Frosted Expectations

Photo courtesy of Sweets for the Soul - PBJ CupcakeHow much stock do you put into “Best Of” lists?

Admittedly, though I should know better, I still put too much. It sets the bar high and often leads to disappointment. Such was the case in my last recon.

I went to Sweets for the Soul in Los Angeles, California. They were voted Best of LA 2010 by Los Angeles Magazine for their brownies. Based on recaps of this year’s Taste LA, their brownies earned praise there as well.

In reviewing their website before my visit, I was pleased to see their menu featured other handmade sweets, including my favorite addiction – cupcakes.

Sweets for the Soul cupcake flavors vary daily. That Saturday, I had a choice of five. Because I was feeling adventuresome, I selected two less traditional flavors.

I started with their Snowball Cupcake. It’s a chocolate cake with a layer of vanilla frosting, wrapped in marshmallow frosting, and sprinkled with coconut.

My basic expectation of any baker is a moist cake. If you can’t master this, we’re off to a bad start.

Photo courtesy of Sweets for the Soul - Snowball CupcakeUnfortunately, this chocolate cake was dry. The vanilla frosting in the middle had coconut. I liked it; however, there wasn’t very much. Perhaps more would have offset the cake.

I was disappointed with the marshmallow frosting. I was hoping for a lighter, fluffier texture. Instead, it was like a melted pink Peep. You know, the marshmallow candy that descends upon stores during Easter?

Maybe I had gone too unconventional, I thought to myself. Let’s try something a little closer to norm.

I moved on to their Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcake. Upon first impression, I was disappointed with the size. Compared to some other bakeries I’ve tried, it was small for the $3.25 price.

As for taste, the buttermilk cake wasn’t moist either. It had the same texture as the chocolate, so I’m thinking this is their style. There was no filling inside. The only jelly was atop the cupcake. Its frosting was thick. Not buttercream thick, but rather like peanut butter. This is an instance where a little less peanut butter would’ve been more.

I give Sweets for the Soul 3 out of 5 stars for their cupcakes. They may be the talk of the town for brownies, but I’m not impressed with their frosted confections, especially for the price.

The Snowball Cupcake was $4, that’s above average for its size. Was I charged for the labor, the cost of quality ingredients, their locale or a combination of these factors? A rhetorical question, but I feel the need to voice nonetheless.

What about their brownies, you ask? If that’s what they’re known for, why didn’t I try any?

Of course I did! I just omitted those details.

Please join me next time to see how Sweets for the Soul’s brownies measure up.

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