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Leda's cupcakes -- going... going... Oct 18th

Maxmillion Oct 1, 2008 01:06 PM

Hey everyone - I was just at Leda's Bake Shop (Sherman Oaks) on Friday and found out that Ledette is planning to close down and re-think her bakery. She mentioned re-opening in the new year and *no more cupcakes*!!! (too labor intensive)

SO - the very last day you can walk in and get a Leda's Bake Shop cupcake will be Saturday Oct 18th.

NB - they recently changed their hours of business:

After observing recent business trends, baker Ledette is devoting Tues, Wed and Thursdays to catering and pre-orders. You’ll need to place your order the day before and there is a 24 cupcake minimum per flavor, but no minimums on their outstanding cookies, macaroons and delectable scones.

On Fridays and Saturdays, Leda’s Bake Shop is open for that spontaneous mini-cupcake craving, 10.30am ’till 6pm.
13722 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, just W of Woodman,
(818) 386-9644
Go to their website for a full range of their flavors:

http://www.ledasbakeshop.com/

Also you can go here for my previous report:

http://la.foodblogging.com/2005/10/27...

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  1. n
    ns1 RE: Maxmillion Oct 1, 2008 01:16 PM

    Are they really that ridiculous?

    1. s
      sel RE: Maxmillion Oct 1, 2008 01:44 PM

      This just sucks!!!
      Leda's Cupcakes is one of the very few items that everyone in my family loves, and that's saying something cause my lads are the pickiest eaters in all of Chowdom. All high quality baking is labor intensive, not just cupcakes. Anyone who has worked their way through Gaston Lenotre's 'Desserts and Pastries' will agree with me. Ever tried to make flaky and buttery perfect Croissants?
      Those Mini Cupcakes are what has made Leda's so special, yea I like her Cookies too but there are good Cookies elsewhere, the Mini Cupcakes are what set her place apart from the rest!

      -----
      Leda's Bake Shop
      13722 Ventura Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91423

      1. NeNePie RE: Maxmillion Oct 1, 2008 02:53 PM

        Terribly sad! To me, they're the best in Los Angeles. The cupcakes I mean.

        1 Reply
        1. re: NeNePie
          sku RE: NeNePie Oct 1, 2008 04:59 PM

          I totally agree. Far better than Sprinkles, Crumbs and all the other giant cupcakes. What's Leda's without the cupcakes?

        2. mrshankly RE: Maxmillion Oct 1, 2008 03:07 PM

          what a shame... she makes some of the best cookies around town if not the best IMHO.

          this place will be missed.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mrshankly
            Maxmillion RE: mrshankly Oct 1, 2008 03:28 PM

            To clarify -- Leda's is RE-OPENING sometime in Jan 2009 with a new concept.

            Just no more cupcakes...

          2. Kate is always hungry RE: Maxmillion Oct 1, 2008 11:36 PM

            I wonder what's up in Sherman Oaks! A couple of months ago, Layers closed for renovations. Now Leda's???

            1. t
              tiffany RE: Maxmillion Oct 2, 2008 12:17 AM

              Noooo! I haven't had the chance to try their mini cupcakes yet. We recently moved back up to LA and I've been looking for a replacement for my cupcakes from Elizabethan Desserts in Encinitas (San Diego), especially her chocolate toffee cupcakes and Diggity Dangs. So far, I've only been to Vanilla & Buttercakes and both are... eh... okay, I guess.

              6 Replies
              1. re: tiffany
                g
                Galen RE: tiffany Oct 2, 2008 12:49 AM

                Best cupcakes in L.A. Go figure.

                1. re: Galen
                  Maxmillion RE: Galen Oct 2, 2008 11:12 AM

                  They truly are.

                  1. re: Maxmillion
                    mrshankly RE: Maxmillion Oct 2, 2008 12:32 PM

                    but at $1.95 for a bite-sized cupcake, I'm more sad to see their cookies go away (temporarily) than the cupcakes. Anyone know why she doesn't make regular sized cupcakes?

                    1. re: mrshankly
                      Maxmillion RE: mrshankly Oct 2, 2008 02:02 PM

                      $1.50 for the exquisite mini cupcakes. Two bites.

                      $3.00 for the normal-sized ones (see their site)

                      1. re: Maxmillion
                        n
                        ns1 RE: Maxmillion Oct 2, 2008 02:06 PM

                        Looks like I'll be here tomorrow.

                        1. re: Maxmillion
                          mrshankly RE: Maxmillion Oct 2, 2008 03:16 PM

                          I've only seen the mini ones when I've gone there. She may still stay open if she sold the big ones as readily as the small ones.

