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Vanilla Bake Shop

November 28, 2011

Apparently, Vanilla Bake Shop has developed quite a reputation in West LA as a gourmet cupcake, cake and dessert shop.  Somehow, I’ve never heard of the bakery before.  However, after looking through their website, I realized that I have seen them before, I just never put the baker together with the name of the bakery.  The owner and a baker from the Vanilla Bake Shop have been featured on 2 previous episodes of The Food Network’s Food Network Cake Challenge.  Both episodes are ones I’ve seen, since my husband says I’m “obsessed” with The Food Network.  And both times, I’ve been impressed with the bakers.  I’m surprised that I never put it together with an actual bakery here in West LA.

Several weeks back, at a small work gathering to celebrate an event for a co-worker, someone had gone to the Vanilla Bake Shop and purchased cupcake babies for everyone to enjoy.  They were so cute when arranged in little groupings on a plate for people to grab.  I was so impressed by them that I had to find out which bakery they had come from.  The cupcakes looked so artfully done.  Almost too pretty to even eat.  On top of that, I had never seen a cupcake baby before.  Imagine these little bite-sized or two-bite mini cupcakes.  I thought it was such a great idea to have created cupcake babies so that you can try a bunch of different cupcake varieties instead of getting full (or feeling guilty from) eating one big cupcake.

To my surprise, someone told me that the cupcakes had come from the Vanilla Bake Shop and that they had a store that had just opened in the mall across the street from my office.  How convenient was that?  I knew I was going to have to make my way over to the mall to check this place out for myself.

Like any other cupcake shop here in Los Angeles, the Vanilla Bake Shop sells a rotating flavor of cupcake flavors depending on which day of the week you go into the shop, in addition to rotating specials depending on the season.  In addition to selling cupcakes and cupcake babies, the store also makes speciality coffee drinks, sells assorted sweets (tarts, dessert shooters, macaroons, etc.), and takes orders for cakes.

What I love about Vanilla Bake Shop is their flavors of cupcakes.  They offer some of the traditional cupcake flavors that you find in other bakeries, such as Red Velvet,  Black & White or vanilla bean.  But they also offer some incredibly unique and homey cupcake flavors that I’ve never seen before.  They say that their menu is designed around memories of their mom’s kitchen.  They even honor mom with a cupcake flavor called mom’s birthday cake.  And Vanilla Bake Shop offer twists on classic flavors like spicy carrot, mint cookie and toasted coconut.  In addition, they also have fruit flavored cupcakes such as chocolate raspberry, meyer lemon raspberry, blackberry passion fruit, strawberries & cream and key lime.  They also create unique flavors such as fleur de sel, pumpkin, key lime, chocolate peanut butter, marshmallow graham, and fudgy brownie.

But my absolute favorite flavor of theirs, and why I fell in love with the Vanilla Bake Shop, is their banana chocolate chip flavor, which is only sold on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  As its name states, this cupcake is banana chocolate chip cake with cream cheese frosting, and then little mini chocolate chips sprinkled on top.  It is to-die-for.  Great banana flavor, with just a hint of chocolate sweetness.  What a terrific dessert for a pat-on-the-back kind of day!

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