When one sets out to do a cupcake-themed blog of any kind in Seattle, it almost immediately becomes apparent that Seattle has cupcakes coming out its proverbial ears. Once upon a time, I am pretty sure that there were only vanilla and chocolate cupcakes; now, you can find cupcakes with bacon in them. Individualistic, highly practical for something so extremely frivolous, often sassy, and just a bit off-beat, cupcakes fit in on the Seattle food scene as snugly as a pair of skinny jeans and as comfortably as a vintage plaid shirt. Google "Seattle Weekly, Cupcake" and you'll see what I mean.
Cupcakes at Yellow Leaf
So why write another cupcake blog, you wonder? Well, I enjoy a challenge. And writing about Seattle's Top 5 Fall Cupcakes was extra challenging, since I don't eat gluten. This gave me the opportunity to put a spin on the cupcake topic: too many excellent cupcakes get topped with boring icing. Therefore, what is set before you here is a list of Fall cupcakes, selected by frosting samples... and then passed on to a panel of (very willing) friends to rank 1-5 for quality of overall cupcake ensemble.
5. Apple Pie Cupcake: Sugar Bakery & Cafe, 1014 Madison Street. This cupcake made the cut for the mere fact that it looks like it's topped with ice cream. After seeing several apple-themed cupcakes, this one proved that looks do matter. Regardless, the Cupcake Review greeted the idea of apple cupcakes with apathy. Apparently, apples belong in pies, not in cakes. I still think it's cute.
4. Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcake: The Yellow Leaf Cupcake Co., 2209 4th Avenue. Light textured with a Nutella filling, this cupcake inspired a minor Review controversy, which eventually boiled down to two facts: 1.) If you like hazlenut, you will love this. 2.) If you don't like hazlenut, this is probably not the cupcake for you.
3. Snickerdoodle Cupcake: Trophy Cupcakes, 2612 NE Village Lane. Cinnamon frosting. Do I really need to say anything more? Brace yourself for a sugar rush, throw a little premature Christmas music on the iPod, and go get one of these! It really is like a snickerdoodle, texture and all, but in miniature cake form.
Top 5 Contestants
2. German Chocolate: Wink Cupcakes, 1817 Queen Anne Avenue North. We debated whether or not German Chocolate was really a Fall flavor, but in the end, the cupcake won out regardless. As with any German Chocolate cake, it's the icing that makes it worth eating, but the accompanying cake here is proportionately rich, so the icing doesn't overshadow it. Wink offers several unique frosting flavors, but this one is particularly stunning. (Also worth mentioning is the Guinness cupcake offered in store on Saturdays.)
1. Pumpkin Cupcake with Cream Cheese Cardamom Frosting: Cupcake Royale, 2052 Northwest Market Street. Everyone who tried this independently gave the review "Hands down, the winner." (No really, everyone said "hands down." This cupcake is just that good.) Dense, but not dry. Sweet, but substantial. The addition of cardamom and the use of a cream cheese frosting make this cupcake unique on the current Seattle cupcake scene. And, of course, it's pumpkin, just as we're all getting in the mood for Thanksgiving vacation.