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Sep 2, 2009 03:47 PM

Buttercream (aka The Cupcake Truck) Review

The truck was scheduled to be at 11th and Walnut Sts this afternoon and since my wife works nearby, I sent her on a cupcake mission.

She picked up a half dozen assorted cupcakes for $12. So far, we've tried...

Chocolate cupcake with chocolate ganache frosting
Red Velvet cupcake w/cream cheese frosting topped with mini choc. chips
Red Velvet cupcake w/cream cheese frosting topped with crushed walnuts
Carrot cake w/cream cheese frosting topped with crushed walnuts

We still have yet to try...

Chocolate cupcake w/peanut butter frosting
Vanilla cupcake w/peanut butter frosting

The cupcakes were pretty moist and the frostings were good, but I don't think I'll be following the truck around Philadelphia to get a fix any time soon. Plus, for $2/cupcake, we thought they were a bit on the smallish side as well.

If you happen to be around and the truck is there, I would definitely say to try one. They are good, but not great. Plus, it's a lot of fun to eat a cupcake from a retooled mail truck. So they have that going for them.

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  1. I agree about the $2, but the $4 jumbo cupcakes were about the size I expected. With the $2 ones, though, I like the fact that I could try a few different kinds (one of my main reason for choosing a cupcake over a cake) without feeling violent ill.

    The cupcake you've yet to try (chocolate with peanut butter frosting) is, I think, the best offering. The others that I tried (got one of each last Friday - except vanilla with vanilla) were ok (chocolate with chocolate) to decent (vanilla with blueberry frosting). There was no red velvet (sad) or carrot cake last Friday, but I hope to be able to try a few new flavours this Friday.

    No, there's no sense in following this truck around, but I work a few blocks away from Love Park, and it's a nice, fun thing to look forward to on a Friday.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Ali

      I was pleased with the vanilla cupcake with chocolate ganache frosting. I would like to try the chocolate with peanut butter and I would dearly love a coconut cupcake, or a gingerbread, hope they'll be featured some day. I actually like the small size.

      Some office mates and I made a cupcake run today. I usually try to eat healthier food, but have to admit, the cupcake truck was a fun novelty.

    2. How do you find out where they are scheduled to be? It sounds like it might be fun.

      5 Replies
      1. re: feklar42

        Unfortunately it looks like their twitter feed is 90% nonsense, 10% useful information on where the truck will be that day.

          1. re: barryg

            Thanks for the link--I think. I'm not sure I have to patience to sort through the clutter, to find the actual useful posts. :-)

            1. re: feklar42

              The truck is definitely at Love Park every Friday if that helps at all. I can't be bothered to get on their twitter feed, either. :)

              1. re: Ali

                Actually - according to their Twitter, they were kicked out of Love park this past Friday due to permits - while they are busy obtaining the proper "park permits" they have been visiting other areas in the city. They were also at some sort of festival on Fri night. I haven't found the twitter feed to be filled w/ nonsence, so it might be worth the follow if you really want those cupcakes!

      2. Agreed. The price point's a little high for the size of the small cupcake. Despite the novel tricked-out truck idea, the cupcakes were kind of on par with what you could buy in the grocery store. (Maybe it's because they were served ice cold?)

        I was pretty psyched and was one of the first people in line that first day at Love Park. I'd go back if they were in the area, but I'm not really looking to go out of my way for it.

        Also not enough frosting on the chocolate ganache.

        1. Has anyone tried Cupmakes in Head House Square yet? If so, I'd love to hear what you think.

          They had some creative ideas (Green tea cupcakes and green tea icing) that didn't seem to fly so well with the college crowd when they were formerly located in University City.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Seeker19104

            I actually tried cupmakes the other day. First of all, the guy who helped us and who I believe was also the owner was very friendly and was happy to answer the huge number of questions I had (I bake a lot and was kind of quizzing him because I was very curious about his recipes, etc). Anyhow, we got three cupcakes. There is a menu of suggested cupcakes, which includes a base cake (they had vanilla, chocolate, marble, and red velvet the day we went), icing (the flavors they had when we went were a confetti icing, which was actually an amaretto flavored icing with sprinkles in it, a chocolate buttercream, a vanilla buttercream, and a peanut butter buttercream), and toppings like sprinkles, M&Ms, etc.

            Rather than get one of the suggested combinations of cake/icing/topping we got three cupcakes of our own creation--one chocolate cake with chocolate and peanut butter icing (they'll let you get two flavors of icing on a single cupcake, though they'll be a lot more of one than another due to how the icing is piped), one chocolate cupcake with the confetti icing, and one vanilla cupcake with vanilla icing and sprinkles. The chocolate cupcake was very light (in texture not color) and tasted similar to a boxed cupcake. It was not nearly as dense as places like Brown Betty's, but was also a lot more moist. The vanilla cake was pretty nondescript. It tasted a bit like a buttermilk cupcake but could have benefited from a stronger vanilla flavor. The chocolate icing wasn't anything special. It is a butter/shortening based American buttercream that softened considerably on the walk home. It was a little too light and greasy for me...I prefer a denser and fudgier icing, or at least one with a bit more flavor, as just like the cakes this lacked much flavor. The peanut butter icing was okay but again was a bit too light and lacked much flavor. The vanilla icing was very good in terms of the texture...nice and light and a good balance of flavors being neither too sweet (as most American buttercreams are) or too buttery (as most meringue-based buttercreams are). However, it again was a bit greasy and perhaps could have benefited from a stronger vanilla flavor. Finally, the confetti icing is one that the owner said people either love or hate. I personally like almond flavoring so enjoyed it, but it is not what you'd expect if you are looking for the "funfetti" types of icings you get in a can.

            Overall, this places offers a novel concept...being able to pick the cake, icing, and topping you want and having it made right before your eyes. And, I appreciated the individual cupcake containers that were supplied to us, as well as the friendliness of the owner. It isn't great, and there are better cupcakes in the area, but I'd be willing to give it another try and would be curious to see how the other flavors taste.