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Red Velvet cake in MSP

Hi everyone~

i was at a wedding this past weekend and discovered this cake!
Unfortunately, the wedding was in Clinton, Iowa so now I am looking for it closer to home.
Any recommendations?


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  1. I've seen Red Velvet cupcakes at Cupcake (in Minneapolis on the St. Paul border). They don't have them every day, though, and they don't do whole cakes.


    3338 University Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

    14 Replies
    1. re: AnneInMpls

      Can I ask you guys an honest question? I went to cupcake when it first opened, and was so incredibly UNIMPRESSED I haven't been back. I mean, I *love love love* cupcakes.. but when I went there were about 8 kinds.. and every single one was the name of a betty crocker or duncan hines flavor. (Yes, Betty or Duncan has a red velvet box as well). They were small and $2 a piece.

      ..Is it still so?

      1. re: reannd

        Don't know about their kinship with cake mixes, but I've been less than thrilled too. Twice I got a dozen+ cupcakes (mixed flavors) for my teenaged daughter's parties, and each time we were all disappointed. They looked great but provided much more pleasure in the box than in our mouths. They were uniformly poorly textured and the best I can say about the flavor is that some were OK. Too bad, because I really wanted to like them.

        1. re: clepro

          I like Cupcake but not for their cupcakes. Their danishes, scones and croissants are top-notch and I'll gladly cross town for them (actually I have dozens of times). The also sell some good breads, and it's a nice soup and sandwich lunch place. The cupcakes are hit or miss in my experience.

          1. re: MSPD

            The variety expanded after they'd been open for a while, but pickings are always slim if you go in the evening. I've had pretty good luck with the cupcakes - both the selection and the taste - but I stick to flavors like lemon-blueberry. The chocolate-ganache and banana are good, too.

            I like Cupcake's cupcakes, but the Franklin Street Bakery's cupcakes are way better. FSB doesn't have as many flavors (there's usually 4-6), but the ones they have are superb. Alas, FSB doesn't have Red Velvet Cake.


        2. re: reannd

          I needed some cupcakes for a party last weekend and tasted samples from lots of places around town: Cupcake, Franklin Street, A Piece of Cake, and Miel y Leche (the business name of the woman who sells cupcakes at Letterbox in Uptown on Saturdays and garnered such a crazy rave from Dara a couple of weeks ago). Cupcake's were the worst of the lot. They looked cute but didn't taste like anything. I thought Miel y Leche's were amazing and wound up ordering six dozen. Sheela, the owner, is a fanatic about quality ingredients and is also a really creative decorator. My guests went nuts for the cupcakes. (The flavors I ordered: red velvet, chai tea with cardamom buttercream, key lime with coconut buttercream, black russian with Nutella buttercream, Mexican hot chocolate, and chocolate peanut butter.)

          To the OP of this thread: Sheela often makes red velvet cupcakes to sell at Letterbox. You can find the weekly flavor menu at:

          Editing to add Sheela's link, too:

          1. re: mcgeary

            Thanks for the weekly flavor menu! I was totally bummed we were on the other side of town & didn't make it to Sheila's cupcakes (wrote her a kudos note on her offerings & found out via email what last weeks flavors were.. wanted one SO much).

            I'm glad to hear they taste the best, bc the list makes me woozy every time I see it (as in I sure I hope they taste good because every single one SOUNDS amazing).

            Thanks for everyone's comments on the cupcakes btw. I must go to the Franklin Street Bakery too late, bc I don't remember seeing cupcakes there at all. Love their rolls, though.. so now we must go.

            I have had piece of cake cupcake to my husbands liking (but he said he's has better - I ordered a slice of cake bc it was more interesting the day I went) ..and I didn't even bother ordering @ cupcake. Lemon blueberry is a great combo, though. Strikingly more interesting than those I remember.. which isn't saying a whole lot :)

            I recently had a really good plain ol' vanilla cupcake w.while frosting at Common Roots cafe on Lyndale. They didn't have anything besides vanilla w.vanilla frosting & chocolate w.chocolate frosting.. but it was really well done. It actually tasted strongly like vanilla and the texture was amazing.

