Archive for the ‘dessert’ Category

SusieCakes Contest Update

July 26th, 2009

Last Saturday, I went to SusieCakes in the hopes that I’d be one of the lucky few to get a golden ticket in their cupcakes, but I’m sad to report that that didn’t happen. I bought six cupcakes and not one of them had the golden ticket. However, there’s always a plus side to things and even though I was ticket-less, I still had six freshly baked cupcakes to eat which is always a win-win situation for me. In the past, I’ve only tried the red velvet cupcakes at SusieCakes, so this time I decided to branch out and try some of their other flavors. I bought Mocha, Coconut, S’mores, Mint, and two Red Velvets. Here are my reviews for each of them:

Mocha Cupcake – The cake was a bit dry, and the frosting was ok…nothing really wow’d me about this one.

Coconut Cupcake – This one was good! The frosting was coconut flavored with shredded coconut on top and a vanilla cake.

S’mores Cupcake– This was eh…It looked good, but that’s all that was good about it. It had a marshmallow frosting that was toasted with graham crackers sprinkled on top, but it didn’t really taste like S’mores to me.

Mint Cupcake – Complete Fail. The mint frosting tasted funny and the cake was dry.

Red Velvet Cupcake – The only cupcake that they seem to get right at SusieCakes. I love the cream cheese frosting (not too sweet) and the cake is nice and moist.

So, what’s the verdict on SusieCakes vs. Sprinkles? I definitely think Sprinkles is better, even though I really like the Red Velvet at SusieCakes. Sprinkles has been generally consistent with the good quality and taste of their cupcakes. I don’t think I can ever recall a time that I disliked a cupcake at Sprinkles. I may also be a bit biased recently, because Sprinkles has been giving away free cupcakes everyday for the past week to the first 25 people who whisper the word of the day at their store. My friend told me it was very “Speakeasy” of them, which makes it fun. I whispered, “Orchard” the other day and received a free orange cupcake. Now, orange cupcakes do not seem very appealing to me, but I tried it and it was surprisingly good! Just another example of how Sprinkles doesn’t seem to ever disappoint.

SusieCake Cupcakes
Starting from the top clockwise: Coconut, Red Velvet, S’mores, Mocha, Red Velvet, and Mint Cupcake

SusieCakes Contest

July 16th, 2009

SusieCakes is celebrating their 3rd anniversary Willy Wonka style. This coming Saturday, July 18th, golden tickets will be baked into 10 random cupcakes. Those golden ticket holders will win prizes and also be eligible for their grand prize which is a Cake-of-the-Month Annual Membership (9″ cake each month for an entire year!). I don’t know about you, but getting a whole cake each month sounds pretty awesome. It’s like celebrating your birthday every month, all year long!


(image from SusieCakes)

Sprinkles BFF Contest

July 16th, 2009

Even more exciting Sprinkles news! Sprinkles just announced their “Sprinkles BFF” contest. The good thing about this is that it’s free to enter…all you have to do is just “become a fan” of Sprinkles on Facebook and once they get 100,000 fans, one lucky fan will become Sprinkles’ BFF. As a BFF you’ll get an all expense paid trip to visit the Beverly Hills Sprinkles store and get a bakery tour with Sprinkles Founder and Pastry Chef, Candace Nelson. Hotel accommodations will be provided at the Beverly Wilshire for two nights and the sweetest part of it is you get free cupcakes everyday, along with a bunch of other prizes and goodies!

I’ve already become a Sprinkles facebook fan and I’m crossing my fingers that I will win! I’ve been daydreaming about waking up in my Beverly Wilshire hotel room and having cupcakes in bed.

(image from Sprinkles)

(image from Sprinkles)

Sprinkles Truck

July 13th, 2009

Move over Kogi, here comes the Sprinkles Truck! Exciting news for those of you in the LA/OC area who are not fortunate enough to have a Sprinkles store nearby. The Sprinkles Mobile will be making stops around LA and in the very near future it will add Orange County to that list. How can you find out the exact locations? Twitter of course! However, customers will have to pay a bit more to get their cupcake fix, $4.00 for an individual cupcake (75 cents more than what you pay at the Sprinkles store). Now, if only we could get a Dessert Truck here.

Onto other Sprinkles news, they have some intriguing flavors for the summer: Key Lime, Summer Cherry, Raspberry, Almond Dark Chocolate, and Vanilla Hazelnut Chocolate. Each of the flavors will be featured on different dates during the summer, so check their website for more info. I am definitely marking my calendar for the Raspberry cupcake, Aug 7-16!

