Monday, April 13, 2009

Icing on the Cake - Los Gatos

A mouth-watering display of cupcakes

One of the first places I went to in Los Gatos was Icing on the Cake, which I reviewed previously. With AJ's family in town, we felt another trip was necessary. AJ's uncle is a huge fan of this quaint bakery, purchasing a cake every week. We ventured over to the bakery on a lazy Sunday, hoping to grab some treats for after lunch. The bakery closes on Sundays at 2pm, so get there early if you want to serve something after dinner.

From top left (clockwise): swirly cakes, mint chip cupcakes, and chocolate cake.

I love cupcakes and had been delighted with the light and creamy caramel cupcake I ordered the last time. It was feeling like a cupcake kind of day yet again. The cupcake choices were almost overwhelming: pumpkin, lemon, very berry, mint chip, among others. What was a girl to do. I decided to go with the mint chip. AJ chose a banana and a swirly cake. With any luck I would get a nibble out of both of his.

Raspberry truffle, mint chip, and banana cupcakes.

With much restraint, we stashed our cupcakes in the car, and headed off to lunch. With a minor mishap in the car, we retrieved our cupcakes mostly unscathed (One of the mint chips resembled more of a pancake than a cupcake). Heather got a flourless cupcake - the raspberry truffle. This rich and dense cake was definitely more reminiscent of fudge than cake. Extremely rich, it could have used more depth of chocolate flavor.

Mint Chip - chocolate cake with mint frosting and chocolate chips.

AJ's banana cupcake was light, moist, and fluffy. The banana really shone through, and the cream cheese frosting added a nice tang, with a subtle sweetness. I must say this was probably my favorite. The mint chip consisted of chocolate cake with mint frosting dotted with bittersweet chocolate chips. While the cake was moist, with excellent chocolate flavor, the mint frosting was piled on in excess, often overpowering the cake. While I liked the flavor of the frosting, I would probably have used half the amount. The addition of the chocolate chips added a nice textural contrast to the fluffy frosting - mimicking the mint chocolate chip ice cream experience.

Jeremy and AJ both tried the "swirly cake". This homage to a childhood favorite was absolutely adorable, and certainly blew away the hostess cupcake in terms of taste. The moist chocolate cake is piped with a cream filling. The almost marshmallow like cream contrasts nicely with the rich ganache frosting. While I prefered the lighter essence of the banana cupcake - the swirly cake is the perfect choice for the chocolate lover.

AJ asked if I prefer these to Georgetown Cupcake, my hometown favorite. These cupcakes certainly win in terms of size and frosting - with probably 2x the amount of cake, and 3x the amount of frosting. However, I am more of a frosting minimalist. While I think some of their cupcakes reveal a knack for showcasing unique flavors and the perfect amount of restraint with frosting, some of their chocolate cupcakes play to the desire to indulge.

Bottom Line: If you think cupcakes should go big or go home, go with a swirly cake. But if you are looking for a lighter touch, go with a banana or caramel cupcake.


Raisin Canes said...

I think you should bold the bottom line!!!!!!!

Malia said...

My mouth is drooling! Those cupcakes look delish and they must be good if they can be compared to Georgetown Cupcakes!

Gastronomer said...

My Bay Area cousins were recently in D.C. and tried Georgetown Cupcakes. While they had lukewarm feelings about Sprinkles, they totally LOVED the G-town ones. They're also really big fans of a place called Nothing Bundt Cakes in Los Gatos. Will you give it a try? I'd like to hear an adult's perspective ;-)

How To Eat A Cupcake said...

Wow that frosting looks SO sugary!!!

@ 7-minute frosting: Mine was very soupy over the double boiler. I eventually finished it in my stand mixer. I whipped it on high with the whisk attachment until it was cool. I don't think the hand mixer could handle the job! :(