Specialty cupcakes are definitely a huge trend right now (although some have been saying that it will be replaced by Whoopie pies soon). They're probably so popular because it reminds you of being a kid, having birthday parties at school, and being able to eat at least 5 with no stomach ache or extra pounds. I still love cupcakes and have seen so many amazing recipes lately, but sometimes it's just more fun to find a little shop and buy a ton of all different ones to try.
This past weekend Nick and I went to Napa for our anniversary. We spent Saturday walking around downtown, checking out the shops and visiting tasting rooms. In our travels we came across the most amazing idea for a store (and I can think of at least two of my friends who would find their heaven if they ever visited). Sift Cucakes, which serves the best cupcakes I have EVER tasted, has a small boutique clothing shop attached. Think Tori Burch meets BCBG, with amazing cupcakes. They have a few more locations (as per the website), and I'm so depressed none of them are near me. I have been to quite a few cupcake places, but Sift is by far the best. While there I tried a Samoa (yes, like the Girl Scout cookie). Vanilla with chocolate ganache in the center, caramel flavored frosting, with coconut on top. It sounds like it would be too sweet, but it wasn't. A perfect blends of all the flavors and had I not still had 3 hours of walking ahead of me, and more room in my stomach I would have bought more.
<---- From their Facebook...Doesn't that look amazing?!
One of the other places I've been, back East, that I really like is Flour and Sun Bakery, in Pleasantville, New York. I visited a couple of years ago to celebrate my birthday with a friend who's birthday is only a few days apart from mine. We each picked out several different kinds to try and some to take home. The menu rotates and just to give you an idea of what's on the menu today, Rocky Road, Chocolate Rocky Road, Loop-d-Loop (looks like a Hostess cake, so you can probably guess what that would taste like), Gingersnap, and Pistachio. I've also tried the banana peanut butter one, and that was amazing.
Here's a look at their Smores one. Soooo good.