There’s something both magical and playful about a cupcake. I know, I know, they’re about as trendy right now as skinny jeans and platform peep toes. But let’s face it, even someone like me who doesn’t have a big sweet tooth can’t pass up a well frosted cupcake.
Maybe it’s the fact that Carrie Bradshaw was known to chomp on a few while talking to Miranda on the corner of Bleeker and West 11th St. in New York City. But I suspect the real appeal of a cupcake lies in the fact that they are a perfectly sized piece of portable cake, so cute and pretty with their little colored sprinkles and swirled buttercream frosting.
There’s no chance of a visit to Magnolia Bakery in New York City today. So I had to settle for the smell of sugary baked goods wafting through the Bay Street shopping area in Emeryville. It was coming from Teacake Bake Shop.
I immediately ordered two cupcakes: red velvet with cream cheese frosting and a chocolate devil’s food cake with dulce de leche frosting. The huge chewy snickerdoodles sprinkled with cinnamon would have to wait for another day. (Though I now regret not buying the huge five pack of “less pretty” cookies for a mere two bucks.)
The red velvet was first up. The frosting was as delicious and luscious as it looked. Creamy, sweet, and a noticable tang from the cream cheese. But the cake itself wasn’t as good as I’d hoped. It had a nice subtle, yet noticable chocolate flavor (red velvet is basically just chocolate cake with red food coloring). But in order to fulfill my visions of grandeur for this cupcake, it would’ve had to be a lot moister. It wasn’t dry, but it should’ve been a lot moister. True red velvet always is. And if it weren’t for that frosting, I might’ve been able to do better with a box mix.
The devil’s food chocolate was better. The cupcake itself was moister and had better flavor than the red velvet. The chocolate was rich and satisfying without being overly dense or sweet. Much moister than the previous cupcake and better texture. But again, it was the creaminess of the frosting that made the cupcake complete. Individually, the frosting and the cake couldn’t stand alone. Together, they were heaven.
But one complaint… The dulce de leche frosting on the chocolate cupcake didn’t taste like caramel. It tasted more like a mocha! Very strange.
Was it tasty? Yes. Was the whole esthetic of the place cute and trendy? You bet. Does it warrant a repeat visit? If I’m in the area, sure. Besides, I’m still jonesing for a snickerdoodle…
Teacake Bake Shop – 5615 Bay St. – Emeryville – 510.655.0865