Violet's Cakes – Pasadena

A quest to find a local cupcake joint that can rival my beloved Sprinkles in Beverly Hills brought my friend Carissa and me to Violet’s Cakes. Unlike Sprinkles’ modern and sleek space, this shop had a homey, DIY kinda feel. Violet’s offers a multitude of flavors that change daily. Depending on what time one drops in, there can be up to fourteen varieties or quite a few less. When we visited on a Friday afternoon, there were ten or so flavors to pick from.

Carissa chose the Raspberry Lemonade ($3.25), which she said was tart and sweet with just a hint of “fruity goodness.” The one bite that she shared with me registered as one-dimensionally sweet. Too sweet, really. The bakers need to lay off the sugar and embrace more lemon juice and zest.

I picked the Chocolate Chip cupcake ($2.50) since it was the closest one Violet had to my favorite combination of yellow cake with chocolate buttercreme frosting. By the way, all of Violet’s cupcakes are double lined—there’s a regular paper liner underneath the outer aluminum one. We thought that was very peculiar.

My cupcake contained chunks of chocolate chip cookie dough within the batter, which was a pleasant surprise. Compositionally, the cupcake was very Pamela Anderson-esque—top heavy, if you will. The cake was too squishy and fluffy to balance out the thick, sloppy swirl of frosting on top. I also disliked how the frosting had a thin, hard outer shell due to the substantial lull in between baking and eating. The sprinkles atop the cupcake, especially the bulbous pink ones, were terrible as well.

When I go out for cupcakes, I expect to consume a product that is better than what I can bake at home. Unfortunately, this was not the case at Violet’s.


Sprinkles Cupcakes > Dots Cupcakes > Vanilla Bake Shop > Crumbs Bake Shop > Auntie Em’s Kitchen > Yummy Cupcakes > Violet’s Cakes.

Violet’s Cakes
21 E. Holly Street
Pasadena, CA 91103
Phone: 626-395-9821

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Violet's Cakes in Los Angeles

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8 Responses to “Violet's Cakes – Pasadena”

  • harsh! but i agree. if you’re spending a couple bucks on a cupcake, it darn well be better than the ones you make yourself. in your last photo, the cake looks way to squishy as well, and not dense like the sprinkles variety. ick.

  • g-ma – I’d go to your bakery any day over Violet’s.

  • Ooh, I love yellow cake with chocolate frosting too from way way back. The thick lumpy frosting appeals to me, too bad it wasn’t worthy.

  • Oh yummy! I just went to Pasadena, sad I missed these though!!

  • Michelle – You didn’t miss out on much. Trust me.

  • Is being like Pamela Anderson such a bad thing? She was married to a couple of rock stars!!!!
    And an awful lot of people think she is pretty HOT!!!!
    I prefer a light and springy cupcake to the Dry and Dense cupcakes you seem to favor.
    I LOVE the chocolate frosting at Violets Cakes it is so fudge like and delicious!
    Also their raspberry lemonade cupcake is really good. The one I had was full of flavor and
    had plenty of Zest in it, and the price was 2.75 not 3.25.

  • Oh goodness, Violet’s makes my favorite cupcakes in L.A. *because* theirs are very homemade-tasting and not bizarrely flawless like everyone else’s. Some of the other places taste too store-bought, as though they’re made from a mix. The flavors you picked don’t sound too appetizing – I recommend you go back this winter and try them again, they really are wonderful. Definitely recommend the sweet potato, peppermint patty, or the toffee. The peppermint patty is especially heavenly.

  • I’m with China — I always loved Violet’s because it’s one of the few cupcake places that doesn’t seem to use boxed mix. If you have a chance to try their French Toast cupcake, I highly recommend it!

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