A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Cupcakes take the cake

The holidays are around the corner and you need a last-minute gift. Before you start to freak out, remember: food is always the answer.  

Before Thanksgiving break, we took a trip to two cupcake bakeries: Celebrity Cupcakes and Ooh La La The Dessert Boutique. Both places sold their cupcakes for $3.50 each, but a significant difference between the two was the size of their cupcakes. While Celebrity Cupcakes were regular sized, Ooh La La’s cupcakes were much larger with much more cake and frosting.

At Celebrity Cupcakes, located at 2343 University Blvd., we tried the popular Southern Red Velvet and the seasonal Pumpkin flavors. The place itself was very clean and cute and the lady at the register was informative and very kind as well.

For the Southern Red Velvet, the cream cheese frosting was moderately sweet  but the cake wasn’t very moist. It was a good cupcake, but not good enough to be memorable. It tasted just like any other red velvet cupcake. Nothing was very ‘southern’ about it, so it didn’t live up to its title. 

The Pumpkin flavor was another story.  It added that touch of spice with the ginger candy sprinkled on top creating the perfect balance of sugar and spice. This cake was moist with a perfect sweetness that complemented the soft frosting very well. We have high hopes for their seasonal cupcake in December.

Overall, we’d give this place 7/10.

At Ooh La La The Dessert Boutique, located at 770 West Sam Houston Parkway North, Suite 500, we tried their red velvet cupcake, called the Velvet Elvis, and their cupcake of the month, French Toast. Inside, the boutique was very pink and cozy. They offer a variety of sweets like macaroons, pies, cakes, cookies, etc, enough to satisfy your sweet tooth.

For the Velvet Elvis cupcake, the cream cheese frosting was the king. Unlike Celebrity Cupcakes’s red velvet, the flavor of the cream cheese stood out and blended with the cake perfectly. The cake was very moist and soft; it wasn’t hard and didn’t crumble everywhere when you bit into it. Living up to its name, the Velvet Elvis rocked our mouths filled with an overall satisfying taste of cream cheese and a well-baked cake.

The first bite of the French Toast cupcake might put you off due to the exceedingly sweet frosting, and the cake wasn’t enough to balance it out.The center was moist, but it was filled with sprinkles of cinnamon, making the whole cupcake one sugar rush. It is a possibility they could overdo this with other cupcakes, such as the holiday ones, that aren’t baked daily.

We’d give this place a 7/10.

Overall, both cupcake bakeries had something good to offer. With comparable prices, the decision comes down to what kind of cupcake lover you are buying for: more-is-better or not-too-sweet.