When I say Jamaica, what comes to mind? Likely you think of the island country and Caribbean getaway, right?
I thought so too.
However there’s a bakery in Los Angeles called Jamaica’s Cakes that has nothing to do with the island nation. Rather, it’s named after the owner and baker, Jamaica Crist.
I heard of them through a friend. She raved about their streusel bars and as a Frosting Fanatic, said I had to try their other baked goods.
Trusting her judgment, I reviewed their website. They made cupcakes, but only a limited number were kept in store at any given time. Thus I’d have to see what would be available the day of my visit.
The bakery was small. So there was no missing the display case of assorted treats upon entering Jamaica’s Cakes.
Their layer cake slices were alluring. I paused to consider.
Then reasoning kicked in.
I would need two pieces for a proper review.
Of course I could handle it, but I shouldn’t.
Hence I reverted to my original plan and looked for cupcakes. They sat atop the counter in shelved fixtures.
The day’s selection was four basic variations of chocolate and vanilla, along with two St. Patrick’s Day flavors. All cupcakes were adorned in festive green sprinkles. Though mini was an option, I chose their standard size at $2.75 each.
Later, I began my critique with their Vanilla Cupcake. It’s a vanilla butter cake with vanilla buttercream frosting.
Now I can’t tell you the last time I’ve had a vanilla cake with vanilla frosting. Nothing against the simple things, it’s just not a favorite, unless we’re talking vanilla cream cheese frosting.
Nonetheless, I was feeling lenient. And you’ve heard plenty of vanilla and chocolate reviews.
I found myself tasting the cake first. It had a nice vanilla essence and a texture similar to pound cake. It was a little dry, but the frosting helped.
The vanilla frosting was smooth with a thicker consistency. There wasn’t a generous amount. However, it was sufficient. Since there was more sugary flavor than vanilla, too much frosting would’ve been excessive.
Next I tried their Flavor of the Month, Chocolate Irish Cream. It’s a chocolate cake made with Irish Cream and Irish Cream frosting.
I swear magic happens when you bake with Irish Cream.
The chocolate cake was moist, flavorful with a medium density. The frosting was thick like before. I couldn’t discern the Irish Cream, but it was still sweet.
I do apologize. I can’t tell you anymore than that. I devoured the cupcake too quickly.
I give Jamaica’s Cakes 3.5 out of 5 stars for their cupcakes. Admittedly, I had a moment of indecision because of the frosting, but I can’t deny the strength of their cake.
Instead, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps chocolate buttercream or cream cheese frosting is better, where the flavor is more pronounced.
If I’m in the area again, I will gladly return to see if I’m correct.
In the meantime, this was a tasty introduction. And I’ll always remember my Irish cupcake at Jamaica’s.