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Cupcakes for First Birthday Party near Berkeley

My son's first birthday party is coming up next month. We've invited about fifty people and I thought it would be easiest and most festive to serve cupcakes instead of a single whole cake. Does anyone know of a good place for cupcakes in the greater Berkeley area? Something that would appeal to adults would be great, as, let's face it, this is really a party for us grown-ups, anyway! Many thanks in advance!

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  1. the cupcake place down at bay st. shopping mall

    1 Reply
    1. re: kc72

      Teacakes? Thanks. They cost $3 each--does that sound reasonable?

    2. The chocolate cupcakes at La Farine are the best around. (I just tried the white ones last week and didn't care for them - very dry, although maybe just a fluke?) The one at Teacakes (Bay St.) look like they'd be great, but they aren't. Their cookies, however, are great. I've tried their cupcakes a few times and have been disappointed. Of course, 50 delicious cupcakes are going to set you back a bundle - you will have to order in advance and maybe there's a quantity discount.

      4 Replies
      1. re: lmnopm

        Yeah ... Teacakes ... cupcakes bad ... cookies good ... both ... $3 ... expensive.

        La Farine makes good cupcakes. FatApples also does cupcakes which, IMO, are every bit the equal of La Farine. You might ask at Lola's on Solano if they would make you the cupcakes. They have really good cupcakes on occasion.

        One place where I don't like another thing, but they had a good cupcake once was The Bread Workshop on University.

        The place off Statuck ... Love at First Bite ... didn't love it. Big variety and kind of pricy.

        If it were me, I'd use FatApples.

        1. re: rworange

          Interesting, I really like Teacake's cupcakes but I don't like their cookies. Market Hall bakery also does cupcakes, you could check there.

          1. re: JasmineG

            Actually, I liked Teacake's cupcakes too, but wasn't too enthralled by the cookies. When I bought a bunch of cupcakes from Teacakes, I was able to negotiate some sort of bulk discount, but they specially decorated them for me.

            1. re: The Dive

              That's great info, thanks -- I might be doing cupcakes for an upcoming baby shower.

      2. Love at First Bite's Pretty in Pink cupcake is my favorite in the Bay Area. But you've got to love strawberries.

        1 Reply
        1. re: peterme

          I love their variety. I'm not really a cake person, but I'll definitely eat their cupcakes. Something for everyone!

        2. I recently tasted cupcakes from Teacake Shop at Bay St.($3) and Love at First Bite ($2.50). The cupcakes from Teacake were far superior in taste, texture, and visual appeal.

          The lemon and red velvet were my favorites.

          4 Replies
          1. re: SLRossi

            And pics of Love at First Bites for comparison.

            1. re: SLRossi

              I'm glad to see Teacake is bringing back more varieties in flavor. They started off with varieties, then lately I saw it was mostly vanilla or chocolate base. Glad to see lemon and such now appearing again. I think their cupcakes always look cute but the frosting can be a bit on the sweet side. I'm a fan of the cookies. I think if you want to impress a kids party with adults, then Teacake is a nice choice. But if it's just kids, homemade is best.

              1. re: singleguychef

                They said that some of their flavors are seasonal, so you should see some variation.

                1. re: singleguychef

                  They told me the other day that they have more varieties on the weekend than on weekdays (they have carrot Friday-Sunday, for example). They also had red velvet around Valentine's Day.

              2. Well, if you don't want to spend $150+, I'd offer the radical idea of making your own cupcakes. Two friends and I hosted a baby shower a couple weekends ago, and decided to get creative and make the cupcakes because we couldn't find any we liked. We had a decorating party the night before (with good takeout and wine), and used purchased cake mixes, pre-colored fondant & my homemade buttercream (although I might buy that too next time) to keep it easy (2 of us each made 3 dozen cupcakes). Our rather unprofessional job got way more rants and raves than the extremely expensive bakery cupcakes I served at my last party...

                7 Replies
                1. re: alis

                  That photo is too cute! How did you decorate the top with the "baby"?

                  1. re: coolbean98

                    It was pretty easy! We bought Wilton pre-colored fondant in "Natural Colors" (nicely multicultural "flesh" tones) and pastels, a round cutter, and an edible black marker from a local craft store (Michaels). Frosted the cupcakes with buttercream, made a pillow with two squeezed out lines of frosting, and a "body" with another big squeeze of frosting. Rolled out and then cut a half-circle of the pastel fondant as the blanket and placed it over the "body." Then, rolled out and stampled the round heads, drew faces on them with the edible marker, added hair, and put on the frosting "pillow." 50 cupcakes took 3 of us about 3 hours to do, but we stopped for pizza and (quite a bit of) wine in the middle.

                  2. re: alis

                    I did that recently because I really wanted to try Kara's Cupcakes, but was feeling broke. I made some gorgeous and delicious vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting for very little money. They were easy and a huge hit.

                    1. re: Atomica

                      What did you use for the baby faces? The rest is fondant and icing, right?

                      1. re: coolbean98

                        Faces are fondant, with the details drawn on using an edible marker (see above for full description of the process).

