Sunday, August 09, 2009

Seattle Cupcake Crawl 2009

Yelpers organized a cupcake crawl in the downtown Seattle area, a list that included Cupcake Royale (Capitol Hill), Chocolate Box (serves Look cupcakes), Dahlia Bakery, Yellow Leaf and Macrina Bakery.

The stellar standout is the the Raspberry Lemonade, the Cupcake of the Month this August. This is their first fruit-filled cupcake. Using Farmers Market favorite Willie Green's Organic Farm raspberries, the fruit bursts through the delicate, "moistyer" (their word) vanilla cake. The lemon cream cheese frosting is bright and piquant. Also noteworthy is the Coconut Bunny vanilla cupcake. The crawlers sampled the cakes shown above, front to back, Triple Threat, Salted Caramel, Coconut Bunny and Raspberry Lemonade.

So many choices here at CR, but do yourself a flavor and go with the vanilla cake and your choice of frosting.

The Chocolate Box served us "La Nina El Diablo," Mexican chocolate cupcakes, shown above, from Look Cupcake, a local custom-order bakery. Complex layers of chocolate, cinnamon and cayenne with a chocolate ganache meet each other in every bite without muddling or muscling out the other flavors. The cake is light and moist. This is what chocolate cake should taste like. The frosting is a rich Swiss butter cream. The Chocolate Box, across from Pike Place Market, is the only retail shop so far that serves Look cupcakes. Another bonus for CB is that it stays opens later than most of the shops around that section of 1st Ave.

At Dahlia Bakery, the triple coconut cream pie remains ensconced on its throne as the best pastry there, but the cupcakes comes close. The Earl Grey honey lemon frosting on a vanilla cupcake tastes of a cup of tea that would Capt. Picard would love.

The Belltown bakery Yellow Leaf certainly takes the title of most unusual flavor: tomato soup. What it turned out to be is a carrot cake with a subtle tomato flavor; definitely worth a try. What takes the cake though, is their version of red velvet cake. The cake is moist, chewy, and pairs perfectly with its sugary, buttery vanilla frosting.

At Yellow Leaf, a revealing shot of how we were able to sample so many cupcakes in a day: sharing is caring.

Macrina has long been renowned for its' artisan breads. Their baguettes and flatbreads are flat out among the best in the country. The cupcakes, it turns out, are also pretty good. Decadent is so overused in shorthanding descriptions of chocolate but it works for Macrina's chocolate ganache cupcake. They are generously sized; easily one could be split into two and nibbled with a good cuppa coffee to savor the rich, dense chocolate cake. The Whisper cupcake, shown above, is light and airy, its' frosting whispers some spirit I couldn't quite put my finger on to identify it.

Ultimately, my overall favorites for the day were the Raspberry Lemonade from Cupcake Royale and the La Nina El Diablo from Look Cupcake served at Chocolate Box.

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