Sorry guys – no video this time around! I was sporting a serious bad hair day and a general case of the blahs (I was pretty much the opposite of how I describe the appearance of Lenox Cupcakes, which can be read here: http://cupcakecrusade.wordpress.com/2011/01/29/fancy-mall-cupcakes/). So, I figured I’d spare you all the horror of that picture show.
Last weekend, Steve and I jaunted to Jilly’s Cupcakery in Alpharetta, Georgia. Once we arrived, it was reeeeally hard to pick four flavors (that’s old news, isn’t it?). They informed us that the Red Velvet was their #1 seller (but I’m kinda getting tired of good ol’ Red Velvet. I didn’t think I’d ever say something along those lines! But I guess I’ve hit my limit, so I’m detoxifying now). Salted Caramel is the #2 seller, so I figured I’d go with that one. I thought the Orange Cream sounded dreamy…and the Strawberries n Creme had a buttercream frosting, which I’m always happy to see! But the saleswoman really sold me on the Blackberry Spice (one of the daily special flavors). Steve quickly selected Smores and Ultimate Chocolate.
Here’s the skinny on our spread:
~Smores (“classic chocolate cake topped with our signature “Light As Air” marshmallow frosting, and graham cracker pieces“): This little guy really was “light as air”, and the marshmallow frosting was very cloud-like, and it all smelled heavenly! Okay, back to earth…bonus points for fun toppings! Not only did you get the graham cracker pieces but also a Hershey’s chocolate square to top it all off. The taste just didn’t quiet match up to its appearance, though. I’m thinking a richer chocolate (maybe dark chocolate) and more dense cake to balance out the airy frosting would do the trick. Or a graham cracker crust bottom could be cool, too! Similar to the one in the cherry cheesecake cupcake we experience at Georgetown Cupcake.
~Ultimate Chocolate (“classic chocolate cake topped with our dark chocolate frosting and chocolate curls“): This one didn’t really grab me. And doesn’t exactly live up to its “ultimate” chocolate name…it’s more like “Just Chocolate”. The taste was slightly reminiscent to Duncan Hines, which we also encountered here and debated whether that was a good or bad thing .
~Salted Caramel (“classic vanilla cake, topped with caramel buttercream frosting drizzled with caramel sauce and a sprinkle of
sea salt“): As soon as my lips touched the frosting, I noticed a hint of salt and the vanilla flavor immediately followed. I’ve had salted caramel cupcakes before and could barely detect the salt, so I was glad this one lived up to its name! The frosting had a nice flavor and wasn’t overly sweet, which was a good thing since there was plenty of it. Unfortunately, the vanilla cake wasn’t very moist and had me questioning if it was baked that day.
~Blackberry Spice (“vanilla chai cake with a blackberry filling, topped with chai cream cheese frosting, a fresh blackberry, and drizzled with our homemade blackberry glaze“): I had a “wow!” moment with this one, and all its bursting-with-flavors charm! The cake was wonderfully fresh and soft, and the blackberry filling made for a fun and tasty surprise mid-way through. But the real show stopper was the chai frosting. Full of chai-flavored warmth and creaminess, it was a most delectable companion to the cake.
To sum it all up, I’d say one out of our four cupcakes had noticeably fresh/moist cake and Top 10 potential (the Blackberry Spice). The key to Jilly’s may be to order from their “daily special flavors” or to visit earlier in the day.
I reeeeally did love that Blackberry Spice cupcake, come to think of it. Not only does it score points for creativity (that was my first taste of chai-flavored frosting) and for having a filling (more bang for your buck, right?!), but it was also delicious to boot! I’m going to take a long hard look at the Top 10 and see if we can find a spot for this gem.
Let me break it down for ya!
Jilly’s Cupcakery / Alpharetta, GA ~ Roswell, GA / www.jillyscupcakery.com
1. Price: $2.75 each / $30 dozen. They have a limited amount of minis everyday, too! $1.50 each / $15 dozen. (I don’t know if I’ve officially voiced my adoration of minis or not, but I really think they’re the bees knees. Not only are they fun to pop in your mouth, but they’re so darn cute to look at!)
2. Room temperature: Yes!
3. Size: Average, with generous heaping of frosting. The Smores was a tad bit smaller than the others though.
4. Vegan or gluten-free options: Yes and yes! And not just on the menu! I saw them in the store with my very own eyes, ready for the purchasing.
5. To-go packaging: Square cardboard box, with dividers, and logo sticker on top.
6. Milk for sale?: I’m looking at my notes here, and don’t see milk amongst my chicken scratch (my handwriting really is atrocious). I did jot down the following beverages available for the pickin’ in their mini fridge: bottled soda and water, Vitamin water, orange juice, and apple juice.
7. Other treats for non-cupcake enthusiasts you may have in tow: No such luck. They do have t-shirts on display, but those are probably best suited for cupcake enthusiasts. Kroger is just a few doors down though, so that should fill any voids.
8. Ambiance: Inside Jilly’s, it’s very airy and clean. The cupcakes are displayed behind a sleek, yet charming counter with enviable pendant lighting above. For your dine-in pleasure – there were two leather lounge chairs, two high-top tables, and an outdoor table (does an outdoor table still count as “dine-in”?). They had a cute chalkboard on one wall and snazzy wallpaper on another, but Steve and I both remarked that something felt missing in the whole decor puzzle. There was music playing (good times), a plant on a corner table (love how greenery can cozy up a place), innovative display case (check!), natural lighting (I’m a natural lighting lover), clean floors and tables (I think everyone appreciates this, especially the health department), what was missing??? I’m guessing the unadorned white walls needed a little sugar, like maybe a punch of color. Or carry another complementary wallpaper around the rest of the space…
9. Service: Aww, they were so nice! The woman who rang us up was full of helpful information and just fun to talk to! She got bonus points in my book too, since she made a decision for me (I’m not a fan of making decisions…people love that about me when we’re trying to decide where to eat or what movie to see. Not really I recognize this is a weakness and am okay with it. Moving on!)
10. Three words to describe the Jilly’s Cupcakery experience:
1) Congenial 2) Adequate 3) Suburban
Next Up on Cupcake Crusade: La CupCakerie in Cumming, Georgia. I snatched up a Groupon offered earlier this week, so Steve & I can go feast on $20 worth of cupcakes for just $10. Some of their cupcakes are alcohol-infused (that’s double trouble). Here’s hoping I come out alive!