Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Frosting Never Stops Here

MILL VALLEY
After visiting Tyler Florence’s charming store here, I spotted a cupcake store across the street. So you know I had to stop there for a try.

Frosting Bake Shop is a quaint cupcake shop that looks like a combination bakery and gift shop. Painted in festive colors and happy dots, the store is made up primarily of gift products in the front.

At the counter, you’ll find the 11 regular flavors of cupcakes all under these slender glass domes, almost like precious jewels under glass. The cupcakes lacked the sophisticated look of, say, Kara’s or Georgetown Cupcakes. Instead, they had this craft project look, like the head cupcake designer is a 5-year-old. I’m not pointing that out as a negative; I sometimes like playfully decorated cupcakes.

The flavors also have playful names like Razzleberry and Willie Vanillie, as well as standards like Red Velvet. A couple of the flavors were already sold out, but in the end I settled for the Lemon Twist ($3), which is a lemon cake with sweet lemon butter cream frosting.

Also at the end of the counter were cupcake truffles, which the owner says is the latest fad in cupcakes. Basically, they’re miniature cakes covered in chocolate to resemble chocolate truffles. I would have tried a few, but I was headed to dinner and I was already spoiling my dinner with the lemon cupcake.

The Lemon Twist had this huge pile of frosting on top, so it was a bit difficult to eat. I pretty much had to just eat the frosting with no cake. But you know what? I loved the frosting, so I didn’t mind just eating it alone. It didn’t have the thick butter cream texture, and leaned more toward a light frosting. It was very airy and not sickly sweet, so it was perfect for me.

The cake itself was good, although slightly tough on the edge, which might just be a sign that it had been sitting around all day. Still, I thought it was a nice cupcake treat. Frosting Bake Shop looks like the perfect cute cupcake match for the tiny downtown Mill Valley.

Frosting Bake Shop, 7 E. Blithedale Ave., Mill Valley. PH: 415.888.8027. www.frostingbakeshop.com

Around cupcake country:
Georgetown Cupcake, Washington, D.C.
Crumbs Bake Shop, New York
Kara’s Cupcakes, San Francisco
Cake Coutore, Honolulu

8 comments:

Palidor said...

That is a lot of icing for one cupcake! All the cupcakes look nice. You'll have to go back and try their cupcake truffles.

Hungry Dog said...

Looks like a cute place...maybe more kid-focused? Can't ever have too much frosting, in my opinion.

bethh said...

my best friend has a genius cupcake technique:

- grasp cupcake in your right hand.
- with your left, break the bottom half off.
- place the bottom half on top of the pile of frosting, creating a sandwich of two cupcake halves with the frosting in the middle.
- smoosh as needed & enjoy!

It lets you actually get the correct cupcake-to-frosting ratio, without jamming frosting up your nose or unhinging your jaw to get around the whole thing.

tygerlilly said...

I was about to suggest the same thing...I do the same as bethh's best friend. After years of working in bakeries, I hated the fact that you couldn't balance the frosting/cake ratio when you ate a cupcake. I've been doing the "cupcake sandwich" thing ever since :) You should try it!

Palidor said...

Chef Ben, tamari is soy sauce, but it's supposed to be made with more soy beans resulting in a thicker, richer flavor. I use it because most tamaris are wheat-free, unlike soy sauce. I discovered recently that I have a wheat allergy, so I had to give up all my usual East Asian sauces. :-(

Emily said...

What a sweet little store! One of the reasons why I`m picky with my cupcake stores is that I hate the mounds of frosting they pile on top. I usually toss half the frosting (unless it's chocolate, or a really, really good frosting).

Single Guy Ben said...

Beth, I've never heard of that trick, but what a great idea ... a cupcake sandwich! I like it. Only problem I can see is that I like moist crumbly cupcakes, so I can see it creating a bit of a mess. But it might be worth it! ;-)

Carolyn Jung said...

I knew you'd get the lemon one. LOL!
What a cute store. I love how they display the cupcakes like fine antique watches. The cupcake truffles look sort of like a twist on petit fours. Ball-shaped rather than cubes.