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Cupcakes! Or great Bakeries in Austin...

I would like to send a friend the very best cupcakes or sweet treat Austin has to offer. Delivery is a plus -- but I'd love to hear about any wonderful local bakeries that I can just tell him to go to...

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  1. I never buy cupcakes but my favorite bakeries in Austin, in order, are:

    Sweetish Hill
    Upper Crust
    Quack's

    1. There's a new place up north called the Blue Cupcake, which should have some good cupcakes. Haven't tried them myself.

      Here's a recent blurb in the Statesman:

      http://www.austin360.com/food_drink/c...

      1 Reply
      1. re: cstrombe

        After reading the blurb in the Austin American Statesman about The Blue Cupcake, it seemed a tempting spot to take my best friend, here on a rare visit from Virginia. We were SO disappointed! At seven dollars a pop, and the quote in the paper that it was "big enough to share", we expected a hefty sandwich on homemade bread. Although the veggie sandwich filling was delicious, the bread was of the ordinary grocery store variety, and hardly big enough for half to satisfy. A seven dollar sandwich should come on a sturdy homemade bread, especially when it's served in a bakery! We had to order a second sandwich (a very unsophisticated ham and cheese) to be satisfied. My husband enjoyed his tuna sandwich, but was also disappointed in the bread.

        The cupcakes were equally unsatisfying. Although we liked the flavors of the Keep Austin Weird and coconut snowball cupcakes, at $1.75 each they are overpriced for their small size. I found the cake part to be a bit dense and dry for my tastes, although my friend and husband liked it. They also enjoyed their cafe americanos and lattes, but my mocha tasted like it was made with hot chocolate mix.

        Overall, I found the prices to be too high for the offerings, especially in a standard strip-mall store with little ambiance; and the menu is entirely mundane except for the veggie sandwich and the Keep Austin Weird cupcake. We won't be going back --- at least until they do some work on the menu.

      2. Here is a new cupcakery, I haven't been but I bookmarked the page from a little while ago (it's delivery only at the moment):

        http://www.austinbabycakes.com/

        There's also Tiff's Treats! (you can tell I'm an UT student, heh). Freshly baked cookies, delivered! They're VERY yum. If you sign up for their mailing list, they send out a coupon each week.

        http://www.cookiedelivery.com/

        1. This is a good question! Little City used to have the most amazing cupcakes when they first opened-- they were white cake flavored with Frangelico and a chocolate icing. MMmmmm... I miss those things, they were bigger than my two fists smushed together.

          1. Don't know about cupcakes, but the cinnamon rolls at Upper Crust are to die for.

            1. Ok, so I'll share my cupcake secret... but it goes no further than this tiny secluded message board! The folks at Quack's have cake truffles that will just blow your mind. They are incredibly rich and chocolatey ...but best of all they are absolutely beautiful. It's basically chocolate cake surrounded by a chocolate shell with white chocolate drizzled over the top.
              These things are the best thank you gift, something to bring to a dinner, or just a plain ol' surprise for any occasion. They look best when you ask them to give you a cake box and just fill the bottom with as many as will fit. The are really elegant and an unbeatable deal at $.50 each! Now that you know, let's just keep it between us.

              1. Cupcakes? If you're looking for cupcakes, I recommend the HEB or Randalls. Fiesta has good stuff as well.

                If you go to a real bakery, get something worth the trip (e.g., Sweetish Hill's bear claws, or the chocolate-raspberry brioche at Upper Crust).

                Someone....does this cupcake trend have legs? I can't imagine any reason to eat a cupcake, when there are real pastries to be had. I know the herds are bleating about them, but...?

