Love At First BitePart of: Food , LA , Slice of Life , Sparkly
[Breakfast: Strawberry-Banana and Yogurt Smoothie]
I won't wait in line for more than 10 minutes for a cupcake. I just won't...or maybe I would if I found a cupcake that was worthy. I had high hopes for Vanilla Bakeshop in Santa Monica. It's been taunting me with its cute, stylized window since January. Yeah...it only opened six months later. I don't know how they could afford to carry rent on Wilshire Blvd. and 5th in Santa Monica that long, but whatever. Yesterday being the first day, I did stand in line for around 30 or 40 minutes. I was totally sweating from the humidity, and I shouldn't have been walking around since I'm getting over being dehydrated, but I wanted to check out this place for you guys. There's no point in trekking out to Third Street Promenade if you don't have to. I was in line next to Southern Girl. I gave her that nickname because when I asked her what her favorite cupcake store was in LA she gave me one of those disappointed looks, "Well, I'm from the South and we've had cupcakes f-o-r-e-v-e-r." Southern Girl worked aross the street and was in line with some of her co-workers. Someone who had the cupcakes in the morning said they were worthy.
My plan was to buy some of the mini-cupcakes, but there wasn't enough of a selection. They couldn't bake fast enough to meet the demand. If you're advertising in Daily Candy and your opening date has also been written about by countless food blogs, you really should be baking through the night, people! I grudgingly bought $18 worth of large cupcakes. $18 = 5 cupcakes. The mini-cupcakes are a rip off considering you get 3 for $5 and a regular cupcake is $3.25. I really needed the large cupcakes to properly assess the baked goods. The two cupcakes that I loved at first bite were Mom's Birthday Cake (All American Yellow Butter Cake, Milk Chocolate Frosting) and Pumpkin (Pumpkin Cake, Graham Cracker, Cream Cheese Frosting). Mom's Birthday Cake had the best frosting--fudgy, fresh, not too sweet and it did remind me of the days when I would eat the remnants of frosting in my mom's food processor. I love pumpkin, so I'm very critical of pumpkin baked goods. This cupcake rocked because it wasn't overly spiced and tasted more pumpkiny than the usual baked goods that I've tasted.
The Chocolate Peanut Butter (Peanut Butter Cake, Milk Chocolate Frosting) cupcake was tasty, but the cake almost had too much peanut butter in it. Sprinkles in Beverly Hills definitely has the better one. I had high hopes for The Chocolate Vanilla Bean (Dark Chocolate Cake, Creamy Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean Frosting) even though I was upset that it had light green sprinkles on it. A cupcake that sounded so lucious and classy didn't need such a white trash touch. I did not like the frosting at all. It didn't have much taste and reminded me of wedding cake frosting, but with a smoother consistency. The vanilla bean flavor was lost. The chocolate cake part had a rich taste of dark chocolate and was dense and moist. I pretty much judge a cupcake shop by it's Red Velvet cupcake. Vanilla Bakeshop's one was good but not great. Again, I liked the cake better than the frosting.
I would not stand in line again for 30 minutes for a cupcake from there (I also have a feeling that the cupakes are some of the highest calorie ones around). If I were craving a cupcake and the store wasn't that busy, I would go back for the Pumpkin and Mom's Chocolate Cake. I also need to do a tasting of their icebox desserts. You can get a tasty looking layered concoction of Dirt Cake, Southern Banana Pudding, Triple Berry Shortcake or Amy's Tiramisu in a cute small or large glass jar. These would be perfect to pick up for a potluck or as a hostess gift.