                2. c
                  coco puff RE: Maxmillion Oct 2, 2008 12:18 PM

                  OMG! no way! I'm so bummed. they were always a hit at every party. what a shame. I won't be buying cupcakes anymore.

                  1. techbod RE: Maxmillion Oct 2, 2008 04:39 PM

                    Is this early an April Fool's gag?

                    Leda's without cupcakes would be like the Cheesecake Factory without cheesecake, or Krispy Kreme without plain glazed, or Oscar without the Meyer AND the wiener.

                    I can't count how many times I've tried to go there to buy cupcakes, only to be thwarted by the oddly short operating hours. That is a product of the bad location and/or apathetic neighbors who don't know what they've got, and don't provide enough traffic/revenue to make it worth their while to stay open ($8/hr for one high school kid?).

                    I have driven from the 310 to purchase cupcakes more than once. I'll do so again a couple of times between now and the 18th. And then, I'll wish them well, and hope they reconsider the cancellation of the mini passionfruit cupcake, the dulce de leche cupcake, and the triple chocolate cupcake.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: techbod
                      a213b RE: techbod Oct 2, 2008 05:35 PM

                      I'm starting to feel like I am the only one who is not super impressed with her cupcakes ... which really stinks because I live right around the corner!

                      I even gave them yet another shot this past weekend, and they just don't do it for me.

                      I am sad to read that she is reinventing the space, but will not keep her cupcakes, which do seem to be quite popular with the chowhound set, my tastes aside.

                      1. re: a213b
                        Kate is always hungry RE: a213b Oct 2, 2008 07:56 PM

                        You're not alone, a213b. I live down the street and I went once when she first opened. I was not impressed and I really wanted to like them. Still, I may go there tomorrow or next Friday.
                        It seemed to me that she had a very restrictive business model. I guess she's done well enough to keep paying rent on a closed location. I am curious to see how she transforms the shop.

                      2. re: techbod
                        c
                        carter RE: techbod Oct 3, 2008 09:56 AM

                        Since I also live ONE block from the place, I must say they do not do much for me either. But, then, I am not much of a dessert person in general. But to create a business model based solely on a $1.50 mini cupcake meant you better be selling a LOT of them, and every day, considering you pay rent every day.
                        I do not like the butter cream frosting whatsoever and she tended to put it on most of her cupcakes. It tasted really oily and masked whatever cake flavor lay underneath, which might have come from a cakemix box for all I knew, or cared.
                        Maybe she should go down the street and talk to Nata's, and maybe the two can combine into one sweets shop that might actually make a go of it, yet as of now, neither will.

                        1. re: carter
                          Maxmillion RE: carter Oct 3, 2008 11:11 AM

                          The one time I went to Natas, and sampled a couple of items, including one of the little 'Natas', I found myself scraping lard or shortening off the roof of my mouth -- very unpleasant.

                          So I have not returned.

                          I know what you mean by Leda's buttercream frosting - I found it really only works when you bite into the cake. On it's own it is quite rich.

                          As for your flippant comment about cake mixes - I think that was really quite insulting to a baker, especially one who clearly goes to great lengths to create something special and original -- namely a *three* layer mini cupcake -- and perhaps could have been kept to youself.

                          1. re: Maxmillion
                            c
                            carter RE: Maxmillion Oct 3, 2008 02:38 PM

                            Not sure about your reference to a 3 layer anything, as the only ones I have eaten have been one flavor of cake underneath one type of frosting. Anything beyond that is something that you as a more experienced devotee would know.
                            Noting your comment below, our tastebuds greatly differ regarding buttercream as a concept, To me, no buttercream will be overly interesting, period. To you, it appears to be the opposite.
                            As to the cake part from the ones I have had, the analogy I used was fairly apt.

                            1. re: carter
                              Maxmillion RE: carter Oct 3, 2008 03:01 PM

                              Most of the cupcakes are three layers, namely:

                              cake
                              ganache or curd
                              buttercream or frosting

                              Perhaps "layers" is misleading... Three separate flavour components, then?

                              Carter, I took you to task for what I perceived to be a careless and snide aspersion not only because it really didn't clearly express what you were trying to say, but because it could so easily be misread or misconstrued and therefore be damaging to a business person/culinary artiste.

                              To say "I couldn't really taste the cake bc it was overpowered by the buttercream, not that I like cake that much anyway..." is a lot different to saying what you did say. You'd be surprised how many people would mis-read what you wrote and form a mistaken impression of what Ledette is doing at her bakery.

                              The other thing is that I really respect your comments and I'm pretty sure a lot of 'hounds do as well.

                              That's all.