                1. mmm, i know exactly what you mean. surprisingly, i found that the cupcakes at the buffet at Whole Foods (Lamar and 6th) are absolutely wonderful - buttercream frosting and everything! the sweets there do rotate though, sometimes they have cakes. and don't worry - i too am a cupcake snob and long for the cupcakes from nyc's magnolia. these definitely come close.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: amandapey

                    I agree that Magnolia Bakery is good, though it wasn't my favorite source for cupcakes in NYC. I'd have to disagree, however, that the cupcakes at Whole Foods come close. I've had their chocolate cupcakes on two recent occasions, and they looked great but tasted terrible. Off-tasting chocolate; very hard, dry texture; soured frosting: I had to take them back. I had purchased the cupcakes for dinner parties both times, which is a bad time to get stuck with inedible baked goods.

                    On one occasion WF's yellow cupcakes were decent to good, but not great. (The chocolate one sampled that day was still off, though not as horrid as before.) After three trials that resulted in only one good pair of yellow cupcakes, I'm not taking any more chances.

                    I'm also steering clear of WF's fruit tarts, which were pretty good a year ago. The last time I tried one, the pastry shell had the texture of sponge cake or even tres leches. I had to pass out spoons. The tart looked beautiful, though.

                    1. re: MPH

                      fair enough - i can't say i've had them regularly, but the few i've had have been wonderful. HOWEVER, i came back to this post because i'm done with WF. I've moved on to the Sweetish Hill cupcakes (Sweetish Hill bakery on W. 6th) - they are smaller, but the cake was like smooth velvety chocolate goodness and the frosting was perfect - not too sweet like some I've had. If you go, ask if they have any fresh ones in the back.

                  2. I tried some of these cupcakes at the grand opening of the new Hill Country Galleria Mall and they were amazing!!!!!!!!!!!! Big, oversized cupcakes with the best frosting! They were very moist with great flavors. They are called Toot Sweet Cupcakes here in Austin - I haven't had a cupcake like that before.

                    1. I try the Hey Cupcake! place on SoCo (that silver RV) for $2...I was not too happy about it.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Austintt

                        I finally made it there myself after reading all the talk about it on Chow and others. I can finally say my pre-made verdict is true: I can certainly do better and so can most people with a decent mix and tub of frosting.
                        How does a cupcake stand stay in business with lousy cupcakes? Oh yeah, cupcake+soco=uber trendy. Ugh.

                          1. re: scrumptiouschef

                            The founder of GSD and M is building a boutique hotel behind hey cupcake on S.Congress......something tells me he's never sampled their waresl.

                            "It's indicative of the type of thing we're talking about," said Bill Gurasich, developer and co-founder of GSD&M. "If you can take a cupcake and come up with a true, unique cupcake experience, then we can sure come up with a hotel experience that's going to be indicative of that type of creativity."

                            1. re: scrumptiouschef

                              Good Lord, that's terrible! But is he really building it "behind" them...like, he's leaving a little bit of that dirt lot just for them?

                              1. re: angusb

                                A hotel themed around Hey Cupcake... pretty veneer, lousy product?
                                Personally, I just wish the Hey Cupcake people would either clean up or move their spare trailer from my neighborhood. The thing is begging for a raccoon colony.

                      2. The best cupcakes I have ever tasted, bar none, are the marble cupcakes from Upper Crust Bakery. It's not a frosted kind of cupcake. Its a dense chocolate cake with a thumbprint of cheesecake in the middle. I could eat an embarassingly large amount of these if given the opportunity and enough milk.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Allison L.

                          I totally agree. Upper Crust's marble cupcakes are incredible - that little nugget of chocolate...Yum! This is the one item that has tempted me to write in to Bon Appetit and ask for the recipe. Upper Crust already gave out their recipe for their black gold chocolate cookies, so it is not likely that they would give out another popular recipe. : (

                        2. I did a Tour de Cupcakes for a recent birthday. Since I was new to Austin, I didn't know too many places to try. Texas French Bread's were the cutest, but nothing exciting. The "20 Carrot" at Hey Cupcake! was really fantastic and moist, lots of good cream cheese frosting. We got a dreamsicle cupcake from a vegan bakery at 29th and Guadalupe, which was overprice but VERY good and I appreciated the variety of creative flavors. If you're going to get a cupcake, it should probably be special. We finished off the tour at Whole Foods, which did not have anything along the lines of "special" so we got a slice of tres leches from the fridge next to the bakery and it was amazing. We've since then gotten an orange cake with berries and cream filling which was also very impressive. Everything I've had at Quack's is good, and on my next tour i'll be getting their toasted coconut cupcake. Yummmmmmm.

