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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Frost Cupcake Factory Opens in Downtown Campbell, CA

Two nights ago I hosted my own cupcake tasting (just for little 'ol me) because a new cupcake shop recently opened in Downtown Campbell.

The warm and welcoming glow of Frost Cupcake Factory beckoned me in like a moth to a flame.

The Kids Seating Area

Inside the cupcakery is cuter than cute!

The first thing I noticed was that I loved their branding. Their logo is whimsical, colorful, easy to read, makes sense and is just really clever.

Some Nitty Gritty Advice: So many businesses miss the mark with a logo that's too boring or hard to understand. Often they'll then magnify their weak branding with business cards that don't look like their website and a website that doesn't complement the look of their storefront. From business card to website & blog, to the storefront and final product each element is important because together they create the "experience" people have when they come to your shop or office or use your product or service.

There's indoor seating and a small lounge area with overstuffed chairs. The concept and look of the shop is spot on.

The display cases weren't overly full because I was there around 8:30 PM. But there were still plenty of flavors to choose from.

I wasn't the only late cupcake shopper that evening.

The case to the left held mini cupcakes and to the right the full sized varieties.

I tried 5 flavors. First I'll show them to you then describe each with interior shots after sampling each one.

Cookies n Cream (Full Size Cupcake)

Rose Velvet (Full Size Cupcake)

Key LIme (Full Size Cupcake)

Check out the lime curd peeking out from beneath the meringue.

Chocolate Cupcake with Marshmallow Topping (Mini Size)

Mocha Java (Mini Size)

You could really see the cookies in the Cookies n Cream. The crumbled chocolate cookie crumbs are in both the white cake and classic butter cream frosting. This cupcake is almost great and will be very soon.

Wanting to always give an honest review I have to say that this and the following Key Lime cupcakes were on the dry side. A deal breaker? For me? No. This is a brand new shop and I'm not surprised they may have a few kinks to work through. The important thing is if you are disappointed by one of their products they want to know. They want you to come to them and tell them so they can make things right for you. More on that at the end of the post *

Even though the cake was dry the Key Lime was my favorite! The tangy curd in the center was perfection and it sat beneath a pillow of meringue that actually tasted good! I usually don't care for meringue. It just feels like foam in my mouth and usually lacks any discernible flavor. But Frost's meringue tasted delicious and there was just enough of it to blend together all of the textures and flavors perfectly.

This cupcake rivals my other all time favorite, the "Fleur de Sel" at Kara's Cupcakes. But considering they are two completely different flavors with the Fleur de Sel being a chocolate cupcake filled with caramel sauce and topped with chocolate ganache frosting and sea salt flakes I think I'd have to say it's a draw between which of the two are my most "favorite" with the Fleur de Sel being a bit more sweet and the Key Lim more savory and tangy. My all time favorite between the two would vary from day to day :)

I really loved the mocha frosting on this chocolate cupcake. This is a quite refined Swiss meringue buttercream that is much more light, smooth and silky than a traditional butter cream and the mocha flavor really made me say "Wow!" You can't help but notice the coffee flavor as it fills your mouth and blends with the chocolate cake.

The Rose Velvet wasn't a favorite I think because the cream cheese frosting was just a bit too sweet for me. If you've tried it and loved it be sure to leave a comment sharing what you loved about it most.

This was my second most favorite cupcake of the evening. It's not a menu item though so it may or may not be available if you drop by Frost. It was a nice chocolate cupcake topped with a marshmallow frosting. SO YUMMY. It reminded me of eating a chocolate Hostess Cupcake, Ding Dong or Ho Ho but this a much more sophisticated and gourmet version of the classic Hostess treats.

Mission Accomplished!

Key Lime. Gone. Chocolate Marshmallow. Gone. Mocha Java will be gone soon. LOL The Rose Velvet and Cookies n Cream will be for today :P

And visit the Frost Facebook page for their inspiring "Frostisms"

And if you're a cupcake lover be sure to pop into their shop the next time you're in Campbell. They're located at 199 East Campbell Avenue right across the street from the Sonoma Chicken Coop. FTW check out their phone number 408-866-YUMM (9866). Love it!

* I went onto Yelp to see what others were saying about the cupcakery in general and while there were many 5 star reviews on the top page and lots more on the filtered pages, there were a few comments about some of the cupcakes being dry some, not all, of the time.

I know these days on the internet the tempting thing to do when you have a less than satisfactory experience of any type is to go online and write a review to share your opinion with the world. While it's certainly an option I prefer to reach out directly to management and let them know when I've been disappointed

A phone call to Frost this morning and I learned that the white cake base has been coming out too dry from time to time. Co-owner Andrea said they never want a customer to feel let down and invited me to come back at a later date to have the dry cupcakes "replaced" with new ones. That was a great response and one I wouldn't have received had I gone straight to an online review site to share my thoughts.

Making the phone call to the shop this morning I felt really nervous. I don't know the owners and not everyone appreciates constructive criticism no matter how well intended. Andrea's desire to ensure her customer's happiness made me 100% confident that in no time at all consistency of the white cake will not be an issue and every trip to Frost will be both moist and delicious :P

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