                    2. re: alis

                      Those are adorable! Is the folded blanket fondant? I think you have a new career. And I agree, unlike a big cake, cupcakes are so easy it seems a shame to order them unless you only crave one.

                      1. re: lintygmom

                        We were thinking about setting up shop making baby shower cupcakes, until we got to about #45!!

                        Blanket and faces are fondant - I'm not a big fan of the flavor of the fondant so we tried to keep it to a minimum!

                    3. I've had cupcakes at several bakeries in Berkeley and my favorite is Toot Sweets (510) 526-0610. They have both chocolate and vanilla cupcakes with wonderful frosting. Perfect for kids (and adults too).

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: rightstar

                        My goodness ... the Toot Sweets cupcake actually is ... good.

                        Even better in your circumstance they have these little cakes just slightly larger than a regular cupcakes ... a scaled down version of the large cakes ... and they are pretty and festive and use real butter cream.

                        IMO ... way, way ... way better than Teacakes ... $2.

                        The vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting looked ordinary. But the cake was buttery almost like a pound cake. The frosting very fudgy and butter cream ... not some shortening version. The only points off is these cupcakes are on the sweet side. But really up there near the top of my cupcake list.

                        Besides vanilla & chocolate they had carrot cupcakes. I really want to try some of those mini cakes though. Love I don't have to commit to a whole cake.

                        1. re: rworange

                          Thanks for giving it a whirl. Haven't had anything from there since I left Cal. Things were always a bit too sugary for me, but I never refused anything offered me. (g)

                          1. re: Melanie Wong

                            Well ... it is called Toot Sweet ... maybe originally that second 't' was a printing error.

                            I was really stalking the hot cross bun ... which they do not make ... neither does anyone at the Montclair Farmers Market ... Esthers ... Bay Bread ... Phoenix Pastifico ... Margaret;s French Bakery ... Charlie Frank;s Pies ... and Montclair bake Shop was closed.

                            It was NOT a hot cross bun sort of day. I decided to be happy with the cupcake.

                            But ... as so often is the case ... what you are looking for is NOT the treasure you find ... I'll post separately ... stumbled across some really good stuff ... a teaser ... real Argetine empanadas ... I mean good ones ... made in Petaluma.

                      2. I like Love at First Bite better for taste, and Teacake better for appearance... depends on what your priority is.

                        Making your own is a wonderful idea if you have a couple friends who could help...

                        1. Sibbys Cupcakery. Search Google.

                          Truly amazing, custom, and she delivers.

                          Win, win.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: answerman

                            Sibby's is great, but I get the impression from the website that they don't deliver to the East Bay: http://www.sibbyscupcakery.com/

                          2. For my daughter's wedding last summer she chose carrot cupcakes from Love at First Bite. The cupcakes were delicious and, as much to the point, delivered spot on time and exactly as asked for. If she ever has occasion to marry again I would, from beyond the grave, choose cupcakes from these folks.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Michael Rodriguez

                              Having just tried 6 cupcakes from Love at First Bite for a wedding cupcake tasting, I would rank them as follows from best to worst:

                              Chocolate with mocha icing
                              Red velvet
                              Chocolate with chocolate icing
                              (wouldn't get these):
                              Chocolate with raspberry
                              Lemon pistachio

                              1. re: katya

                                I few weeks after trying 6 cupcakes at Love at First Bite, I tried a dulce de leche one at Teacakes. It was superior to every Love at First Bite one I tried.

                            2. Cupcakes are so splendid. If you're not going to make your own and you want chocolate cupcakes, the ones at teacakes in Emeryville are the best I've had. The vanilla w/ vanilla was just ok; way too sweet, but kids'd love 'em. Love at First Bite has a good vanilla and has more varieties. I thought La Farine's chocolate cupcake was actually close to inedible, but maybe I caught them on a bad day (I tried one from the College Ave store). The frosting was so thick it stuck to the roof of my mouth and was very hard to swallow. And the cupcake itself had a bizarre malted/fermented flavor to it that I can't describe. Could they have used some sort of booze in it? I don't know, but it just wasn't good and, normally, I love La Farine.

                              1. I stopped by TootSweets today and got a vanilla cupcake w/chocolate frosting. It may have been worse than a box mix with canned frosting. The cake part was probably worse than a better box mix. Too bad.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: lmnopm

                                  You're ruining my childhood! My birthday cakes came from TootSweets for years and years. I haven't been there in probably ten years, I should go back, but apparently just for the nostalgia.

                                  1. re: lmnopm

                                    Wow ... we really agree more in taste than disagree ... but in this case I had the same cupcake and loved it. Thought it tasted very house-baked and not artificial at all.

                                  2. What about Sweet Adeline, near the Oakland/Emeryville border? A little while ago they were making this chocolate bundt cake, which was really much better than it sounded - more like a fudgy devil's food cake. They're not serving it now, and don't generally sell cupcakes, but I've found their staff and their baker, Jennifer, incredibly accomodating. They may be able to do something special for you.