                      3. n
                        ns1 RE: Maxmillion Oct 3, 2008 10:21 AM

                        K I'm gonna be dropping by on my lunch break

                        what are the MUST HAVE flavors?

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: ns1
                          Maxmillion RE: ns1 Oct 3, 2008 11:06 AM

                          For me -- Passionfruit and the Dulce de Leche also the Pumpkin (may not be avail...)

                          I adore her ginger scones and coconut macaroon balls. All the cookies, brownies etc are excellent, too.

                          But you will get excited when you see the flavors she has.

                          I'm just about to head over there to pick up some cakes for morning tea, so I will report back shortly!

                          1. re: Maxmillion
                            Maxmillion RE: Maxmillion Oct 3, 2008 01:02 PM

                            Okay, at the risk of posting way too many times on my own post, here is the promised REPORT coming live to you from Cloud Nine:

                            We got three mini cupcakes each -- that was tough to stick to, believe me.

                            My guy loved the Coconut Lime - he said it was "incredible"
                            He also got two of his faves - Passionfruit and Lemon.

                            My three were the Velvet - with a vegan "cream cheese" light topping. Very nice.
                            The Dulce de Leche was as wonderful as ever, with its intense blob of caramel - sweet with a hint of salt - under the caramel buttercream. I think the cake was vanilla.

                            The Pumpkin comes with a blob of orange curd and (I think) vanilla butter cream. Biting into that one fills your nose with the spices of the moist pumpkin cake and hits your tongue with the tang of the orange plus the creamy sensation of the buttercream frosting -- all at once.

                            Incredible, indeed.

                            Next week I am going back for the Chocolate cake with raspberry frosting and perhaps the Coconut Lime. She also had Coconut Vanilla.

                            Also, I noticed quite a few of them were vegan, meaning no butter. But I definitely prefer the buttercream ones.

                            They are all very light, fluffy and perfectly balanced morsels.

                            *sigh*

                            1. re: Maxmillion
                              n
                              ns1 RE: Maxmillion Oct 3, 2008 03:44 PM

                              Lol I was just there as well. Somehow I spent 70 bucks on cupcakes.

                              Anyway, I couldn't really tell any flavor difference (only had 2 thus far), probably because I was out of time and had to scarf them down. Scarf meaning stuff whole thing in mouth and swallow. So so far today, I've had 1 cup of cofeee, 2 mini cupcakes, and a few samples. So nutritious!

                              Anyway, they're a hit at the office, and the coconut macaroons are ridiculously good.

                              More in depth report when I get back home and have a chance to savor stuff.

                            2. re: Maxmillion
                              n
                              ns1 RE: Maxmillion Oct 5, 2008 08:47 AM

                              I took your advice and the 3 you mentioned were definitely the best, with my favorite being the passionfruit.

                          2. Muhlyssa RE: Maxmillion Oct 4, 2008 06:57 AM

                            Sad to hear this but the good news is anytime I've tried her other baked goods, they've just been excellent, so however she reimagines, I've got high hopes. The cupcakes are good, but maybe she just feels like there is too much competition in the cupcake arena or, god forbit, the trend is on it's way out. That location is tough, street parking is tight. Her hours did get prohibitive. Perhaps it needs to be more of a destination where you can have coffee and pastry and sit down and hang?

                            1. Kate is always hungry RE: Maxmillion Oct 5, 2008 12:04 AM

                              Okay, so I went in Friday afternoon. I sampled some cookies, peanut butter (wouldn't have touched it if I'd known it was PB), chocolate PB, ginger snap, chocolate brownie. Took home a mini chocolate cupcake with kiddie white frosting, i.e., made with powdered sugar to have with a cold glass of milk.

                              First, I was not impressed with any of the samples. The brownies were too "earthy" tasting, rather dry, and not sweet. I bake from scratch and actually prefer my own brownies.

                              Second, the cupcake; the first bite had a very intense chocolate smell. But, like the first time I ate one, about three and a half years ago, not as much flavor. Not sweet, kind of dry. The frosting, also not sweet. Again, I'll just make my own.

                              RE: " *no more cupcakes*!!! (too labor intensive)" The cupcakes are too labor intensive because it takes a lot more work to make those mini cupcakes! For the same amount of batter, you have to pour about three or four times as many as a regular size cupcake. Then, there was a tiny dab of ganache, the frosting, and a fondant or gumpaste doodad on top. The little top was cute but tasteless. For a given quantity of batter, I would guess it takes about four times as long to fill the minis. If only the regular size cupcakes were offered, I think it would be more efficient and therefore, more profitable.

                              Still, I'm sorry about the news. I hope when she comes back she will be successful. I know a lot of people love her stuff.

