I recall a man who I instantly clicked with. I knew there was something special when we were able to debate about Sprinkles versus Crumbs Bake Shop. As a cupcake connoisseur, I was impressed.
Why am I bringing this up now? Because my latest cupcake recon took me to Vanilla Bake Shop in Santa Monica, California, it’s where they believe that “Real Men Eat Cupcakes”. So much so, they even have custom T-shirts.
I wasn’t aware of any of this before my recon. I just knew they were one of LA Weekly’s 10 Best Cupcake Shops. In reviewing their website, I also gleaned Vanilla Bake Shop had a reputation for their wedding cakes, appearing in many “Best Of” bridal magazines.
It wasn’t until I made my purchase and saw their motto framed, that I felt a kinship with this bakery. I smiled as I left with my sweets, reflecting on a couple of real men I’ve known…
When I arrived home, I paused the trip down memory lane and got down to business. I began my critique with one of their daily cupcake flavors, Cinnamon Vanilla. It’s a yellow butter cake, swirled with cinnamon roll filling and topped with cinnamon cream cheese frosting.
This cupcake made an impression from the start. Since the frosting stopped short of the edges, its texture was more noticeable. Its edges were similar to a muffin, as was the cake’s density, making it quite hearty. The cinnamon filling reminded me of Cinnabon (which I adore) and the cream cheese frosting was satisfying.
Next I tried one of their stuffed cupcakes, Blackberry Passion Fruit. It’s a yellow cake with passion fruit filling and topped with blackberry buttercream frosting. The purplish frosting may be a more effeminate choice. Still, blackberries are a close second to my beloved blueberries, so it was a must-try.
The cake was similar to pound cake; thus, it wasn’t as moist. The blackberry buttercream frosting was lighter in flavor and texture than I prefer, closer to French buttercream. To my surprise, the passion fruit filling was creamy. It complemented the cake and frosting well.
I give Vanilla Bake Shop 3.5 out of 5 stars. I was nearly on par with LA Weekly and their Top 10 rating. However, I took a deduction for the buttercream frosting on the second cupcake. As I’ve stated before, those who are more lenient may give this bakery a higher rating.
As far as the Vanilla Bake Shop’s motto, I couldn’t agree more. Real men eat cupcakes, as do real women. Neither should have qualms about eating these.
- Did I Mention the Caramel Nut Bar? (confessionsofafrostingfanatic.com)