Monday, December 6, 2010

Review: Cupcakes of Scottsdale

A few weeks ago I was in the Phoenix/Tempe/Scottsdale area to watch my husband become an Ironman. This weekend also happened to coincide with my birthday, so of course I had to find some cupcakes to celebrate. My search gave me two results: Sprinkles and Cupcakes. Since I've already been to Sprinkles many times before, I opted for Cupcakes.

I didn't realize until after I saw this article on the wall (see below) that the owners of Cupcakes were on Food Network's Cupcake Wars last season. They were in the last episode: Classic Cupcake Challenge. They didn't win. When I asked the owner about it, she was definitely bitter. She said that it was unfair that Candace Nelson was a judge, since she owns Sprinkles. There is a Sprinkles location just down the street from Cupcakes and I guess they've had issues with each other. Now that's a Cupcake War!

This is the display that they designed for their episode of Cupcake Wars. A little birdie told me that the displays are actually built by the bakers themselves before the show. I always wondered how they could design a cupcake stand so quickly.

The shop was adorable, but the display case was very similar to Sprinkles. I guess there are not a ton of ways to display cupcakes. There was lots of empty space occupying most of the shop. They should find out how to utilize their space better.

The packaging was unflattering. Standard brown box with their menu taped on top. She circled the cupcakes I bought, which I liked because sometimes I forget. I'm like that.

I picked up four cupcakes: Red Velvet, Pumpkin, Tuxedo, and Cosmopolitan. It was the end of the day when I stopped by, so there weren't a ton of choices. Bummer.

(I didn't end up eating the cupcakes until I was in bed that night. Lighting in bedrooms is not ideal for photographing cupcakes, but I was already tucked in!)

The way that Cupcakes frost their cupcakes, the frosting doesn't cover all of the cake on top, which causes the exposed caked to be dry. The pumpkin cake inside was very moist, but it's hard to get past the dry edges. The cream cheese frosting was ok, but way too sweet.

Same result with this cupcake, the exposed cake was super dry, but the cake in the middle was fine. There was too much frosting to be proportionally correct. Plus, the buttercream frosting was way too sweet.

Hollywood (Red Velvet)
Where's the cream cheese flavor? This frosting had very little or no cream cheese flavor and was too sweet, how sad. The cake also followed the same theme as the others, dry on the exposed parts.

This was my favorite cupcake of the bunch. It was a cranberry cake with lime vodka icing. The lime-cranberry combo was actually delicious and I'm surprised I haven't seen it before. The cranberry cake was moist and had craisins in it. The lime icing had a nice sour kick to it. I really enjoyed this cupcake and would definitely get it again!

Summary: I was unimpressed with the flavor selection, packaging, cake, and frosting. They need to figure out how to avoid the dry, exposed cake edges. The cupcakes look professional and the decor of the shop was cute. Although their website doesn't say, their cupcakes were about $3.50 each. Those are pricey cupcakes considering Sprinkles is just down the street.

6137 N. Scottsdale Rd., #B105

Scottsdale, AZ

480-656-3816 (under construction)

They also have a location in Tuscon.


Prithvi said...

i love your blog! but i'm sad you didn't get to Tammie Coe cakes! they're a pretty big deal in Phoenix. They sell their cupcakes at the Oakville Grocery in Scottsdale and have a storefront too. the red velvet is better than sprinkles!

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