Thursday, June 12, 2008

Not feeling the (Cake)Love










Tonight when I was swinging by Nordstrom to pick up a few things for my Ocean City trip tomorrow, I remembered a new Cakelove store just opened up in the Tysons eatery. Excited to finally try this DC area sensation, I walked over and picked out four flavors...New German Chocolate, Peanut Butter on Chocolate, Lemon Vanilla, and the Gluten Free cupcake.
I have never been so disappointed in my life! Let's start from the beginning.
First I tried the Lemon Vanilla. Woah. While the Vanilla cake was decent, all you could taste here was the lemon icing. It was extremely overpowering. If you love lemon, you will like this cupcake. Otherwise, you will be disappointed.
Second was the Gluten Free Cupcake. I mainly chose this cupcake to see if a gluten free cupcake could taste halfway decent...and that's about all I can say for it: it was halfway decent. It was very bland, topped with a cream cheese icing (which I feel like I have made tastier versions of in my own kitchen). While not bad for a gluten free cupcake, it certainly was not good.
Next I tried the Peanut Butter on Chocolate. The Chocolate Cupcake I had from Just Cakes last week was much more flavorful than this. And to make it worse, as with the Lemon Cupcake, all you could taste here was the oily peanut butter frosting.
Last up was the New German Chocolate. It was definitely the most original tasting one of the group, but was by no means GREAT, or even worth finishing.
Extremely disappointed, I went onto Cakelove's website and found out that ALL of the cupcakes are either Vanilla or Chocolate cake, only the icing changes. How terribly lazy! If you're going to sell only two flavors of cake, the cake needs to be AMAZING! It was nowhere close. And not only are the icing flavors too overpowering, they're not even good. I was also disappointed with the presentation. The 18 year olds working the counter obviously slapped some icing on with a big knife and called it a day.
Sorry Cakelove, but there was absolutely no love in these cupcakes.

14 comments:

CupCakeGirl said...

I agree with you. I went to the new opening of cakelove in Tysons Corner Galleria. For 3 bucks a cupcake, I would like to have a choice of more than vanilla and chocolate, too! The cake was so-so...I had one of both, but the icing wasn't sweet enough for my taste!

kob said...

Love cupcakes. Great blog.

Katie said...

Oh my goodness, TELL me about it! Overpriced and completely boring. They aren't that great at all. It'sbe one thing if they were modest, but not so much.

btw - LOVE the blog! Totally adding it to my reader!
-Katie in dc!

Lola Gets said...

When Cake Love first opened in 2002 (I believe) their offerings tasted much better, in my opinion. They have changed their recipies since then, and things have never tasted the same.

L

Danielle said...

You're right, Cakelove probably cut down on the quality of ingredients when they expanded into a soon to be 6-store operation. I still haven't recovered from my disappointment!

Warren Brown (founder of Cakelove) is trying to do too much...a 13th season of his TV show, working on his second book, expanding to his 6th store, creating new flavors, teaching baking classes...

I heard a quote from an entrepreneur one time...in discussing why he hadn't expanded his business into other area's; he said he wanted to be the absolute best at one thing, not "okay" at a lot of things. I think Warren Brown could gain something from this little saying...

Barb said...

I totally agree. I actually like the cookies and brownies from CakeLove, but find the cupcakes and cake fairly disappointing. Sad, because I work right by the one in Silver Spring.

MB said...

YES! THANK YOU! I hate cake love cupcakes. I planned a wedding where they wanted a cupcake tree and therefore I sampled them from all over town. I thought Cake Love was gross, but made 3 other people try it just to see. They all agreed.

PS Best cupcakes in the city are made by the pastry chef at the Tabard Inn!

Danielle said...

Really? I've heard of the Tabard Inn but have never dined there. Did you order them for an event or are they on the regular dessert menu?

Thomas said...

I live near the original Cakelove and they have never been good. It can't be blamed on the expansion of the franchise. Warren Brown is an amazing marketer, but his butter cream is the worst--even if it is at room temperature. It is just plain bad. Their full cakes aren't any better.

I have never had cupcakes at the Tabard, but the food there and the desserts are truly delicious. For a special treat go on Sunday for brunch and have the made-to-order sugar donuts with fresh whipped cream. Absolute heaven. They come six to an order and I have a very difficult time sharing any of them...

Love your blog.

Danielle said...

Thank you :) And thanks for the Tabard's tip! I'm definitely going to have to give these donuts a try...

natalie said...

i have to agree with the cakelove dislike! i was at tysons with my sister and saw a huge crowd standing in front and didn't realize that it was Cakelove until i finally was able to see past the crowd and look up at the sign. i didn't want to stand in such a long line, but i did happen to at least walk up to see what the cupcakes looked like and i was really just disgusted! my sister, who looooves cupcakes as well, just looked at me and said, your cupcakes look better than that! the cupcakes looked small, and were only chocolate and vanilla, with BARELY any frosting on them! you'd think they'd at least look pretty!!

Anonymous said...

you know that gluten-free doesn't mean fat-free, right? gluten is a protein found in wheat.

Ralph said...

My wife and I just "stumbled into" the CakeLove store at the National Harbour. While maybe not the absolute best cupcake I have ever eaten (my wife's are the best, of course) they were really tasty and there CAN'T be a better smelling storefront in America. Make that store block, they made the whole neighborhood smell good. Yeah, maybe they are a little pricey and yeah, maybe they aren't the end all, be all of cupcakes, but they're damn good. Give this guy credit for having the guts to follow his dream.

Adrianna Gallo said...

i'm a baker and am so glad to see this post! cakelove has some of the worst cupcakes and cake i have ever eaten. just gross. i can't believe they are still open. overpriced crap.