Taste tester #4: Emilia.
Qualifications: Emilia is a “huge fan of cupcakes” and her favorite foods include wasabi, lizano, cholula. “Okay,” she says, “they’re not foods but I love spicy. Oh, and I hate red velvet cakes and mint cupcakes.”
Cupcake challenger #4: Hotcakes Bakes in Mar Vista. Emilia kept insisting that I try Hotcakes, touting their “awesome red velvet cupcakes and vanilla cupcakes.” So naturally I had to give this little cupcake store a shot. Of her buying experience she says that the employees were very helpful and nice. The display case was “clean, simple but nothing is superhighlighted.” Overall buying experience: “The shop smells wonderful, very simple in-store layout.” Regarding the store’s location and parking situation: “Busy street on recently widened Centinela. Parking is challenging. Park in back.” The cupcakes were smooshed when Emilia brought them over because Hotcakes packaged them in a way-too-big cake box. So on the ride over they ended up colliding into one another as you can see in the above shot. Boo. Cupcakes: $2 each.
Taste tester comments:
Red Velvet Cupcake: Most everyone commented that these looked very homemade. A simple presentation of whipped cream cheese frosting. Comments about the frosting flavor consisted of “very rich, too much cream cheese”; “really sweet and grainy”; and “very sweet — overpowering.” The red velvet cake itself had a “super red” color but unfortunately it didn’t taste as good as it looked. We all thought it tasted earthy, dry and almost salty. Blech. I strongly suspect this is why Emilia changed her opinion of red velvet cupcakes as she wrote on her evaluation sheet, “It was okay, but I think I don’t like red velvet.”
Chocolate Cupcake: Unfortunately since we were so unimpressed with Hotcakes’ red velvet and “wild card” vanilla cupcake entries (and were so sugared out at this point, not wanting to go into sugar shock over bad chocolate cupcakes) we skipped the chocolate cupcake. Actually Valerie, ever the trooper, sampled it and confirmed our suspicions that it was as consistently bad as the other cupcakes and to not bother.
Wild Card — Vanilla Cupcake: As Valerie succinctly put it: “$2? Ya get what ya pay for.” Despite the vast wealth of pastries available at this bakery (from buche de Noel to Kahlua & coconut baba), there weren’t any real “exotic” flavors for their cupcakes.
4119 Centinela Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90066
Click here for the final results.