Saturday Cupcake Review - Mrs. Beasley's

Friday was a rather disappointing day. I got a big run around on something that just didn't have to be such a pain. Really. I often think if people just did what they're supposed to do... in the way they're supposed to do it... the world would be a much simpler place. In this situation, someone dropped the ball and I ended up driving close to 80 miles round trip for no good reason... on a totally empty stomach. Grrrrr! But in my low-glycemic state of utter ticked-off'ed-ness (yup, it's a word! okay it's not but it should be) I ended up making a quick little detour and paying an unplanned visit to a cupcake bakery in Burbank (hint hint hint) that I'd tried before and wasn't even impressed with. See, that's what happens when my blood sugar drops... I make bad decisions, especially about food. I'd been there before... I knew it wasn't all that good... but I went anyway. I bought a few mini cupcakes and (gawd I'm ashamed to admit this) I ate one in the car. Vanilla cake with chocolate icing.
The cake was dry... bordering on stale... and the icing was crunchy. But... it raised my blood sugar and soon I was feeling better about why I as still so far away from home in the first place. And yes, I know, when my blood sugar is low a cupcake is a very poor food choice. Yup... I know... and I knew... and I did it just the same... and the cupcakes were not good at all. They were so not good that I didn't even bother to photograph them... and Lord knows I love to photograph food. One cupcake was called Margarita (basically just lime), one was red-velvet (too much chocolate) and one was Happy Day (way way way too much crunchy icing on a really stale cake). I made the mistake of paying them a 2nd visit... there won't be a 3rd.

Today was another day. The crud of yesterday was in the past and I decided I wanted to try a different cupcake bakery. Today's pick was Mrs. Beasley's in Encino, California. Years ago I used to go there to pick up a Miss Grace Lemon Cake if I was having a dinner party. I still think this is among the best lemon cakes of all time :) Based on my love of that lemon cake, I figured the cupcakes must be good too. Well, sad to say I was terribly disappointed. I was not impressed at all especially in comparison to last week's visit to Vanilla Bake Shop which I posted about here. At Vanilla Bake Shop the cakes were fresh and delicious... at Mrs. Beasley's the cakes were dried out and going stale. Something I really can't understand is why a half-hour after opening the cupcakes were already hard? Did they sell me yesterday's leftovers?!?!?!

Anyway, The lemon had very little lemon flavor... the plop of lemon curd on the top was it. I did get a *piece* of lemon zest in the dried out cake itself but there was no lemon curd filling. False advertising IMO.

The blueberry was weak. Perhaps they accidentally dropped 2-3 blueberries in the milk, fished them out immediately, used the milk when making vanilla batter and said "hey, if we add some pale blue icing on this I bet we could call it BLUEBERRY". At least this one wasn't hard and stale so that's a positive :)

The red-velvet tasted like a **chocolate** cupcake with regular buttercreme icing. Uhm... hullooo... that's NOT red velvet, folks... that's just a chocolate cupcake with tons of red food coloring and vanilla icing. Red velvet should have a HINT of cocoa... and it should have cream cheese icing.

The strawberry and the vanilla were both disappointing as well. I'll admit the strawberry cake wasn't dried out or stale... but it had no real flavor. The icing was pretty much just "essence of strawberry" and not impressive. The vanilla was a real let down. Again, dried out cake and icing that was ho-hum at best.

I hesitate to say negative things about a bakery's cupcakes but this is no start-up place here. They've been in business for such a long time that I expected better. But sadly, it was disappointment all around. After seeing the pics, my friends... and even DJ... thought the presentation at this bakery left much to be desired. More than one person said these cupcakes look pretty much like what you'd see in a grocery store.

So there ya have it... my thoughts on the cupcakes at the Encino location of Mrs. Beasley's. In a word... disappointing. So far, my favorite is still Vanilla Bake Shop in Santa Monica :) And tomorrow is another day!