Tuesday, July 17, 2007


I was really looking forward to tasting something special at Vanilla, Santa Monica’s newest boutique bakeshop. Their web site is absolutely wonderful. The gallery pictures of cupcake towers and wedding cakes made me want to go sample product ASAP. Walking in, I felt like I’d stepped into a little girl’s dream playroom. The tiny space is painted the lightest powder pink with shabby chic chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. It’s all very feminine and sweet, as a bakeshop should be.

The only thing they had that day was cupcakes. They looked sparkly and delicious inside the glass case. I tried to order four “Cupcake Babies,” but they’re only sold in 3’s, so I bought six along with one regular size cupcake, and one Cosmopolitan. There are three small tables to sit at inside but it felt a little cramped so I took my treats and headed home for the grand taste test. When I took them out of the box, the bottoms were all sticky with caramel. I licked my fingers and and thought yum but if I'd bought them for a party, I'd be annoyed they were all sticky for guests.
FAVORITE: Mocha Chocolate baby cupcake ~
The Mocha bean frosting was really creamy and not overly sweet. The flavor of coffee was perfectly present and the espresso bean made from chocolate on top made it truly scrumptious. The chocolate cake tasted watery. It’s a strange way to describe cake but that’s how it tasted. It was a bit dry and missing any rich chocolate flavor.

RUNNER UP: The Mom’s Birthday Cake baby cupcake ~
This won in the cake category. The yellow cake was buttery and tasted good alone or with frosting. The frosting was milk chocolate, also really good with a little blue sugar flower on top!

Vanilla Bean cupcake ~ this was chocolate cake with vanilla bean frosting covered in pale green sanding sugar. The cake was dry and bland like it was made with water and not enough chocolate or something. The frosting … I felt like I was eating butter with a little powdered sugar in it. Some might call this creamy, but I call it greasy and I couldn’t eat it. They were better once I put them in the refrigerator for awhile. I solidified the frosting.

Old Fashioned baby cupcake ~ Overly buttery vanilla bean frosting, bland chocolate cake, good whip cream center, crunch white chocolate sprinkles, fun Maraschino cherry on top.

Toasted Dark Chocolate Coconut ~ bland chocolate cake, WONDERFUL CREAM CHEESE FROSTING, a little toasted coconut on top.

Cosmopolitan: A little circle of chocolate cake, about one inch, with vanilla frosting and a modern fondant design. This was the classic LA case of something looking fabulous on the outside but being very average on the inside. Again with the same bland chocolate cake, overly buttery frosting and fondant which tastes like what it is, basically sugar and shortening. Chocolate ganache to decorate would have been a tastier option.

512 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, Ca 90401
Tues-Sat 9am-7pm
Sun 10am – 5pm


  1. This recipe is really going to keep me busy in the kitchen with all its glamor. This is another must for the weekend! My kids would just hug me for this.