Mmm. Post Thanksgiving food coma. While I'm figuring out what do to with my leftovers and deciding if I need another slice of Pear Gruyère Pie for lunch, let me share some deliciousness from Trophy Cupcakes in Seattle...
A couple of months back I took my very first trip to Seattle and cupcakes were high on my to do list. I had heard about Trophy Cupcakes when their Chocolate Graham Cracker Cupcake was featured on Martha Stewart's Cupcake week. I wanted that cupcake sooo badly. Alas, they only feature it on their menu on Sundays and Mondays and I didn't get into town until late Monday night. Too late for Chocolate Graham Cracker Cupcakes. Naturally I needed to console myself by tasting a selection of other available cupcakes when I did get over to Trophy and here's what I tried...
I got the Chocolate Chip Mint Cupcake while my friends opted for the Lemon Coconut and the Chai Cardamon. We shared the cupcakes all around and each one was delicious. I'm not usually a coconut fan but the flavor here was delicate. I liked the toasted coconut on top. Yum!
The Chai Cardamon was also excellent. I love chai tea and I've been wanting to make my own chai cupcake for sometime. I hope when I do it turns out like this one. The cake and frosting were nicely spiced and neither was overly sweet and everything about this cupcake from the fancy flowery piping to the coordinating brown and white was just gorgeous. Definitely the type of cupcake that would make a really nice hostess gift.
The Chocolate Chip Mint Cupcake was hands down my favorite and that's saying a lot as I don't usually gravitate towards chocolate cake based cupcakes. This chocolate cake was a cut above. The cake was moist and super chocolatey. Rich and yet not heavy. And the mint frosting. Oh, the mint frosting. Perfection.
Take note that this cupcake trio is only available on Sundays and Wednesdays. Next time my travels take me to Seattle, I'll definitely make a return trip to Trophy (hopefully for that elusive Chocolate Graham Cracker Cupcake...maybe you could make me some in the meantime, Blondie. Hint, hint...).
Coming from New York where it seems like everyone is selling cupcakes now, it was interesting for me to see how the two big cupcake players in Seattle have carved out a different niche for themselves. Cupcake Royale, which I also had a chance to visit, seems to primarily make vanilla or chocolate cupcakes with different flavored frostings to add variety (vanilla, chocolate, mocha, peppermint, orange, coconut, lemon, and lavender). They also make a carrot cake and a red velvet cupcake both with cream cheese frosting.
The Kate Cupcake aka Chocolate Cupcake with Pink Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Vanilla Cupcake with Lavender Frosting
Trophy Cupcakes also works off that basic vanilla and chocolate base model offering five cupcakes that are available everyday: Chocolate Vanilla (chocolate cake and vanilla frosting), Triple Chocolate (chocolate cake and chocolate frosting), Vanilla Vanilla (vanilla cake and vanilla frosting), Vanilla Chocolate (Vanilla Cake and Chocolate Frosting), and Red Velvet, but they also do four to five special cupcakes of the day of which at least three are neither a chocolate or vanilla base--flavors like Hummingbird (banana pineapple coconut cake with a cream cheese frosting), Green Tea (green tea cake with a matcha frosting), and Lemon Strawberry (lemon cake with a strawberry buttercream).
Both stores had a distinctive look. Trophy Cupcakes has one location and goes for the sweet, cozy and charming with everything right down to the pretty teal packaging and the little boxes that perfectly hold one cupcake.
While Cupcake Royale has multiple locations and at least the Ballard Shop that I went to had more of a funky coffeehouse feel. The space was bigger and more open and there were people hanging out working on laptops enjoying the free wifi.
Cupcake Royale's packaging was also more in the funky/funny vein than sweet and charming. Their 1 dozen cupcakes box had cute instructions for the proper care and handling of a Cupcake Royale...
As for the cupcakes...
Based on my limited sample I have to give the edge to Trophy. I wouldn't turn up my nose at a cupcake from Cupcake Royale, but one of my favorite things about cupcakes is how versatile they are and I love the sound of all the unique cupcakes on Trophys' menu. And I love love loved the ones that I tasted. Speaking of unique cupcakes...looks like Trophy has some extra special ones on their menu for the holidays including: Chocolate Candy Cane, Bourbon Eggnog, Gingerbread Orange and perhaps the most intriguing...Candied Yam with Toasted Marshmalllow (a yam cupcake with pecans and traditional fall spices topped with toasted marshmallow meringue--ok, while I can't eat the pecans, it sounds FANTASTIC). Check their website for holiday cupcake availability. Oh, how I wish I were in Seattle...
1815 N 45th St
(between N Burke Ave & N Wallingford Ave)
Seattle, WA 98103
For more Trophy Cupcake pics check out our flickr set.
2052 NW Market Street
Seattle, WA 98107
1101 34th Avenue
Seattle, WA, 98122
West Seattle Location
4556 California Avenue SW
Seattle, WA, 98116
For more Cupcake Royale pics check out our flickr.