Cupcakes are, in my humble opinion, the perfect dessert/treat. They’re a delicious piece of heaven wrapped in a little cup. Think about it, if you bake a cake and it sucks, you’ve got the rest of the cake to eat or throw out and you’ve just wasted your time and palate. But, a cupcake, well, if you bite into one and don’t like it, and you’ve hedged your bets and purchased a few different kinds, then you can move on to something better and not have to get rid of much else. So, I decided I wanted to find the best cupcakes in Orlando. After talking with coworkers, googling cupcakes in Orlando, watching Food Network, and plotting my assault, we went out today to start this quest. Now, if you haven’t been to Orlando, or have only been to the attractions (Disney, Universal, Sea World), you might not know how spread out this town is. Needless to say, we decided to make this a multi-day quest and target two or three places each time, rather than try and hit them all in one day and become comotose from all the sugar, thus wasting this entire effort. This is just the beginning, so here we go.
We started out by traveling out to Sweet! by Good Golly Miss Holly. The owner of Sweet! is Hollis Wilder. She’s won twice on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, most recently the Rose Bowl competition. So, I thought why not start with someone who’s won on the national stage. We found Sweet! in Waterford Lakes Town Center and man was it crowded! To get there, you probably should travel out the 408 (for those of you not familiar with Orlando, the 408 is one of our fabulous toll roads, this toll road is closer to downtown than most of the ones you might have been on getting to and from the airport) and get off at N. Alafaya Trail. The shopping center is really busy, but Sweet is about half way down through the entrances. We went into the store and found they had more than 30 flavors of cupcakes on display, including Original sizes (which are huge!) Classics, and Mini’s. After perusing the flavors available, we settled on two Originals, Boston Creme and Heath Bar, and then four mini’s, Creamcicle, Peanut Butter, Banana, and Cinnamon Swirl. We got all of them for about $12. The Originals are $3 each and the mini’s are $5 for four. The shop also has several kinds of frozen yogurt you can pour yourself and does a ton of catering apparently. I couldn’t wait to get home and try them!
Next, we traveled up to and then west on E. Colonial Drive back towards downtown. We were heading towards the Baldwin Park area of Orlando to the Blue Bird Bake Shop on Corrine Dr. This place was recommended by my boss and I read several good reviews of it online. Blue Bird is a nice little cafe with beverages, baked goods, and cupcakes. They had about 10 or so flavors available and it was tough to choose between them, they all looked wonderful. After a bit of back and forth, we chose to go with a Sweet Cakes, which is a vanilla cake with vanilla bean buttercream frosting and one of their Banana Remix, which was a banana cake with a peanut butter buttercream frosting! Each cupcake was only $2.75, so they are not a bad price compared to some other places. Upon walking out, we actually ran into my boss who was on the way there to get a Banana Remix herself! How funny!
Ok, so now on to what you all want to know, how did they taste. Well… they were all great, but in the end we do have our favorites. Both the Heath Bar and Boston Creme from Sweet! were great… moist cake, great icing, and enough of the extra’s to make them fun (heath bar chips, chocolate gnash and pudding filling, etc.). The mini’s were all wonderful, our favorites were the Cinnamon Swirl and Creamcicle. The Banana Remix from Blue Bird was very subtle tasting and not overpowering with either the banana cake or peanut butter frosting. The Sweet Cakes was a nice vanilla cupcake, but was actually a bit bland compared to all the others. But, it was still a good cupcake. After all the sampling and getting a sugar high from all this deliciousness, we do have a winner between these two.
The winner is……….
Sweet! by Good Golly Miss Holly. Yes, Good Golly!! The best cupcake I thought was the Cinnamon Swirl. The moment I tasted it I was in love! A Phenomenal Piece of Crazy Mad Happiness! My wife loved the Creamcicle. It was a tangy, gentle reminder of the creamcicles we ate after chasing the ice cream truck as kids. I loved it too! This place is worth taking a couple hours of your time to drive out to and back if you’re visiting Orlando! So, there you have it. Round 1 goes to Sweet! by Good Golly Miss Holly!
The pictures of the cupcakes can be found on my Facebook Fan Page – http://www.facebook.com/pages/manage/#!/pages/The-Mad-Food-Guy/126113740792604
Round 2 will be coming next weekend!