Santa Monica was the final neighbourhood Polly and I visited last Saturday. Though we discovered en route that we both consider ourselves directionally challenged, we were able to park, walk to 2 bakeries, AND find our way back to the car without any issues at all. The power of cupcakes, folks.
First up in Santa Monica was Vanilla Bake Shop. A total shot in the dark, this bakery was the result of a Google search and quick perusal of their flavours online. But, what a sweet surprise!
It just looks cute and delicious, doesn't it?
Vanilla Bake Shop was a really fun stop, as they offer 'regular' size cupcakes, as well as mini-cupcakes. As we thought back to how many cupcakes we had already purchased, we decided that the mini size would be just perfect. Though these cakes are smaller in size, they are no less beautiful. Check out how pretty:
Since they offer a 3 mini cupcake for $5 deal, we selected Key Lime, Banana Chocolate Chip, and Meyer Lemon Raspberry. You might be able to see them a bit better in a group photo (grouped together on the left):
Even though we tried three different and very distinct flavours, we were not disappointed in any of them. These creations were delicious and the perfect size (less messy too!). We scored all 3 collectively, and awarded a 9/10 for cake, 8/10 for frosting, 10/10 for presentation, and a 9/10 for creativity. The only category that scored lower than an 8 was customer service - it was just mediocre.
Vanilla Bake Shop's final score brought it into second place at 57 out of 70 possible points. A respectable 80% on the satisfaction scale.
This store is a definite must if you're in the Santa Monica area, and we both plan on returning. If you like Key Lime, theirs is fantastic!
Oh and I loved these t-shirts and onesies!
Our final destination was another Google find, called Yummy Cupcakes, just down the street from Vanilla Bake Shop. Of all our treats, I was most anticipating what Yummy Cupcakes had to offer - a Cupcake-on-a-Stick, which we pre-ordered the day before our tour. I mean, it just sounded A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. We ordered the 'Happy Day', which is a vanilla bean cupcake with pink vanilla buttercream frosting, dipped in white chocolate, and rolled in rainbow sprinkles. Are you drooling yet?!
Upon first glance, Yummy Cupcakes doesn't look like much. On the atmosphere scale, it scored lowest of all our destinations, with just a 2/10. Here are a few pics inside and out:
The store has a bit of an empty, warehouse-feel to it, but their multitude of flavours and creative menu captivated us. It was really hard to decide on flavours here, as they had so many different fun options!
In the end, we purchased a Peanut Butter and Jelly cupcake and a Cinnamon Crunch, along with our 'on-a-stick' pick. Though we didn't go home with either of these, Yummy Cupcakes also offers a Cupcake Pie, as well as a Cupcake in a Jar. We just had to give them 10s for both creativity and variety, as no other stores even come close to comparing with Yummy's creative (and maybe even a bit strange?) choices.
This was a hard one to score as a whole, as the cupcakes were totally different from the cupcake-on-a-stick. Cupcake-wise, these were pretty good. Enjoyable, but not our favourites. Although, the Peanut Butter and Jelly (Polly graciously gave me the leftovers) was alot tastier the next day, when I ate it on its own instead of amidst 11 other cupcakes. I would definitely go back and order this one again!
As far as the cupcake-on-a-stick goes........I'll let you take a peek first:
Though it sounded like the best-thing-ever-to-be-placed-on-a-stick in theory, we were somewhat disappointed. There was a lot of white chocolate, and not a whole lot of cake and icing. It was more like a white chocolate lollipop than a cupcake-on-a stick. Also, it was so sweet that we literally could not have more than one bite each.
A cute gift idea, but I probably won't be ordering this one again anytime soon. Although my white-chocolate-loving husband had no trouble finishing the leftovers up for us!
Oh yes, the scores! All in all, Yummy Cupcakes scored a 39 out of 70. I have to admit that most of this can be attributed to our cupcake-on-a-stick experience and not necessarily their regular cupcakes. So, though we only gave Yummy a 56% satisfaction score, I wouldn't write them off quite yet. I'm pretty interested in that cupcake in a jar too.......
So there you have it! The story of 1 Saturday, 2 girls, 7 bakeries, 12 cupcakes and a whole lot of sugar.
Here are a few more pictures of Polly and I with our bounty and being serious judges:
Thank you Polly for this idea which was nothing short of amazing! I will treasure this memory with you for a long, long time to come!
Stay tuned for upcoming adventures, and more reviews!