Friday, November 7th, 2008 • 2 Comments on Cupcakes Come to Virginia!
I love to bake and cupcakes are one of my favorite treats. They’re easy, but so decadent. I love the way they look piled on a plate and I love sharing them. Who doesn’t love cupcakes? In the past several years, cupcakes have hit the scene as being the “it” dessert. One of my fabulous editors, Rachel Kramer Bussel—in addition to being a writer, blogger and editor—also uncovers all the best of the cupcake world at the wildly popular Cupcakes Take the Cake. CTTC is my source for all things cupcake and the photos (food porn!) alone are worth a visit to the site, whether you bake or not.
I have often lamented that Virginia—at least my part of Virginia—is not exactly cupcake-friendly. The cupcake craze seems to be a mostly urban phenomenon—New York, San Francisco and Chicago are just filled with delicious cupcake bakeries. Bakeries dedicated entirely to cupcakes! Oh, the wonder! Imagine my delight when I discovered the Carolina Cupcakery just a few short minutes from my house (in a direction I never travel, which explains why I didn’t know they existed). Despite the name, Carolina Cupcakery is most definitely located in Virginia. Happy me!
Jay and I stumbled on the Carolina Cupcakery quite by accident yesterday. I was willing to come back another time (we hadn’t eaten lunch yet and it seemed irresponsible to be indulging in cupcakes as a meal), but Jay insisted we should go inside. I’m so glad we did! The smell was heaven and the selection is truly eclectic.
The Cupcakery rotates their cupcake flavors and offers a schedule so customers will know what days their favorites are available. We were in on a Thursday when such flavors as Kahlua and Cream, Espresso Royale, Seriously Southern Red Velvet and Fluffer Nutter are fresh from the oven. Jay ordered a Chocolate Chipster (yellow cake with a rich, chocolate chip-laden butter cream frosting) and I chose the HoHo Heaven (a Hostess-style chocolate cupcake with chocolate ganache and vanilla cream filling). Oh. My. God.
In September, Sheri brought me a lovely, luscious cupcake from More Cupcakes in Chicago. It was a similar Hostess-styled cupcake and I was curious to compare the “big city” version to my newfound Virginia cupcake bakery. I have to say, the More cupcake was delicious, but the cake was a little on the dry side and there wasn’t much vanilla cream filling. Yummy, to be sure, and the dryness might be due to traveling from Chicago. The Carolina Cupcakery’s version was a little more decadent (and perhaps a little larger?), the cake moist and rich, the chocolate ganache generous, the vanilla cream practically bursting. I love my chocolate and I love it rich, so this was perfect for me. (However, when I offered Jay a bite he said, “That’s so sweet it hurts my teeth!”)
I asked the owner (unfortunately, I didn’t think to ask her name, but I believe it’s Dawn Eskins, according to their website) if she knew about Cupcakes Take the Cake. She did—and she said she was listed on the site! Sure enough, when I checked CTTC, Carolina Cupcakery was there. I’m not sure how I missed it, but it was a sweet treat to find this little cupcake bakery amidst the wilderness of suburbia! (And they’re green!) Ms. Eskins gave me a day-old carrot cake cupcake (day-old cupcakes are half-price, which I think is a great way to let customers try flavors they might not otherwise order) to take home with me. I devoured it last night—I couldn’t resist—and though the cake was a little dry from being a day old, it was otherwise delicious. I’ll be back for a fresh-baked one.
I can’t wait to take Sheri there later this month. It’ll be a good excuse to try several more flavors. As if I need an excuse to eat cupcakes, right?