The Harbinger Online

You can have your cupcakes… and eat them too

Teadrops

Not an inch of paint can be seen behind the rows and rows of plants and flowers making up one of the walls at Teadrops.

This was the first thing I noticed as I walked in. I had never before seen the wall of a store purely dedicated to shelves of plants. Anywhere else, this may look out of place, but at Teadrops, it complements the cool, urban atmosphere well.

The modern black couches and chairs set up around the restaurant look inviting and comfortable, the perfect place to sip a cup of tea and eat a cupcake. Instrumental music completes the chic setting of Teadrops. An enticing smell fills the air. I took one more gaze around the shop and finally turned to the source of the fresh smell: the cupcake display.

There were six different flavors of cupcakes available. Each option looked appetizing and I silently debated which ones to go with. After talking to the friendly server, I decided to go with his two favorites: strawberry and fudge. The strawberry cupcake won the decoration award by far. It had swirls of thick, rosy pink icing spread over the cake. Sparkly sugar crystals graced the top, glistening in the light. The fudge cupcake on the other hand simply had a mob of heavy icing smeared on top.

Both of the cupcakes were refreshingly chilled after having been sitting in cooler all day. However, the combination of strawberry cake and strawberry icing on the berry cupcake was almost too much for me. I think this cupcake would have been better if it had strawberry icing with vanilla cake instead, to help calm down the intense berry flavor of the icing. The icing completely overpowered the cake, so I felt as though I was eating pure frosting. I did enjoy this cupcake, but not enough to buy it again.

I saved the fudge cupcake for last, thinking the chocolate would beat the berry flavor. However, the fudge cupcake didn’t quite do it for me. The cake tasted slightly dry and it wouldn’t have been good at all if it weren’t for the sugary flavor of the icing. On both cupcakes, the amount of icing smeared on top was a little too much. But if you are the type of kid who always eats the corner pieces of cake to ensure you get the most icing possible, well then a Teadrop’s cupcake has your name all over it.

Overall, the cupcakes were just fine. Although I wouldn’t advise you to make the trip out to Westport just to buy a Teadrops cupcake, if you are already in Westport and craving a dessert then you should definitely stop by Teadrops and spend some time in this contemporary store.

(2 stars)

Dolce Baking Co

Nestled between Village Flower Shop and Starbucks sits a one-of-a-kind bakery, Dolce Baking Co. Although it may be easily missed as most people run into either Starbucks or the neighboring TCBY on their quick trips to the village, one trip inside and you will never skip by it again.

I felt at ease just by taking one step inside. Deep brown paint smothers the walls. Splashes of color in the paintings and ceiling lights accent the walls finishing off the classy look. Upbeat music flows gently from the speakers completing the comforting environment. If the warm atmosphere of Dolce doesn’t capture you enough, the display case is impossible to turn away from. Rows and rows of fresh desserts sit on the shelves calling out to be eaten. The cupcakes especially caught my attention.

They are placed orderly in round glass platters. When I went, there were four different flavors available. Dolce has eight flavors of cupcakes that change each day. A deep red cupcake stood out at first glance. I immediately decided I had to try this red velvet cupcake. Thick white icing made one huge swirl covering the cake, although the actual cake was dense. The cake wasn’t exactly one you can crumble up dry, but it definitely wasn’t melt in your mouth moist. However, the vanilla icing makes a perfect pair with the red velvet cake. Although this cupcake didn’t quite live up to its decadent appearance, it was pretty good.

As soon as my teeth sunk into the chocolate cupcake, I knew I could never go back to the red velvet again. The cake was sweet and savory. Thick icing was also swirled in a perfect spiral on top, but that spiral was soon ruined as I set out to eat every last glob of icing.

The chocolate cupcake definitely outdid the red velvet, but both were very pleasant. TCBY and Starbucks desserts aren’t even in the same league as Dolce and should never be chosen over a sweet Dolce dessert. I will never be able to walk by this shop again without craving a chocolate cupcake.

