August 30, 2009

Cupcakes in Melbourne

Competing in the cupcake challenge has intensified my already insatiable appetite for cupcakes, recently Daz and I decided to go on a grand cupcake tour of Melbourne, for research purposes of course. I searched the Internet for anything cupcake related that existed in Melbourne. We set out early in the morning, had some breakfast, bad mistake, then proceeded to eat our own weight in cupcakes, along the way we almost made ourselves violently ill from eating too much frosting. So here's what we tried.

Little Cupcakes
Shop 7 Degraves Street Melbourne

little cupcakes shop front

No cupcake tour would be complete without making a stop at the infamous little cupcakes. So we started at the best and worked our way through my list. We tried a selection of mini cupcakes. My thought process was, they're tiny so I can eat more of them. They are $2.50 each or $2 each if you purchase 4 or more, and everything you buy is served with the most friendly smile you will ever see. Top score for customer service! We tried, cookies and cream, strawberry, Belgium chocolate and chocolate mocha.

little cupcakes

cookies and cream cupcake
Cookies and Cream Cupcake

chocolate mocha cupcake
Chocolate Mocha Cupcakes

belgium chocolate cupcake
Belgium Chocolate Cupcakes

strawberry cupcake
Strawberry Cupcakes

Every single one was delicious! The frosting was so light that it wasn't sweet at all. I had intended on only consuming half, but I just had to eat all of them right there and then. My favourite was the strawberry, so full flavoured and cute with its little silver balls.

The Cupcake Bakery
495 Collins Street Melbourne

cupcake bakery shop front

A relatively new addition to Melbourne, this bakery was first started in Sydney. A friend of mine had been to the bakery the week before and warned to stay away from the Chocolate cupcakes, she thought they were a bit dry. We tried the Choc Mint (Standard - $3.50) and Tiramisu (Delux - $4.50).

tiramisu cupcake

The service at the cupcake bakery is fantastic. I got into a conversation with the owner about cupcakes, and even told her I was a food blogger, something I don't do often from fear of being attacked. They even have a massive cupcake on display!

giant cupcake from cupcake bakery

So we grabed our cupcakes and sat down to enjoy the cakey goodness. I would love to say that the choc mint cupcakes were wonderful, but unfortunately it was a little dry.

choc mint cupcake

dissected choc mint cupcake

The tiramisu was moist and very tasty. It was a little on the dense side, something that is good in a mud cupcake, but I don't think this cupcake was intended for that purpose. I doggy bagged half of my choc mint cupcake, I thought it would be best to save my stomach at the early stay in the tour.

dissected tiramisu cupcake

Let Them Eat Cake
147-149 Cecil Street, South Melbourne

let them eat cake cupcakes

We didn't actually get to sample any of the cupcakes at Let Them Eat Cake. Whenever I go somewhere food related, I usually ask if I can take photos....as a courtesy. I don't have to explain why I take photos, I just don't want to surprise anyone and make them upset. At let them eat cake I was so excited about all the pretty cakes in front of me that I totally forgot to ask if I could take photos. I took two snaps and then I was attacked. And I'm not kidding. I had heard that they were pretty rude at let them eat cake, but the lady behind the counter exceeded rude! She told me off for taking photos, even after I apologised, she still attacked me. She demanded I delete the photos from my camera, which I wasn't going to to. I still wanted to order something and thought that she would put it behind her, but as I was ordering she was still talking down to me and pointing out what a "bad thing" I had down. I didn't want to be spoken to that way any longer, even after I had said I was sorry, so Daz and I left empty handed. As Daz and I were walking out she was still screaming across the counter at us, with a shop full of people! I've decided that I'm going to go back, buy some cupcakes, then take photos of her and the inside of the shop from the street. I'll be on public property there so she wont have any say. Ha Ha.....take that rude cake lady!

let them eat cake cupcakes 2

Crabapple Cupcakes
Shop 6/163 Commercial Road, Prahran Market

crabapple cupcakes shop front

I like crabapple cupcakes. Most of their cupcakes are quite dense and if you get them fresh, they are delicious. I've been to crabapple cupcakes a couple of times and every time I always seem to get the raspberry white chocolate mud cupcakes...mainly due to the frosting I wish I could make frosting like that! So on this occasion we tried the raspberry white chocolate mud, lamington and flourless chocolate mud cupcakes.

crabapple cupakes

lamington cupcake
Lamington Cupcake

raspberry and white chocolate mud cupcake
Raspberry and White Chocolate Mud Cupcake

flourless chocolate cupcake
Fourless Chocolate Mud Cupcake.

