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.
21 E. Holly Street
Pasadena, CA 91103