(3 stars)

Cupcake a la Mode

One display case. Two rows of cupcakes. 20 different flavors each with their own unique name.

Cupcake a la Mode’s display case is filled with rows of tantalizing cupcakes varying in every flavor    and color. The creative names range from Love Doctor to Hawaiin Honeymoon to French Vanilla OOH LahLah. These original names are a little detail that prove how much dedication and work has been put into this cupcake shop. The workers care for every last detail in both the flavor of cupcake and the presentation.

After about five minutes of debating over which cupcake to try, I decided on After Dinner Mint and the classic Chocolate Obsession. As I took my first bite of the mint cupcake, I knew I had made the right choice. The After Dinner Mint really is the perfect post-dinner dessert. The moist, fluffy cake practically melts in your mouth, as the minty icing complements the flavor perfectly. However, as delicious as this was, it still could not compare to Chocolate Obsession.

Chocolate lovers out there — this one’s for you. The light cake was warm and decadent. These cupcakes sit at room temperature, unlike the chilled Teadrops’ cupcakes, creating a less refreshing but equally flavorful taste. The chocolate icing was smeared smoothly on top, creating the perfect icing to cake ratio for each bite. It was nearly impossible to refrain from consuming the whole cupcake at once. This cupcake was everything I would ever want from a chocolate cupcake. It is my new favorite dessert.

I have fallen as deep in love with the perfectly decorated cupcakes as the chic design of the store. Vibrant pink paint smothers the walls which stand out even more against the black and gray slate floor. The upbeat environment makes you fall in love with the shop before even trying one of their insanely good cupcakes.

Cupcake a la Mode wins hands down as the best cupcake store I have ever been to. I can’t wait to make more trips out to this store until I have tried every last flavor. If they taste anything like the two cupcakes I tried, my money will be well spent.

(4 stars)

Natasha’s Mulberry & Mott

A twist of white icing is formed on top of the cupcake, like a swirl of vanilla ice cream. As I bring the cupcake closer to my mouth I notice golden brown streaks that have been torched on top to resemble a roasted marshmallow. I note the creative design of this cupcake and take the first bite, not fully prepared for what was to come. I was at a loss for words as I swallowed my first bite of this cupcake.

The chocolate cupcake was like nothing I have ever eaten before. It was light and succulent and I could have eaten a whole cake of just this. On top of that lays a layer of chocolate ganache (an icing-like topping made with chocolate and cream) that was slightly melted creating a mouth-watering flavor. After this layer comes the marshmallow icing that towers over the cupcake.

Somehow, beyond my belief, the baker of this cupcake was able to capture the taste of the soft inside of a marshmallow perfectly and turn it into icing. Any one of these elements of the cupcake would have been superb on their own, and when combined, the explosion of flavors was beyond words. I guess I am slightly biased considering I love S’mores with a passion, but believe me, this cupcake was incredible.

After eating this astounding cupcake, no other could really compare. I tried the basic vanilla & buttercream cupcake and was slightly disappointed. It tasted pretty bland, but then again there isn’t much you can do to spice up vanilla cake. It was hard to go from a delectable chocolate flavor to good old vanilla. The icing, if you can call it that, really tasted like a huge scoop of whip cream. It was airy and sweet, not your typical thick cupcake icing. Still, it tasted pretty good, but it was a disgrace compared to the S’mores cupcake.

After finishing my cupcakes I glanced around the store and realized how elegant and sophisticated Natasha’s Mulberry & Mott is. Most of the elements in the store contain either white or gold, with splashes of pastel colors. The meticulously decorated cakes placed around the store give it an extravagant and fancy feeling.

The cupcakes I tried match the atmosphere of the store, for they too were artsy and perfectly crafted. Although I have definitely had better vanilla cupcakes, the S’mores cupcake was to die for and I plan on making routine trips to Natasha’s Mulberry & Mott to eat this wondrous cupcake.

(3.5 stars)

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