Castro’s Cupcake

24 Apr

I visited a friend in the Mission for lunch and cooking for an evening event, but as soon as I got to his apartment, he declared that we had to visit some place before errand running and lunch eating. I was hungry and frustrated, rubbing my temples futilely trying to rid myself of a headache; I was in no mood for surprises. He drove madly around the city raving about these cupcakes. He was craving cupcakes. Cupcakes are not lunch, I told him. These cupcakes are worth the ridiculous detour, he told me.

He went on to say that he hates cupcakes and thinks they’re pointless, but before I could defend them, he says that this place makes unbelievable ones. To-die-for ones. Given my condition and the cupcake shop trend of recent years, I was somewhat skeptical, but I decided not to object to the short walk from where we parked.

A very cute/chic, very pink shop came into view as we rounded the corner of Scott and Chestnut: Kara’s Cupcakes. I didn’t realize as I walked through the door that there was no going back.

Kara’s Cupcakes is extremely popular. They make all of their cupcakes by hand every day throughout the day with local, organic, sustainable ingredients. The store itself and their methods are as green as can be. Admirable and awesome, no?

And then there is the cupcake.


Making a decision, again, was difficult. My friend chose the Chocolate Velvet for himself and Passion Fruit for his papa. I finally decided on Kara’s Karrot because I am (one of the few of my friends that is) a big fan of carrot cake, and who the hell can resist a good cream cheese frosting, really?

The level of excitement spiked at the sight of the narrow pink box. I felt my headache dissipating and giving way to a rumbling, hedonistic voice that commanded me to tear open the box immediately and lunge for the first cupcake I saw.

The chocolate one looked almost too intense, but Friend insisted that we share all of them. I’m not the biggest fan of buttercream, but you must believe me when I tell you that bite changed my mind entirely. It was the lightest buttercream I had ever tasted, yet just as described in the menu, “velvety, bittersweet” and supremely chocolatey. The cake itself was a delectably moist chocolate pillow, not too sweet, not even too cakey.

The passion fruit had a very nicely balanced fruit flavor to the cake, and the filling came as a surprise: a very light, mildy tart, just sweet enough passion fruit custard. I found myself loving it in spite of my initial hesitation.

The sweet vanilla: classic. The particularly nice thing about this one is that earthy colored E indicates that the proceeds of this flavor go to “Save the Bay” to celebrate Earth Day. The thought made the cupcake even more delicious.

My favorite turned out to my personal choice, a great choice– Kara’s Karrot. The cream cheese frosting was so very soft, and the cake itself was mildly spiced and had true bits of carrot that added earthy sweetness and loads of texture. Blew. My. Mind.

Needless to say, I’ve been converted. Needless to say, I’m going back.

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