Off the Beaten Cupcake Path

Auntie Em's Kitchen - Coconut CupcakeWhen selecting places for a reconnaissance, bakeries or cupcakeries are obvious. It’s the obscure locales – like the burger restaurant or pizza joint – that often surprise me.

Such was the case on my recon to Auntie Em’s Kitchen in Eagle Rock, California.

I heard about them through LA Weekly. They were voted one of the 10 Best Cupcake Shops in Los Angeles.

When I arrived, I found a casual red brick exterior building and a few small tables with umbrellas positioned outside. Since I wasn’t dining, I entered their Marketplace door.

Walking inside was like stepping back in time and leaving the city.

The black and white linoleum floor was worn.  The retro decorated room was filled with a myriad of gourmet goods and gift items.

I reminded myself why I was there and made my way towards the front counter.

Auntie Em’s offers three standard cupcakes, along with a seasonal flavor. A sample of each, large and mini size were displayed.

As a Frosting Fanatic, I went for the large size. At $3.50, the cupcake is suitable for sharing. However, if you’ve been following my blog long enough, you know they’ll be none of that.

Auntie Em's Kitchen - Pumpkin CupcakeI began my critique with a standard cupcake, Coconut. It’s coconut cake with cream cheese frosting, topped with coconut.

Now I rarely use these words and question those who seem to do so willy-nilly. Still believe me when I say, this was epic!

First, the frosting to cake ratio was ideal for me. It was 2/3 cake and 1/3 frosting.

Second, the cake itself was glorious. It was muffin-size, but the texture was similar to pound cake. There was a coconut essence and a hint of butter.

Lastly, the frosting was easily some of the best I’ve ever had. Honestly, words fail me. Rich and creamy are not enough. It was sublime.

Next, since I’m fully immersed in all things Pumpkin this time of year, I tried Auntie Em’s seasonal cupcake. It’s a pumpkin spice cake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting.

Let me begin by saying, it’s unfair to sample anything after an epic experience. Really, how can another compare?

With that in mind, this cupcake had the same frosting to cake ratio. The muffin-size cake was moist. I enjoyed its pumpkin spice flavor, not too light or pungent.

The cinnamon frosting wasn’t life changing like the coconut. Yet, it was a good complement for the cake and I liked it.

Since my rating is an average of the two tastings, I give Auntie Em’s Kitchen 4 out of 5 stars. Once again, I can agree with LA Weekly.

Even when I was a LA native I didn’t get to the Eagle Rock area much, and it’s even less so now. However, I need to find a way… For I have discovered another cupcake gem.

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