Cuckoo for cupcakes – San Diego’s newest cupcakery opens with a bang
The place to be last Saturday night was not some swanky downtown lounge, fancy restaurant, or crowded club in the Gaslamp – it was a bakery. Yes, a bakery.
Cups is a new, and very unique, all organic cupcakery in downtown La Jolla whose grand opening celebration on January 30 was a tremendous success.
If you have walked around downtown La Jolla recently, a weekend or evening pastime that I highly recommend, you may have seen the storefront of Cups boarded up with an alluring “Coming Soon” banner outside. Originally I thought, “not another one.”
I have tried Sprinkles, and a few other cupcake places in my travels, and I thought I got it. I thought I understood the hype – the nostalgia that comes from slowly unpeeling an individually wrapped, perfectly moist, luxuriously frosted piece of cake. But to me, it was just about reaching back and taking a bite out of childhood. That is, until I tasted a Cups cupcake.
A few weeks ago I stumbled upon Cups after their “soft” opening. It was then that I knew that these cupcakes were about something more than a retreat into childhood memories. After browsing their daily selection I was intrigued by a very sophisticated array of flavors, not to mention the allure of their all organic take on the cupcake craze.
As a self-described foodie, I could not resist the draw of the “Better with Bacon,” a vanilla flavored cake with maple syrup, topped with maple buttercream and crisp maple sugar-cured piece of bacon. The woman behind the counter assured me, “You have to try it. It is really good.” And it was. It tasted like breakfast – a stack of fluffy, rich pancakes with a hidden jewel of bacon which in fact, does make everything better.
It is not only the Better with Bacon cupcake, but so many others on the menu that cater to sophisticated palates (although you can surely find something for everyone here). Some of my favorites are: the rich and moist Almond Dream, a delicious cupcake filled with a touch of pastry cream and topped with vanilla almond buttercream frosting; Brule J, with caramelized sugar topping that tastes much like the fancy crème brule desert I’ve come to love after a nice meal; and the most sinful of all, the Chocolate Decadence, a dense, truffle-like flourless cake with a heavenly cinnamon whipped cream.
Not only do the more than 50 varieties of cupcakes make this bakery unique; everything they serve is made in-house with the highest quality, local, sustainable, organic ingredients. Many of the cupcakes are gluten free or even vegan. But don’t let this scare you. If you’re like me, you hear “vegan” and want to run the other way. But at Cups, you’ll do yourself a major disservice if you do. The gluten free Limone Ricotta cups and vegan Cookies and Cream are some of the best cupcakes I’ve ever had.
Even if you are not a big cake fan (although you should definitely give this place a try), stop in for high quality organic coffee and an assortment of other beverages. You can even stop in on the weekend when they break out the karaoke machine for a real party.
The new and truly unique cupcake location in La Jolla is not only a place you will enjoy coming to again and again, you can feel good about supporting a local establishment that is known for doing good for the world.
They have worked hard to achieve green certification throughout their building and remodeling process. The materials used in the building process are sustainable and eco-friendly. They even serve drinks in an environmentally conscious way. The to-go cold drink cups and cutlery are made from corn and the hot drink to-go cups are made of 100% compostable recycled materials. They even use non-toxic, non-chlorine-based, carcinogen free cleaning products to keep the place neat and tidy for customers.
Founder Michelle Lerach’s goal of creating a destination instead of simply a cupcake catering operation has been a huge success. As the doors opened for their grand opening celebration, the crowds swarmed in to enjoy tastings of some of their best flavors. There was a DJ, give-aways, drinks, appetizers, and of course desert. Hundreds showed up to find Girard Avenue decked out in a pink glow, complete with spot lights and all.
The staff was a buzz with excitement over the evening. Even the day after the grand reveal, Cups was still buzzing. The buzz continued on Twitter and Facebook:
@stacymariesd says, “@Cupslj opening was serious fun. This organic cupcake shop even has milk on tap!”
Stacy K says, “So much fun! And delicious”
Elle R says, “It was an AMAZING grand opening! You guys did a fabulous job! The place to be in La Jolla.”
So, the next time you are craving some desert, jump off the fro-yo train and jump aboard for a real treat. And don’t worry if you cannot decide which flavor to get. In addition to full sized varieties, they also serve mini cups so you can try all the flavors without feeling too guilty.