OK, just when I thought Sprinkles was the only cupcake bakery for me, I read about SusieCakes, “an all-American homestyle bake shop” in Brentwood.
At SusieCakes, Susan Sarich is baking all-American desserts using her grandmother’s recipes. Think butterscotch toffee pudding, chocolate wafer icebox pie, iced molasses snap cookies and frosting-filled cupcakes in flavors like orange creamsicle, peanut butter and red velvet.
“Hmm, this will require some further investigation,” I thought to myself, right before I grabbed a couple of co-workers for a lunchtime jaunt to Brentwood.
Unlike the always stressful Sprinkles pilgrimage, instant on-street parking and no lines at this cute little bakery made a lunchtime visit possible without incurring the wrath of my boss. Warning: Those of you who are diabetic or on diets might want to steer clear of the corner of Barrington and San Vicente as SusieCakes is located right next door to Coldstone Creamery. Genius, I say.
We strolled into the store and were instantly taken in by all the colorful lovely sweeties sitting in the display cases. There were whoopie pies, “Conversation Heart” frosted sugar cookies for V-Day, fluffy buttercream-frosted cakes and, of course, Susie’s signature frosting-filled cupcakes.
And the store was empty! Something I wasn’t used to having had to contend with the always present long line in front of Sprinkles. The two women behind the counter were so friendly and chatty. They patiently stood by as we oohed and aahed while considering our options. Faced with flavors like mocha, peanut butter, lemon, vanilla, chocolate, coconut and red velvet, to name a few, I finally decided on the red velvet and the chocolate mint ($3 each). At first the chocolate mint didn’t sound too appealing to me, especially with that mint green frosting, but when I asked the cashier how it was she compared it to an After Eight dinner mint. Ooooh! “I want that one!”
Back at my desk, I dove into the red velvet cutie, peeling back the cupcake wrapper carefully to reveal a very intensely red moist cake. Unlike Sprinkles’ neatly manicured frosting, this Susie cake’s frosting was slathered on with the precision of a ’50s mom armed with a butter knife. Very charming and quaint. The frosting got all over my fingers and I felt like a little kid again licking that messy cream cheese goodness off my hands.
They called these “frosting-filled” but fortunately it wasn’t as bad as, say, a Ding Dong cupcake where you’re overwhelmed by the pocket of thick cream in the center. Rather, the frosting filling was simply a little bubble of frosting as if “Mom” stuck her finger into the cupcakes fresh out of the oven to create the indentation for the filling.
So SusieCakes has definitely taken Sprinkles’ place in my heart. Sure, it may not have a daily rotating set of flavors or a comparably exotic selection, but it definitely has more to offer if you ever want to venture outside the sphere of cupcakes with lemon squares, frosted animal cookies, homemade marshmallows and more.
Looking for something special to split with your sweetie after your Valentine’s Day dinner? SusieCakes offers V-Day specials ranging from Susie’s signature heart-shaped red velvet cake for two ($36) to a “Love Shack” gingerbread house decorated in red and white candies ($55) to the cupcake of the month, Chocolate Lover’s Dream — chocolate cupcake with dark chocolate and white chocolate chips ($3).
11708 San Vicente Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90049
Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-7pm