Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Review: Merely Sweets

I've been waiting for Merely Sweets to open for several months. I announced in March that they would be opening within 60 days. Even though it took longer than expected, Merely Sweets was worth the wait.

Merely Sweets is located on Birch Street in Downtown Brea. North Orange County was in desperate need of a cupcake shop and I think this is a great location for one. The store was very clean. There were two display cases that greeted me as I entered the shop. The first one contained beautiful cakes, pastries, and tarts. The second case had the goodies I was there for: cupcakes!

Next to the cupcakes was a display of French macarons. I loved how pretty they looked with the rainbow of colors.

Toward the back of the shop was a wall display of decorated cakes. Another wall had this painted art.

I gathered my treats and headed home to try them out. I seriously couldn't wait!

First was the cupcakes. I had six cupcakes to choose from at the time I visited the shop. I chose three: Nutella, Peanut Butter Chocolate, and Red Velvet (of course).

The Nutella cupcake was a vanilla cupcake with Nutella frosting. The cake was moist and the frosting had a good consistency that wasn't too thick. The flavor wasn't too exciting though. Maybe it would be better as a chocolate cupcake?

The Peanut Butter Chocolate cupcake was a chocolate cupcake with peanut butter frosting. The frosting was my favorite part because it was smooth, but not too heavy or overwhelming, as some peanut butter frostings can be. The chocolate cake had decent moistness.

Last, but not least was my favorite cupcake of the three: Red Velvet. I always get a red velvet cupcake when I visit a new shop because it's the standard that I go by. This red velvet had dark red velvet cake (which means it's real) and a tangy cream cheese frosting. The frosting wasn't too light or whipped, it was more silky. The cake was also moist. This was a great red velvet.

Although I'm partial to cupcakes, I'm a lover of all sweets. I couldn't resist getting this Lemon Meringue Tart. The tart crust was baked perfectly. It wasn't too hard, but also not too soft or crumbly that it fell apart. The meringue was well done. I would have thought I was eating a lemon meringue pie. The best part though was the lemon. I only wish that there had been more lemon in the tart. I would definitely order this again!

French Macarons are bite-size treats that are beginning to show up more frequently in pastry shops. I had to get one of each color to make sure that all of them tasted good. That's my excuse anyway. I bought these on a Friday night and my first thoughts of them were that the centers were gummy and chewy. I have very little eating experience with macarons, but they just didn't wow me. The next day I nibbled on them again and thought they tasted better. How could that be? Sunday night I finished them off and thought they were fantastic! Maybe my pallet prefers them to be a little crunchier. They certainly weren't crunchy at the end, but there weren't as gummy as the first day I tried them. I loved them! Maybe it is me that is the weird one. My favorite flavors were the dark chocolate, salted caramel, and vanilla bean. I'm really looking forward to eating them again!

I love cake shops that have more than just cake. Merely Sweets delivers on providing delicious cupcakes, as well as other desserts. Their shop is clean and set-up well. Since they're located in a popular downtown area, they are open late (yeah!). The selection of cupcakes was a bit small (only 6 flavors), but there they have rotating flavors so you'll find something different each time. The packaging was well done, as my cupcakes didn't tip over while I transported them home. The appearance of the cupcakes and other desserts was professional. The cake on the cupcakes was moist. The frostings on the cupcakes were well-made and not overly sweet. The taste and consistency of the cupcakes and other desserts were delicious and make me want to come back for more. The prices were competitive and not unreasonable.

I would recommend Merely Sweets as a great shop to go to for cupcakes and other desserts.

Merely Sweets
260 W. Birch St., Brea, CA 92821
Facebook: Merely Sweets
Twitter: @merelysweets
Website: (currently under construction)

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