September 21, 2012

Best Cupcakes in Los Angeles

I Love Cupcakes!!  Who doesn't?!?
L.A. has no shortage of great bakeries and cupcakeries - even the biggies - Magnolia Bakery, made famous with help from Sex & the City, and Sprinkles Cupcakes.  We (I'm not the only one who loves cupcakes) have been stopping by these sweet shops while out exploring and decided to rate them and see who comes out on top.

According to my calculations i.e. looking through iphone pics we have been to six so far.  There will undoubtedly be more taste tests, but here is our running list and reviews for Best Cupcake in L.A.

1. Sprinkles Cupcakes
Our favorite so far!  Right in Beverly Hills and they have a cupcake ATM!!! You can get cupcakes 24/7.  So cool!  fyi: the cakes out of the ATM do cost 50 cents more, but its worth it to see and then go inside and order the others, like we did.  These cakes were just about perfect.  Soft, moist, and not-too-sweet icing.   The have different colored "buttons" for each flavor.  They also just opened Sprinkles Ice Cream next door and we are planning to try it next time.

2. Vanilla Bake Shop
A close second.  It is also the closest to our house, which could be dangerous.  The cupcakes were light, moist and the icing was not too sweet.  Big bonuses are that you can get all their cupcakes in mini versions, so you can try a few at a time and not get sugar sick. The Blackberry Passion Fruit cupcake that was amazing! Yum!

3. Magnolia Bakery
If we were rating these on decor of the shop itself, Magnolia would win.  The entire place is pastel and vintage inspired.  The bakers are decorating cakes right in front of you and there are so many too-beautiful-to-eat desserts to choose from.  I hear the Banana Pudding is the best, hands down.  We will have to go back and try it.  I'll get back to you on that!
The cupcakes were light, but a tad dry.  The icing was too sweet for me and maybe too much icing??? Shocking to say, I know! Kids wouldn't agree. Never is there too much icing!

4. Joan's on Third
We had lunch here one day and took a cupcake to-go for our test.  I would compare the interior of Joan's on Third to Dean and Deluca.  I liked it but it was crowded at lunch and that isn't great with kids.  The cupcake itself was a bit on the heavy side but the icing seemed like it could be good, not too sweet.  I couldn't decide since it was coated (way too many) sprinkles, which made it taste chalky, but the kids wouldn't let me scrape them off.   I am going to give Joan's another try when we are in the area for the cupcakes and to get a better photo.

5. Yummy Cupcakes
This shop is near the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica so there is a lot of foot traffic.  I think these are just ok.  Cake is heavy and the icing, while not overly sweet, just wasn't great.  These seemed like they had been sitting awhile and possibly leftover from the day before???  They were rated #1 on Citysearch for LA in 2011, but I think there are better cupcakes in this town.

6. Crumbs Bake Shop
These cupcakes are big.  The biggest of any we've had.  And they are $2.95, the cheapest of the cakes. This should have been a clue.  They were heavy, more like a muffin, which I didn't like.  The icing tasted like it was from a jar.  Juliet loved that the icing was pink and had sprinkles.  There you go...its sad to say, but we won't be returning for any more Crumbs.

I have heard about cupcake food trucks and I would like to see what those are like.  And if there are any other great cupcakes we find, we'll let you know.

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