I packed the 2 little ones up. Off to Dozen Cupcakes in Squirrel Hill we went. Google maps said it would be 10.1 miles and 26 minutes. And it was just about. Upon reaching Squirrel Hill, it kind of had a King Street feeling to it. I miss that feeling of walking down King Street in Charleston. Downtown Charleston has an old world feeling to it. Like your in a different country. (Not that Ive been anywhere old world, or to another country. but go with it.) I’m not going to say Squirrel Hill had that same exact feeling. But there was a smidge of that. Shops lining both sides of the street. Parking impossible to find. People walking in every which direction. And kind of an upper class feel. You know what I mean.
I spotted Dozen Cupcakes, in between a Panera Bread, and you wont believe it, but a Curves. Yes, a Curves. I wonder which came first. The cupcake shop or the exercise place. Funny nonetheless. There was no parking directly out front. I decided to go around the corner, trying to avoid crossing a street with 2 small kids. I lucked out. Just around the corner was a space. Thankfully, someone was pulling out too. I was able to pull in head first rather than try to parallel park. I am a really bad parallel parker.
I had forgotten the stroller. Bad times. I held the baby, and had Brody hold my hand. It worked until we got into Dozen. It’s a tiny little store. About 3 tables inside, with several chairs a piece. Someone was sitting at one, eating their cupcake with a knife and fork. (Which I thought a little odd. Reminiscent of a Seinfeld episode, you know, the snickers one.) They had business cards, faxable ordering slips and free buttons on the counter. Wasting no time, I asked for a Dozen. I knew I didn’t have much time to dilly dally with a 3 year old looking for anything he can get into. They make 6 varieties daily. That would make 2 of every kind they had today. Surely, I would be able to taste one of each. The nice gentleman rang me up. Wrapped each cupcake individually and placed them in a sturdy box. Then it hit me. How did I plan on carrying this box of cupcakes, the baby and holding Brody’s hand??
Having no other options, I held the baby with my arm, the cupcakes in that hand and held Brody’s hand with my other. It worked. I shuffled them quickly to the car. Brody was mad. He wanted cupcakes NOW! But there was no way myself and the 2 kids could sit in the little tiny place and dine. My kids are entirely too messy. And the knife and fork lady would not have appreciated it, that much I knew.
Did I tell the owner that I have a cupcake blog, or that I contribute to a super cupcake blog, or that I love cupcakes? No, no I did not. You see, I am a puss. I’m kind of an introvert. I wouldn’t even know how to go about starting that conversation with a successful cupcake shop owner. You may be thinking, you chickened out!!! You would be right! I did indeed. I will email said shop and gush about their cupcakes, and even try to get an interview for the super cupcake blog I contribute to. But in person, no ma’am (or sir). There was no way. I probably need to go to a self esteem seminar or 10.
On to the cupcakes…. They are awesome. I went into it with an open mind. I was not going to let the nightmare stories about famous bakeries in NYC and their awfully overpriced, and dry cupcakes ruin it for me. Dozen Cupcakes knows what its doing. They mean business.
I started with the Chocolate Covered Almond. Described as, “delectable almond cake topped with a sweet chocolate ganache and finished with an almond sliver – vegan”
It was denser than I thought it would be. Especially for an almond cake. But moist with a deep almond flavor. The chocolate ganache was barely there. Adding just a touch of sweetness. And the almond slivers added a crunch. Good cupcake. Id eat another.
Next, I went after the Raspberry Zinger. Described a, “our vanilla cupcake, filled with raspberry preserves, topped with raspberry buttercream and covered with coconut”
OMG. I’m talking hella good. Seriously, no joking around f’n great. The cake is a a decent yellow cake. The raspberry preserves inside is a surprise. The buttercream is so fluffy. Light. Often real buttercream is thick. But this was perfect, with a sweet raspberry flavor. And I love coconut. (and no one else in the house does, so I know the other zinger will be mine…all mine. muahaha!) This may be one of the best cupcakes I have ever had. Its THAT good.
Next…well I was full after the first 2. But Brody picked the Black and White. Described as, “high contrast and highly delicious! our rich chocolate cupcake topped with a swirl of vanilla buttercream… yum!”
I just had a bite. I had just eaten 2 whole cupcakes. The cake is really great dark chocolate. Deep flavor. Very good cake. Buttercream. Ok. Its vanilla buttercream, but good vanilla buttercream. Brody loved it.To quote him, “The frosting is really good Mama.”
Liam came home from school and picked The Emily. Described as, “named for a wonderful friends, our buttery yellow cupcake is topped with a tiffany inspired blue royal icing with a hint of lemon and finished with delicate white non-pareils”
I knew he wasn’t thrilled when he asked if he could switch his snack to doughnuts. I took a small bite. Small. Good lord, I’m a glutton. The cake is good. I think its the same cake as the Zinger has. The frosting was.. eh. Maybe I’m not a fan of royal icing on a cupcake. The “hint” of lemon was more like very, very lemon. It was quite tart. I love lemon. I’m not sure why I didn’t like it. I just didn’t. Its a gorgeous cupcake. But, I’m with Liam on this one.
We have 2 left. The Vanilla Vanilla and Milk Chocolate. I refuse to eat any more right now. I ate the ones that I did in the name of research. What am I researching exactly? I’m not sure. A future venture, perhaps. A future cookbook, maybe. A bigger butt, most definitely.
This concludes my dissertation on Dozen Cupcakes. If your in Pittsburgh, I highly recommend it. I will definitely be going back. Next time with a stroller and hopefully Daddy in tow.