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Oct 1, 2006 12:11 AM

bluebird cafe cupcakes

So, I've been sorta keeping up with the mini-proliferation of cupcake places in the region. There are some of the big players I've missed, but I'll get to them eventually. Probably.

To provide context for the review, my take so far has been:

Sprinkles - way too sugary. I like sweet plenty, but these also have the disadvantage of cake that seems to me too tough. I disagree with the very well-informed Chica that these can't be split. At parties I've been to where these are served, that's my strategy (god forbid I just not have any!). I've tried a few flavors, none really stand out - my overall impression remains the sugariness.

Auntie Em's - red velvet. Way too big, and just not tasty enough to warrant the indulgance. Again toughish cake - is this a problem with red velvet in general, I wonder? Did I get a stale one? But far too big in any case.

Leda's - big praise for the white chocolate holding the cupcakes in the box. Very clever. Nice combo of flavors, and hurray for the mini-cupcakes, but what's with the oiliness? Not so nice after all.

Susiecakies - I really like the cake part - I had the lemon. Not tough, but tender and a little fluffy. I'm not crazy about the frosting - a little too light, could be more buttercream-like. But so far it's been my front-runner.

And for far back context Buttercup Bake Shop in mid-town Manhattan remains my formative standard - why can't I find frosting like this here? (I swear that is the ONLY nyc whining I will ever, ever do - who cares about pizza and bad Chinese food?).

So, I didn't know what to expect at Bluebird Cafe this afternoon. For a long time I haven't been able to try them because their days/hours were so limited, but happily they're now open on Saturdays.

I had the plain vanilla with pink frosting. I definitely like the cake best. It's even better than Susiecakes. Light, buttery, it's just right. The frosting's good too! Not quite as thick as I'd like and the frosting to cupcake ratio is a bit meager. But it's definitely the best cupcake I've had in LA so far.

I'll have to try the red velvet next to see if it's on the tough side like all the rest, but I have high hopes.

The Bluebird Bakery
8572 National Boulevard
Culver City, California 90232
310 841 0939 tel
310 841 0909 fax
(note they haven't updated their hours on the website, they are open on Saturdays!).

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  1. Totally agree with you on Buttercup in Midtown - it's my standard as well and I haven't been able to find anything better. I haven't tried Bluebird yet but it's on my list. Have you been to Buttercake Bakeshop (not to be confused with Buttercup!) on Pico? Their red velvet is not too bad. I definitely hated Sprinkles and it is too overpriced.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Leon

      I forgot to give the price in my review! Bluebird's cupcakes are $2.25/each.

      And I haven't been to Buttercake which I hope to remedy soon (too bad they're not open on Sundays!). I also haven't had the cupcakes at Clementine (which is lame on my part since I really like their food, I just always go for lunch rather than later in the day when I like cupcakes).

      I'm not in Eagle Rock all that often but I would consider another visit to Auntie Em's (esp. - Liu - as I love carrot cake!) or a visit to Oinkster. I just wish AE's had a smaller version. The best thing about cupcakes is the size - if I wanted a cake or a huge slab of cake, that's what I'd get. A cupcake that's too big seems wasteful when all I want is a small treat.

      1. re: ks in la

        Hello again, ks in la! Take just a bite, and I think Auntie Em's carrot cupcake would do well in the fridge for a few days (it won't last, I promise!) and then just microwave for a few secs to take the chill off, but not enough to melt the cream cheese frosting.

        I actually did find it too much for one sitting, but it is so moist that I am sure it would be fine the next day, so long as you keep it cold so that the frosting doesn't sour.

    2. ks in la - Please do give Auntie Em's another try for their carrot cupcake with cream cheese frosting and lots of really plump raisins. One is quite enough to share with the table next to you!

      1. I just had an excellent coconut cupcake at the new Oinkster in Eagle Rock.

        1. I have had Bluebird's red velvet, coconut, and carrot cupcake. The red velvet is my favorite, at the bakery and amongst all other bakeries I've tried, including SusieCakes.

          I also like their berry loaf and brownie. Bluebird makes sizzling flat-pressed sandwiches, with dark green salads, too.

          It's a lovely little joint. ;)

          1. Hotcakes Bakes makes a decent cupcake, though I'd definetly try to get 'em as early in the AM as possible. I think their red velvet is their best compared to their vanilla and chocolate-chocolate. Just the right size, sweet and not too rich. Though I still love Auntie Em's the most.