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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Buttercream: This One Takes the Cake

   As the cupcake craze swept the new millennium, cupcakes have become a dime a dozen (obviously, not literally since sometimes these bite-sized servings come with a somewhat hefty size-to-price tag).  I won't bore you with a debate as to why cupcakes have enjoyed the sudden rise to baked goods power (obviously there is something to be said about ease of carrying and portion control).  However, finding a quality option in the overabundant present state, post-cupcake renaissance, is far less likely.  Sure you can buy these delectable morsels pretty much everywhere, but are they really worth it?  Frequently the cupcakes I have encountered are cloyingly sweet, or the cake itself is dry and bland, making it, in my opinion, just not worth the extra calories.  Among Miami's multitude of options, I have found that one tends to stand out above its competitors.  Tucked along a quiet tree lined street, just around the corner from Sunset Place, lies my clear winner, Buttercream.
   If you are looking to order cupcakes/cake for a special event, to grab cupcakes to go, or just to come in and sit enjoying a indulgent mini-dessert, Buttercream is the place to come.  They've got a little table inside for rainy days and to escape the humidity, as well as a couple of bistro style tables set up outside.  Be warned though, while this is the best you can get in Miami in terms of taste, it is not exactly the place to find caramelized maple bacon or ginger lemon basil.  Their flavors skew more towards the mundane, although that's not necessarily a bad thing since they tend to do that very well.  They don't have crazy fillings, or quirky bases, the cake is pretty much always chocolate or vanilla, and then the frosting varies.  These are the cupcakes you'd make for yourself at home, if you were to take the time to find imported sprinkles and high end vanilla.
    In spite of the lack of crazy creativity, when you're looking for a well made chocolate, vanilla, red velvet, oreo, or peanut butter, this is the spot.  They use only the freshest ingredients (I remember learning on my first visit they use a Callebaut Belgian Chocolate and Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla), which leads to cupcakes tasting extra moist, and full of flavor.  I've never had such a fantastic and rich vanilla cupcake, and I really appreciate that the vanilla bean seeds are visible, reifying the whole quality ingredients concept.  However, while standard flavors dominate the menu, the do offer up a couple more original options too on a rotating basis. 

Like I said, Buttercream really wins me over with just a plain vanilla cupcake (a surprisingly simple favorite).  However, if you're looking for something a bit more, they've also got an oreo version, which come with either a vanilla or chocolate base and then vanilla frosting with oreo bits. 
I also am a huge fan of the chocolate cake with peanut butter and the chocolate cake with hazelnut, both of which offer very light and tasty frosting to compliment the cake without overwhelming it.
I recently also discovered their pistachio cupcake, a rotating variety that I stumbled upon out of sheer luck.  I thought it was quite pleasant, with a lot of pistachio flavor in the frosting, and a fair crunch from the sprinkling of nuts on top.
The Red Velvet has received many accolades from friends, although this is the one cupcake that for me, just isn't quite what I'm looking for.  Maybe it's that the frosting is more vanilla bean than traditional cream cheese, but whatever the cause, I just find it a bit off.  Again though, I know other people that love it, so it is probably just a personal preference thing.
Recently, I also went to a party where they also had ordered a Neapolitan cupcake, which was a regular vanilla cake base with strawberry frosting, and then the cupcake was dipped in a chocolate ganache, and sprinkled with pink chocolate shavings.  Stylistically beautiful and delicious!
     If you're not quite in the mood to indulge in a decadent diet-ruining treat, don't fret.  They may still have something to pique your interest.  Another huge selling point of Buttercream is their selection of drinks!  Even if the bakery isn't open yet, you can call ahead for a curbside delivery of their coffee.  Mon.-Sat. from 8am-11m, and Sundays from 9am-12pm, call up (I've posted their number below), drive over, and they'll come out with a piping hot (or iced) version of your favorite beverage.  I'm personally partial to the spiced chai latte, which is sweet, creamy, and has hints of spice (in a flavorful cinnamon, not hot kind of way).  If that isn't your thing though you also get white chcocolate mochas, dulce de leche frosted coffee, frosted tea, or your standard espresso, vanilla latte, and hot brewed coffee (they use a Colombian roast).  For a marginal charge they offer soy or organic milk, or a shot of regular or sugar free syrup.

To place an order or to learn more about them, check out their website at: http://www.buttercreamcupcakes.com/

You can find the store located at:
     1411 Sunset Drive
     Coral Gables, FL 33143
     (305) 669-8181
     Buttercream Cupcakes & Coffee on Urbanspoon

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