Saturday, September 12, 2015

Bakery Review: Cupcake Royale

As always, my reviews are unsponsored, and all opinions are solely my own.

September marks my return to a regular school schedule, but I spent much of the summer in "honeymoon season," traveling a lot with S... and one of the places we visited was Seattle! I'm super excited to announce that my first bakery review is for Cupcake Royale, the Seattle-based cupcakery!

Cupcake Royale, West Seattle, Circa 2013

Cupcake Royale's website can be found here.

The first time I visited Cupcake Royale was in 2013. I visited the West Seattle location at that time. This visit, I went to the Downtown Seattle / 108 Pine location.

Me with my first ever Royale cakes!

Both times, I found the ambience extremely enjoyable. In both locations, there was plenty of room to sit down and enjoy my cupcakes, and I didn't feel crowded or rushed. The decor was fun and cheerful: bright colors featuring their signature shade of pink, a modern/sleek aesthetic that was not overly distracting, and plenty of space to display merchandise that didn't feel overly crowded or cramped. They are also LGBTQ-friendly, which I think is an incredibly important asset to any business. Additionally, the staff were helpful and friendly, making an effort to chat and engage with me and my friends but never being pushy about purchases. They didn't mind the amount of time it took me to select my cupcakes, and helped create a warm, friendly atmosphere.

Full disclaimer here: As many bakers say, some people are frosting people... and some people aren't. Well, it's time for a full confession: I am not. My theory on cupcakes can be encompassed in one quick sentence:

The cake should be good enough that it doesn't need to be smothered in piles of frosting.

I think that the typical cupcake aesthetic is beyond cute and charming, but when it comes to actually eating it... I'm going to scrape off at least 75% of that giant mound of frosting.

Royale with Cheese and Strawberry 66

At Cupcake Royale, I don't have to scrape off the frosting, because they don't suffocate their little cakes in mountains of frosting. As such, Cupcake Royale receives a perfect 10 from me in terms of cupcake construction and presentation. They include enough frosting to complete the dessert, and present a full flavor palette– and even to please the frosting lovers, I think– but it doesn't detract from my enjoyment of the cake itself.

My grandmother chose Lavender and Snickerdoodle

In fact, the only place Cupcake Royale loses points is on flavor selection. Their website has (at time of posting) 21 flavors, but in store I only remember about 8 or 10 flavors being displayed. This makes sense for logistical reasons, but I wish there was a bigger variety within those 10 flavors: at least half of them were all variations of chocolate, vanilla, or chocolate-and-vanilla.

That being said, the other flavors they had were fantastic. Their tiramisu cupcake is definitely the best cupcake I had all summer, and that includes the cupcakes we had for my wedding.

Location: 5/5
Quality: 10/10
Variety: 9/10
Final score: 24/25

I would definitely recommend Cupcake Royale. The cupcakes were absolutely delicious, and my experience was fantastic.

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