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Love’s Cupcakes — Finally

It’s taken more than a year of waiting, but Love’s Cupcakes has finally opened in downtown San Jose.

I used to laugh when my gym workout buddy, Ellie, would give me week by week updates on the site, which she doesn’t live too far from.

“Oh, brown paper went up on the windows a few days ago!”

“A guy was actually inside working yesterday!”

“I peeked my head inside and they told me it would be open by the end of April!”

“They’re saying it’s PG&E’s fault now, that there’s a delay in turning on the power!”

“Still no power. Can you believe it?”

And on and on it went. I started to think it was some cruel joke by the baking gods, that the place would forever be in construction limbo.

But lo and behold, it’s now churning out about half a dozen flavors a day. I visited the cheery bakery on opening day (July 25). It was started by April Zarazua, a home baker, who graduated from the California Culinary Academy’s pastry program.

The regular size cupcakes are $3.25. There’s also a fun “create-your-own” cupcake option. Choose vanilla or chocolate cake, then your choice of frosting and one topping. Additional toppings are extra.

I chose three from the bakery case: Hummingbird, Chocolate Dream, and Caramel.

So were they worth a year-long wait?

The cupcakes are a tad smaller than at some other bakeries, though priced at the same going rate. In fact, the chocolate one was noticeably shorter than the other two purchased that day.

The Hummingbird is a cake of fresh pineapple, bananas and walnuts, topped with cream cheese frosting. The cake is pretty dense in texture, more like a muffin. It tasted mostly of banana, and had a nice crispy top.

The Chocolate Dream’s chocolate cake was moist and slightly less dense in texture. Lightly sweetened Chantilly cream was piped over the top. It tasted like a fairly basic home-made chocolate cupcake.

The Caramel again had a denser cake that tasted only faintly of caramel. The sour cream frosting totally overwhelmed the subtle taste of the cake. A small chunk of a milk chocolate bar oozing liquidy caramel was perched on top. It was a cute garnish, but didn’t really seem to add a whole lot otherwise.

All in all, I can’t say I was quite feeling the love with these Love’s cupcakes.

If you’d like to render your own verdict on Love’s Cupcakes, be sure to go to its Web site to print out a coupon good for one free cupcake with the purchase of two. The offer is valid Aug. 1 through Sept. 1.

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