CUPCAKES; BEST OF THE BAY AREA Brynn Baker and Triana devaux

To follow our most recent article on the Bay Area's boba tea, we wanted to continue the series, this time by trying cupcakes. At all four of the shops we visited, the owners claimed that their best sellers were red velvet and chocolate, so in order to keep it consistent, we ordered these flavors from every location. If you want to find out what the very best place to buy this sweet treat is, read on.

1) Nothing Bundt Cakes


Our first stop was Nothing Bundt Cakes in San Carlos. The store has a colorful and comfortable atmosphere, and it is run by a Menlo-Atherton alum, Carol Basch. Along with the adorable presentation, the cupcakes (or rather, bundt cakes) were moist and flavorful, and had the perfect ratio of frosting to cake. While not being sold individually, the minis sell for $22 a dozen, setting each cupcake at approximately $1.83. This ranks Nothing Bundt Cakes pretty well in terms of cost efficiency alone compared to the other shops that we visited. The store also had a variety of merchandise including aprons, cupcake themed mugs, candles, and much more. Nothing Bundt Cakes is a hidden gem in the cupcake community, and definitely worth a visit.

2) Sprinkles Cupcakes


Located at the Stanford mall, Sprinkles Cupcakes has become a popular favorite in the area. Sprinkles sells mini cupcakes; however, they tend to sell out quicker than the full sized. With this in mind, we tasted the normal sized cupcakes, sold for $3.75 each, more pricy than some of the other spots we tried. Their dark chocolate cupcake has a creamy frosting topped with chocolate sprinkles, and is very rich as well. We decided that we would've preferred the chocolate cupcake to have a different frosting, as the cupcake had a bit too much chocolate (if that's even possible). The red velvet cake had a flavorful cream cheese frosting, making it the star of the show. Sprinkles also sells a vegan alternative to their classic red velvet cupcake.

3) Kara's Cupcakes


Not too far from the other locations, Kara's Cupcakes is found in Town and Country Village in Palo Alto. The shop is full of pink decor, and the cupcakes are just as fun. Upon biting into the red velvet cupcake, we immediately noticed that the heart shaped candy that adorned the cupcake tasted of cherries, adding a unique burst of flavor to the frosting. The frosting itself was noticeably lighter and more airy, while the cake was dense and rich. Kara's has same price as Sprinkles for a regular cupcake, and their minis go for $2.50 each. The cake was slightly overpowered by the frosting, but was nevertheless very enjoyable.

4) SusieCakes


Susie Cakes is one of the more popular cupcake chains, so it comes as no surprise that they were good. However, we found given the amount of publicity, that it was a bit overhyped. For $27 a dozen (minis), we had hoped to like them more, and that they would be less overwhelmingly sweet; however, we found after trying the two most popular minis that we were sick of all the sugar. Despite this, a cupcake is a cupcake, and it was still delicious to taste. The cake was moist, which was a definite plus.

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