Sprinkles Mobile

Sprinkles Mobile (image via Fast Food Maven)

Raspberry Cupcakes (image via Sprinkles)

Raspberry Cupcakes (image via Sprinkles)

I heart NY

July 9th, 2009

They should literally call Manhattan, the island of dessert. During my trip to the east coast about a month ago, I had a huge list of all the dessert places I wanted to visit…Magnolia’s, Max Brenner, Dessert Truck, etc. Luckily, I was able to cross off most from my list, but there are still many more places to go which I will have to save for my next trip there. These were all the delicious non-cupcake places I went to:

Rice to Riches
No steamed or fried rice here, just yummy rice pudding in every flavor imaginable. I pretty much sampled every flavor and ended up getting good old fashioned rice pudding with a hint of cinnamon and raisins and the very pink pomegranate flavor. I loved this place…their gimmick was great, the store looked awesome, and their packaging was very cute.

Rice to Riches

Rice to Riches



My kind of place.

My kind of place.


Regular Rice Pudding and Pomegranate

Regular Rice Pudding and Pomegranate

Dylan’s Candy Bar
This place was filled top to bottom with all kinds of candy. The only thing I have to mention is that their chocolate section was a bit small for my taste.

Dylan's Candy Bar

Dylan's Candy Bar

Dessert Truck
I think this is the best invention ever. Gourmet treats at an affordable price. I ordered Warm Chocolate Bread Pudding and Vanilla Creme Brulee. The Creme Brulee was my favorite, nice and creamy…so so good!

Dessert Truck

Dessert Truck

Best Creme Brulee EVER!

Best Creme Brulee EVER!

Max Brenner
I would like to be buried here. Chocolate Heaven. This place has a cafe with really good food and they have so many delicious desserts to choose from.

Max Brenner's


Banana and Hazelnut Cream Crepe

Banana and Hazelnut Cream Crepe

Cupcake Tour 2009

June 15th, 2009

A few weeks ago I went on a trip to the east coast and visited New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia. The trip was a lot of fun and one of the highlights of my trip was definitely visiting some of the cupcake bakeries that New York had to offer.

My first cupcake stop was Billy’s Bakery. This bakery reminded me a lot of Susie Cakes, has the same retro feel and home baked goods vibe. Everything from their cakes, cookies, and pies looked delicious, but I opted to try their cupcakes. I ordered a red velvet cupcake which was good, but a lot denser than I normally like. One thing that surprised me was that the frosting was vanilla rather than cream cheese, but overall I still enjoyed my cupcake.

The next stop on my cupcake tour was the famous Magnolia’s Bakery. This bakery was packed with customers lined up to buy cupcakes and just as I was about to order a red velvet cupcake they informed me that they didn’t have any available at that moment. Sad day. I decided to get a regular chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting and I also couldn’t resist trying the mini red velvet cheesecake I saw in the display case. The cupcake was good, not the best I’ve had…maybe my opinion would be different if I was able to get a red velvet cupcake. I think the most memorable part of the cupcake was the frosting, chocolaty goodness. Despite their lack of red velvet cupcakes, Magnolia’s totally redeemed themselves with their red velvet cheesecake. It was AMAZING! I could have eaten the whole thing myself and I don’t even like cheesecake. Til this day, I still dream about it.

The last cupcake stop was Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery. I loved the hippyness of this place and it really intrigued me that the guy boxing up my cupcakes was a muscular guy with tatoos all over. I had to really control myself while I was in this bakery…cupcakes are $1.50 and they had so many different flavors! I really wanted to try everything and get a dozen, but that would probably result in a tummy ache and I don’t want to ever have a bad experience with cupcakes. So, I just decided to get 5 cupcakes…2 for my friends and 3 for me haha. I opted for the Sexy Red Velvet Cupcake (satin buttercream frosting), Sassy Red Velvet Cupcake (chocolate almond buttercream), and Pistashio. All three cupcakes were good, but I would have to say that the Pistachio was my favorite, the flavor was great and it was something that I’ve never tried before.

So, which bakery won the Cupcake Tour 2009? I think it would have to go Sugar Sweet Sunshine…they had great prices and good cupcakes, what more could you ask for! Overall, I had a great time trying different cupcake places. However, I’m really surprised that I didn’t have one Red Velvet Cupcake with cream cheese frosting…maybe it’s not an east coast thing?

Billy’s Bakery – Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

Magnolia’s Chocolate Cupcake with Chocolate Frosting

Magnolia’s Mini Red Velvet Cheesecake – BEST CHEESECAKE EVER!

