Cupcake-itis

Clockwise from back: Strawberry-filled vanilla, chocolate, peanut butter-filled chocolate, and marble cupcakes.

I blame this on Nate of the House of Annie blog.

After returning from my Los Angeles vacation, where I made the rounds of bakeries, I thought I was done with nibbling on cupcakes. At least for a little while.

But then Nate had to tell me that one of my favorite South Bay bakeries had started making cupcakes.

Darn him. Darn him.

So, of course, I had to try them.  Calories be damned.

Off I went to Sugar Butter Flour’s original location in Sunnyvale (there’s a second one in Campbell now, too). Last year when I was still writing for the San Jose Mercury News’ food section, I had picked Sugar Butter Flour’s pastry chef-partner, Irit Ishai, as one of the top pastry chefs in the South Bay. Consider her resume: Former pastry chef at Sent Sovi in Saratoga under then-Executive Chef David Kinch; former pastry chef of Kinch’s subsequent restaurant, Manresa in Los Gatos; and an apprentice at Fleur de Cocoa in Los Gatos, owned by Pastry Chef Pascal Janvier, whom I also singled out in that same story as a stellar pastry chef.

Sugar Butter Flour’s cupcakes are $3 each. I picked one of each available that day to cart home: a strawberry-filled vanilla cupcake, a marble cupcake topped with chocolate buttercream, a chocolate cupcake with a white squiggle a la Hostess, and a peanut butter-filled chocolate cupcake with peanut butter buttercream.

Close your eyes and take a bite of the vanilla cupcake, and you’ll think you’re enjoying classic wedding cake. The cake was dense, and fairly moist. The jam center, though sweet, had the distinct taste of strawberries. Thankfully, the fluffy buttercream was not sugary at all. In fact, it really tasted of butter, a nice change from most over-the-top frostings.

The marble cupcake was OK, but didn’t do a whole lot for me. The chocolate cupcake had a really moist crumb, and a thin layer of ganache on top. Some might want a thicker spread of ganache. But for those of you who are more into good cake than a giant blob of frosting, this cupcake’s for you.

The peanut butter-chocolate cupcake was downright awesome. The chocolate cake is super-duper moist, almost like devil’s food. The fluffy peanut butter buttercream is so wonderfully creamy smooth that I could happily eat a bowl of the stuff. Hidden in the center is a peanut butter filling, with a thicker texture and a saltier taste. This is one superb cupcake, especially if you love peanut butter.

I can’t believe I just tried four more cupcakes.

I’d say, “Darn you, Nate.” But I think I’ll just say, “thank you” instead. 

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Date: Wednesday, 22. October 2008 5:41
Trackback: Trackback-URL Category: Bakeries, Chefs, Chocolate, Cupcakes, Great Finds

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15 comments

  1. 1

    Oooooh. Thanks for this. My interest in cupcakes has been reinvigorated lately (largely thanks to some other posts and tweets from you!) I’m excited to try the SBF strawberry-filled cake. Something to look forward to for the weekend :)

  2. 2

    Ooh those cupcakes look so delicious…..I wish there were places like that near campus…But I think I would waste money buying too many cupcakes then, so maybe it’s a good thing.

  3. 3

    Stacey, my youngest niece, when you come home from your first year of college at Harvard U. (yes, I can be a bragging, proud aunt!!), we will go on a cupcake field trip!

  4. 4

    There you go again with the cupcakes, Jung. I can’t believe I’m going to be writing about wheat berries later today and you get to write about cupcakes. Where’s the justice in that?

  5. 5

    Cheryl, you are a better person than me. I admit that given a choice between eating wheat berries and cupcakes, well, there would be no real choice. heehee. You know which one I’d have to go with. But you will no doubt live longer while I will just live with an increasingly growing waistline. ;)

  6. 6

    You’re welcome! hee hee

    The chocolate cupcake sounds divine. But, you didn’t try the Red Velvet cupcake? I guess they must’ve run out by the time you got there?

    You know what that means, right?

  7. 7

    Alas, the bakery had no Red Velvet ones that day. You know what this means then — a return visit is mandated. ;)

  8. 8

    Actually, you have me to thank (or blame)–teehee! I’m the one who told Nate about the cupcakes. Try the Campbell location next time. I think they carry more flavors. Last time I was there they had a Pina Colada cupcake which was really yummy too. But my favorite is still the Red Velvet although you’ve intrigued me with the Peanut Butter one (I LOVE PB!). Oh, and last time I had the marble cupcake, they had a fudge filling in the center which totally made it divine!

    Take us next time! ^_^

  9. 9

    Annie, I bow to you in thanks! And I will high-tail it to the Campbell location next time. More flavors, huh? Definitely worth the extra miles to scope that out.

  10. 10

    If you like creamy, delish, thick buttercream I highly reccommend the cupcakes at Icing on the Cake in Los Gatos. You probably are already aware of this bakery though! :-)

  11. 11

    I have tried the cupcakes at Icing on the Cake, in particular the one that looks like a Hostess cupcake. Wow, rich as can be! Hmm, but maybe I should go back to try a few more just to be sure. heehee. Thanks for putting the suggestion into my head (and stomach), Sarah.

  12. 12

    Not another one to try? Now I have three on my list…dang, wonder if I can do them all in one day?
    Did notice the Merc’s cupcake article today……

  13. 13

    Mrs. L, if I can do two cupcake bakeries in one day, you can do three! Let me know when you try them all, too. Happy eating!

  14. 14

    OK, FoodGal, now you’ve done it!! I went to Sugar Butter Flour today. I have been meaning to for a long time.

    It was not good at all.

    Kidding. It was awesome. I had a cookie and a chocolate cupcake. Low calorie, not. High-deliciousness, yes.

    I noted they have lunchtime items, too, including some healthy-looking salad and vegetable dishes. I wonder who eats that?!?!?!

  15. 15

    […] View Recipe Preparation Instructions […]

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