                          1. I tried Polkadots Cupcake Factory this weekend. The cupcakes were very fresh and moist, and the owners were very friendly and warm.

                            I tried the red velvet, and the lemon coconut. They were both delicious, but the red velvet won me over. The cake was light, rich, and springy, and the cream cheese frosting was perfect.

                            The cake of the lemon coconut was fantastic - tart and sweet - but I'm not a big fan of buttercream, so I had to take some of it off. It'd be great their cream cheese frosting was on more of their cakes.

                            1. I really like Kneaded Plasures bakery off Far West for cupcakes. The Carrot and Red Velvet are dense and sweet.

                              Madcakes off Spicewood Springs offers a VERY moist yummy variety to cakes-bars-cupcakes. All have been awesome.

                              I love sugar!

                              1. Bountiful Bakery on Bee Caves in Westlake (in the shopping ctr. opposite Randall's) has amazing cupcakes. I swear by the peanut butter and jelly- seriously yummy. The yellow cake isn't cloyingly sweet, and it's moist with no crumbling at first bite. They have a kiosk in the Barton Creek mall. I work in Westlake and get so bored with the food offerings, so I go here when I need a midday sugar pick me up and panini. The other plus is that some of the proceeds go to a charity.

                                As for Hey Cupcake, I live near there and don't step foot near that tourist trap crap. Their cupcakes aren't anything special, even if they're convenient. I'd rather rip open a box of Betty Crocker for $1.50 and make a dozen.

                                Magnolia Bakery in NYC wasn't good either, that is unless you fall for SATC wannabe sweets. Babycakes in NYC was awesome.

                                1. I just had the Odd Couple at Sugar Mama's today. It was the best cupcake I have ever had and I have tried a whole lot.

                                  http://www.sugarmamasbakeshop.com/

                                  The cake was not too chocolatey, but very moist and the icing was insanely good. I am planning my next trip now.

                                  Mmmmmmmmmmmm.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: SandraCan

                                    These are good cupcakes--probably second to Ann's in terms of my favorite in town. The cake is super crumbly and moist and the frosting is very airy--both of which make for a pretty distinct cupcake. The lemon was quite tart which is to my liking. Much better than other cupcake only shops I've been to.

                                    1. re: SandraCan

                                      I tried 2 cupcakes at Sugar Mama's this weekend in my quest to try all the cupcakes in Austin just to prove to myself that people will buy into any trend no matter how poorly executed.
                                      The cupcakes were the same price as Hey Cupcake's but they were a good bit smaller. Strike one.

                                      The coconut cupcake was of the dense coconut cake variety rather than a light cupcake. I kinda like my coconut cake to be traditionally dense so this was ok. The cake had a hint of moisture. Overall A- and the best I've had so far.

                                      The lemon cake as someone stated above was wonderfully tart. However the cake itself was so dry it felt like eating a spoonful of baking soda. The frosting was ok on it's own as well but the two had to be eaten together so the moist buttery (but not quite lemony) icing assisted the flavorful yet dry cupcake. B

                                      I think what I'm finding is that these places use the frosting to compensate for a dry cake. Is this a problem with the recipe or with the mass production of cupcakes? Because most home bakers could do better

                                      1. re: Lixer

                                        Lixer--Have you tried the cakes at MadCakes before? I have found the cake to be VERY moist and the frosting light and not too overpowering.

                                        Bummed about this SugarM review...I've been wanting to try the Carrot Cake cupcake since they opened but wonder if I'd be wasting time and calories:(

                                        Oh well....maybe i should just bake them myself.

