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Feb 16, 2008 07:32 AM

Anybody tried cupcakes at Bountiful Bakery on Bee Caves?

acvictoria mentioned this place as having the best cupcakes in town on another thread. Unfortunately, that's the only post ever made by him/her. I don't much care for the cupcakes at Hey Cupcake, so I was hoping to find out if anybody else can recommend the cupcakes at Bountiful Bakery. Any favorite flavors?

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  1. When I read your post, angusb, I stopped by Bountiful Bakery to try a cupcake. I went with the red velvet. The frosting was really awful: Imagine lightly-sweetened Crisco in texture and flavor. The cake itself was moist enough, but it wasn't particularly good. Because there was no substantial chocolate flavor, I would guess that they do not start with a chocolate cake and then tint it red. However, it did taste like they'd added some standard-issue cocoa powder to the batter. My own conclusion was that while the cake itself wasn't horrible, it wasn't particularly good. The frosting, on the other hand, was really bad.

    From what I've read on this board, the product at Hey Cupcake is even worse. But I wouldn't go out of my way to try a cupcake at Bountiful Bakery again. In fact, this cupcake has made me wonder if their other baked goods are mediocre, too.

    7 Replies
    1. re: MPH

      I stopped at Bountiful for lunch today and got the red velvet cupcake. I thought the cake part was quite good. It was moist and tasted pretty much like what I think a red velvet cake should taste like (mild chocolate flavor). I completely agree on the icing. It was too much and thick (out of proportion for the size of the cupcake) and the moment I saw it I knew the icing was Crisco based. I think the icing would be better room temperature since it looked like piped Crisco on a cupcake. The flavor was okay, but not amazing. For me, I think the biggest drawback is the price. Bountiful is good, but definitely not cheap. I think the cupcake was $2.50 for an average sized cupcake and while not horribly expensive, I thought it was a bit pricey.

      As far as Bountiful's other baked goods.. I've had their snickerdoodle, black/white cookie, buttermilk square, and the peanut butter/chocolate square.
      Here's my assessment on them.. snickerdoodle was good, black/white was not very good, buttermilk square was excellent, and the peanut butter/chocolate square was horrible. It was too sweet, too rich, and it had a oreo crust on the bottom. The shortening/butter etc for the crust was so thick it was disgusting on the bottom.

      1. re: MPH

        MPH and Shan, thanks for saving me a trip. I love this review-on-demand service you're offering!

        1. re: angusb

          No problem, angusb. I also prefer more data before buying into hype. Besides, I'm in the area frequently.

          By the way, the problem with the cupcake was not that it was cold, despite what was suggested below. It was sampled at room temperature. The real problem is that Crisco doesn't taste any better warm! And the cake itself was no great shakes.


          1. re: MPH

            To clarify: I did not say that the cupcakes at Bountiful were good when eaten at room temp; simply that they were better than when eaten ice cold. Overall, I still think that there are better cupcakes in Austin, ergo my recommendation of Lucy's.

            1. re: Aloo0628

              This intrigued me, so I tried an experiment. I cut a BBC cupcake in half. I ate half right away, and put the other half in an airtight container to come to room temperature. While the cake portion did improve with warmth, I agree with all that it was still not really good. I also had to eat the warm half without the frosting. A cold crisco-based frosting is marginally palatable. At room temperature, it started to droop and took on a texture that was a bit slippery for me. The warmth also helped open up its bouquet, but who wants the bouquet of vegetable shortening?

              Undeterred, I got a couple of cupcakes from Lucy's, and I tried the same experiment on their chocolate and vanilla cupcakes. This was almost the reverse situation. The cupcakes were again mediocre, but this time the frosting was the less bad of the parts.

              The chocolate cupcake had a dry and really flavorless cake. As it warmed, the hints of moisture seemed to evaporate, making it worse over time. The frosting was dense, brown, and with a flavor similar to standard chocolate-flavoring from any corporate production line. It was in the style of buttercream, but I could taste neither butter nor cream.

