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Violet's in Pasadena has the best cupcakes I've had in LA

I know some of you never want to hear the words cupcake ever muttered on this board, but for those of you that like them Violet's has the best. I went yesterday and had the butterscotch, chocolate coconut vanilla, and the french toast & maple syrup. The frosting is sweet but I think that of almost everyplace I've been. I wanted to try their red velvet but they were out. The cupcakes are $2.25 and worth every cent. I've been to Clementine, Joan's on Third, Bluebird, Sprinkles and that bakery on Pico near Westside Pavilion and by far these are the best. They're moist, and have a delicate crumb, great flavor etc...

Violet's Cakes
21 E. Holly Street
(626) 395-9821

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  1. I LOVE Violets! I used to work w/i walking distance... when it first opened we were there constantly. every once in awhile I'll think about the French Toast cupcake and be sad. Plus the owners are super nice.

    1 Reply
    1. re: BearRock

      i used to work right near there, too! i only tasted the french toast cupcake, but i found it a bit too sweet. i took off most of the frosting, but it just wasn't moist enough for my taste. don't get me wrong; it was good. it just wasn't as yummy as i had hoped.

    2. What are their hours? I've walked by a few times looking for a treat and they were closed.

      1. I recommend trying Auntie Em's cupcakes.

        2 Replies
        1. re: chica

          I too am a huge Auntie Em's fan. I'm partial to the mocha cupcakes and the scones. I will try Violets also.

          1. re: sambrown3

            The mocha cupcakes also come in a cake version. :)

        2. Just had Violet's cupcakes for the first time on Saturday. They were all amazing, but the french toast cupcake left the three adults AND my five year old niece in awe. Truly. I described it as Wonka food -- I kept trying to place a particular ingredient bite to bite.

          I, too, have tried all of the LA greats (Sprinkles, Joans on Third, etc), but NOTHING has come close. I also used to live in NYC, and these are the closest thing to a Magnolia Bakery cupcake I have found.

          1. I drove by the area and had a hard time finding them - guess I'll have to give another shot looking for them.

            They were also mentioned on DailyCandy LA recently -- so maybe not too soon.

            Nice to have a good cupcake place nearby, been a while since I had one.


            2 Replies
            1. re: AquaW

              It's hard to spot from your car since the place is tiny and their signage is subtle.

              There's a 90min free parking lot on Raymond just south of Walnut.

              Park there and walk down to Holly Street. They'll be on the right side of street as you approach Fair Oaks.

              1. re: ozzygee

                What are their Saturday hours? Richard Dawkins is speaking at Caltech at 2pm so I might swing by on a recon mission.

            2. THANK YOU for this post!!!!! Just got back from Violet's.... picked up a few for the nephew's b'day tonight. Brought back a couple apple strudel and pumpkin's (with cream cheese frosting) to share at work.

              The apple strudel not only smells divine, but is amazing - wonderful apple/cinnamon with strudel chunks covered with buttercream frosting and caramel!

              The pumpkin did not disappoint either. Nice, rich pumpkin flavors - perfectly complementing the cream cheese frosting!

              Between the two, the winner by a slight margin was the apple - although, folks were amazed at the light, yet rich, quality of the pumpkin. (It's a win-win, IMO!)

              In addition to those, I have an oreo, carrot and espresso at home. Can't wait to see how those do!

              It's a cute little shop - when I walked in, to my dismay they only had a few cupcakes on the trays, but I was informed that they have all the ones they had tags for and they just need to frost whatever I wanted.

              My only disappointment was to find they don't make the French Toast cupcake on Tuesdays!! ...oh, too bad for me, guess I'll have to go back soon! :)

              I'm a believer!!!

              Oh, and on a side note, a friend got cupcakes from the new place on Arroyo (Dots?) for a party last week - and they were no where close to the same league as Violet's. I tried bites of 4 kinds (red velvet, lemon and others I can't recall) - they were on the dry side and nothing outstanding (other than looking good).

              1 Reply
              1. re: The Oracle

                ....an update on the other flavors tried later that evening:

                Espresso - to die for! very rich, lots of delicious flavors.
                Carrot - very good, had some raisin/currants? in it that I didn't care for. moist and flavorful.
                Oreo - the dissapointment of the bunch. Cake was dry - but the frosting was delish.

                Everyone had a different favorite... which is a good sign, IMO. The apple strudel didn't fare so well over time (by that evening, when I tried to cut it, the top and half broke apart in two layers.) I personally would induldge in the apple strudel and the espresso again.

              2. I went to Violet's several weeks back and agree that the cupcakes are delish.

                I got about nine...can't recall all of the flavors, but the strawberry and chocolate, mocha, french toast, carrot, and red velvet were heavenly. I love how each cupcake is also sprinkled with its own colorful sprinkles or dots. :)

                The store looks like it's still in its start-up -- no door sign when I went, a man was taking pictures for an ad, and there were onLy cupcakes...I hope they get more desserts soon! It's a nice addition to Pasadena.

                1 Reply
                1. re: chica

                  There was signage today - on the windows and the doors. It said something like: brownies, cupcakes, and cakes .... although, I only saw cupcakes.

                  I just called for the hours. Closed Sunday/Monday, Tuesday open til 2pm, the rest of the days open til 5pm. (Although this week - tomorrow they are only doing special orders and the rest of the week they are off.)

                  I hope they do really well -- it's an outstanding product and the owner seems SO nice! There was a list of cupcake flavors on the counter that I glanced at - they seem to rotate flavors based on the day of the week (although, there are some flavors that are served on multiple days.) I'm kicking myself for not getting more!!!

                  It's too bad they don't open late -- it would be a great spot to drop in for a treat while in Old Town.

                2. Tried their french toast cupcake and found it to be sickly sweet. Plus, the girl who helped me wasn't too friendly.

                  1. I'm with above poster. French toast cupcake is a great idea, but my teeth ached as I was eating it - frosting waaay too sweet.

                    1. Do you think it would be too much to pop over to Pie 'n Burger for a piece of banana 'cream' pie afterwards?

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: cvc

                        i love violet's! the red velvet is quite moist & the frosting isn't overly sweet! i love that they put grated chocolate ontop too! makes the cocoa in the cake mix very nicely w/the frosting.

                        my other favorite of theirs is the blueberry w/cream cheese frosting! yum yum!

                        1. re: hydrox

                          The blueberry sounds really good. :) I'm going to look this place up. Is it on Holly in Old Pas?

                          1. re: katkoupai

                            yep! it's on holly, tiny spot. i have their menu in front of me. blueberry is on Tuesday & Saturday. but it also says "on any given day, we will also be havign additional flavors"

                            1. re: hydrox

                              Great. Thanks for letting me know. :-) I definitely want to try this place.

                      2. So sad to say that I USED to love Violets, but now w/the new ownership (so I hear) it is not close to what it once was -- unremarkable, bland & dry cupcakes and unaceptable customer service.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Jojo Bruin

                          when did ownership change? i'm not a huge fan of violet's, but i do like some of their cupcakes. strawberry lemonade sticks in my mind. i wasn't a fan of their red velvet, and some of their frostings tend towards being too sweet. the last time i came here was probably a year ago.

                          1. re: Jojo Bruin

                            I noticed a month ago that new people were operating the store. The cupcakes were dry and the flavors were off. I thought it was an off day but then again, I've never had an off-cupcake at Violet's until last month. Thanks for the heads-up.