I've never lived in New York, but I used to go and visit friends there every year, when the cupcake craze was just taking off. We'd visit Magnolia, Buttercup, Dean & Deluca, and others I can't even remember. So that's how I got hooked on cupcakes.
While I was living in Shanghai, one girl brought the cupcake craze to the city but only via delivery, so it wasn't as though I could go pick up a cupcake whenever I was craving one (although she did later start distributing through Gloria Jean's coffee).
Now that I'm back home, I've been craving cupcakes. I guess it's mostly just because they are available! I tried to bake some (usually, I'm a pretty decent baker) but for some reason, they were all disastrous and like solid little lumps, instead of nice light, moist, risen delightful cakes.
So I went cupcake exploring and tried out 3 of Honolulu's cupcake shops. Here are my favorites:
#1) Cake Couture (Aina Haina)
This is my ultimate cupcake. The cake is moist and has the perfect crumb. The frosting is sweet, buttery and loaded on. The store is perfectly designed - very clean, modern look.
#2) Cake Creations (Manoa)
This is a relatively new shop, I believe. She started out doing wedding cakes and expanded to have a storefront bakeshop. The cupcakes were beautiful - best presentation - but the cake tasted a little like a cake mix and was not as moist as Cake Couture. Only 3 flavors available in the shop when I was there.
#3) Hokulani (downtown / restaurant row)
Most variety of flavors but lacking in presentation and taste. They were cute, but more of in a home-made looking way. The cake was a little dry.
Tell me, are there any cupcakes out there that I am missing?