Cupcake Craze

Kara's Cupcakes

Cupcake mania, which hit New York first (“Sex and The City,” anyone?), then spread to Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, is finally making its way to the South Bay/Peninsula.

Talk about taking your sweet time.

While those metropolitan areas long have boasted stand-alone bakeries specializing in nothing but cupcakes, we who have been frosting-starved in the South Bay/Peninsula finally will get our baked-good due when Kara’s Cupcakes is expected to open two locations in September: one in San Jose’s Santana Row (next to Pluto’s), and the other in Palo Alto’s Town & Country Village. Because the Santana Row location will be tiny — just 300 square feet — it’ll have a smaller selection, but promises to showcase the bakery’s most popular flavors.

Kara Lind, who worked in marketing for Conde Nast, found her true passion when she attended Tante Marie Cooking School’s baking program in San Francisco. Her first Kara’s Cupcakes bakery opened in 2006 on Scott Street in San Francisco. Since then, she’s added a second location in San Francisco, this one at historic Ghirardeli Square.

The cupcakes are made daily with such premium ingredients as Scharffen Berger chocolate, Clover Dairy products, and Flying Goat organic coffee. Regular cupcakes, $3 each, come in flavors such as Buttery Buttermilk, Chocolate Velvet, and Kara’s Karrot. Filled cupcakes, $3.25 each, come in such decadent concoctions as the “Fleur de Sel” (a chocolate cupcake with caramel filling, ganache frosting, and sea salt).

What does Lind find so irresistible about cupcakes?

“They are just filled with so much happiness,” she says. “They are like a little piece of joy.”

Who can argue with that?

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  • i must have one now! i’m craving a Magnolia’s cupcake so I hope Kara’s are just as good if not better. And without that line.

  • There’s more: According to my friend Barry who can sleuth out anything and everything, “Love’s Cupcakes” has signed a lease for 87 E. San Fernando (formerly home to Tony Soprano’s Pizza). Sweeeeeeeeeeeeet!

  • I can’t believe you have been deprived of Kara’s cupcakes all this time! They’re my favorite of all the cupcake shops around San Francisco and the East Bay. (I’m surprised we have a few cupcake places in Berkeley-Emeryville.) My favorite of Kara’s are the ones with fillings. That really takes a cupcake to a whole other level! BTW, I love that photo! Cupcakes are such easy models! 😉

  • gorgeous photo! glad you liked the lights…they’ve been my savior!

  • Ahhh, I wish I could take credit for the lovely cupcake photo. But that one was provided by Kara’s Cupcakes. The meatball one, though, is all mine. 😉

  • Don’t forget Sugar Butter Flour in Sunnyvale and at the Pruneyard! Try their Red Velvet cupcake.

  • Oh they look divine. Somehow there’s something less guilty with a cupcake than an actual slice of cake.

  • Beautiful cupcakes!

  • Foodgal, the official address for Love’s Cupcakes is 85, not 87 E. San Fernando Street in San Jose…so maybe it’s next door to where Soprano’s was? I met the owner and in May their goal was to open today, August 2nd. I haven’t been able to find ANY news online so I’m wondering if it will open today or not.

    A friend of mine is going to drive by there today. I thought for sure the newspaper would carry a story or at least announce their opening. The only internet search activity that’s occurred is the shop is finally listed on

  • Ooooh, new cupcakes in our midst? Can it be? Julie V., if you get the scoop on what exactly is happening with Love’s Cupcakes, I hope you’ll let us all know. We need our frosting fix.

  • i drove by love’s cupcakes this morning and it still has a big sign saying “opening soon”. i’m really really needing a cupcake….

  • My buddy Donna just told me there’s now a Sprinkles Cupcakes shop in the Stanford Shopping Center,; In Beverly Hills, apparently all the celebs go nuts for the cupcakes, including Mrs. Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes. There’s almost always a line out the door. I have tried them once; the cupcakes are as cute as can be, but I can’t say they were the best cupcakes I’ve ever had.

  • Anybody have an update on Love’s Cupcakes opening day???

  • As of Wed 10/22/08 there was Still a coming soon sign for Love’s Cupcakes. I can’t wait for it to open!

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