The latest craze for sweet self-indulgence, the cupcake, caused quite a stir around the United States. San Antonio was recently blessed with the nationwide trend, thanks to a few cupcake "boutiques" springing up. Now, as much as I enjoy cooking and baking, even I want to take a break, which gave me the opportunity to sample the delicious desserts. Last weekend I visited Cupcake Couture in northwest San Antonio, off Loop 1604 and Bandera Road by the Silverado Movie Theater. I ordered a half dozen cupcakes in various flavors for ten dollars even. Not a bad deal for gourmet cupcakes, so I only hoped the flavors made the price unbelievable. Before I continue on my own experience at Cupcake Couture, here's a little biography on the establishment:
Cupcake Couture is owned by Wynette Zamaroa, founded in 2007. A protege of her mother, who was formally educated in the culinary arts, Wynette continued her favorite childhood memory of baking cakes. Though she may not have the lavish training her mother had, she took the chance of living her dream, and sharing her love of sweet treats with her community. Wynette and her husband Alex run the bakery six days a week, and take pride in their confections.
Alright, enough of the history lesson, let's get to the good stuff! After a few minutes of oogling over the selection, I placed my order. The first to catch my eye was their red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting. I love red velvet cake, and became quite the connoisseur over the years. I swear up and down, that was the best red velvet cake I have ever eaten. Most notably, I enjoyed how the cream cheese frosting wasn't overwhelmingly sweet like their store bought competition. The lower sugar content really gave the cream cheese an opportunity to bring out its flavor - almost like cheesecake, but not as thick in texture. The cake itself was moist, but what I found striking, it had a brilliant cocoa flavor. There's a difference between biting into expensive Swiss chocolate and a Hershey bar. The swiss chocolate embraces the natural flavors of cocoa, while Hershey's covers it up with too much sugar and other additives. The red velvet cupcakes at Cupcake Couture really raised the bar for red velvet cake in San Antonio. I think they will be very hard to top. In case you haven't noticed, I was more than impressed with that one.
Next in line was the banana but cupcake with buttercream frosting. The cake itself was like the fluffiest piece of banana nut bread I've ever eaten. The frosting, however, was the notoriously too sweet that would make any denist see dollar signs. I had to pick off some of it so it wouldn't drown out the cupcake. The banana nut cake itself was fantastic though.
Third was the white wedding cupcake. As you would guess, it's a wedding cake in cupcake form - and who doesn't like a bit of wedding cake?? Unlike the banana but cupcake, the buttercream frosting on this one was more mild and complimentary. They scored high marks on this one as well.
Of course, very bakery has their signature chocolate cake, and Cupcake Couture is no exception. I just had to try their self-titled "Chocolate Cupcake Couture," topped with pink and red M&Ms in lieu of the Valentine's season. Definitely not your run-of-the mill grocery store cake, but I didn't find it particularly unique against other chocolate cakes from their competitors. The chocolate buttercream frosting atop was tasty, but piled on a bit too thick. Rest assured, I would take this cupcake over any grocery store cake any day of the week.
Lasty, comes the carrot cake cupcake. Another impressive piece of culinary art, much like the red velvet cake I raved about. The carrot cake was moist and fluffy like the banana nut cupcake, and had that fantastic cream cheese frosting like that of the red velvet cake. What I found to be the best feature was that the carrot cake wasn’t tough and spongy like most store bought cakes. This ranks second place, but that red velvet cake is to die for!
Just a reminder for all you health nuts out there, I didn’t feel guilty one bit. Everything is find in moderation, I always say. And if you don’t take a chance to enjoy the finer flavors in life, then you’re not livin’! Now get out there, take your inner child to another level of refinement, and go to Cupcake Couture! Feel free to visit them on the WWW at www.cupcakecouturesa.com