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Affordable cupcakes in the SFV

Looking for a spot to get tasty, better-than-average cupcakes for my son's pre-school graduation family party. I know about Leda's and the like, however, for this particular occasion and the number of people involved, the gourmet places will be a bit pricey.

Any ideas for either supermarket or bakery cupcakes that price-wise fall in between say a Ralph's and Leda's? We're thinking about doing a pull-apart group of cupcakes with a baseball theme.

Thanks.

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  1. I don't know about "pull-apart" cupcakes, but you might consider calling Bea's Bakery in Tarzana to see what their cupcake prices are like. I'm pretty sure Bea's can do some type of theme.

    Puddin' Out Cupcakes in Sherman Oaks (on Ventura near Noble) has mini-cupcakes like Leda's, but I think for a lower price and might give you a break if you are buying in bulk. I don't know if they do themes. My problem is that they do a poor job of packing the cupcakes/

    1. I found Puddin' Out gross. I also didn't find the price much lower, and the lower quality is a big ick.

      I find Leda's pretty affordable. But I don't know if she does the cheesy pull apart thing.

      Do you have a KCRW discount card? She takes a percentage off yu are a KCRW "Fringe Benefits" member and show her the card.

      Another option would be to get one of her cakes, which are tasty and good.

      What I would say is this, Give Ledette at Leda's a call, tell her what you want, and see what she can do.

      818 386 9644

      But seriously, if you want tasty, decorated and affordable, make em! It's so easy, and pretty fast, and then you can do whatever you want.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Diana

        pull apart cupcakes you can get from Gelsons

        1. re: trojans

          yep, I forgot! Also, they're dang good. Not LEda's but good. And the other cakes are really yummy, too. Best Supermarket bakery EVER.

          1. re: Diana

            most things that come from Gelson's / Viktor Benes' are pretty good. the only problem we've ever had has been with dryness - more so i think w/ the mini cake slices, so hopefully the cupcakes won't be a problem.

            the other bakery to check with would be COSTCO - their cakes do well at parties, and i believe they'll do "pull-apart cupcakes" if you order them.

      2. Porto's sells cupcakes - last time I was at the Burbank location looked like they had chocolate, vanilla, and red velvet. If you called ahead I'm sure they would do the pull appart cupcakes. What are you going to make it look like? A giant baseball might be cute. Or a mitt with a ball. They should be in you budget too.

        4 Replies
        1. re: LMelba

          considering the kids are in preschool, I wonder if they care what it looks like. Fancy cakes are kind of wasted on really little kids. Good tasting ones are not!They'll just want to dive in! Go kids! Make a mess and have fun.

          I just reccomend getting the best tasting to kids cupcakes you can with as much frosting for those guys to smear all over as possible.

          1. re: Diana

            Do you have children? My experience w/ my son & his friends @ that age was exactly the opposite--they were easily pleased by any reasonably good, sweet cakes, cupcakes, etc, but what was magic was how the cake looked. For my son, dinosaurs & train motifs were huge hits & would dazzle him; he'd remember an elaborately shaped or decorated cake long after the taste. For the young baseball fan, pull-apart cupcakes in the shape of mitt or baseball will be completely out of the ordinary & I'm sure will enthrall him & his friends.

            1. re: archer

              Thanks Archer, that was my thought too.

              Diana, I really wouldn't consider Portos cupcakes "fancy cakes" I'd say they are on par with Gelsons. The OP did say they were thinking about doing a baseball theme along with a pull-apart style. I see that you find the pull-apart concept "cheesy", but this is for young kids - not adult foodies. I think a kid would enjoy the concept of pulling off a cupcake--in the same vein of "diving in".

              1. re: LMelba

                My young students from when I was a teacher, my little nephews all just care more about how gooey and sweet the cakes are. For them, nice looking is a cake with really ggoey frosting, and lots of palces do that. The cakes never seem to sit around long enough to be viewed for artistic merit.

                Kids deserve cheesy, they like it. Go for the pull aparts!

                But I wonder if the OP was thinking of appealing to the kids, or the adult guests, as so often happens. Look at the whole "smash cake" fad. An expensive, well decorated cake for a little baby to smash their hands and face into. Why pay so much, the baby doesn't care? But the other adults at the party or looking at pictures do!

                Frankly, I have been pretty amazed by the pull apart cakes at my local Ralph's. They taste pretty good, too. Not as good as Victor Benes'

                I don't consider Porto's fancy either.

                I guess I'm coming from my own personal view, where my mom made my cakes and cupakes from scratch (I loved em, and they are part of my fond memories of childhood.) and where I bake from scratch all I can for my family, including those little nephews.

                Then again, I am a die hard LEda's fan! And Victor BEnes'. And more!

        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. Not sure what is available in the way of cupcakes, but Ralph's Fresh Faire Stores have great custom made cakes - you pick the cake, the frosting, and a filling - the cakes are delicious. Perhaps they custom make cupcakes - I did see a large cupcake cake in the bakery department the other day - it was a baseball theme. Give them a try. I like the stores on Ventura at Winnetka and the one on Ventura at Topanga.

            2 Replies
            1. re: prainer

              I second Ralphs. I'm the favorite aunt because every year, my nieces know they'll be getting a theme birthday cake from me. People are always floored when I tell them it's from Ralphs. They do make the pull-away cupcakes and those are yummy and a hit with the kiddies.

              The best Ralphs to go for these treats is the one in Encino by Balboa Avenue. I've done the Ralphs valley tour and even if it's out of the way for me (I live in Sherman Oaks and there is a closer Ralphs to me), I always go to this location for the fantastic service and because their cakes are never dry and the artwork is always meticulous.

              Hope the kids have fun :)

              1. re: prainer

                These are the ones I mentioned above as impressing me. Ralph's Fresh Faire seems to do some really good stuff.