Archive for August, 2012

August 29, 2012

ATL Cupcake Tour

Cloud 9 Cupcakes – Lenox Square Mall

There are cupcake storefront shops.  There are cupcakes hidden among treats at bakeries around the country.  There are even a bunch of cupcake food trucks out there as I discovered on Twitter this morning.  We even have one of those in Atlanta.  And then there is this little gem – a cupcakery in a mall food court! Cloud 9 Cupcakes opened in Lenox Square Mall sometime during the months when winter jackets are actually required here.  I don’t know the exact month, but I do know we were dining in the Food Court when I first noticed it and I remember having my winter jacket on.

I intended for the first stop on the Atlanta Cupcake Tour to be Little Cake, but when I was already at the mall on Friday night to buy my shiny new iPad 2 I figured it would be a smart idea to kill two birds with one stone.  After grabbing some dinner from Which ‘Wich, I stepped up to the cupcake counter.

I can already see this cupcake tour thing could pose a problem.  I was only planning to buy three little cakes at each place, but then I just couldn’t decide between the flavors.

There has to be a constant by which to judge all cupcakes.  Everyone makes a Red Velvet, so that will always be on the plate.  I’ll also be looking for a signature cupcake, if there is one.  This place had a Cloud 9 Cupcake, so that was definitely in.

Then the choice was between Chocolate with Salted Caramel, Peanut Butter Cup, and Chocolate Covered Raspberry.  I got nervous that all places wouldn’t have a standard Red Velvet, so I thought I should throw in a Birthday Cake just in case my second stop needed a comparison cake.  Since the cupcakes were priced by the singled or buy the 1/2 dozen, if I was going to buy 4, six was actually cheaper.

I brought home a pricey six pack with no one but myself to eat them.  Birthday Cake first, then Peanut Butter Cup.  Off the bat I was disappointed with the Peanut Butter Cup cupcake.  It had a cream cheese frosting that only had a mild hint of peanut butter. The best part of this cupcake was the tiny bit of actual Reese’s peanut butter cup dotting the top.  You’ll notice from the photo, it didn’t travel well either.

As the weekend progressed, I ate each and every last cupcake to utter dismay.  I spent a whole lot of calories on some pretty un-exciting cupcakes.  The ones I expected to blow me away lacked depth of flavor.

Chocolate Salted Caramel – where’s caramel? Or that soft hit of salt?

Chocolate Covered Raspberry – I see your little seeds in the frosting, but where’s your flavor?

The best cupcakes were the Cloud 9 Cupcake and Red Velvet.  I think I liked the signature so much because I had no expectations.  It was a soft, dense pound cake with a literal cloud of shockingly sweet frosting (just how I like it!)  The combination of the two was really heavenly.  Oh, ha! Get it? Cloud 9…heaven…I didn’t even realize until I typed it what I was saying.

The Red Velvet had the best in flavor of both cake and frosting so I’d consider this the all around winner.

The best part of Cloud 9 miniature cakes were the actual cakes themselves.  Each one was moist with the right amount of taste and texture. I didn’t come across a dry one which is one cupcake peeve I can’t stand!

But, they really need to ramp up the flavor factor on the frosting since it is the usually the part of the cake that sets it apart.  From what I sampled, none of the cupcakes are filled so there’s no opportunity for added flavor there so all that’s left is to really hit us with a great topping.

An average mall goer probably wouldn’t notice these things and really delight in a cupcake treat at the end of a food court meal.  Cupcake connoisseurs, however, won’t be taking special trips to the mall for these.


  • Cake: 9
  • Frosting: 7
  • Flavor: 5
  • Value: 5
  • Overall Score:  6.5

Rating system is a scale of 1-10.  Overall score is the average of the scores for Cake, Frosting, Flavor, and Value.

The cupcakes reviewed in this blog post were purchased by the author.  No compensation or product was given to me as part of this review.

August 27, 2012

Biscoff Cupcakes

August 27, 2012

Chances are, if you’ve flown on a Delta flight, you’ve at least seen Biscoff cookies even if you didn’t actually eat them.  Chances are, if you’ve browsed Pinterest, you’ve seen all kinds of Biscoff inspired recipes.  If you’re like me, you never quite connected the two.  If you’re also like me, it took you a while to come around to this Biscoff craze.

What is Biscoff? Its a cookie.  Its a creamy spread.  Its a crunchy spread.  It’s like peanut butter or Nutella, and it takes like sweet graham crackers.  Its imported from Belgium.  Its pretty easy to get your hands on at the local grocery store.  I found a big display at Kroger with a $1 off coupon so I bought it on a whim still not knowing what it tasted like or making the Delta cookie connection.

I was a little apprehensive when I opened the container to try some, but once  I licked barely a taste off the spoon I was hooked.  As I perused Pinterest as per usual, I saw a recipe for Biscoff cupcakes knowing I had already won half of the ingredients battle.

I get paid once a month, so usually, the last Cupcake Monday before a pay-day I’m looking for a cupcake recipe that needs as little ingredients bought from the store as possible.

Knowing this, I clicked on the Biscoff cupcake recipe hoping I’d find a short ingredient list.  While it wasn’t exactly short,  miraculously, I had everything in the pantry and fridge for both the cupcake and the frosting except powdered sugar which I needed to stock up on anyway.  I didn’t have the cute cookie topper, but you know what they say about looking a gift horse in the mouth…

I followed the recipe nearly to a T, except I used skim milk instead of whole, margarine instead of butter (I don’t normally make such illegal baking moves) and of course, I left out the crushed cookies.

The cake batter alone was so amazing I had to fill the bowl with soapy water to keep from licking it clean.  Luckily, the frosting made just enough for my 12 cupcakes so that I couldn’t eat that by the spoonful either!

I tried a new frosting tip which I didn’t care for.  And, I had a little frosting mishap once I put the carrier tray in the holder.  Despite these issues when one of the students opened the cover she exclaimed “they look perfect!”  When I protested due to the cupcakes toppling over when I was putting them away, she told me to learn to take a compliment and if she says they’re perfect I am to just reply thank you.

Thank you!

The Results…

You know when you smell something delicious and it doesn’t quite taste the same?  That’s how I feel about the cake part of this recipe.  The batter was so Biscoff-y good, but the cake ended up tasting like a carrot cake with no carrots or raisins.  Still good, but not too sweet.  Which was perfect because the frosting was super sweet making for a perfect balance between the two.