With all of the frozen yogurt places popping up in the few remaining storefronts in San Francisco we thought froyo was the new cupcake for sure.
But AP reported otherwise last week, indicating that cupcakeries across the nation are seeing booming sales in the spite the slumping economy. Specialty cupcake shops could be considered (day) old news in the food world, but having just celebrated a birthday this week and enjoying two of the single serving treats, we have to say there’s something about a $3 cute little cake that brings people back for more.
Case in point: Sprinkles Cupcakes, in Palo Alto, has consistently entertained long lines since they opened in October. And in addition to noting the distinctive richness of the Sprinkles cupcake, we’ll also admit that it was the first time we’ve ever seen miniature doggy cupcakes at a bakery for humans—very cute.
Surprisingly we haven’t been to Kara’s Cupcakes yet (well, not so surprising since it requires us to go to the Marina or Ghirardelli Square), but there’s no doubt they’ll continue to be the talk of town no matter how far the DOW drops. Something special at Kara’s: Filled cupcakes. It’s a like a jelly doughnut but better, right? Word has it that the “Meyer Lemony Lemon” (a vanilla cupcake with a tart lemon filling and lemon buttercream) is the way to go.
Personally, the gingerbread cupcakes at Miette hit our sweet spot—in fact, we love these cupcakes so much we’d be wiling to go on the record and declare them the best cupcakes we’ve ever had (and thanks to Sweetie’s thoughtfulness, that even includes those from Magnolia Bakery in New York).
But we’ve been hearing all sorts of raving about Cups and Cakes Bakery recently in the Outer Mission (closer to Daly City) and with unique flavors like “Viva Las Vegas” ( Niman Ranch bacon in banana cupcakes with peanut butter buttercream, topped with a piece of bacon and a banana chip) and “Meghan’s Margarita” (Lime cake with margarita buttercream and actual tequila), it sounds like these could really take the cake, so to speak (terrible, we know).
This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the places to get your hands on specialty and artisan cupcakes here in the Bay Area, but we think any of these places would be a good place to start if you’re looking to chase away the recession blues with a little bit of buttercream.
[Photo of Kara’s cupcake via pengrin/Flickr]