Friday, February 26, 2010

Cupcake Quest: Joans on Third

You may recall a prior post about some cupcakes from Starbucks that disappointed me- or should I say fell short of my expectations. I've now embarked on what I am calling the Cupcake Quest, a search for the best cupcakes. Like my friend Bee, I love cake. In my case, cupcakes are the subject of my fascination. It goes back to childhood when I used to buy those Hostess chocolate cupcakes with the white swirls on the top that sort of looked like the cursive letter "e" written multiple times. In fact I always called them "e's" instead of Hostess Cupcakes. Well anyway the point is that was where my love affair began with cupcakes. As I matured I discovered that wholesome, home-made baked goods were better than mass-produced junk with artificial ingredients, and suddenly those e's didn't taste good anymore. Add to that the growing popularity of "gourmet cupcakes" in many cities, and voila! my interest in finding delicious cupcakes was intensified. A few years back I was in Los Angeles and discovered a wonderful little bakery/cafe/deli restaurant called Joan's on Third. I saw their bakery case of cupcakes and decided I must have found Heaven on Earth. Being a chocolate fiend, I sampled the varieties with chocolate anything. They have always been on my mind, so whenever I have the opportunity I go back and treat myself. This one in the photo above top left is called "Cloud". It is dreamy.

above: I tore into the "Cloud" cupcake and remembered to take this photo to show you what was inside the pointy swirl, resting on top of the rich chocolate cupcake. The white stuff is an delicious marshmallow egg-white fluffy something or other. It is incredible!

above: I decided I needed to buy some to take home. Here is the bunch I bought. Mind you, they make lots of other flavors, but if it isn't chocolate I'm not interested.

above: another view of the pedestal cake dish I have at home. It enables me to "worship" them and drool while I decide which one to enjoy next. From this perspective you can see that the one with the white vanilla buttercream frosting is actually a chocolate cake, so it meets my chocolate criteria. So I'd say that Joan's cupcakes do meet my Cupcake Quest quality standard, but the true Quest goes on...I shall continue to seek out the best cupcakes and feature them here. As a reminder, this is not a paid post, just me writing about what I love...
-Rick Rockhill


Ben Wu said...

Yum. I wonder if they ship...

lime said...


you are killing me.

i want one.


Kanani said...

The best red velvet cupcake I ever had was from Citarella in Greenwich Village on 64th. Oh, it was moist, held together and the taste was rich --though not too sweet. The frosting was divine.
Have you see these two ladies who only write on Cupcakes? Cupcakes Take The Cake.

A Lewis said...

We have three world-class high-end cupcake shops here in Portland. And I've never been in any of them. Maybe I should change my ways!

KathyA said...

2. We had a German pastry chef make cupcakes for our youngest's wedding. He works near Wilmington, NC. and made chocolate, of course. They were the best cupcakes I've EVER had!

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...


smiles, bee

Jeni said...

You really now how to wreak havoc with an old lady's diet, ya know! Seeing them, after I just took a big pan of a Swedish treat (well it is to my kids and me anyway) called "Panakaka" that we will have with some black-raspberries we picked and froze last summer is making me think maybe, just maybe, I need to veer off my diet for just a short while and bake some cake. Can't hurt too much can it? But man, those cupcakes sure do look ultra scrumpdelishous!

Rhodester said...

I can't tell you what a relief it is to take a break from the stress and worries of life to come here and find a grown man photographing cupcakes.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Oh My....My mouth started watering...! That first one looks smashing! And the Marshmellow white stuff sounds quite amazing..!

Have you ever tried Sweet Lady Jane, Rick? Next time you are in Los Angeles, give that a look-see....If you are unfamiliar with it, it is on Melrose near Orlando, I believe---East of La Cienega, on the south side of the street. I get my deep dark rich Chocolate Cakes for The Ladies Who Lunch, from there....Much of their stuff id SCRUMPTIOUS! I have not had their cupcakes....but chances are they will be pretty good!

I'm with you on the Chocolate Love.
As my friend Carole Cook says: "If it isn't Chocolate, it's a Vegetable to me...."! (lol)

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Rick....I have given you an AWARD! Do come by and check it out, my dear.

snowelf said...

Rick, you are a man after my own heart. I often wondered why they even made non-chocolate desserts. ;)

Maybe when I'm finally an editor and work out of my home, I can retire to Palm Springs and dine on these delicious cupcakes whenever I choose. (Or perhaps my personal chef can replicate the recipe? ;))

Thank you for the splendid Sunday pics!


Desert Songbird said...

Now THIS is the kind of quest I could do! I'd love to seek out the ultimate cupcake with you some day. Some are so gorgeous, but when you take that first bite, the dream comes crashing down. This "cloud" looks divine; I'm glad it was as delicious as it looks.


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