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March 8, 2013

About five years ago, I had a family friend who was attending school at UCLA.  As I lived in the area, and I too went to school at UCLA, her mother asked me if I could just look after this friend, make sure she was ok, and be a friend to her since she was so far away from home.  One night, she and I went out to dinner together, and when it came to dessert, she mentioned to me that she recently found a great cupcake store located in Brentwood, only a few short miles from campus that she thought was outstanding.  She told me that the name of the bakery was SusieCakes and that they made more than just cupcakes, they had cookies, cakes. whoopie pies and much more.  Having the sweet tooth that I do, I knew that I’d have to go and check this place out.  Really, how could I not?  A bakery, only a few miles from home that was supposed to be fantastic?  Yes, please, sign me up.  Within a week of our dinner, I found myself in Brentwood and easily located SusieCakes.  A nice, spacious and understated bakery, with a working kitchen on site, everything in the bakery is made fresh daily.  I walked away with an array of cupcakes, whoopie pies and cookies and after having a taste, I too realized SusieCakes was pretty darn good.

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Fast forward to present time and I find myself working in an office building within walking distance of SusieCakes, so one day, during my lunch break, I walked into Brentwood and paid a little visit to SusieCakes since my husband had never had the pleasure of trying it before.  The founder of SusieCakes used her grandmother’s recipies as the foundation to opening up her own bakery which features homestyle goodness just like your grandma would make.  SusieCakes uses fresh, quality ingredients and bakes all of their goodies from scratch.  SusieCakes calls themselves a home-style All-American bakery.

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One item I knew I needed to pick up was an order of banana pudding.  SusieCakes makes old-fashioned banana pudding, hand stirring their pudding, folding in sliced fresh bananas, lining the tray the old-fashioned way with nilla wafers and topping the entire bowl of pudding with fresh homemade whipped cream.

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I couldn’t wait to bite into it, and it was worth the wait.  I love banana pudding with nilla wafers.  You know the pudding is fresh because the nilla wafers still have a bit of crunch to them rather than being soggy due to having absorbed the pudding.  The pudding itself was creamy and rich, and the fresh sliced bananas were perfect.  And the thick whipped cream was the perfect topping, creamy and smooth but not too sweet.  This home-style banana pudding is, in my opinion, one of the best things that SusieCakes makes.

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I brought home for my husband and I to share a selection of SusieCake’s frosting filled cupcakes.  SusieCakes offers a variety of daily and seasonal cupcake flavors which have an extra dollop of frosting filled into the cupcake itself, as its name implies.  For someone who loves frosting, like me, almost as much as I love cupcakes themselves, this is the perfect combination.

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For myself, I got the chocolate chocolate.  Chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting topped with chocolate sprinkles.  It’s chocolate heaven, and the great thing about the chocolate chocolate cupcake is that it’s not too over-the-top sweet, which sometimes too much chocolate can be overpowering.  This had the right touch of sweet and bittersweet.  And the cupcake itself was moist and the frosting filled into the cupcake was a pleasant surprise while devouring the cupcake.

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In looking through the flavors that were available in the store when I visited, I found a couple of flavors that I knew my husband would like, so I chose for him luscious lemon and fluffy coconut.  My husband was skeptical about SusieCakes since a) he’s not a cake or cupcake person to begin with, and b) if he were going to enjoy a cupcake, it would have to be Sprinkles.  I tried to tell him that he needed to expand his horizons and try other bakeries, because you never know.  Maybe one day, my husband will realize that I’m right.  As much as he didn’t want to give SusieCakes a try, he eventually gave in and realized I was right.  He loved how moist the cupcakes were, and like me, he liked the more subtle flavors of the cupcakes and frostings.  The flavor wasn’t in-your-face, over-the-top.  You can taste that the lemon is lemon, but it’s not artificially flavored nor too tangy or too sweet.  My husband was presently surprised at how good SusieCakes actually was and agreed that these cupcakes really tasted more like home-style, old-fashioned cupcakes.

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Along with cupcakes, I also picked up a couple of cookies, chocolate chip for myself, and snickerdoodle for my husband.  One bite of the snickerdoodle and my husband was in love.  He said that the outside was crunchy and well-baked, but the inside was nice and soft and chewy.  He was surprised by how soft and chewy the inside was due the fact that the cookie was more so a flat and very largely round cookie, it almost seemed like the cookie was so thin, the inside couldn’t possibly be soft and chewy.  I too thought my chocolate chip cookie was very flavorful and perfectly baked.  Like the snickerdoodle, the chocolate chip was crunchy on the outside, but soft and chewy on the inside as well.  The chocolate chunks were the perfect size because you could taste the bittersweet chocolate, but it wasn’t overpowering.  The flat, thin cookie also reminded me of a home-style type of cookie; the kind of cookie your grandmother would make.

SusieCakes may not be the most well-known bakery shop, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have terrific baked goodies.  I like the fact that the bakery has more than just cupcakes.  Their homemade puddings are terrific, their pies look fantastic – so much so that I was tempted to buy one when I was there, the cookies are divine, and the cupcakes are lovely.  I think it’s definitely a bit of a dangerous thing that I work close enough that I can walk to SusieCakes, I may find myself there more often.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 8, 2013 9:36 am

    It is very hard to find a good bakery where they make everything on site. Sounds like a nice place to stop into for a little bite of something sweet.

  2. Amanda permalink
    March 8, 2013 1:06 pm

    It’s dangerous when these places are located too close! We just tried for the first time the new(ish) donut shop right down the street from us, Mojo Monkey Donuts. Mistake!! We’ve been there twice in less than a week already.

    • March 8, 2013 8:42 pm

      Yes, very dangerous when the places are located so close! That donut place by you sounds interesting! I’d probably by right there with you!

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