Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Review: Sugarbaby's Cupcake Boutique

UPDATE: Sugar Baby's has closed as of Summer 2013 and it's old address is now Mainely Sandwiches.  

After a visit to Cako Bakery last year on a trip to San Francisco, my daughter Helena has developed a real love for gourmet Cupcakes, as have a lot of other foodies out there.  My daughter will call my attention to them when we are at Safeway-owned Randall's Flagship, or passing some other bakery that has them prominently featured.  A bit of crack research led me to find out about Sugarbaby's Cupcake Boutique and I decided to treat my daughter to a special surprise during Spring Break.  I meant to write this review sooner, but the stuff of being a professor and the appearance of Bernie's Burger Bus sidetracked me for a bit.

Sugarbaby's has been around in Houston since July of 2007 and are the first Houston Bakery to specialize exclusively in cupcakes.  Per their website:
Sugarbaby’s cupcakes are made fresh daily from scratch. No mixes or cake bases here. Several of our recipes are old family recipes, and we use only the finest ingredients in all that we do. We select premium dutch and black cocoa and gourmet chocolate from companies like Callebaut and Guittard. The only vanilla you’ll find in our store is the best Madagascar bourbon vanilla out there – not that imitation stuff. We use organic carrots in our 24 Carrot Cake and vanilla bean in our Va-Va-Vanilla cake. We hand dip chocolate covered cherries to top our Velvet Rouge. There’s no shortening allowed in our store…so when we say we top our cupcakes with buttercream, we mean it – good old fashioned butter, confectioners sugar, and real vanilla. We also don’t bake with additives or preservatives, so that not only means there’s NO LEFTOVERS from the day before in our store but also that you don’t want to wait too long to enjoy your desserts (but who could wait with a cupcake on their mind anyway!)

Pink PrincessOur menu has something for everyone. Whether you are a traditional cake person or like your desserts a little more on the adventurous side, we’ve got a flavor you are sure to love. Plus we like to change up our selection of cupcakes and desserts fairly regularly to keep the assortment in tune with the seasons and our customers’ suggestions and preferences. We want you to have a reason to come back and try something new!

Today's selection of cupcakes
Finally, each Sugarbaby’s cupcake is its own little work of art. Our fabulous team of bakers and pastry chefs take pride in creating desserts that are as appealing to the eye as they are to the stomach. We welcome the opportunity to create a custom dessert selection to match your specific theme, but we also put as much love in our everyday cupcakes as we do in our special order designs, because they are ALL special to us!
With a write-up like that from the owners, I'm sure more than a few people are already hungry.  My daughter and I ended up enjoying a Homeroom Burger from Bernie's and then decided to finish it off with cupcakes from Sugarbaby's.  I got a Chocolate Truffle Cupcake while my daughter got a Red Velvet Cupcake.     So without further ado, here is your dessert blueprint:

Our cupcakes are on the left...
a plain chocolate and carrot cake
for someone else is on the right
Chocolate Truffle Cupcake:
Chocolate cake 
filled with whipped chocolate ganache, 
topped with chocolate buttercream, 
dipped in dark chocolate 
and topped with chocolate curls

Red Velvet Cupcake:
Rich classic red velvet cake 
with traditional cream cheese frosting 
and a hand-dipped chocolate covered cherry on top

See how deep that Ganache is filled!!!
Helena had a glass of milk with her cupcake and I enjoyed a cup of Coffee (Katz's).  We each sampled some of eachothers' cupcake.

First of all:  WOW!  I say it again WOW!!!  The chocolate cake used in the Chocolate Truffle Cupcake is very moist, not too sweet and quite good as is.  The mousse-like chocolate ganache is smooth, sweet and melted in my mouth.  The Dark chocolate topping is crunchy and semi-sweet.  It goes well with coffee or or milk to be sure.  The Red Velvet was also moist, sweet and complemented the milky cheesy taste of the cream cheese frosting nicely.  My daughter gobbled up the hand dipped chocolate covered cherry before we even sat down!!!

Both of us thoroughly enjoyed the cupcakes and agreed that this would be nice for the occasional special treat.  I personally was impressed with the longevity of the business (5 years at same location in the semi-fickle inner loop West End area near Rice University) as well as with the appearance and layout.  You'll probably notice Pink is a dominant color at Sugar Baby's.  Someone I know in Interior Design informed me that marketing studies have shown that the color pink can make some people crave something sweet to eat.  Bravo to the owners of Sugarbaby's for such an intelligent design element.

The Foodie Professor's Report Card on Sugarbaby's:

Chocolate Truffle Cupcake: A+
Red Velvet Cupcake: A
     Speed:  A
     Friendliness:  A
Cleanliness:  A
Atmosphere:  A-

Overall Grade:  A Solid A

Sugarbaby's is located at:
3310 S. Shepherd
Houston, TX 77098

Store hours are:
Tues-Sat, 9am-7pm (or until they run out)
Sundays 11am-5pm(or until they run out)

And remember:
Eat Happy!
Zao an, Y'a'll!!!

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