San Diego Cupcake Crawl
I'm taking my daughter on a cupcake crawl in San Diego as part of her birthday celebration--a fun activity my brother set up for us recently in Chicago, where we would evaluate on appearance, taste, texture, price, icing and the elusive "cupcakeness" in search of the best in town!
I've got Elizabethan Desserts, Daily Scoop, Cupcakes Squared, Bread and Cie and Eclipse Chocolates on the list so far. Any other "must tries"?? Thanks for your help!
Will at Eclipse is now doing cupcakes - his chocolate salted caramel (chocolate cake, filled with salted caramel and topped with ganache, sprinkled with salt and lavender) is pretty amazing. I liked it better than the peanut butter toffee crunch - which had yellow cake, peanut butter caramel, ganache and toffee bits - but my husband liked that one better, so go figure. He's got about six flavors and they're $3.50 apiece. Worth it - because they're packed with ganache, caramel and other quality ingredients instead of just cake with icing on top.
re: Alice Q
OK, the results are in!!!
We're going with Daily Scoop for the best CLASSIC cupcake, and Eclipse for winner of DECADENT, kicked-up-a-notch from the usual cupcake.
We decided on sampling chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing (or as close as we could get) as our cupcake of choice. (It's a rookie mistake to try too many cupcakes at once or try to compare, say, a chocolate cupcake with a carrot cake with cream cheese icing--too much differentiation)
We started at Bread and Cie with the chocolate lavender. The key there is to let the cupcake come to room temp. It was moist, and the icing was light and creamy. They were the most pricey, tho, at $4.00 a cake. Very nice to look at too, with the pretty paper they bake in.
Eclipse Chocolate today, with the chocolate with vanilla bean lavender, blew away any competition. Also, the chocolate with sea salt with caramel chocolate ganache and balsamic peppercorn with dark chocolate raspberry ganache (sounds wierd, but they are AMAZING) were fantastic. We went NUTS in this place. You won't find a better cupcake--better than what we unearthed in Chicago! $3.50 each, but worth it. Each cupcake is filled with a creamy filling, the texture of which I haven't met with before. Unbelievable.
Daily Scoop had only chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing in stock when we arrived, but that was fine. Perfect, nostaglic, comfort food-like moist chocolate cake and rich, not-to-sweet creamy icing. The ultimate in basic cupcake experience. $2.95 is not bad for this good! My only issue is the sporatic nature of their cupcake delivery. Over the past few weeks, I made numerous attempts to get my first cupcake there--even when I would call and I was told to come by, when I got there, I'd be told when I got there, that the lady hadn't dropped them off yet, or wasn't coming today...hope it gets more regular!
Cupcake Squared had a chocolate cake with chocolate icing with fresh toasted coconut on top for $3.00. MUCH improved from the cupcakes we had since they opened. We had found the previous cupcakes as described on another thread--dry, not too exciting. This was moist and chocolaty-just not as flavorful as Daily Scoop.
Elizabethan Desserts had added a honey flavor to the one chocolate cupcake on display. While we LOVE her desserts, I don't think her cupcakes are her best item. The icing was above average, the cake a bit dry. It isn't always tho. May have been the batch.
My husband wants to check out Bread on Market's cupcakes, and Influx too, but I personally want to move into Eclipse and sleep on the couch there. If I get bored with that, I'll trundle down to Daily Scoop for a change of pace!!
For a far more lowbrow cupcake, you might want to try VG's in Cardiff, which is relatively close to Elizabethan Desserts. My kids still prefer VG's cupcakes to most of the fancier ones. Also, I had an amazing chocolate cupcake this past Saturday from the Peruvian chocolate vendor at the Del Mar farmer's market. Best one I've had in a long time - somehow it was dense/richly flavored and yet light at the same time!
Sounds like a lot of cupcakes! :-) You might want to call to be sure B&C and Eclipse have cupcakes on the day you plan to visit, I'm not sure about the cupcakes, but I know they rotate their bakery items - so not evrything is available every day. There's also a Sprinkles up in OC - but that might be a bit too far away!