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Mar 12, 2007 11:21 PM

the age-old question: best cupcakes in sf?

as a former resident of sf currently living in the hell of los angeles, i am looking forward with great foodie enthusiasm to my upcoming trip [thursday] to the city. a celebratory birthday trip, with some research purposes as well.

my girl and i are getting married this coming august in the bay area, with a ceremony in the city proper and the reception in redwood city. we are having our wedding theme be food we love to eat in sf, since we miss it so much. we are going to have buffet style food, and had initally thought a variety of our favorite desserts as well, dianda's cannolis, mitchell's ice cream, perhaps some things from tartine if we could afford to, etc.

but we have since thought that perhaps cupcakes are the way to go. who doesn't love cake? and it seems more cost-effective [obviously depending on the vendor] for our party of around 100. red velvet and spice cake are our flavors of choice to honor both of our childhood food cultures [southern and midwestern]. so far in our research, we have happened upon miette [sp?] which seems too fancy, and love at first bite, where we have a tasting scheduled. and... that's about it.

any suggestions?

thanks for your support for my first post...

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  1. You may need to go outside of SF proper to get good cupcakes. Search the board for "cupcakes," and plenty of threads come up. This one references a pie place in San Leandro that makes Red Velvet cupcakes. I can vouch for the Sweet Potato Pie, but have not tried the cupcakes:

    2 Replies
    1. re: Zach Georgopoulos

      I like Marieta's (the San Leandro place) red velvet cupcakes better than Love at First Bite.

      I also liked Kara's Cupcakes in SF

      Other cupcake places often mentioned
      Sibby's ... special order only and they will deliver. They are located in the Pennisula which is where your Redwood City would be located.

      Teacakes - Emeryville - in the East Bay like Love at first bite. Some like them. I don't. I prefer Kara's.

      DeLassio - (SF) mini cupcakes that are unique. You'd have to ask about those flavors.

      Citizan Cake - (SF) I liked a few of my cupcakes, but not all. They don't usually do red velvet, but might for an order that large.

      In the first link I mention Cassandra's which has a decent enough red velvet cupcake, though Mariettas is closer to your location and better. However, Cassandra's might be the best price and definately not a fancy cupcake.

      1. re: rworange

        Kara's Web site has a list of flavors:

        Better SF bakeries might skip Red Velvet because of all the food coloring.

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. The cupcake craze (as opposed to the long-term, general popularity of cupcakes) was inspired by Sex and the City and really took off in NY. LA is much quicker to follow fashion trends, especially those spawned by TV and movies, than SF is, so I'm not surprised the cupcake craze is bigger there than here (really, I don't think you can call it a craze here at all -- I think the cupcake "specialists" that have sprung up have been inspired by the success of cupcake-focused businesses elsewhere, not in response to an large increase in local cupcake demand).

        Nothing wrong with cupcakes, I guess, but I prefer layer cakes.

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          well, i live in both SF and LA and i can tell you that i saw cupcakes in SF about the same time as in LA. some years back. that said, red velvet seems to be a lot easier to find in LA right now than in SF and in fact is the most popular wedding cake flavor according to some article I read. I have no idea why as I prefer lemon or chocolate.

      2. I'm a fan of both Love at First Bite and Sibby's. (But now that I know Marietta's has red velvet it sounds like I need to make a stop there sometime!) I think having cupcakes at your wedding is a lovely idea. I've seen cupcake wedding trees and they can look really classy. :)

        3 Replies
        1. re: alina555

          Marietta's sells at the Friday Old Oakland Farmers Market, so if you can't get to the bakery that is another option.

          1. re: rworange

            you've had some great advice, thanks so much, rworange. any more info re: old oakland farmer's market? we love f.m.s and will be in the area then.

            1. re: misskeen

              Here you go

              This isn't just for you, but I was driving by Cassandra's tonight and something changed. There are neon signs in the window now that read "cakes" "ice cream" "gumbo"

              Up until recently, this was strictly a bakery. Will have to see what is going on. It was too late and it was close.

        2. Given the steep price good bakeries charge for cupcakes, I think you'd get a lot more for your money at Dianda.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Yeah, that is why Cassandra's is a good red velvet cupcake option if price is a factor. You are not spending $3 for a cupcake and red velvet cake is one of their things. Plus they deliver. Again, a decent cupcake if not mind-blowing great.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              I must be missing something. Dianda's has cupcakes? I also have serious issues with the quality of most of their goods.

              1. re: Atomica

                The original post mentions Dianda.

                I meant that getting almond / rum / St. Honore cakes at Dianda would probably be a lot more bang for the buck than cupcakes, which are in my experience 2-3 times the price of a similar amount of cake, and rarely as good as the aforementioned Dianda items.

                Some of their stuff is ugh, I agree.

            2. We had cupcakes from nancy's fancies for a party once and I remember them being pretty good. In San Carlos so close to you...