I was a little disappointed in the lamington cupcake. To me it just tasted like a vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting and coconut sprinkles, nothing like a laminton at all. I dont know why, maybe t needs a really fluffy light sponge cake with a oozzy chocolate sauce. It was still really nice, just not like a lamington.

crab apple price board

Planet Chocolate
Highpoint Shopping Centre L03 7326, Highpoint, 200 Rosamond Road, Maribyrnong

planet chocolate cupcakes

Whatever you do, never...and I mean NEVER buy cupcakes from Planet Chocolate. Yes they look kinda cute and have the potential to quench a cupcake thirst, but they do the exact opposite. I asked the girl behind the counter what flavour she had and it was a choice between vanilla and chocolate. I decided on vanilla. When I asked her what type of frosting it was she told me it was cream cheese so I was sold. She Literally threw the two cupcakes into a bag, I was worried they would get damaged and look terrible. To my luck they were as hard as a rock and could have been tossed off the top of a 3 storey building and still stay intact.

planet chocolate vanilla cupcakes 2

The cream cheese frosting was not cream cheese at all. It tasted like a big wad of lard, and no cream cheese frosting I know could withstand a nuclear attack. Lesson learnt, keep walking past Planet chocolate.
planet chocolate vanilla cupcakes
Peterson's Cakes
117 Chapel St, Windsor

On our way to crabapple we drove past Peterson's Cakes, and saw a lovely wedding cake made entirely out of cupcakes which apparently is all the rage now. I was pretty sure that they they didn't sell cupcakes over the counter, but the store on chapel street has a cafe section and Daz was a little thirsty, so we stopped in for a look see.

petersons cakes shop front

I walked all the way around the shop and saw no cupcakes. Sigh. Daz had a drink and a little rest on a chair, then I got up to pay the bill when low and behold I saw it. The last cupcake left in the entire shop. Yes it was more of a patty cake than a cupcake, and yeah it was a little worse for wear, but I gotta give it a try right....I'm on a cupcake tour, I just have to. I handed over my $2 for the patty cake/cupcake. I sat it down, had a good look at it and then ate it. It was really nice. I total surprise. Despite it probably being older than me, it was pretty moist and the icing was nice. The taste reminded me of cupcakes my mum and I used to make when I was little. It was good, ugly, but good.

vanilla cupcake

After exiting Peterson's Cakes, Daz told me he had to give up. His head was hurting and he was a little sugared out. I could have kept going for ages, it was only 2pm, the day was still young. I still had more places on my list to visit, but for the sake of our relationship, we drove home and Daz had a rest. He promised that next weekend we could finish the tour. The other locations are;

Sweet Source in Carlton
The Replete Providore in Hawthorn
Cooks Food in Toorak (not sure about this one)
Switchboard cafe off collins street,
The
Lounge Bar Cafe on Swanston street
Sophisticakes of Melbourne @ The Arts Center Sunday Market (my review here)
Wild Holly Cakes in Brigton.
Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses
Happy home Made cupcakes (my review here)
Cupcakes by Paolo (my review here)
Amsterdam St cafe in Richmond for Sugadeaux Cupcakes
I've even been told that Costco have cupcakes, so I'll have to try them!

So stay tuned for part two of the cupcake tour, In the meantime, do you have any suggestions of cupcake venues I should try?

39 comments:

Agnes said...

Ohmygod, that is an amazing day of cupcake eating! Poor Daz, I can just imagine him being dragged to all these cupcake bakeries. :D I can't wait to read the second installment.

Btw, I can't believe your experience at Let Them Eat Cake! Fair enough if they don't allow photos to be taken, but to keep screaming at you across the shop?! Insane!

Little Miss Piggy said...

Wow! Good effort on the cupcake consumption! I went to the Taste of Melbourne festival at the weekend and tried 'babycakes'. Gorgeous little cupcakes that tasted as good as they looked. They are based on Scott St in Elwood which may be a bit far out for your challenge?

Stephcookie said...

Holy moly, did you really eat all these in one day? Good work! I agree with you on the cupcake bakery ones, they can be a bit dry and dense.

Maria@TheGourmetChallenge said...

Hi Agnes - The day started off with no dragging at all. We both happily skipped to each of the destinations, after we ate at the cupcake bakery things changed, the sugar started to hit my brain and Daz developed a head ache. It was a little difficult after that. Daz seemed to perk up once we hit crabapple, but we didn't last long after that.

I have my eye on the chick at let them eat cake. I have a plan on what I'm going to do. All I have to do is get the guts to go through with it!

