Cake Love is truly lovely. A bakery in Washington, DC, Cake Love is run by Warren Brown, cake-baker extraordinaire and host of Sugar Rush on the Food Network. Across the street from Cake Love is Love Cafe, where I visited in late June (along with my super fabulous mother-in-law and her super fabulous son) and was, what else, super impressed to find a wide variety of cupcake and frosting flavors.
Of all the choices, and there were so many, we picked these to sample (not all in one setting, we took some home): Chocolate cake with lime buttercream, chocolate cake with peanut butter buttercream, vanilla cake with orange buttercream, chocolate cake with raspberry buttercream, chocolate cake topped with ameretto buttercream, chocolate "dipped" chocolate, new German cake, and chocolate topped with chocolate buttercream. There were four of us doing the sampling over an entire day, but even so I was in a pretty serious state of "sugarbitus" by the end of the evening.
Cake Love makes some fabulous frosting. I had NO idea how much there was to learn about buttercream, but now that I know there are so many options out there, I'm eager to try more. This was my first adventure outside of the world of simple, or American buttercream, and I loved it! (Though now I'm thinking Casa Cupcakes uses a French buttercream style, maybe, because theirs was def. not simple or American, so I guess this wasn't my first time out... I digress.) The texture was wonderful, melt in your mouth, yumminess! I couldn't figure out how they made it so smooth and thick and yet not too buttery or too sweet. (See more on this later.) The cakes were good, but not outstanding. Cake Love instructs you to serve cake at room temperature (72 degrees) but because they have to keep them refrigerated at the cafe, so maybe this makes them little dry. The flavor was good, just dry. But who cares, the frosting was outstanding!
Ok, so my top 3...
#1 favorite flavor (also my MIL's favorite, I think) was chocolate cake with lime buttercream. Call me unimaginative, but I never would have dreamt this up. It was deeee-licious! The buttercream was not too sweet and not too tart, the perfect lime buttercream, even though I didn't know such a thing could be considered perfect. I'm thinking they use lime oil for the flavoring. Or lime essence. But maybe lime juice. I'll def. be trying this one at home! Being a certifiable chocoholic, you'd think I'd pick the chocolate/chocolate combo over all else, but I have to say, that comes in second. Lime is just the most perfect compliment to chocolate.
#2 (father-in-law's #1)
The Chocolate Dipped was just what it says, chocolate, dipped! Chocolate cake, dipped in chocolatey frosting/sauce, refrigerated until it set. Yum. Yum. Yum. (and cute, no?)
#3 (husband's #1, natch)
Peanut Butter Buttercream on Chocolate
Let's just start off by saying my husband would be happy if all he had to eat for the rest of his life was Reese's PB Cups. Me, not so much. But this was good. The peanut buttercream was (like the lime) just the perfect amount of peanut butter in the perfectly strange and lovely buttercream. On top of the chocolate cake that was, by the way, perfectly chocolatey. And very nice to look at. (Note: I made an even better PBC cake on his birthday just this past weekend, that post - and recipe - is coming soon, I prooomise!).
Raspberry buttercream, not quite as delectable as the lime. Same weird-but-good buttercream frosting, but this time the "hint" of flavor wasn't enough. I want to really taste raspberry when it's there. I felt this raspberry was just a tease. A good tease, because I wanted more... but the lovely pink cakes were fun to look at!
The "honorable mention" would have to go to the vanilla orange. Right amount of orange, yummy vanilla cake. Totally tasty. Enough said? I think so.
Oh and there's more... New German, you get it, German Chocolate Cake, I don't know why it is "new." But, YUM! I loooove German Chocolate and this one was very good. Perfect coconutey goopy topping. I'm telling you, this place should be called Frosting Love not Cake Love. The cake was fine, but the frostings, wow! The only real disappointment was the Ameretto. It was just boring. Not any (as far as I could tell) ameretto flavor, just some candied almonds on top of the plain buttercream (which, is actually quite plain when not "umphed" up with something sassy like lime or orange).
I know, Posy, shut up already, but I'm sorry, as always, I have more to say... When I got home from DC I got right on my computer (I know, I know, if I was on my computer why wasn't I blogging? I don't know)... anyway, I found this wonderful artcle titled "How to Eat a Cupcake" by Warren Brown! And yes, he not only tells us how to chew the paper, but tells us how to make his perfectly odd but perfectly perfect buttercream. You make a meringue, and a sugar syrup. Now I get why it doesn't taste like butter and powdered sugar! His recipe for lemon-white-chocolate cakes looks yummy enough to try, and you KNOW I'll be trying out that buttercream, and yes I'll be blogging it. So, there you have it. A month and a half later, I've concluded my East Coast Cupcake reviews. Now, I have to blog about the three Portland places I've since sampled, the cute (themed!) 1st birthday cakes I made, the Amy Sedaris recipe test, my visit to the Decorette shop, and my "a+ #1 best ever" peanut butter cups. Ugh, I need a cupcake...