A Tale of Two Cupcakes

Date Thu, November 5 2009

logo2There are two cupcake bakeries here in San Antonio and I’ve had the pleasure to visit them both. The first I headed to was Cupcake Couture because it actually had a website I could find, you know with info. It was a little harder to come across information about Cupcake Junction but, as it turns out, it’s much closer to us whereas Cupcake Couture is Across town. I’ll run down the most important aspects of each of these shops.

Store Presentation/Ambiance
Cupcake Couture definitely has a more “upscale” logo while Cupcake Junction’s sign is many-coloured and fun. CC was a small shop with a few tables but it was so tight I would have felt cramped and uncomfortable had we stayed to eat. It was also clean and barren to the point of feeling institutionalized. Cupcake Junction was decorated for Halloween when we went in and was a bit bigger so I would have been more comfortable eating there.
Selection/Flavours
Cupcake Couture had between 6 and a dozen options that included red velvet, carrot and “Couture” a filled chocolate cupcake. I specifically remember thinking the flavours were all a bit underwhelming and the selection wasn’t as varied as I’d hope. I had a red velvet cupcake which was good but.. typical. On the other hand, Cupcake Junction has at least a dozen flavours including chocolate peanut butter, chocolate cheesecake, amaretto and black and white (all of which we had). I had a hard time choosing; everything looked good. My amaretto was super impressive! What really makes CJ stand out, though, is the build your own cupcake bar. There are some plain, frosted cupcakes that you can take to the bar to add your own toppings like sprinkles and fudge. This makes it a great place for a small party and you can even rent out the bar for your events.

cjcupcake

Value
We paid around $5 for two cupcakes at Cupcake Couture. Ryan thought this was a better deal than he expected and I thought it was worse. LOL At Cupcake Junction, 4 cupcakes were available for $9. The prices are comparable but CJ’s cupcakes are jumbo which makes them a much better value.
Extras
Cupcake Couture didn’t offer much besides the cupcakes and the drinks. You go there with a purpose. Cupcake Junction had other treats like brownies and cookies and rice krispie treats (in ghosty shapes!) plus drinks and the build-your-own-cupcake bar. you can special order custom cakes at both bakeries. It does seem like Cupcake Couture has a leg up in cake design.
Website
Both shops have a website and it’s super easy to find Cupcake Couture online using Google. I couldn’t find a website for Cupcake Junction at all; although, they do have one because I saw a sign for it in the shop. They just aren’t doing great with SEO and such. Hands down, Cupcake Couture has the better website but website alone does not take the cake. ;)

cccupcake

Final Thoughts
Overall, Cupcake Junction was more fun, more comfortable and a better value if all you want it a cupcake but Cupcake Couture did one thing better; their frosting covers the entire top of the cupcake. CJ’s frosting is a thick twist in only the center and doesn’t reach the edges. I’m the sort of person who needs to have frosting (or butter or mayo or whatever other sauce) reach the edge of whatever it’s on. This doesn’t make CC the better shop, however; you still get a jumbo cupcake from Cupcake Junction. For custom cakes, I’d probably go with Cupcake Couture, instead.

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