            I'll stick to my goal to make it to letterbox next.. thanks again for the links.

            1. re: reannd

              I just wanted to report that Sheela from Miel & Leche had red velvet cupcakes again today at Letterbox, and I agree that they were amazing. So moist, interesting, flavorful, and fun.

              Also, Sheela mentioned that last week she catered a wedding with a red velvet wedding cake!

              (While we're on the topic, here's one other tip: next week's cupcakes will apparently be holiday themed flavors.)

              1. re: Chris Mitra

                I was needing some red velvet so I searched through old posts looking for tips. I decided on Sheela for a vender. She wasn't offering any this week but offered to specially make a dozen for me. I got them this morning. Colossal disappointment. First, for $3 a cupcake, they were disappointingly small. I was sort of envisioning something the size of what I get at Franklin for that price. Second, for something she specially made for me, there wasn't any effort put into decoration. Third - they were hardly red. The cake was pretty much brown with a suggestion of red in it - not the deep blood red quality it should have. And then the deal breaker: they were flavorless and dry. I make better cupcakes with Duncan Hines, and without shelling out $35 for a dozen. I'm a little bitter.

                Buyer beware.

                1. re: pgokey

                  I'm sorry to say that my experience with miel y leche was pretty similar to yours. I ordered a dozen. They were smaller than I expected; the flavor was just OK; and they dried out very quickly.

                  By comparison, I had cupcakes from Cupcake just a few weeks ago and was blown away. Bigger, bolder flavors, and a great variety. The triple vanilla in particular was fantastic.

                  1. re: pgokey

                    It is really unfortunate that you were dissatisfied. I have been eating Sheela's cupcakes consistently since last year & have yet to be disappointed with any of the flavors I've tried (which always includes Red Velvet because it's one of my favorites).

                    Being on a very small fixed income I agree that $3 for a normal-sized cupcake is spendy, but then I consider Sheela's dedication to using quality ingredients & the work she puts into her baking. I know her heart & soul is in there & to me it shows. I can taste it.

                    I hope you'll give her another chance, because it's really not worth being bitter over cupcakes!

                    1. re: OhSoSurly

                      While I'm all for second chances because we all have our off-days, speaking as one who has been let down by a cupcake recently (though, not one of Sheela's), I have to say that crushing cupcake disappointment is not to be taken lightly! :).

                      Welcome to Chowhound, Surly. I hope you come back and tell us about some of your other Chowhound favorites in the Twin Cities.


                      1. re: OhSoSurly

                        I have to say, I'm with Surly - I just tried Sheela's cupcakes this past weekend & loved them! I opted for these rather than a cake for my birthday party and they were a hit, in particular the Black Russian & the Lemon curd/Limoncello flavors. That was Friday and I'm devouring one of my very few leftovers even as I type this (peach w/lime ginger frosting - my favorite!) & it is still moist and tasty after 3 days in the fridge. Regarding the size & price - no, they aren't mammoth muffin sized, nor are they cheap. I think the size was a good, manageable size for my guests and didn't leave anyone feeling cheated or too full. As for the price - Sheela delivered them to my home (no charge) and I too appreciate the quality of the ingredients. Also, it was great to meet her in person - her joy & passion for what she does is evident and therefore worth every penny (to me, anyway). Obviously, every opinion is valid - but I would encourage a second chance.

                      2. re: pgokey

                        I was also disappointed by Sheela's cupcakes. Try were small, bland and way overpriced. I didn't try the red velvet cupcakes when I went to Letterbox, because they were vegan. I think it is a bit of a shame to make a red velvet cupcake without cream cheese frosting.

                        1. re: pgokey

                          So, she isn't making real red velvet? Just chocolate with red food coloring? ugh.

              2. I haven't had it myself but several people have raved to me about a Red Velvet Cake at Salut Bar Americain. I would call ahead to make sure it is on the dessert menu.

