Not because it tasted bad, but because I generally don't care for jelly-textured items.  But, if you love jelly beans you would have loved the pink lemon, I opted to just talk about how cute and adorable it was. Even my citrus hating boyfriend/fellow panelist liked this cupcake, that's how I know its good.

Taste Test #3: Mocha Latte Cupcake

The final cupcake up to be devoured was the Mocha Latte Cupcake, which puts Starbucks to shame.  This cupcake is composed of a chocolate cake, topped with espresso icing and a chocolate covered espresso bean.  The cake was chocolaty but not overwhelming (which was nice because I'm not a big chocolate fan), and very moist.  The icing had a light espresso flavor, but it wasn't too bold, so even if you don't like coffee you could give this a try as my boyfriend (also a hater of coffee) enjoyed the taste of the icing.  Once again--adorable and thoughtful garnishes!  This cupcake was topped with a chocolate covered espresso bean, which had a nice crunch.

Of all the cakes tasted, my boyfriend and I both enjoyed the Mocha Latte cupcake the most because of the cake.  But don't get me wrong, they were all delicious and should be eaten.

My one disappointment is that I did not get to try any of the "bar" flavors.  In particular I was looking forward to getting my lanky little fingers on the rum cola and strawberry daquiri cupcakes. Perhaps that's because I got to Coffee and Crepes too late, the girl working did warn me "they go fast."  In terms of  sober flavors, the Mexican chocolate has my attention.  Luckily, I have a birthday coming up! 

I'm totally hungover from this experience, and I can still taste the moist cake and the complex icings from last night. So have a cupcake from the Cupcake Bar, you won't regret it.  You can either head to Coffee and Crepes, located at 315 Crossroads Boulevard in Cary, NC or order them directly from them.  In the future, I plan to order directly just to ensure that I get a cupcake!

*Seasonal flavor


  1. So glad you enjoyed the cupcakes! As you observed, they should have rung up for $2.50 each plus 2% tax. Hey, sometimes you WIN! Coffee & Crepes is getting larger supplies now that the word is out. Cupcakes arrive every Mon, Wed and Friday at 11AM.

  2. Terri,

    Hey I asked! I thought that was a little too cheap for cupcakes :) Oh well I'll be back, especially since I want to review Coffee & Crepes.



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