                              1. ReelMike84 RE: Maxmillion Oct 5, 2008 03:34 PM

                                I went a couple days ago and can confirm they are in fact closing "temporarily" on the 18th to reopen a couple months later. The cupcakes won't be sold in the store, but you can special order them if you order "the minimum amount." The cashier was unsure how many that would be.

                                Sad but true. Cupcakes will be no more. But if you have a special event you can at least still consider them available to you.

                                1. Maxmillion RE: Maxmillion Oct 11, 2008 11:34 AM

                                  Penultimate weekend for Leda's cupcakes, 'hounds!!

                                  1. Maxmillion RE: Maxmillion Oct 11, 2008 01:04 PM

                                    Okay, so I had a bit of a late start on - uh - morning tea today and just got back from Leda's Bake Shop.

                                    The passionfruit ones were all sold out by noon!

                                    The new ones I tried were the Coconut Lime which - suprisingly - didn't blow my mind. It was simply excellent instead of oh-my-god-this is-incredible like most of the others are (!)

                                    But I highly recommend the Chocolate with Raspberry topping. There is a super-intense blob of raspberry curd just under the buttercream that WILL blow your mind with its sheer deliciousness and concentrated flavour.

                                    Final post on Leda's last cupcakes (until she re-opens with different fare early 2009) next weekend, 'hounds.

                                    Yours in cakey-bliss...

                                    1. o
                                      October RE: Maxmillion Mar 9, 2009 12:04 AM

                                      Any update on when they will reopen?

                                      8 Replies
                                      1. re: October
                                        a213b RE: October Mar 9, 2009 09:00 AM

                                        How funny; I just walked past last weekend and they still have a "Closed" sign up, along with a good bit of flyers/circulars scattered underneath the door, which makes me think no one has been in in awhile.

                                        That plus the facts that the interior still looks completely unchanged (which I would think would happen for any sort of "re-imagination") and that there is no additional sign posted with further information about it opening leads me to believe that Ledas is closed for good (or at least quite awhile) ... though this is just my speculation.

                                        1. re: a213b
                                          mrshankly RE: a213b Mar 9, 2009 12:04 PM

                                          I have a feeling that there was something more personal involved in closing the place and scaling it back. Having a store sit idle on Ventura Blvd with those rents is pretty expensive and contradictory to any type of restructuring. In any case, I hope the crew there is doing well as they've always been very nice... and here's to hoping that they open up again soon.

                                          1. re: mrshankly
                                            l
                                            Lewis Hollow RE: mrshankly Sep 21, 2009 01:05 PM

                                            Has anyone heard anything about Leda's in the last few months? I'm one of the 'very bummed' types about it closing. Anyone know if they're still doing orders as they were even when the storefront was closed, or is the whole operation totally gone? The website being down makes me fear the worst.

                                            1. re: Lewis Hollow
                                              c
                                              CucumberBoy RE: Lewis Hollow Sep 21, 2009 02:55 PM

                                              I wish Leda's all the best but count me as one not impressed with her wares; are scones *supposed* to have chunks of baking powder intact? Shudder.

                                              These days I get me cupcake fix at Hansen's on Fairfax -- $.50 for the bite-size and $1,00 for the monsters. Perfect!

                                              -cb-

                                              1. re: CucumberBoy
                                                l
                                                Lewis Hollow RE: CucumberBoy Sep 21, 2009 05:03 PM

                                                I didn't get anything but the cupcakes there (wasn't a huge fan of the non-cupcake stuff either). But the regular sized chocolate cupcake was easily the best I've ever had, no contest.

                                                1. re: Lewis Hollow
                                                  s
                                                  sel RE: Lewis Hollow Sep 21, 2009 10:10 PM

                                                  I remember liking some of the little cupcakes. Passionfruit, lemon something and others.
                                                  The Chocolate Chip Cookies were darn good!

                                                2. re: CucumberBoy
                                                  f
                                                  friedegg67 RE: CucumberBoy Sep 23, 2009 05:31 PM

                                                  I hope you're joking. Hansens are the most overrated bakery in town! Yikes, dry texture and chemical frostings. Yuck!

                                                3. re: Lewis Hollow
                                                  p
                                                  Pumpkin_Head RE: Lewis Hollow Sep 23, 2009 03:11 PM

                                                  I just drove by the storefront today, and there's a huge "for lease" sign up - so yeah, safe to say the shop itself is history.

                                                  With the website being down (couldn't even access with google cache?) it sounds like the whole business is kaput . Sucks, really liked the vegan velvet cupcakes, even if they were on the pricey side...

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