              The vanilla cake had better initial flavor, but it had an odd texture. The surfaces that were against the paper were a little tough and rubbery; the interior was dry and fine-grained, almost mealy. The frosting on this one was lighter, and when I thought of it as a meringue, it seemed not-bad, although it had a chalky aftertaste.

              I may be a little biased by home cooking, but what's with the size of these cupcakes? In both places, they seem to be much smaller than normal homemade cupcakes, and they make up for the missing volume with frosting. If they tasted good, I probably wouldn't dwell on that.

              1. re: Knoblauch

                I'm sorry you had such a negative experience with Lucy's! Both times I've had their cupcakes, the cake was extremely moist and flavorful, and the frosting was creamy yet much lighter than most crisco based frostings I've had. This was back in January; I can't imagine that they've changed their recipes since then, but who knows?

                1. re: Aloo0628

                  Aloo0628, no apologies necessary on this board. After all you personally didn't bake those cupcakes yourself, right? I think we all understand that different 'hounds have different tastes.

                  Knoblauch, thanks for your report. Unfortunately, your experience at Lucy's echoes my own. I first tried this place about 18 months ago and was put off by the flavor of their cake and the strange, space-age-polymer-like texture of some of their frostings. I've been served enough of their product since then to conclude that, like many high-end bakeries that specialize in expensive, decorated, "special occasion" cakes, their focus seems to be on producing moldable frostings that will maintain their structural integrity for hours. In other words, their cakes look good, but taste bad.

                  I guess we should be thankful that bad cupcakes come in small packages?

      2. I agree, the baked goods at Bountiful - cupcakes included - are okay at best. If you want to try a cupcake, I definitely recommend letting it reach room temperature (they are served very cold) before eating it; that definitely improves the texture and flavor of the cake. The icing is a bit too sweet, too thick, and too crisco-ish.

        However, I do think it's worth mentioning the tasty sandwiches at Bountiful. I'm a sucker for a yummy pressed sandwich with simple ingredients, and they have a fun sandwich menu.

        Also, a percentage of their proceeds benefit children living with cancer as the owner lost her own daughter to the awful disease. While this obviously has nothing to do with the quality of food, it is the sort of factor I like to keep in mind when choosing local businesses to support.

        If you are looking for a good cupcake in that area, or even just in Austin, I recommend Lucy's Cakes. While I've only ever seen two types of cupcakes in their bake case, both are (in my opinion) delicious - but the chocolate one really takes the cake. Tee hee. Both have extremely moist and flavorful cake with a light yet creamy frosting that is not overly reminiscent of the form of fat used to make it.

        1. I gotta say it again, try the Bakerman's Bakery on 7th just East of Congress.

          2 Replies
          1. re: gulch

            gulch, I went to Bakerman's today at about 11:00, but they didn't have any cupcakes. Actually, they were wiped out of almost everything. They explained that they usually have single-serving tarts and other desserts, but they only had two such items on offer. They did have cookies and croissants and biscotti and such. I tried a chocolate chip/pecan cookie, and it was uninspiring. On the positive side, I also tried a piece of chocolate that was good. It was called "caramel couverture" (a peculiar name, to my mind) and it had a nice burnt sugar/brulee flavor. Based on the quality of the cookie, I will not make a special trip to try their cupcakes again, but if I'm in the area, I'll pop in to see if they have some available.

            1. re: angusb

              Angusb- thanks for the reply and trust me they were wiped out for a reason,you gotta go back for their cake of any type. Their buttercream frosting makes my knees weak and the cake oh the cake!

          2. I think the red velvet cupcakes at Cissi's Market are great. I like most of the baked goods there, and they are pretty and well priced. The cupcakes at Sweetish Hill are delicious, and you can order coconut too! My 6 and 2 yr old love Hey Cupcake for the novelty..the vanilla cupcake with the signature pint frosting is the best of their offerings...

            1. i make special trips for the marble cupcake at uppercrust bakery. and the oatmeal muffin. which is not a cupcake.