                1. Pittsbrugh Blue in Maple Gorve and Stella Fish Cafe in Minneapolis both make a great Red Velvet Cake.


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jrmamea

                    Personally, I didn't think the red velvet cake at Pittsburgh Blue was anything spectacular, but the frosting on the other hand, was incredible. I don't normally eat frosting (I scrape it off after a couple bites.) Our table left about half a piece of cake because we didn't like it, and I ate all the frosting off it!

                  2. Kowalski's sells red velvet cake. It's actually made by Super Valu bakeries, and is not always in stock. It's a pretty decent rendition of the cake. I have bought and frozen them when I can find them. They hold up pretty well.

                    1. Believe it or not, the best red velvet cake I've ever had (and I'm a big fan of red velvet) in the MSP was at BUCA! I don't generally like Buca (that's a whole other conversation in itself) but I'm telling ya, their red velvet cake knocked my socks off. I asked about it and they said it was home-made in-house, too. Awesome stuff.

                      I wish Cafe Latte would take a stab at red velvet, I bet they'd do a great one.

                      1. I haven't had it in years, but I remember Wuollet having a yummy chocolate cake in the 90s. They have several locations. www.wuollet.com

                        1. I recently saw it at Coffee News Cafe on Grand Ave in St. Paul. Apparently, they make their scones and such in-house, but the cakes in the cabinet come from elsewhere (don't know where, though.) Not sure how good it is, but, it's another source for you to investigate, perhaps.


                          2 Replies
                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                            I've had red velvet cake both at Figlio's (pretty decent actually) not sure if they still have it there---3 layers of red (standard) and plentiful but not overpowering cream cheese frosting. Also, I have had it at Kozlaks- (yes, TDQ-I'm referencing Kozlaks again!) and it was really good. Beware though-if their desserts aren't up to standard-they won't serve them. At dinner there back in April, we ordered it and she came back to tell us that someone else frosted it and it looked a bit hard and therefore, she didn't want to serve it.

                            1. re: snoboardbabe77

                              Hey, you gotta go where the good chow is--and if that's Kozlaks, so be it!


                          2. Mission has a red velvet cake on their menu. I've never tried the cake, but almost everything else I've had there has been great.

                            1. The Cheese Shop at Surdyk's also had Red Velvet Cake this weekend.

                              1. Yum in St Louis Park occasionally has red velvet cake. They serve it a little chilled but I love to take it home and let the frosting get all gooey!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: minnesotajane

                                  Referencing back to much earlier in this thread, Yum also has some tasty cupcakes--including a grown-up version of a Hostess cupcake.

                                2. Salut. Good cake, cake w/ OUTSTANDING scoop of ice cream from Sebastian Joes (they didn't have it on the menu last I checked), so it might be the only place you can get the ice cream right now.

                                  1. Rachel Hutton of CityPages says that Eric Austin's new restaurant, Bourbon Street Steakhouse, has red velvet cake on the menu.

                                    Bourbon Street Steak House
                                    200 N Concord Exchange, South St Paul, MN 55075

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: KTFoley

                                      turtle bakery at chicago and 48th has red velvet cupcakes everyday (or every random day that i have been in). they are large and yummy. not earth shattering necessarily, but good. and under $3.

                                    2. Ok, forgive this inquiry from a yankee, but what is it with red velvet cupcakes?

                                      Aren't they just chocolate cupcakes with a ton of red food coloring?

                                      Is it just the nostalgia for a different time and place?

                                      Or am I missing something?

                                      1. I think the rest gave you some good places to check out...

                                        I'm just going to leave this here for all the red velvet fans...

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: WeZeL27

                                          Ben & Jerry's has their version also. The website describes is like this: Red Velvet Cake Batter Ice Cream with Red Velvet Cake Pieces & a Cream Cheese Frosting Swirl. I was addicted to it for a couple of weeks this Summer. Luckily, I had to walk a mile to the store and a mile home to get it. I convinced myself that the walk canceled the calories.

                                          Ben & Jerry's
                                          5134 Southdale Ctr, Minneapolis, MN 55435