Hi Little Miss Piggy - I saw babycakes on the net too, but unfortunately they only do event cupcakes. I dont think I want to order 2 dozen cupcakes just to sample one. Thanks for the suggestion though. I might head on down and just have a look, who knows I might get lucky and find a cupcake on the sidewalk. lol

Maria@TheGourmetChallenge said...

Hi Stephcookie - Yep, I sure did, although only half, cause Daz and I shared....and I only ate half of the choc mint cupcake. I ate the rest the next day and even though I left it in a paper bag, it tasted exactly the same! Weird

Belle@Ooh, Look said...

I'll admit I prefer to looking at cupcakes rather than eating them, but you've sampled such a fantastic range so far. If you ever start a guided tour of the cupcakeries of Melbourne, then please sign me up now!

Conor @ HoldtheBeef said...

I'm so impressed with your cupcake investigation skills!

"Maria: Cupcake PI" :D

Arwen from Hoglet K said...

What a great idea for a day out! It's a shame about the rude shouting lady. At least you got a pleasant surprise aswell with the last ugly cupcake being good.

Anita said...

OMG!!! So many cupcakes! I can't believe you got through so many! Wow.... I think I could have had 4 and that would be enough. Nice work and very comprehensive. Pity about the cranky lady :(

Iron Chef Shellie said...

A cupcake tour of Melbourne, what a fooking genius idea!!!
If you can find a place that stocks "baby cakes" you'll be in heaven!

What the hell was with that woman at Let Them Eat Cake? Psycho!!!!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Wow you really took one for the team didn't you! It looked like great fun :) The cupcakes are quite different in look. I've never been able to perfect the Crabapple Cupcake swirl myself haha

Betty said...

OMg! Your cupcake tour sounds awesome! I remember walking passed that little cupcake when I was in Melb, but I was too full to get one. That lady in that other shop was so rude :( You'd think that she would like the free publicity? She was probably afraid of people stealing her designs, but if they really wanted to, they could easily walk into her shop to see the display. Argh.
Also, very impressed that you managed to drag the boy out for a cupcake tour! How did you manage that one?!

Rilsta said...

What a fantastic idea for a cupcake tour and I take my hat off to you for being able to eat so many... though it sounds like you started to feel the effects of all that sugar!

Wow, I can't believe how rude the woman was at Let Them Eat Cake! You should have taken a photo of her!

Maree said...

Great post- love the dedication and the pics are gorgeous!

FFichiban said...

Hee hee I was planning to do a cupcake walk one day but haven't gotten round to it yet. You did a great job :)

Betty said...

oh hey girlfriend i think you've covered them all! :)

great post, i adore cupcakes as well

xx bettysbites

Betty said...

im going to melb in Oct, i think ill drop by the crabapple store, i have their book its just gorgeous!


xx bettysbites

Anh said...

It's nice to see more cupcake shops in melbourne. I have had my fair share there. :)

Melbourne is such a great city to live in.

Trisha said...

Oh the Little Cupcakes sound like the most delicious of them all! I'd love to try them.. I think here in Sydney the best one would be Cupcake Bakery but then again I haven't tasted alot of the other ones yet. And that lady from Let Them Eat Cake - how rude!!! Ok maybe tell you off once for the photos is ok if they really don't want it but she was just too much.

spatulaspoonandsaturday said...

awesome post! i love looking at cupcakes. not so much eating them because i find them a bit sweet.

i work mid point between little cupcakes and the cupcake bakery (and throw in lindt a couple of doors down) and i am yet to try cake from any of these places.

i know. shame to be me.

Ellie said...

OMG!! Cupcake overloaded!

Maria@TheGourmetChallenge said...

Hi Belle - Oh what a dream! I wish I could be pai for taking people around to eat cupcakes!

Hi Conor - Cupcake PI! LMAO

Hi Arwen - Ugly is good, real good!

Hi Anita - My brain was totally overcoming my stomach, I was determined to eat way too many cupcakes!

Hi Iron Chef Shellie - I'm on the mission, you'll be the first to know once I've foun them!

Hi Lorraine - They have cupcake cooking classes at crabapple, where apparently they teach you how to do the swirl. Something to check out the next time your in Melbourne

Hi Betty - I know free publicity huh!?, not that I get heaps of traffic, but a good word is always a good word. If cupcakes are involved, Daz id there with bells on!

Hi Rilsta - I was feeling pretty ill by the end of the day, but the next day I was right back on them and had a couple of cupcakes I didnt finish the day before!

Hi Maree - Cupcakes are so beautiful, I think they are gorgeous pieces of art.

