Banana cupcake with cream cheese frosting.
AJ and I have talked about turning my love of baking into a career. If I were going to open a bakery it would be a cupcake bakery. But my cupcake bakery would differ in that I would try whenever possible to use organic and locally sourced ingredients. What a brilliant idea. Too bad someone has already thought of this and turned it into a reality. It's not all bad news though, I still get to eat these cupcakes.
Kara's Cupcakes all started with Kara Lind, the executive pastry chef. A former ad sales executive turned her love of home baking into a career with a small cupcake catering business. The high demand led to the opening of her first store in San Francisco. Four other stores opened up in the Bay Area shortly thereafter. We headed to her Palo Alto location.
Kara's premium, fresh, local ingredients are translated into unique flavors such as fleur de sel and raspberry dazzle. I always have a hard time choosing a flavor. I usually would like to try them all. On this particular occasion I was in the mood for something light (as light as a cupcake can be). The banana cupcake with cream cheese icing seemed like the perfect fit. Moist and fluffy with excellent banana flavor, this cupcake was a winner. The cream cheese frosting was creamy, tangy, with the perfect touch of sweetness.
AJ chose the fleur de sel and the vanilla chocolate. The fleur de sel, certainly piqued my interest. The popularity of the fleur de sel caramel has been sweeping the nation, and so it seems natural that Kara's cupcakes would create a cupcake in its honor. Fleur de sel is a sea salt that is scraped off the top layer of salt before it sinks to the bottom of the salt pans. It is rare and thus rather expensive. A dark chocolate cake is filled with a creamy, thin caramel filling. Topped with chocolate ganache and fleur de sel, this cupcake is the epitome of decadence. The caramel, chocolate, and fleur de sel work very well together. If you're in the indulgent mood, this one is for you.
Pretty pink boxes to house these lovely cupcakes.
The vanilla chocolate is a nice yellow cake topped with chocolate frosting. This classic pairing was done very well. The chocolate frosting had excellent cocoa flavor and wasn't too sweet.
If I were to compare these to some other cupcakes I have had recently, I would say they are smaller in size, but cost the same as larger cupcakes sold at places like Sprinkles and Icing on the Cake. If you've ever been to Georgetown cupcake, these cupcakes bear a similar resemblance, in size and in appearance. I enjoyed these cupcakes, and especially their mission of using local and organic ingredients. However, the cake wasn't as fluffy as some cupcakes I have eaten at Sprinkles and Icing on the Cake.
Bottom Line: If you are all about supporting local/organic farmers, and love cupca kes, head on over to Kara's cupcakes.