Cupcake Challenge

One day. Four cupcakes. Two girls. And two very hungry bellies.

This is what my cousin, Giezel, and I decided to do on our very first day of our Spring Break. We know that Seattle has several delicious cupcake joints, and so we decided to visit 4 places in Seattle that are known for their cupcakes, test one from each place and see which one is the best. Seems simple enough!

The flavor of the day: Red Velvet.
(At first, Giezel didn't want to eat red velvet, but after some convincing, she gave in. It's just that I had a strange craving for red velvet, and I'm usually a vanilla cake kind of girl!)

The plan: drive to these four cupcake shops, buy the cupcakes, and then go back to my apartment and taste test them side by side. Easier said than done...not only were we starving and salivating by the time we got all of our cupcakes, but we also had to prevent them from toppling over on the car ride back. (Presentation is very important!) Once we get back to my place, the judging begins. The cupcakes are judged based on presentation (or shall I say, cuteness), taste of the frosting, taste of the cake, and overall. They were rated on a scale of 1 to 4, with 4 being the best.

1. The Sugar Rush Baking Company (West Seattle) - Ehh. The cake was very dense; it was the heaviest of all the cupcakes, and not to mention it was really dry! The layer of frosting was quite thin, and only had a few sprinkles. No points for cuteness either. Overall, a 1. We were pretty disappointed to drive for 20-30 minutes and find out that the cupcake tasted like that. We didn't even bother to finish the cupcake.

2. Cupcake Royale (Ballard) - Now, I'm pretty bias when it comes to the best cupcake joints. I LOVE Cupcake Royale and will do my best to convince everyone that this place has got it going on. However, that day, I'm afraid to say that Cupcake Royale came up short. The cupcake itself was presented very well. The cake had that little hat top and the icing was piped on perfectly. It wasn't just a glob of icing. However, the icing was VERY sweet, maybe a little too sweet. And the cake...too crumbly! Don't get me wrong, it was good, but I don't like it when I bite into a cupcake and have bits and pieces and crumbs falling all over me. I'm giving this cupcake a 2. But I still love Cupcake Royale.

3. Trophy Cupcakes (University Village) - This cupcake gets a 4 for presentation. Not only was the frosting perfectly positioned on the cupcake, but it also came with a tiny little heart right in the center. Perfect little gift for Valentine's Day or anniversary, or for any kind of day. The taste of the icing was good, a little bit tangy though because it was a cream cheese frosting after all. I could see how that would work well with the red velvet because it would provide a balance to the sweetness of the cake. However, the cupcake itself just wasn't sweet enough. It was moist, and it was delicious though. Overall, Trophy's red velvet gets a 3.

4. Yellow Leaf Baking Company (Belltown) - The surprise of the day! We drove all the way downtown for this one. The frosting on the cupcake looked alright. It was a glob of frosting, not evenly distributed along the top, but was made up for by the red and purple sprinkles. But the taste, oh the taste, was divine. The cupcake was SO moist! And it stayed in one piece! And the frosting was sweet, but not too sweet, and was light, but had substance. Even though Yellow Leaf didn't get all the points for presentation, what matters most is the taste, and so this place still gets a 4. And we even found parking right in front of the store! That's something that never happens when you go downtown!

The lesson for the day: Well, there is none. By the end of the day, we were cupcaked out.