Thursday, September 3, 2009

Friday Fieldtrip to review cupcakes at, The Shoppe, Lovely Confections Bakery, Posh Pastries, and Mulberries

My daughter Laura was in town and she, my friend Gina and I decided to take a
Friday Fieldtrip. My daughter is a pastry chef so we were excited to have a professional with us for our outing to 4 different cupcake shops/ bakeries. Yep, 4 bakeries in 3 hours. The thought of cupcakes makes me feel a bit ill after taste testing all afternoon, but here are my thoughts on each bakery. If you want a different perspective on this trip head on over to Gina's blog.

Our first stop was in Parker, CO at a bakery called Posh Pastries. Here is a link to their cupcake menu. This bakery serves many different kinds of pastries not just cupcakes. There is no seating here so we got into the car and broke open the brown box that was tied with darling pale blue raffia, (Cute presentation)
only to find that the cupcakes are kept in a refrigerated case. A cold cupcake will taste dry and flavorless because the butter is in solid form. They really need to be at room temperature to eat. We patiently waited, NOT!!
We each took a bit and THEN decided to wait a few minutes for them to warm up.
  • Caramel Injected Carrot Cake- Their signature carrot cake, injected with homemade caramel topped with cream cheese icing. This was a moist cake but lacked the nuts that, to me, make a carrot cake. The seasoning was a bit bland, it could have used a bit more cinnamon and spice. The caramel injection made the center extra moist and had great flavor. The cream cheese icing was heavy but had good flavor. Grade: C+
  • Chocolate Fudge- Rich chocolate cake filled with milk chocolate fudge ganache and topped with fudge icing- This cake was a bit dense and very rich. The fudge ganache was heavy as was the fudge icing. It did have good chocolate flavor and could be perfect for a chocoholic. Grade B- or an A if you LOVE chocolate.
  • Banana Foster- Banana cake injected with our homemade caramel, then filled with vanilla bean custard and topped w/ cream cheese icing- This was a wonderful banana cake, with a heavier texture of banana bread with loads of flavor and a banana bread consistency. The caramel center really accented the banana cake and it had the same cream cheese icing as the carrot cake. This was our favorite from this bakery. Grade: A-
  • Vanilla Bean Dream- A moist vanilla cake filled with rich Vanilla bean custard topped with Vanilla buttercream. This is a good cupcake but not a great cupcake. It had good vanilla taste but still didn't amaze us. Grade: B
We then headed north to downtown to hit 3 bakeries on Colfax.


We began at Mulberries Cake Shop. I'm not even going to give you the address because you shouldn't go.
The first thing that my daughter noticed was that there was no way they could bake in this shop because they didn't have enough flour and sugar and sure enough, they bake off site and bring the product in. The cupcakes were in a case and ever single one had neon colored icing on it.
They looked festive but I'm not a fan of the chemical taste from too much food coloring. In this case, the chemical taste from the food coloring helped cover up the fact that they don't use real butter for their buttercream, it is the fake butter"creme" that they buy in a tub. I hate the coating that forms in your mouth when you eat this stuff. We all agreed that the cake tasted like it was from a cake mix. The vanilla was dry and tasteless and the strawberry was no better. We each took one bite and threw them away. Grade-F
We wouldn't go back to this bakery if you paid us to!!!


Next up was Lovely Confections Bakery. 1489 Steele St., Denver, CO 80206 at the corner of Steele and Colfax

