Saturday, January 15, 2011


Normally, something vanilla is plain, boring, dull, unimaginative, and overdone.

This cannot be said, however, for Vanilla Bake Shop (512 Wilshire, Santa Monica, CA).

 Cupcake excitement.

Meyer Lemon Raspberry
Tart, flavorful curd inside,
balanced by the sweetness of the frosting.
Textural variety from the sugar crystals on the frosting.
The sweet bite of the raspberry completes an excellent flavor mix.

 Bittersweet Chocolate
Basic chocolate cake, on the drier side, 
but balanced by the richness of the darker,
more bitter frosting.  Sprinkles provided some
contrast of feel.  Nowhere near as dark
as I expected; pleasantly bittersweet but not
overwhelmingly so.

Toasted Dark Chocolate Coconut
The same base cake as 
the Bittersweet Chocolate...I think.  
The cake is a stellar canvas to be painted
upon, adapting to accentuate the flavors of
each cupcake.  Cream cheese frosting and
toasted coconut flakes.  The coconut flavor
somehow managed to not vanish
in the cake and rich frosting, ending each bite
with a refreshing crunch.

Vanilla's Dessert Shots

 Vanilla's Tarts

Vanilla's "Babies" - 3 for $5

Our "babies"

Sugary bliss

Pistachio Macaroon ($1.50)
An excellently-crafted macaroon.
Each half chewy and delicate, the meringue 
contrasted by the cream cheese frosting
center.  Pistachio flavor was very, very
subtle, but overall a great snack.

Decor was elegant but not overdone,
with (relatively) simple chandeliers
suspended far above white tables;
patterned, attractive wallpaper
that added to the upscale feeling
of the shop while not detracting
from the main focus, the 
beautifully-arranged baked goods.

My accomplice and I sampled a few of their amazing baked goods and were anything but disappointed.

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