Some of you may remember last week’s promising adventure at The Cupcake Store.
Located in Mission Viejo, California, the shop reignited my palate with their luscious Vanilla Bean Cupcake.
Yet, there was more to the store than their name would imply.
While cupcakes were the primary goal, their pastries and dessert bars competed for my attention.
At first, I tried to ignore them. But as my glances became more frequent, my resistance withered and I drew closer.
Studying their selection, I listened to the associate’s descriptions and purchased two items at $2.99 each.
The next morning, I started with their Peach Tart. Back at The Cupcake Store, I was torn between this flavor and a Lemon Tart. However, another look at the caramelized peach edges, and I was sold.
My first nibble at room temperature was unimpressive. So I heated the pastry a smidgen in the microwave.
All of the flavors came to life!
The warm dough wasn’t sweet. Rather soft and flaky with a slight crisp.
Its creamy custard was rich, but not sugary. The pastry’s sweetness came from the juicy peach slices.
Later, I was ready for their Magic Bar – a buttery graham crust, layered with sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, coconut, and nuts.
Now, I’m very familiar with this dessert. Growing up, my mom would make it around the Holidays. The torch was then passed to me and resides to this day.
After warming the dessert bar, I took a bite. The heat softened the graham crust and made the sweetened condensed milk ooze. By using mini chocolate chips instead of full size, every morsel was loaded with chocolate.
There was also a drizzle of white chocolate, not part of the standard recipe. Atop the toasted coconut and walnuts, I can’t say its flavor stood out. However, along with the diamond cut, it did make for a fancier presentation.
I give The Cupcake Store 3.5 out of 5 stars for their pastries and dessert bars. Their products have appeal and good taste.
Not all missions have a happy ending. But I’m grateful for this one. Discovering a quality bakery is rejuvenating for the senses and spirit.