This quaint shop is cozy and made me feel like I was at my grandma's house. It's a great place to bring a book and sit for a while. Cozy chairs and an inviting feel make this a wonderful shop. The owner, Porche Lovely, bakes all her items in small batches throughout the day from scratch. She uses all natural ingredients, many of them organic. She also tries to use as many local ingredients as she can. Her cupcakes are true comfort food. The texture of the cupcakes is not as light as a cake but not too dense either and her cupcake to frosting ratio is perfect.
  • Vanilla with Vanilla Frosting- Perfect vanilla flavor and a buttery creamy vanilla frosting Grade: A-
  • Strawberries and Cream- The cake had a mild strawberry flavor which we thought could be a little stronger but the combination of the cake and vanilla frosting was very good. Grade: B+
  • Bees Knees- A lavender cake with a honey frosting. This one just missed the mark for us. The lavender flavor was too overpowering and the honey flavor was missing. Grade: D
  • Coconut- This had a subtle coconut flavor to the cake with vanilla frosting topped with coconut. This was a nice coconut cupcake. Grade: B+
  • Red Velvet- This is a really nice red velvet cake with just the right amount of chocolate. The cream cheese frosting is just a tad on the heavy side but has good flavor. Grade B
  • Carrot with Cream Cheese Frosting- This is what carrot cake should be, nutty, with coconut and carrots that you can see in the cake. Nicely balanced spices and the perfect texture for carrot cake. The cream cheese frosting has good flavor but is a bit too heavy for my taste. Grade: A-

We saved the best for last!!! Our final stop was to a hip, urban shop called-The Shoppe. 3103 East Colfax Avenue Denver, CO 80206(St.Paul + Colfax)
This is a must visit bakery if you are ever in the Denver Area.
It is a cupcake shop and a cereal bar all rolled into one. They serve a waffle brunch and have scones, muffins and other AM pastries. The bakery itself is very modern and comfortable with white tables that have silk wheat grass inserts, and some comfortable chairs in the window. They even use hot pink bakery boxes! Their tag line is Don't Be a Hater, Eat a Cupcake which they've printed in hot pink on T-Shirts, bibs and panties for sale in the bakery and at their Etsy shop.

Keep in mind that I am not a huge fan of wild and crazy flavors in my comfort food but The Shoppe converted me to the deliciousness of a visit to the wild side. , This bakery has so many cupcake flavors that it was really hard to choose which to get. We were thrilled to find that, in addition to full size cupcakes, they have mini cupcakes of each flavor which prevented us from dying from sugar overload. When we first looked into the case, we were initially worried that the frosting to cupcake ratio was very unbalanced, with huge swirls of frosting on each one, as youc an see in this photo from their gallery, but we couldn't have been more wrong.

Their frosting was so light, fluffy, creamy and flavorful we could have had more. Their cake is also what cake should be, a nice light crumb. Perfection!!
  • Mini Red Velvet- Perfect!!! Perfect flavor and the cream cheese frosting is the best we've ever tasted. It is so light, silky and flavorful without being at all heavy. Grade: A
  • Mini Rocky Road- A rich chocolate cake with caramel, marshmallow and nuts. Yummy!- Grade: A
  • Nutella- Heaven- A deep chocolate cake with nutella filling and a chocolate hazelnut frosting, topped with chopped hazelnuts. Delicious!! Grade: A
  • Peanut Butter Chocolate- This tasted like a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup- Need I say more?!!!- Grade A
  • Maple Cinnamon Banana Cupcake! OM Gosh! So Good! A really flavorful cinnamon banana cake with the most amazing maple frosting on top. Grade: A
The Shoppe also carries Vegan cupcakes and Gluten Free Cupcakes for those with dietary restrictions.

They have special items and activities for kids too. Check out their Story Time and Crafts for kids every Saturday from 12pm to 1pm and their Signature Surprise Cupcake
It’s a cupcake + present all in one!Each jumbo size surprise cupcake has a Kid Robot zipper pull or keychain inside. I want one!!!

You can even follow them on Twitter. It is a must visit bakery and as soon as we're ready for another cupcake we'll be returning to sample other flavors.

It may be a while before we're ready to review another bakery but who knows where our next Friday Fieldtrip will take us!

1 comment:

ThingsToDoWithKids said...

Hello, I am a new follower. And wow, I just got extremely hungry while reading this post. I am a peanut butter lover and the Reese's pb cupcake made my mouth water. I can't wait to read more.