Hi FFichiban - You gotta do it, Sydney has some great cupcake joints

Hi Betty - Who doesnt love cupcakes, too cute not to want to hug...then eat!

Hi Betty - Oh yeah for sure, hopefully you'll like them as much as I do

Hi Trisha - Little cupcakes is just gorgeous. If you make it down to Melb a trip is in order

Hi spatulaspoonandsaturday - Oh how lucky are you to be so close to all those great locations, you gotta get yourself into one of them!

Hi Ellie - cupcake heaven I say!

Neev said...

Hey there,
Your pics love amazing and
mouth watering.
Have you ever thought of sampling cupcakes made from a home based business...you could do huge tour ard the Melb suburbs..:). I have a cupcake business from home and its called HAPPY HOMEMADE CUPCAKES. My inspiration was my 8 year old daughter who encouraged me to start my business.
I would love to bake for you and your friends and get your feedback on my homemade no preservatives(only love) happy cupcakes.
Checkout my blog and leave me some comments.
neev-homemadecupcakes.blogspot.com

Neev
Happy Homemade Cupcakes
neevrap@hotmail.com

penny aka jeroxie said...

That is alot of cupcakes to consume in one day! Well done lovely! And thanks for sharing!

Cherry Blossom Cupcakes said...

Hey Maria,
Awesome travels in the name of the cupcake Holy Grail! I'll bake you some any time!
PS. A lot of bakery cupcakes are yuck because they are made from pre-mix cake mixes and icky frosting made from shortening BLEURGH

Anonymous said...

Have you tried cupcakes from Ferguson Plarre? I've heard they taste nice, but I haven't tried them myself.

Maria@TheGourmetChallenge said...

Hi Neeve - It was good to meet you on the weekend

Hi Penny - It was alot of cupcakes, and I'm about to do it all again!

Hi Cheery Blossom cupcakes - Sounds like a great idea! I've heard a few tales about the cupcake industry that is now making me look at it through a whole new set of eyes!

Hi Anonymous - Added to the list!

Anonymous said...

Cupcake Corner cupcakes in Chelsea are the best tasting cupcakes in the world, and I should know because I did a cupcake tour of Australia and America and I havent found a vanilla or musk cupcake that comes close.

Jessie said...

I just had the most amazing cupcakes from Sophisticakes (www.sophisticakes.com.au) for my 37th b'day on Friday night in Melbourne. I was recommended to Barbara when I saw my friends amazing wedding cake 3 years ago. Barbara now makes my wedding anniversary cupcakes and my b'day cupcakes every year. Delicious. People now come to my party caus they know i'll have the cupcakes!!

Anonymous said...

Very interesting! I briefly worked at Let Them Eat Cake...I left because the brother and sister owners (yes, she was the owner who screamed at you) were two of the nastiest people I have ever met! It's more about the decoration there so if you're looking for a delicious fresh cupcake I'd give it a miss. Just a heads up!

Tates said...

Woww.... The cakes are so delicious and cute. Thanks for sharing great information on delicious cakes with us.

CheaperCupcakeWrappers.weebly.com said...

Hi Maria,

I have just started a business supplying cupcake wrappers. I was wondering if you would feature my product in your blogs. I'm happy to send you samples and provide you with details. Please visit my page on facebook - CheaperCupcakeWrappers or my website at http://cheapercupcakewrappers.weebly.com for more details.

Naomi (thula thula) said...

What an awesome tour. As I intend to open a cafe soon and sell cupcakes this was a great read. I promise I will never be rude to customers (I work for a restaurant at the moment and I tell my staff off if I hear them or see them not be the best they can to a customer) and will gladly allow photos....I adore cupcakes and my mouth was watering as I read. Very jealous. I'll read part 2 now.

CupKate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CupKate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CupKate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CupKate said...

Hi Maria
I totally fell in love with your post. such details and so fun to read..

I live in Sydney and I do making cupcakes and blogging,too( mostly cupcakes and cakes i make).
I used to post about cupcakes shops in Sydney but I found it not easy to take pictures of shops and cupcakes.. always finger-cross to meet nice people who are generous to allow me to take pictures.
I totally feel for you. I wish I could post every shop I have visited..

I hope someday I could visit Melbourne and taste good cupcakes based on your info.looking forward to it.

best of luck,
Kate

CupKate said...

oops!!I don't usually leave comments on posts ...so I kept publishing my comments wondering why my post is not uploading even though it was posted already! Hahahaha my bad:-)

Nicole Thomas said...

Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article. I will make sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I'll certainly comeback.
gourmet bbq cateringmelbourne