On Saturday Jamie and I embarked on our highly anticipated Tour de Cupcakes! We had been dreaming of this event for months and it finally came to fruition!! Jamie was our event organizer and graciously mapped out our tour. Though there are many tempting options in the area, we decided to stick to three Charlotte hot spots for Round 1. No need to over-do it the first go around!
We started our adventure by having a light lunch at Extreme Pita in Ballantyne. While the staff was a little slow and confused, our food was delicious and just what we needed. An all around good decision!
Luckily our first stop on the tour was just a few doors down at The Blushing Bakeshop.
I had high hopes for this place after seeing their website with super cute cupcakes. I actually shared some of their photos here on the blog last year. Unfortunately, none of the cupcakes they were selling in the shop looked like that! I guess those are only for specialty orders.
Jamie made the perfect scoring sheet that we took to each shop and we judged them on 1) Presentation 2) Flavor 3) Icing 4) Ambiance & Atmosphere 5) Selection. We got a little excited at this first stop and each ordered two cupcakes. They had many options, but I chose Lola (chocolate cake topped with a light chocolate buttercream) and Savannah (red velvet cake topped with a cream cheese frosting).
Jamie went for the Matt (chocolate cake filled with a peanut butter, chocolate ganache and topped with a peanut butter buttercream) and Kayla (vanilla cake filled with a homemade key lime curd and topped with a lime infused cream cheese frosting).
After our purchase, we realized that I played it safe while Jamie was a little more adventerous.
Presentation: Organized, yet predictable
Flavor: Good, but not out of this world (this could be due to the fact that I didn’t order anything out of the ordinary, but they said that the red velvet had won awards in DC)
Icing: Fluffy and moist
Ambience & Atmosphere: Cutely decorated and very classy, but needed seating
Selection: Something for everyone. Mango was the only surprising option.
Flavor: Surpsing and refreshing
Icing: Light, but ordinary
Ambiance & Atmosphere: Loved the decor and the damask walls, but needed music and seating
Selection: Liked names as they added character
Overall, we enjoyed The Blushing Bakeshop and think it would be a great place to place a special order at. While we were enjoying our cupcakes on a bench outside (due to the lack of seating inside the shop), we saw a really cute cupcake bouquet come out. I’d be happy if someone were to order me a cupcake bouquet (hint, hint)!! We also enjoyed the fact that the cupcakes were the main attraction. No retail distractions here!
Onto our next stop, SAS Cupcakes on Rea Road. The pictures we had seen online from this place looked amazing so we were really excited. The only unfortunate thing about this place was that it wasn’t all that far from our first stop. Translation: round one hadn’t quite yet digested by the time we got to round two! But we excitedly and fearlessly stepped right up and were immediately wowed! Decisions, decisions!
There was quite a lot to take in as soon as you stepped through the doors. They have quite the reatil shop and even a sprinkle bar to jazz up your cupcake! They don’t skimp on the icing either!
This was only a tiny corner!!
Two sides of options to satisfy anyone’s sprinkle preferences!
We decided to eat our treats in Jamie’s car since there was so much going on in the shop and the seating was limited. I opted for the Margarita (tangy margarita cake with a tequila infused lemon-lime buttercream).
Jamie went more traditional this time around with the Chocolate Chip cupcake (buttery vanilla chocolate chip cake topped with sweet vanilla buttercream, sprinkled with chocolate chips).
Presentation: Very tempting
Flavor: Sweet and very flavorful
Icing: Lots! Nicely decorated and loved the little candy addition in mine
Ambiance & Atmosphere: Lots of bright colors. Looked like a candy store
Seleciton: Ample variety
Presentation: A lot of sass (haha), over the top
Flavor: Moist, sugary, just enough chips
Icing: Mountainous and super sweet
Ambiance & Atmosphere: Distracting and not enough seating
Selection: Liked the sprinkle bar, nice variety
Due to the large amount of icing on our cupcakes, we found them slightly difficult to eat. The icing was everywhere! Thankfully, it was delicious, albeit quite sweet. We thoroughly enjoyed our selections at SAS, however the sugar coma had set in and we were only able to eat half of our cupcakes!! Pathetic! I have never felt that way after eating sugar. It was quite interesting!! We wrapped up our treats and headed on to our third and final destination that was thankfully a little farther away!
Round three brought us to Polka Dot Bake Shop on Woodlawn Road.
With the name, we were expecting quite a bit of cuteness to greet us inside. Sadly, this wasn’t quite the case. They did have great seating though, which was a definite plus for our tired selves. Sadly, we didn’t take any photos of the inside because really, it wasn’t all that impressive. Just a boring little display case like you would see at an ordinary bakery. Despite the fact that some of the options sounded wonderful, we were both looking for something a little on the lighter side aka no chocolate! I opted for Honey Almond…
And Jamie had Lemon Creme…
Presenation: Nicely decorated
Flavor: Slightly dry cupcake, but with good flavor
Icing: Delicious! Enjoyed the toasted almonds and candy on top
Ambiance & Atmosphere: Good seating and music, but needed more character in the decor
Selection: Good. Would like to try Sticky Butterfinger with more of an appetite
Presentation: Not front and center
Flavor: Dry cake, angel food-ish
Icing: Nice flavor, but not enough (especially compared to SAS where it was everywhere!)
Ambiance & Atmosphere: Good seating and music, but lacked ambiance
Jamie and I would both agree that we had reached our limit by the time we made it to round three. Despite this, we still weren’t all that impressed with this location, especially compared to the other two. We thought the flavor was good, but we left wanting more of the tasty icing!
So we came to the conclusion that The Blushing Bakeshop and SAS tied! We really enjoyed the presentation, icing and selction at SAS. But the flavor and ambiance/atmosphere at Blushing were top notch. What a fun Saturday activity!! Stay tuned for Tour de Cupcakes Round 2 coming as soon as we recover from Round 1!!