Posts Tagged ‘I Love Cupcakes’

I love cupcakes.  They are probably my favorite treat … I don’t know what it is about them.  Maybe it’s because they’re so cute, maybe it’s because they’re a personal size.  But, yeah, I definitely hopped on the cupcake wagon when they became all the rage over the past few years.  So, I was very excited to find Simply Sweets during a recent shopping trip at the Vancouver Mall. 

Location:   8700 NE Vancouver Mall, Suite 169, Vancouver, WA

Order:  I chose the three seasonal mini cupcakes offered on this week’s menu:  Eggnog, Gingerbread & Candy Cane.

What I Think:

Each week, Simply Sweets offers six different cupcakes on their menu.  For this week, the menu consisted of:  Red Velvet, Candy Cane, Egg Nog, Gingerbread, Simply Vanilla, and Simply Chocolate.  Since this was my first visit and I speculated that I’d be visiting again, I chose the three seasonal varieties on the menu because I figured I probably wouldn’t be there again before the holiday, and it would be my one chance to try those (I’m thinking that Candy Cane and Egg Nog aren’t going to be on the menu in February, you know?)

Of these three, my favorite was the Egg Nog.  Why?  Because it tasted the truest to its name.  It was moist, sweet, and very egg-nog-y.  The Gingerbread was probably the most disappointing of the three, because it didn’t really have that POW flavor I expected from something called gingerbread.  (I guess you can blame Liz Lovely’s Ginger Snapdragons for whetting my appetite for that spicy gingerbread flavor)

The Candy Cane cupcake was very tasty.  Even though I enjoyed it very much, it doesn’t get my vote for the favorite cupcake because really, it was little more than a chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting topped with crumbled peppermint candy and two tasty chocolate mint candies.  The chocolate cupcake didn’t taste as though it had been flavored with peppermint, nor did the frosting.  I think that this cupcake could have been elevated to amazing with just a little more peppermint flavor.

But, I think there lies my main disappointment with this cupcake shop.  The cupcakes aren’t really all that special.  There’s not really much to them.  The flavors aren’t all that extraordinary.  The frosting is the best part of the cupcake, because it has a nice, fluffy texture and I’m not finding it to be too sweet – you know how some bakery frosting just tastes sickeningly sweet… this doesn’t, and that’s a good thing.

My Final Thoughts:

Honestly, the best thing about these cupcakes is that I didn’t have to make them myself.  I don’t consider myself to be an outstanding baker by any stretch of the imagination … I usually bake from mixes because I don’t like measuring.  But, really, I can’t say that these cupcakes tasted better than anything I’ve baked myself.  I don’t think I’ll be rushing out to buy more cupcakes from this establishment any time soon.  If I happen to be in the mall and I’m in the mood for cupcakes (and really, when am I ever NOT in the mood for a cupcake?) I might stop in.  But, I’m not going to make a special trip, because I am not really finding these to be special enough for that trip.

Simply Sweets on Urbanspoon

Where to Buy:  Kyotofu on Foodzie

Price:  $25.00

Product Description:

We’ve created this special assortment for all of the green tea lovers out there! Made using one of the highest quality matcha powders in Japan, our assortment includes Matcha Nama Chocolates (2 pieces), Hand-dipped Green Tea Okara Cookies (5 pieces), Matcha Financiers (10 pieces), and Matcha Shortbread Cookies (5 pieces). Packed in our signature Kyotofu-branded brown box.

What I Think:

The first thing that captured my excitement about this package was the packaging itself.  All of these goodies were neatly packed inside a beautiful chocolate brown box, tied up with cream and pink ribbons.

I was a little disappointed when I opened the box, however.  I received no Matcha Nama Chocolates and no Hand-Dipped Green Tea Okara Cookies.  I received substitutions for these (I received extra of the shortbread cookies and the financiers), although I was not informed of the substitutions made.  What follows is my impressions of each of the three different types of confections I received in my assortment box.

Matcha Cupcakes:  The description of this assortment no longer includes the cupcakes, but my box included eight mini “cupcakes.”  These are really tasty and possess a nice Matcha flavor.  This cupcake is a celebration of the sweetness of Matcha – it is lightly vegetal without being overly grassy.  There is a very pleasing taste to the cake.  They are light and fluffy, and they impart a lovely Matcha aftertaste.  Very good – although they are a little on the dry side.

Matcha Shortbread Cookies:  Instead of getting five Hand-Dipped Green Tea Okara Cookies, I received a total of ten of the Matcha Shortbread Cookies.  These turned out to be my favorite of the assortment I received.  At first, I was a bit unsure, they looked a tad over-baked, but by the time I had finished that first cookie, I was reaching for my second.  It’s hard to stop eating these!  They are buttery and rich and seem to melt in my mouth.  Absolutely delicious.

Matcha Financiers:  I absolutely love the texture of these financiers.  They are tender and soft in the middle, with a lightly crisp exterior.  The flavor is Matcha – lightly vegetative and sweet with a mere hint of bitterness.  There is a buttery essence to these as well, and that buttery essence imparts a creamy taste on the palate that enhances the matcha taste.  It’s almost like sipping on Matcha (but my sweet tooth would argue that these are even better than Matcha!)

In addition to the initial disappointment of the substitutions (after tasting these treats, I was no longer disappointed by the substitutions) I was also a little dismayed that there were no ingredient listings on any of the products (nor on the website).   As a foodie, I like to know what goes into the foods I eat.

My Final Thoughts:

Despite a few disappointing concerns, overall, this assortment package was more than enjoyable – everything inside the beautiful package was absolutely delicious.  From the rich, melt-in-my-mouth goodness of the shortbread to the incredibly light, sweet financiers and fluffy cupcakes, these are treats that I’d be happy to enjoy any time!   YUM!