The great cupcake review

I had a cupcake craving tonight, so we went to Babycakes in Hillcrest. I’ve had cupcakes from there before, but I hadn’t been. It’s a pretty hip looking place, all teal and vintage like, with a bar, and quite a bit of seating. And of course, the requisite super dim Hillcrest lighting. This is what I got:


Yes, that is a half dozen cupcakes. Why get one when you can get six? Clockwise from left: pomegranate, dark chocolate raspberry, tuxedo (this is not the one I wanted), mango guava, blood orange, and pina colada. I always gravitate towards fruit flavors.


As you can see, I started with the blood orange. Also, please note my cupcake shirt, which I wore to get cupcakes.


Pretty. This was a good cupcake. It was just moist enough, and the orange flavor was very nice – not too overwhelming, and also not too sweet. I was a little put off by the cream cheese frosting, but it didn’t ruin the flavor because it was also infused with orange. I think that this would have seriously benefitted from some chocolate somewhere, because orange and chocolate go together almost as well as raspberry and chocolate. I was pleasantly surprised to find some hidden blueberries at the bottom, which added a bit of extra flavor to the tail end of the cupcake. I always preserve my frosting so that it lasts throughout the entire cupcake, but a less astute eater may run out of frosting at the bottom of the cupcake, and I suspect that’s the reason for the blueberries, so that every bite is good. There was also a small amount of blood orange filling in the center, which was tasty. I would have added quite a bit more of the filling, because in the middle, the cupcake was getting a little dry.

I didn’t finish this cupcake because I had to sample another one, but I easily could have eaten it all without being overwhelmed. Some cupcakes are overly sweet and overly rich, but this one was light enough that it could be eaten in one sitting. That’s why I tend to favor fruit cupcakes – they’re easier to stomach. Next, I had the dark chocolate raspberry.

chocolate raspberry

Chocolate and raspberry is my absolute favorite combination. There is no fruit I love quite like raspberries, and chocolate is just the perfect compliment to that sweet and slightly sour berry flavor, especially dark chocolate. This was a very rich cupcake. The frosting was a mildly bitter dark chocolate and the cake also had a very rich chocolate flavor, although, it was a bit dry and crumbly.

raspberry filling

Luckily, there was a generous helping of raspberry filling (complete with seeds – this doesn’t bother me, but it might be off putting to some people). There was also raspberry sauce drizzled over the chocolate frosting, which was my favorite part. The frosting tasted a lot like a raspberry truffle. I would have liked this cupcake to be a little more moist, but overall, it was nice. The other thing I would have changed about this cupcake was the sprinkles on top. I didn’t really appreciate the crunch that they added to the frosting and I could have done without them. The lovely gleam of the frosting didn’t need to be emphasized with rainbow sprinkles anyway. I should also comment on the amount of frosting on these cupcakes. At a lot of cupcake places, I find that I’m given way too much frosting, so much that it’s overwhelming and has to be scraped off. But I thought that these had the right amount of frosting on them, not too much and definitely not too little. There was enough frosting to have a bite of the frosting with every bite of cake. So far, my favorite is the raspberry, but the blood orange was very good too.

In the last couple of years, San Diego (and everywhere else, I presume) has been inundated with new cupcake places. Cupcakes are the new tart yogurt here, which is fine with me, because I love cupcakes. This is the first part of my quest to find the yummiest cupcake in San Diego. Over the next few months (or years? I can’t eat too many cupcakes at once!) I’m going to try all the various cupcakes I can find. It’s important to have goals, right?