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Cakelove thoughts

Cakelove opened in Shirlington yesterday. After coming hope from work, I walked over and picked up a six pack of cupcakes. They were:

Lemon buttercream on a chocolate cupcake
Lemon buttercream on a vanilla cupcake
Lime buttercream on a vanilla cupcake
Lime buttercream on a chocolate cupcake
Raspberry buttercream on a vanilla cupcake
peanut butter buttercream on a chocolate cupcake.

$3 a cupcake or $18 for a half dozen. $32 for a baker’s dozen. It might seem a little bit expensive at first, but then you have to remember Cakelove is owned and operated by Warren Brown, star of the Food Network’s show Sugar Rush. When you’re a TV show host and a celebrity chef, you can charge a little more than your average bakery. In the end though, it’s all about the taste.

Heather, Vlad, and I each tried a cupcake and I also had two samples from the store: Vanilla on Vanilla and Raspberry on Chocolate. My personal cupcake was Lemon on chocolate. I have to admit the cupcakes were quite good. The cake was moist and light, yet very filling. It wasn’t rich like a ganache, but I defintely couldn’t eat two in a row. Too much sugar and fat for me.

The icing though was a bit of an issue with me. I felt Cakelove relies far too much on pushing the icing over the actual cupcake itself. This is generally where I feel most bakers go wrong. Let the cake sell itself and have the icing as an accent. Yet, Cakelove does a dozen types of icing, but only two types of cupcakes. That to me is the wrong direction and generally wouldn’t sell me on a baked good. The icing was nicely flavored. The lemon wasn’t overpowering, and there was a bit of the rind on the top of the cupcake to signify what flavor you were eating. Still in the end, I’d have rather had more cake flavor and less icing. Vlad too is not an icing fan, but he enjoyed the complimentary flavors of the icing/cake more than I did. It was a good cupcake all around with no real complaints from me other than what I feel the focus should be and perhaps less icing lfavors and more experiementing with cake flavors.

I really wanted to purchase an eclair or brownie, but at the time all they had were cakes and cupcakes.

Late on we tried what they call a “Crunchy Foot.” A crunchy foot is a mini pound cake is as they describe it, “Super flavorful mini-pound cakes with slightly crunchy edges.” I have to disagree here. I was actually quite dissapointed with the crunchy foot. I love pound cake, seeing that strawberry shortcake is easily my favorite of all cakes, and I actually found the cake to be bland and the crunchy edges were offputting with the tesxture of the rest of the cake. Instead of standing out, the textures just didn’t blend well to my liking.

I realize this review is coming off a bit negative, but its not meant to be. I defintely enjoyed the cupcake and it could just be the crunchy foot wasn’t up to my personal preference for pound cake (Or that I had too much sugar. I’m not a sweets person to begin with). I’m still very interested in sampling their cakes, eclairs, brownies, and the item they call a “Buzz ball.” However, it was the first day and about 4:30-5pm in the afternoon which explains the more limited selection.

If you’re looking for a gourmet cupcake or slice of cake, Cakelove is right up your alley. I’m more a fruit-based sugar than processed sugar person myself, so if given the preference I’ll go for pie over cake most times. Still, Cakelove is only a short walk from my house and I’m sure I’ll be back to sample their wares again.

6/10 for a light first impression based on one full cupcake, two samples of other cupcakes, and a Crunchy Foot.

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