Monday, May 7, 2012

Review: Sugarland

I visited the second stop on my Raleigh cupcake tour this afternoon. This week brought me to Sugarland, a new off shoot of the popular Chapel Hill bakery. This location is nestled in Cameron Village surrounded by boutiques and restaurants.

I did some research before this trip. What I found upon reading was what can only be described as swagger. Interviews with the owners of the famed bakery seemed to believe that their new location in Cameron Village would have no real cupcake competition. A bold statement.

If you are going to make such a claim, you better have the cupcakes to back it up. Sugarland does.

They also sell an amazing assortment of creamy and brightly colored Gelato (to be sampled in due time). Did I mention that they use that gelato to make martinis? Did I also mention I want to live there?

Inside, the walls boast towering model wedding cakes. The decor is simple with wooden tables and chairs. It is clear that the gelato and cupcake cases are the focal point of the shop. The cupcake case featured unique flavors like Mimosa, Guiness & Chocolate, and Hot Fudge Sundae. All varieties were $3.50. They also had a variety of tarts and other desserts (like the classic banana pudding) for people who don't want cake or gelato.

Jeff came with me to Sugarland which meant I got to try his cupcake in addition to my own.

I got the Frat Boy cupcake. It was a Guiness Chocolate cake with a summer bock frosting. It had a salted caramel filling and drizzle and was clearly topped with a chocolate covered pretzel.

If all frat boys were like this, I would like them a whole lot more.

In all seriousness, the cupcake was salty-sweet-soft-crunchy-creamy. I love beer (this cupcake was made with two kinds), chocolate,  and salted caramel. Also, pretzels are one of my main food groups. So it really appealed to me.

While my cupcake had a lot going on, Jeff's was a basic, classic combination and admittedly a better choice.

He got the Butterfinger. It was a simple chocolate cupcake with peanut butter frosting/filling and bits of the Butterfinger brittle inside and on top of the cake. The frosting was not greasy as peanut butter frosting tends to be. It was a pretty well known combination of flavors, but it was done right. That makes all the difference.

Sugarland lived up to its hype. Not only were the cupcakes delicious, the people working there were nice and helpful. I will be back for more cupcakes. And gelato. And martinis.

Sugarland is located at 1900 Cameron Street, Raleigh, NC.

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