Nothing finishes off a long hard day of kicking ass and taking names like a chocolate cupcake lathered with homemade frosting.
Nothing finishes off a long hard day of kicking ass and taking names like a chocolate cupcake lathered with homemade frosting. A cupcake is the perfect treat to share with your sweetheart after a walk in the park or music show. Maybe you’re just hungry for a little cake.
Luckily, here in Portland we have some of the finest cupcakes around. I took it upon myself to review two bakeries right here in this fine city dedicated to the ancient art of baking cupcakes.
Since the beginning of recorded history, there have been many kinds of cakes from countries all across the globe in countless varieties such as Banana cake, Opera cake, Wedding cake, Moon cake, Confetti cake and Angel and Devil food cakes. All are baked with the singular purpose of bringing extreme pleasure to the taste buds of those indulging in the dessert delicacies.
The cupcake was developed over the course of a few decades out of the desire for a smaller version of its oversized counterpart. Before the cupcake, it was common at weddings for the bride and groom to feel buyer’s remorse when the wedding cake wasn’t finished because it was too big. Even Abraham Lincoln is thought to have once said, “I wish there was a cake just big enough for me to cram it all in my mouth at once; that would be rad.”
Today the cupcake is a popular form of dessert, thanks to its perfect size and limitless variety. The cupcake is a revolutionary type of treat, suitable for people of all ages and dessert preferences.
307 NW 10th Ave.
Cupcake Jones is just a short ride on the streetcar from Portland State University, making it an ideal stop if you have some time to kill and are in need of a sweet treat. Embedded amongst the splendor of the Pearl, Cupcake Jones is literally right by the streetcar stop, making it easy to find despite its small size. The space itself is small and there is no seating, but it’s cozy and you get a great view of the cupcakes being made.
The selection at Cupcake Jones might seem weak at first. You are presented with six artisan cupcakes to choose from. Three flavors remain constant, while the other three are changed out daily. The sizes are jumbo or mini. I decided to order one of the standard flavors, a jumbo “Downtown Cupcake Brown”.
My first bite was a lot like getting a brick thrown at my face, a brick made of solid delicious. This cupcake was so chocolaty that I had to pace myself as I ate it for fear of falling into a chocolate-induced coma. The frosting was clearly made of fine ingredients and the cake itself was extremely well-balanced—not too dry, not too moist.
I also tried one of the special flavors, “Peanut Butter n’ Jelly” which I was shocked to find tasted exactly like a high-calibre peanut butter ‘n’ jelly sandwich…made of cake.
Cupcake Jones offers some heavy-hitting cupcakes that will dazzle you and leave you craving more. Cupcake Jones also offers custom gift boxes for their cupcakes, making them a great gift for many occasions.
407 NW 17th Ave.
Northwest Portland has a lot of shops and restaurants, most of which are located on 23rd Avenue, but only a few blocks away on 17th Avenue is a sharp-looking little bakery woven seamlessly into the quiet neighborhood. Out of the way from busy streets and busses, the location is relaxing and calm, making it a great getaway. Saint Cupcake has enough seating for a good-sized group of people, or maybe even an entire softball team.
Saint Cupcake has a variety of trays, with cupcakes all laid out for display and selection. What is different about Saint Cupcake is that most of their cupcakes are either a vanilla or chocolate cake, and the frosting makes the difference from cake to cake. Dozens of different flavors of frosting make for several different cupcakes to choose from, most of which are decorated colorfully.
This time I decided on a vanilla cupcake with a basic vanilla frosting. My first bite hit me like a snowmobile made of sweetness and I knew right away this was no simple vanilla cupcake. While Cupcake Jones was far more rich, Saint Cupcake was significantly sweeter. The frosting was powerful and the cake was simple and mouthwatering.
Saint Cupcake had a very fun feel to it, and much like a doughnut shop, even had boxes that could be filled with your pick of cupcakes to enjoy later. It is also fun to watch from barstools while the cupcakes are baked right in front of you.
Saint Cupcake is not to be missed, and the sweet taste of their cupcakes will make your mouth water. Get your friends together and take a trip to Saint Cupcake—you will not be disappointed.