Perhaps it’s not clear from the posts I’ve written thus far, which are mostly very healthy vegetarian fare, but above all else, I am a dessert lover. The thing is, dessert just seems to fall into my life so readily, so easily, so frequently that I tend not to bother making it myself. The frequency and intensity with which I eat dessert is already so great that to willfully give myself more opportunities to consume it by baking regularly would just be irresponsible. Plus I have high cholesterol. But one way or another, it always finds its way to me.
Take the other day, for example. I received a quite innocent e-mail from a friend saying that she had heard that there were a couple of new cupcake bakeries in Pasadena. Naturally, my curiosity was piqued and after a quick google search, I found Dots cupcakes. Very intriguing. However my friend Caolionn, who lives only blocks from Dots, said that she had tried them, but that they couldn’t compare to several of the other local cupcakeries. Distressing news (though, of course, for research purposes I’ll have to double check firsthand sometime), but what about these other bakeries? It was quite clear that an excursion was in order, so on Friday afternoon we hit Violet’s Cakes, in Old Town, Pasadena.
Cupcake lovers, you will not be disappointed. These cupcakes are not the most giant ever (unfortunately) and they aren’t heaped with frosting like those from New York’s Magnolia bakery, but they are pretty damn good. The flavor combinations weren’t the most creative ever, but standards like chocolate with chocolate buttercream icing (which I snarfed down within 10 minutes of purchase) were made to perfection. The red velvet, which was sold out that day and apparently is among their most popular flavors, is said to be a real standout. Pictured above are the pumpkin cupcake with cream cheese frosting and the cappuccino with vanilla buttercream. There is very little seating or ambiance, but the staff is happy to wrap your cupcakes up in a cute pink box to take home.
I brought these two home last night to share with Dylan, who is always upset to be left out of a food-related adventure, and he agreed that they are pretty great. There was enough frosting for an icing lover (me), but not so much as to be too saccharine for those who prefer things a little more subtle (him). The pumpkin flavor was light and delightful and though the cappuccino didn’t pop as much, I would still gladly eat it again. Which, no doubt, I will.
Violet’s Cakes: 21 E. Holly St. Pasadena, CA 91103 (626)395-9821