Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cupcake Quest: Cakeology

This post is part of the Cupcake Quest series on Fork it over, Boston!

My Cupcake Quest has reached a dangerous new level. First, co-workers started bringing me cupcakes. Then, a couple weeks ago, I received an email from Victoria Donnelly, owner of a new mobile cupcakery launching this month called Cakeology. (I love the science-y name!) She wanted to know if I would try out her "little darlings." In the spirit of the Cupcake Quest, I'll take cupcakes any way I can get 'em, and I'll write about them all. These were free and hand-delivered right to my office doorstep, but in the review that follows, they will be subjected to the same scrutiny as all the other store-bought cupcakes in the Quest. (For more information about my product review policy, please read this page.)

Victoria arrived at 11am on the dot last Friday - which just so happened to be my birthday! - and handed over a sturdy pink box with a big sticker on the top: Bruce the Panda, the adorable Cakeology logo. (Victoria has loved pandas since she was a kid. Her logo was designed by Mike Lok at Urbane Dog.) She described the flavors, and then I headed back upstairs to take photos...and eat!

A nice sturdy box. No squished cupcakes here!
When I opened the box, the cupcakes announced their flavors to me with adorable little name tags!

All of my usual co-tasters were out of the office. What's a birthday girl to do? I skipped lunch and tried a Mint Chocolate cupcake for a late morning snack and a Cookies & Creamsicle for an afternoon snack. I promise to eat more vegetables soon.

Mint Chocolate Cupcake, from the "Gooey" category of Cakeology's menu: "Ghirardelli chocolate mint cake with green mint buttercream, chocolate ganache and a Junior Mint candy"
This is actually the first appearance of a mint chocolate cupcake on my Quest! It's one of my all-time favorite flavor combos. Cakeology's Mint Chocolate did not disappoint. The cake had a dense, almost-but-not-quite brownie-like texture. Although it leaned toward the dry side, little bits of melty chocolate balanced it out well. The frosting was light and sugary, similar to Sweet but not as obnoxiously large compared to the cake. The strong minty smell is detectable several feet away; a nearby co-worker was very curious.

Cookies & Creamsicle, from the "Old Skool" category of Cakeology's menu: "Fragrant chocolate orange cake with a creamy frosting mountain, rolled in crushed cookies"
I had my doubts that orange and chocolate would work, but it actually turned out quite well. The orange flavor was subtle, resulting in a spice cake or orange madeleine sort of flavor. This cupcake isn't quite as attractive as the whimsical Mint Chocolate, but it makes up for it with flavor. One bite and you'll fall in love with the creamy frosting.

The menu is split up into six categories: Classic 6, Old Skool, Gooey, Fruity, Boozy, and All Day Breakfast. Here are some flavors that sound pretty awesome:
  • Root Beer Float (Old Skool): "Root beer cake with root beer buttercream and a boiled root beer barrel candy on top"
  • Chocolate Chili (Gooey): "Real chillies nestled in dark chocolate goo. Exotic and bold, yet perfectly yummy"
  • Margarita (Boozy): "Tangy tequila cake with a sweet & sour lime glaze, rimmed with fleur de sel and a wedge"
  • Earl Grey & Honey (All Day Breakfast): "Flowery bergamot cake with purple bergamot frosting and a generous drizzle of honey"
While Cakeology cupcakes will be available only by delivery for now, Victoria expects to have a storefront early next year. She hopes to eventually offer gluten-free versions of all flavors, and she will be sourcing ingredients from a local dairy once she finds a suitable one.

Delivery is free to Boston and Cambridge, and there is a 12-cupcake minimum. 12 cupcakes will run you $39, 24 for $78, and so on. Considering some local stores sell cupcakes for more than $3 each, Cakeology cupcakes seem to be priced fairly as you're also getting delivery.

So, why should you get a Cakeology delivery instead of walking into one of the many stores selling cupcakes around town? Well, for one thing, there's just something special about buying a product from someone who is toiling away in her own kitchen, painstakingly packaging and delivering cupcakes to your door, doing something she's passionate about. "My cakes are the kind you'd make at home if you had the time and knew how," said Victoria. "They're not the fancy but soulless type, like a lot of cupcakes out there right now. They've got heart, and I want you to love them as much as I do!" I'm excited to see Victoria open up a storefront next year, and I hope that her cupcakes will still maintain the homemade feel even as her business expands.

The Obligatory Silly Interview Question: I asked Victoria what flavor she'd be if she were a cupcake. "Pina Colada," she decided. "Light and silly but with an unexpected kick."

The Verdict: Cakeology cupcakes would be a nice addition to a social gathering. It would be fun to order a Boozy combo for a summer party: Pina Colada, Margarita, and Rum & Coke, oh my! The menu hits the standards, like vanilla, chocolate, and red velvet, and then delves into creative territory with interesting-sounding items like Fluffer Nutter and Chocolate Banana Split. It's well-rounded with flavors that would please kids as well as more adult-oriented flavors. Blindly ordering delivery seems a bit risky - you really don't know what you're going to get - but give Cakeology a try, and based on the two flavors I sampled, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Follow Victoria on Twitter, and check out the Cakeology website, which will be fully launching within the next couple weeks.

1 comment:

  1. Cakeology makes the best cupcakes on the planet. Hands down. Plus, the deliver. It doesn't get any better for a birthday present or to impress your next meeting.


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