Saturday, March 21, 2009


Whenever I make a trip down to Seattle, it usually isn't complete without a stop to Trophy cupcakes. I LOVE cake and these little cuties tend to be my favorites down there. I think Cupcake Royale's are very dry and not very good. I like Trophy's much better overall. But...

As good as they are (I'm starting to cower down a bit, like a dog whose used to getting smacked around, shoulders drooped, looking up in fear and angst) I don't think they are as great as I used to think. I know a lot of people are going to disagree with me here. Especially my dear friend Mallory. But I just have to go here. I think the shoppe is darling and the branding and concept delightful. But when it comes to the cakes, I just have a couple of issues. Let me preface this by saying that for the most part I really enjoy them, I just think they could be improved on a bit. For starters, whenever I go, which is on Sunday afternoons, the majority of the flavors involve chocolate. I love chocolate. But chocolate on chocolate, vanilla on chocolate, peanut butter on chocolate, Guinness chocolate, and red velvet, it's just too boring! I know, I know, red velvet isn't technically chocolate, but to me, it is. So, we did our best to get a variety and ended up choosing lemon coconut, chocolate with peanut butter icing, chai cardamom, and espresso with Bailey's Irish Creme icing. I thought the lemon was okay but not a wower. Then we shared the coffee cupcake which was dry, dry, dry. As well, the chai was pretty dry. Hey, that rhymed.

Now, I'm really going to be bad and go where many wouldn't dare. I don't like how most places use their icing. A big plop of it on top may be cute, but it certainly doesn't seem functional. For one, its hard to eat a cupcake that is four inches tall with such a bouffant of icing. And here's the real deal breaker for me, I despise the way that the cake dries out on the outer rim because the icing doesn't cover the surface entirely consequently leaving exposed cake. "But just a little of it is dry." you say. Well, I say no part of any cupcake should be dry. Not even it's tiny little rim. My first commercial cupcakes were eaten at Magnolia's in NYC and this is the way I choose to ice my cakes. A thinner, even layer swooped over the entire surface of the cupcake. Not only does it look elegant and old-fashioned, it offers an even amount of icing for every bite, and it acts as a insulator keeping the cake moist and fresh.

So, I'm sad to say that Trophy Cupcakes moved down a couple of notches for me. But, I still do like them. My complaints being dryness and too much icing and not enough variety, they still are pretty good for commercial cupcakes and probably my favorite in Seattle. But nothing seems to beat the perfection of a homemade cupcake prepared just the way I like it.

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