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Oct 10, 2007 10:28 AM

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.