Friday, December 16, 2011

*Candy Cakes: Cupcake Day*

Christmas is approaching and so is my trip back to the states. This has left me in a flurry of Christmas shopping and eating all the sweets I can get my hands on. Not only is this delicious for me, but fantastic for my friends and family. I wandered into Kingly Court while I was on a hunt for perfect Christmas gifts and discovered this beautiful sight. Not only is the covered courtyard a great idea for little boutiques and cafes, but the Christmas lights made me practically swoon in my steps. Not everyone appreciated it as they gave me strange looks.

What I especially loved was the small metal chairs throughout the center of the courtyard for a cafe nearby. But what were most of these people eating? Cupcakes. Oh yes. So when I saw Candy Cakes just beside a majority of the tables and chairs I knew I had to give it a try. I had only seen this shop in the Baker Street tube station before, so this new, quaint setting was much more appealing to pick over their selection of cupcakes, cakes, bars, and macaroons. These candy cakes are bright, fun, and took me forever to decide on what two flavors I'd have to take home with me. One ended up being a double chocolate, while the other was raspberry with yogurt. I had no clue exactly what these meant, due to their very simple descriptions, but the Christmasy marshmallows on top had me excited either way.

I surprised my friend Nicole with the cakes to devour while we watched a film later that night. She's as excited about Christmas as I am, so when we split them in half and dug in it was an exciting, jolly, Christmasy kind of time. First, let me say that these are some of the most aesthetically appealing cakes I've seen in London. I mean, they're bright, there are sprinkles, and there are these fun marshmallow decorations on top. Some of them have drawings in the icing instead of other candies, but either way they are a sweet lovers dream. And by sweet I mean like candy, sugar, bright, childlike pops of sugary-goodness. The frosting was especially delicious, but only if you love this sweetness like I do. Other people may feel like they're eating pure sugar or just candy put on top of a cupcake. That's kind of what it's like. Candy. Candy. Candy. Really though, their focus on the toppings is being fun, bright and creative. Their website has lots of pictures of the fun designs they do.

The cake itself though wasn't anything to write home about. Again, the focus is the sweet, candylike topping and less the softness or spectacular design to the baking of the cake. It was crumbly, especially the one with the raspberry and the yogurt. I wasn't sure why it said it had yogurt in it either, because I couldn't exactly see or taste it. Parts of the cake were softer than others and that made me suspect that was where the yogurt was, but it wasn't a huge taste factor and just led to a bit of inconsistency in the cake as a whole. The snowman was yummy though. The marshmallow was sweet and perfect, like a peep but a bit healthier and lighter so you weren't weighed down just by what was on top. The Double chocolate cake was much much better than the raspberry one. It had a creamy, melted chocolate mixed in with the cake that helped make up for the original crumbly and tough cake. This made it my favorite, by far. Chocolate is the go-to at places like these because it's a lot easier to work with than the berries and lighter cakes.

Overall, Candy Cakes wasn't bad. It wasn't the best thing I've had in London though. I'd suggest going to a smaller bakery or patisserie than this chain if you're looking for more gourmet cupcakes, but if you have a party you're planning or going to and need something fun, go for Candy Cakes - especially if they're for children. The playful decorations will win you major bonus points. Besides parties will give a little bit more slack on cupcake snobbery than other places.

I wish you all cupcakes and exciting thoughts of Christmas. Next time I write, I'm going to be back in the states and working on Christmas.

- Mollie

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