Search for the American Cupcake

My first week in the U.S. has been a revelation.  I’ve been staying in San Francisco, a city that, like Hong Kong, is a blend of the old and the new.

Town houses built after the Great 1906 San Francisco earthquake still stand. Old diners and restaurants continue to thrive and, in downtown San Francisco, business centers mix with a shopping and food paradise enjoyed by locals and large numbers of tourists.


Since arriving I have been checking off a list of food must-eats.  So far I’ve had my American cupcake, Mexican meal, deli sandwich, diner pancake and fry-up breakfast.  (photos soon!!)  Next on the list is the famed In-and-Out burger, cheesecake, a hot dog and of course, BBQ ribs.

But, let me get to the amazing cupcake I experienced a few days ago.  The neighbourhood where I stayed with a long time family friend has several rivaling cupcake shops.  She took me on a cupcake driving tour and in the end, I jumped out of the car outside the “American Cupcake” shop.

First of all, the shopping experience is lovely at the “American Cupcake” shop on Union Street.  A pristine all-white minimalist interior lets the colours of the cupcakes really pop out.

Everything is clearly marked and includes a selection of “classic” cupcakes (e.g. red velvet) and more creative ones (e.g. cotton candy – not pictured).

I opted for a Butterscotch cupcake.  The presentation was very cute with a fluffy pink swirl of Butterscotch flavoured icing sitting pretty on the cake base.

After opening the cute box packaging the aroma engulfed my face, sweet to the point of being almost sickening. Almost.

A few of what were presumably butterscotch flavoured chips decorated the icing.  I say presumably because they were tiny, and when I tried tasting them individually I couldn’t be sure whether they were butterscotch or something closer to salted caramel.  In any case, they were more of a decoration and texture thing than anything else.

In the past, I have been used to icing having a somewhat harder, more viscous texture.  In the case of this cupcake, the icing was closer to whipped cream: very light, fluffy and full of very sweet flavour.

However, the sweetness was balanced out by the cake section.  When I sampled a piece of the cake alone, I was taken aback by the rich, toffee-like stickiness of it despite not being overly sweet in itself.

To summarise, it was dense and intense.  Every other cupcake I’d ever eaten up to this point crumbled apart more easily due to a drier texture.

Combined, the cake and icing was a hedonistic triumph.  As you chew the cake clumps together with the icing like a piece of toffee.  My last note I scribbled before licking my fingers clean was “omg so good”.

Bakker x

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3 responses to “Search for the American Cupcake

  1. My mother and I just read your blog out loud on our veranda in Greece. Having just finished our souvlaki (a greek grilled pita bread enveloping thinly sliced gyro meat, tzatziki, sweet red onion, and tomatoes), we are now dreaming of your butterscotch cupcake. Your description was evocative and truly mouth-watering. Hope the rest of your food escapades in San Fran are just as satisfying and delicious.

    Love,

    Mary & Vivian

  2. Ferry de Bakker

    Looks yummy. Dentists love this stuff !

  3. Pingback: A Sunday in… Wan Chai | Bakker's Bites

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