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Cupcakes Redux

OK, admit it: You’ve been going through withdrawal, haven’t you?

After all, it’s been two whole months — yes, more than 60 days! — since I last wrote about cupcakes, and last hit you smack dab with frosting photos.

Consider this my after-Christmas gift to you. Heck, I know I can sure use some cupcakes right about now.

I’m not the only one. I recently dragged — though, believe me, it didn’t take much effort — 5 Second Rule with me to Icing on the Cake in Los Gatos. She’d eaten the cakes before, but had never been to the bakery. Me? I’d been to the bakery, but not for almost a year.

It’s a full-service bakery with a wide array of treats, including about a dozen different kinds of cupcakes offered each day, ranging in price from $2.75 to $3.75.

5 Second Rule, who has a household of four, bought two cupcakes. Me? Despite having a household of only two, I toted home five — yes, count ’em, five — cupcakes. What can I say except that it’s in the name of research, of course!

All of the cupcakes were moist. Always a good start. And all were pretty darn sweet. Not always the ideal thing to be.

The Red Velvet one had a deep chocolate-y taste, with a thick cream cheese frosting that was sweet, but with a subtle tang. It was a perfectly fine Red Velvet rendition, though, I think I still prefer the Red Velvet cupcake I had in Los Angeles at Sweet Lady Jane, which had a more tangy tasting frosting.

The Gingerbread cupcake was so cute with a plastic gingerbread figurine sticking out of the top. The cake part had a pleasant kick from the cloves and cinnamon. But the texture became a bit gummy in the mouth.

The Hostess cupcake look-alike was a stunner. It’s a chocolate cake with a center of whipped, white frosting, and a top heavily coated in rich ganache. I tried to cut the cupcake in half, but it pretty much just collapsed because it was so moist and frosting-laden. If you like super rich cupcakes on the rather sugary and gooey side, you will like this one. I, however, found it a little too gooshy.

The peanut butter one was an avalanche of peanut butter cream. I found myself asking, “Where’s the cake?” The top of this cupcake was carved out to create a crater for a load of whipped peanut butter cream. It’s as if you had a more gourmet version of the inside of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup smeared an inch and a half thick on top of a cupcake that was then coated in chocolate ganache. I love Reese’s, but even this amount of peanut butter filling was too much for me. I wish the actual cake component had been larger, as the peanuty-tasting cake was really wonderful.

Last, but not least, the caramel cupcake. Without a doubt, this was my favorite one. It also was a little less sweet than the others. The toffee-like tasting cake had what appeared to be the thinnest topping of caramel smeared on it before the silky caramel buttercream was dolloped on top. The result was a moist cupcake with a surprising slight crunch to it.  This one’s a winner.

If you missed my other cupcake tastings, you can go back and read my reviews of Kara’s Cupcakes, Sprinkles Cupcakes, and my cupcake adventures in Los Angeles.

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