Another cupcake post! I’m sure soon I’ll run out of cupcake venus to review, but until then… I’m going to be making cupcake posts because I love cupcakes and I’m always looking for new places to try (as long as they’re close enough). In any case… here’s Cups located in downtown La Jolla.
From their website: “Cups is an organic cupcakery, lounge and teaching kitchen.” Yes they do teach cooking classes as well as host cupcake parties. Everything they make is made from local and organic ingredients. And they also have cupcake “happy hours” as well as discounts. Those who have dietary restrictions may be happy to know that they not only offer gluten-free selections, but also dairy-free, and vegan! As well as another option of low glycemic index. Personally one of my favorite cupcakes of theirs is actually both dairy free and gluten free. I also love the strawberry milk they have “on tap” that they serve. They serve both mini and regular sized cupcakes for $2 and $4 respectively.
I have actually been to Cups more than a few times because I love their unique flavors and rotating menu so much. The photos here today are all from one trip – coincidentally it is from my first trip to Cups. Though I sadly don’t have a photo of the strawberry milk that I bought.
Let me just first say… I love Sprinkles and that is what I considered to be the “gold standard” when it comes to cupcake stores (though I think this mindset may slowly be eradicated as I try more and more different cupcakes from different places). So naturally, I compare all cupcakes to Sprinkles cupcakes.
Before going in, I had already decided which flavors I wanted to try – Brûlée-J, Love Cup, and PB Cup. I ordered those three as minis ($2 each) and spontaneously also ordered an 8oz ($2.50) on-tap strawberry milk. All was ordered to go.
I drank some of the strawberry milk during the drive back and I was hooked at the first sip. It tasted exactly like Haagen-Dazs’ strawberry ice cream. It was like a milkshake without the heaviness and guilt. It was jam-packed full of strawberry flavor that was not in the least artificial. It was creamy and sweet. It was divine. I was sad to only have ordered an 8oz and not the next size up.
When I got home, I tried each cupcake.
From the website: Lemon-vanilla bean cup with lemon curd center topped with lemonade frosting
1. Love Cup (3/5): I didn’t like the frosting on top at all. It’s labeled as “lemonade frosting” and I could definitely taste the lemon but it was too buttery and too light for my liking. To be fair, I’m not a fan of buttercream frosting and other airy/light frostings. The cupcake itself was also a little too dry but again the filling (lemon-vanilla curd, this time) was delicious.
From the website: Vanilla cup filled with sweet custard and topped with caramelized sugar
2. Brûlée-J (3.5/5): I found the cupcake itself to be a little too dry and crumbly. But the vanilla bean custard filling and the caramelized sugar topping to be wonderful. The raspberry was also a nice touch. I do love the concept though – I love creme brulee and so to have that in cupcake form is truly unique.
From their website: Rich chocolate cup topped with creamy peanut butter frosting in a chocolate shell
3. PB Cup (5/5): This was… amazing. I don’t really know how else to describe it because I’m still pining over the chocolate-y goodness and richness of this cupcake. I will admit that I have never liked chocolate cake, but I can never pass up a chance to try chocolate and peanut butter combinations. And I am so glad that I didn’t pass up this chance. I bit into the top of the cupcake first and was immediately rewarded with a ridiculously delicious burst of the chocolate ganache and the earthy richness of the peanut butter frosting. I practically inhaled this cupcake because I have honestly never had a better peanut butter chocolate cupcake. I seriously cannot praise this cupcake enough. And the best part for those with specific dietary needs… it’s dairy free and gluten free! Full disclosure, every time I go back to Cups, I always make sure to get one of these.
In addition to those three flavors, I have also tried the Caramel Apple and the Pumpkin Cardamom. Both were forgettable (also I didn’t take great photos of them separately) and I found out that I’m not a fan of cardamom (though the brittle that topped the Pumpkin Cardamom cupcake was fantastic). Thus, they’re not included in this post.
Oh and how does this compare to Sprinkles? I’d still go to Sprinkles for their sinful dense frosting and always perfect cupcakes… but I have to say Cups has completely beat them when it comes to peanut butter and chocolate. And really, it’s fun to go to Cups to try out all their different seasonal and weekly flavors.
7857 Girard Avenue, La Jolla, California 92037