Saturday Morning Review - Dots Cupcakes


It's a little early here. I like mornings - I'm definitely a morning person. The sun comes up and that's it... I'm up!... I'm awake!... I'm ready to go!... I don't know to where... and I don't know for what... but I'm up!... I'm awake!... I'm ready! woohoo!!! Of course, by about 2pm I'm petering out and ready for a nap which like 95% of the time I never get :( And while I rise with the sun, ready to greet the day, DJ on the other hand participates in sleeping as if it's an actual sport and he's practicing to make the Olympic Team.


I. Just. Do. Not. Get. It.


I mean, when it comes to sleeping, I just don't get him... {sigh}... but I love him just the same :) And he loves me... even though he doesn't get my desire for, appreciation of, fascination-bordering-on-obsession-with cupcakes :) But he loves me... and with that, all is right with my world :)

Last night I had to run an errand in Pasadena. It's about 35 miles from my house and is a really neat place... especially Old Town Pasadena. Shopping! Lots and lots and lots of shopping! Sur la Table... Abercrombie... LUSH... Tiffany... Crate-and-Barrel... The Container Store.... did you know they have a Container Store in Pasadena? I did not! How did I not know!?!?! I love that store... and that store loves to bleed my wallet dry and leave it mournfully crying out "WHY???"... but... I had no time for The Container Store or Sur la Table... I had no time for things such as leisurely shopping or upscale nor casual dining or people watching... for I was on a mission... I had to get to Dots Cupcakes!!!

Why..., you ask? Well, let's review, my lovies... it's all in the name of RESEARCH dear hearts. My willingness to sacrifice my time (though hopefully not my waistline) and go to great lengths to bring you pictures... and, of course, my opinion of... cupcakes in southern California :)

Dots Cupcakes is a cute little place... and I do mean little. Luckily I was the only customer because I seriously think 2-3 of us would have been very cramped inside. But no matter. It's not about the size of the store, it's about the cupcakes :) The salesgirl was extremely helpful and friendly... and even late late in the day they had an excellent selection.

As you know... I'm partial to the mini-sized cupcake. Hey, when you do as much cupcake eatin as I do, size definitely matters. And if it's a mini, well, I don't have to share! LOL!!! :)

I ended up with 4 minis (Lemon Drop, Strawberry Shortcake, Pina Colada and Red Velvet) and one regular size (Vanilla - they were out of the mini size in this flavor). Here is their website description of each flavor:
Lemon Drop - “tart lemon cupcake with creamy crushed vanilla bean frosting adorned with crystalized lemon rind
Pina Colada - "pineapple cupcake with creamy crushed vanilla bean icing adorned with toasted coconut"
Strawberry Shortcake - "strawberry cupcake layered with whipped cream frosting"
Red Velvet - "light chocolate with pure Mexican cocoa with a touch of red and cream cheese frosting"
Vanilla - well, they had no description but it's vanilla cake and vanilla frosting.

Don't they just sound sooooo sooooo good!!?!?!! I know, they do, huh??? OMG - I just knew I was in for a real treat when I got home. Ooooohhh yeaaaaahhhh :)

Well, lovies, let me tell you... at the risk of sounding harsh, though in my opinion I'm just keepin it real, either their descriptions are full of false advertising... OR... the mini cupcakes are not the same as their full sized counterparts. Either way, their descriptions differ greatly from the reality of the cupcakes I received. And this did not make me happy. Not in the least :(

The cakes are fresh and moist. No denying that. But the Lemon Drop? This was straight up vanilla cake with lemony flavored icing. Nothing special at all. Certainly it was not a "tart lemon cupcake" and didja see even a single piece of "crystalized lemon rind" on top in my photo? Nope, it was a lemony swirl. It wasn't a bad cupcake... it was fine. But that's it. Fine.

Pina Colada also tasted like straight up vanilla cake with vanilla icing and coconut on top. Not sure how they figure this is "pineapple cupcake" when there wasn't even the faintest nor slightest hint of pineapple flavor in the cake itself. It wasn't a bad cupcake... it was fine. But that's it. Fine.

Strawberry Shortcake was very reminiscent of vanilla pound cake with a slice of strawberry on the very bottom and buttercream frosting on top. There was nothing about this that was even close to perhaps maybe kinda sorta like "strawberry cupcake layered with whipped cream frosting". The texture was different, like pound cake, and it was tasty... but nothing drool-worthy that's for sure.

Red Velvet was again, fine. Nothing to write home about. The "cream cheese frosting" had no twang in it... if you ask me it was regular buttercream... and the cake itself was unremarkable.

Vanilla was also, fine (notice a theme here?) and unremarkable overall.

I can't say there was a single bad cupcake in the bunch. But I also can't say any one of the 5 made me want to return. The cakes were fresh and moist... no "yesterday's leftovers" as I've questioned about other places. The icings were tasty. But in general there was nothing stand-out about these cupcakes. They're definitely pretty, though. And photograph beautifully, if I must say so myself ;-) Oh... in the store, by the register, they do have a magazine-spread posted of how Jerry O'Connell and Rebecca Romijn had Dots Cupcakes for their recent wedding. That's nice! It's really nice! But that doesn't make their cupcakes any more remarkable or memorable for me.

Happy Saturday!!!