Friday, December 19, 2014

ManCakes Bakery

My sister was surprised to hear from me and more ecstatic when she found out I would be visiting her at work. But little does she know, the only reason is because I wanted her to come with me to ManCakes LOL. I do like visiting her at work occasionally though because the building reminds me of the show Suits, but their Harvey Specter is already married and has a family. Back to the cupcakes… there are a few cupcake speciality stores in Vancouver, where the most known business is Cupcakes by Heather and Lori.

Personally I am not a fan of Cupcakes by Heather and Lori because considering the "premium" prices being charged, their quality and lack of consistency is not worth it in my opinion. There are also plenty of bakeries that offer cupcakes but the only other specialty cupcake store I know of is Cassia Cupcakery on Commercial Drive.

As for ManCakes however, I consider their cupcakes "gourmet". From the quality and consistency to the fun and innovate flavours, ManCakes does not offer basic cupcakes such as yellow, carrot cake or chocolate topped with a variety of buttercream icings. Instead, ManCakes provides a variety of basic bases with the addition of a filling and then the buttercream icing. The filling is what makes a big difference for me because I can easily bake cupcakes at home, but how often will I bother making a filling if I am short on time? Let alone unique fillings such as theirs!

With regards to the name ManCakes, the story behind the business is that three gentleman friends united to make boring and overly sweet cupcakes fun, unique and better. The store is small but spacious, and there are comfortable seating arrangements along with a few stool seats facing the window for people watching. ManCakes is also known for their DeathWish coffee, which is 200% stronger than any other on the market. I do not drink coffee but probably should have tried it, just for the heck of it on my three visits.

$3.75 || 2 FOR $6.95 || 6 FOR $19.75 || 12 MINI TOOL BOX $19.75

Vanilla Base with a bacon and egg custard filling, topped with a maple syrup buttercream and granola crumble.

The cupcake tastes moist and there are bits of diced pieces of bacon, which are neither hard nor soggy. The flavour from the bacon does not really stand out though. As for the buttercream icing, the consistency is smooth and creamy with a sweet (but not overly) maple flavour. The maple flavour is noticeably stronger compared to the bacon, and the granola topping is a touch wet.

Vanilla base filled with a blast of pink grapefruit, topped with vanilla buttercream, a diamond of short bread and ground pink peppercorn.

Consistent with the Breakfast Cupcake, the cupcake tastes moist and the icing is smooth as well as creamy. The vanilla buttercream does not taste too sweet and the peppercorn taste is very mild, providing a bit of spiciness but not overwhelming one bit. As for the grapefruit jelly filling, the flavour is more like a peach than grapefruit and tastes more sweet than tart.

Spice base filled with whiskey infused chocolate ganache, white chocolate lime icing with a sugar and lime zest topping.

Asides from the name Whiskey Lime, this is a must order because of the gourmet ingredients! There is a nice tang from the lime zest and a very rich chocolate ganache. The ganache has a thick (in a good way) consistency and tastes sweet, but not overly. The flavour from the whiskey is surprisingly there too. This is definitely not a generic and boring cupcake. I am personally not a fan of spice cupcakes because the taste is "earthy", but the chocolate ganache makes it pretty good.

Chiffon base with a Sprite cream filling, cotton candy marshmallow icing, topped with pop rocks. This was a limited time cupcake to "keep the summer going" and probably the girliest looking one of them all.

The moist cupcake does not taste too sweet from the Sprite filling or the marshmallow icing. The icing has an actual marshmallow consistency and is nicely prepared. The pop rocks also provide that fun and popping sensation.

I purchased two ManCakes Groupon vouchers for five cupcakes at $11.99, but only two cupcakes could be ordered per day. So on my second visit, I brought BF here because it is ManCakes Bakery.

Spice base filled with a sweet apple cider jelly, topped with a brie cheese icing and crushed pretzel brittle.

The cupcake tastes moist (like all the cupcakes here) and has a hint of cinnamon, along with a sweet icing. The icing tastes creamy and the flavour from the brie is apparent. Furthermore, there is a fun apple jelly filling which does not taste too sweet. The crushed pretzel brittle also provides a bit of a crunchy element.

Spice base filled with pineapple cream, topped with tequila buttercream and roasted pineapple sprinkles.

The pineapple cream does not taste very strong, but does provide that extra bit of moisture. Moreover, the roasted pineapple sprinkles give the cupcake that extra texture (which I find actually dry). The tequila flavour is very mild too, which makes me prefer the Whiskey Lime cupcake more.

Vanilla base with strong cola cream, topped with rum buttercream and crushed coke candy.

The crushed coke candy has one of my favourite toppings because it provides an even distribution of tiny crunches. As for the the buttercream, the smooth and creamy icing has a mild rum flavour and does not taste too sweet. The cola cream also adds additional moisture to the cupcake and is not too sweet as well.

Chocolate base filled with mascarpone mousse, topped with vanilla buttercream, a dark chocolate disk and a red wine gelee.

The chocolate cupcake tastes very rich and moist, and the mousse cuts some of the sweetness. The wine gelee is also nicely prepared and tastes like a soft jelly.

On my third visit, I asked if I could use up both Groupon vouchers because… uh, no one was with me LOL. I was really excited about my third visit too because I wanted to try The Hunger Games #Mockingjay cupcake, which has the most suitable ingredients for me! Champaign infused marshmallow, passion fruit and lychee?! I did not see the cupcake in the display case so did not inquire about it, which I was pretty sad about.

Chocolate base filled with ancho chilli chocolate ganache, topped with vanilla buttercream and crumbled bacon.

The chocolate cupcake does not taste as rich or moist compared to the Red Wine one, but there is a generous topping of tender bacon. The bacon is neither crunchy nor stale. Asides from the bacon, the cupcake has a hint of spiciness from the chilli and a smooth vanilla buttercream.

CHICAGO, 3.5/5.
Vanilla base filled with caramel topped with cheddar cheese infused buttercream and caramel popcorn. The caramel popcorn is topped on the cupcake upon ordering, so the popcorn tastes fresh.

This is one of my favourites because of the caramel! The caramel tastes very rich, tasty and not too sweet. Moreover, despite the appearance, the cupcake was not sticky one bit. As for the buttercream, the icing tastes cheesy from the cheddar.

ManCakes Bakery overall serves fresh, unique and gourmet cupcakes. The prices are on the higher end but when you consider the quality and ingredients, it is definitely worth a try. Plus, Cupcakes by Heather and Lori are $3.50 and do not include gourmet filling and crazy flavours. With regards to my favourites, it has to be the Pink Peppercorn Grapefruit, Whiskey Lime and Chicago.

As for the service, one of the owners was at the store on all three visits. He was friendly, engaging and welcoming, while also making sure to ask everyone if it is their first time here. In addition, he always asked how the cupcakes tasted on every visit. If anything, there are uncomfortable looking streak marks on the tables and a stronger sanitization solution could prevent that.

- Owner who cares
- Unique flavours
- Quality ingredients
- Fresh and consistent cupcakes

- Pricier

- All three visits were during the early afternoon

ManCakes Bakery on Urbanspoon

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