Sugar Sweet Sunshine – Top row: Sassy Red Velvet, Middle: Pistachio, Bottom row: Sexy Red Velvet

Diddy Riese

April 13th, 2009

The other week I went to Diddy Riese which is located in Brentwood and a local favorite among UCLA students. Diddy Riese sells freshly baked cookies, brownies, and ice cream, but they are most famous for their build your own ice cream sandwiches. The line is always out the door, but I’m always willing to wait for ice cream sandwiches and especially since their prices are very recession friendly ($1.50 for an ice sandwich). They have a variety of cookies and ice cream to choose from and you can even mix and match cookies if you want. I got myself a chocolate chip cookie sandwich with cookie dough ice cream. I was surprised to see that they started selling Hawaiian Shaved Ice with ice cream (very rare to find outside of Hawaii), so we had to try it. I was happy to see that they had gone the extra step to make it more authentic with flavors like passion fruit. Overall, my ice cream sandwich was great and the shaved ice was good, but it will never beat shaved ice from Hawaii…the ice was just too hard.

Chocolate chip cookies with cookie dough ice cream

Hawaiian Shaved Ice with Vanilla Ice Cream in the middle


March 26th, 2009

Good news! I was finally able to try out a new cupcakery called Dots. A friend of mine highly recommended this place and claimed it was the best cupcake store. I’ll be the judge of that…

Interior: Cute, modern design. Reminds me of sprinkles.

Cupcakes: I picked out 4 different flavors:

Apple Pie
cupcake was good and had bits of apple in it, but it didn’t really taste like apple pie to me, just tasted like a good spiced muffin.

Mint Chocolate was my absolute favorite. The cake was nice and moist, and the frosting had the right amount of mint, but the best part were the chocolate crunchy pearls…they were like tiny thin mint balls covered in chocolate. The texture of the crunchy balls plus the minty frosting and moist cake made this one awesome cupcake.

Strawberry Shortcake was a complete fail. I felt like I was eating a vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting. Where ‘s the strawberry? Well, I think it was the sad little shriveled up piece of nothing hidden inside my cupcake. Maybe they wanted us to find it like a prize, but all I got was a tiny piece of strawberry like it was there by mistake.

Red Velvet was good, but the frosting lacked the cream cheese flavor. So, Sprinkles you get the win for this one.

Overall, I liked Dots (mostly because of their mint chocolate cupcake), but I definitely see some potential and I’m eager to go back to try their other flavors.

Thumbs up on the packaging!

Starting from top left (clockwise): Apple Pie, Mint Chocolate, Strawberry Shortcake, and Red Velvet

Afternoon Tea

March 22nd, 2009

Yesterday, I had afternoon tea with a few friends at the Scarlet Tea Room. It was my first time having tea at this location and I was surprised to find myself sitting in a very formal dining room, adorned with crystal chandeliers and gold fixtures everywhere. I felt like I was having tea at the Ritz Carlton. The tea service seemed pretty traditional, it was a 5 course meal in which we were given a variety of tea sandwiches (with the crusts cut off of course), freshly made scones, an assortment of petit desserts, and different pots of tea. Oh and how could I forget the palate cleanser! We started off with a raspberry sorbet palate cleanser (very fancy schmancy). Overall, the tea service was great, but I have to say that I do prefer going to cozier tea establishments. This place was way too refined for me. And at $40 a person, this is a once in a blue moon tea party for me.

Raspberry Sorbet Palate Cleanser

Scones – We had 3 different types: Cinnamon, Apricot Ginger, and Vanilla

Tea Sandwiches

Very Berry Tea – Tasted like Tazo tea from Starbucks…not one of my favorites.

I need to find myself a tea pot like this. Very cute.

I liked this tea pot design a lot.

Our dessert assortment

Strawberries Romanoff – 2nd dessert course

Green Treats

March 17th, 2009

Happy St.Patrick’s Day!

One of my earliest memories was making rice krispie treats in preschool (yay Kindercare!). And I distinctly remember that we made green rice krispie treats, probably for St.Patrick’s Day. I’ll never forget how fun it was. I think what I was probably most excited about was the fact that they were green. Anyway, as an tribute to my preschool days at Kindercare, I decided to make green rice krispie treats for St.Patty’s Day. I didn’t even need to wear green today because my fingers were green from all the food coloring haha. Sometimes, I cook like I still am in preschool…

It took me more than just a few drops (17 to be exact) to get the prefect green I wanted.

I made one four leaf clover! I was too lazy to make more…