                                        Barbara

                                        1. re: Trojanbabe

                                          No, I haven't, but I will keep it in mind as I continue my mission! I don't think they had the carrot cake cupcakes when I was there but I imagine that they are probably pretty good since there's moisture baked in. It's a cute little place to check out at least once.

                                          1. re: Lixer

                                            We are friends with the Sugar Mama's folks, so I've had quite a few of their flavors. My Top 5:

                                            - Black & Tan (Stout Cake w/ Bailey's Frosting)
                                            - Peanut Butter Cup (Chocolate Cake, Peanut Butter Frosting)
                                            - Red Velvet
                                            - Coconut (which has a Cream Pie-type icing)
                                            - French Toast (Maple Cake, Cinnamon Icing)

                                            If you grab any of those flavors, you will leave extremely happy. I'm a big fan.

                                    2. has anyone tried Lux bakery? yelp has a lot of good cupcake reviews from there, i just haven't tried it. it's 3 mins from my house, so no excuse not to, but i just haven't gotten around to it.

                                      http://luxbakeryandcafe.com/

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: NirvRush

                                        yeah..I practically live for the tofu sandwich at Lux. I have a serious fixation over it.
                                        We tend to go over on Saturdays and grab sandwiches and bubble teas. They also have free mini cupcakes on Saturdays. The best one I've tried so far is the mint chocolate chip.

                                        Honestly, they are okay cupcakes, but not exceptional. It my love for that blasted sandwich coupled with a well made bubble tea that makes me go back so often. I like the cupcakes well enough, but I wouldn't go out of my way for them.

                                      2. I just had a really strange cupcake from Russell's Bakery. I got the chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting, which was piled up several inches high, which made it particularly tempting. I got it to go, and was a little weirded out when the girl put it in a sack. Straight in. No container to protect the frosting statue on top. She did make note that she put it in a separate sack than the chocolate chip cookie I also ordered. Well, thank you. So, I set the sack in my car, and very soon, turned a corner, and naturally the sack tipped over. When I got to my destination, I went to rescue the cupcake, but there was no need to panic. That frosting was permanent. I felt like I was holding a rubber toy cupcake. I poked at the frosting and it didn't move. So, I started eating it. The frosting wasn't bad, but (I can't believe I'm saying this), there was too much of it. I started going into sugar shock before I even got to the cake. Needing to finally try the whole thing, though, I peeled away the cupcake paper and bit into the cake part. Nasty. Just plain bad. Dry. No flavor. And the second bite (just to make sure it was as bad as I thought) had something of a skin in it (not human, but maybe it was sweetened with applesauce that wasn't cooked all the way or something? I'm kind of at a loss to what that extra bit was, and quite frankly, don't want to think about it). Anyway, I took the remainder to my husband and asked him "do you want a half eaten icky cupcake"? He finished it, but agreed it wasn't very good.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: stephanieh

                                          Stephanieh
                                          The counter girl served you the infamous off-the-menu CANNIBAL CUPCAKE.Which does indeed feature human skin.

                                          1. re: scrumptiouschef

                                            Scrumptious.... OMG that's funny! Wait, it's also disturbing. I had just convinced myself that I somehow ate the cupcake paper in that bite. It helps me sleep at night.

                                            I'm reminded of the old SNL skit where a guy dies and goes to heaven and gets to ask the angel (Dana Carvey) all kinds of questions, and he asks what's the grossest thing he'd ever eaten. Dana Carvey told him he couldn't handle it, so he asked what the hundredth grossest thing he'd ever eaten was, and he told him there was an earwig in his pudding once. Ewww. I now have myself all creeped out again.

                                            1. re: stephanieh

                                              Stephanieh,If it came with an order of perfectly cooked handcut fries you'd be all over it wouldn't you?

                                              1. re: scrumptiouschef

                                                Scrumptious... how well you know me! Maybe that was a perfect hand cut fry enrobed in that cupcake. If so, have they found the perfect fusion food for me? Should I be extolling their virtues now, instead of trying to shake off that memory? Will they make one with ranch dressing on it for you?