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Monday, May 3, 2010

Elizabeth’s Pick: The Best Cupcakes Ever

When it comes to cupcakes, I don’t mess around—no matter how cute they look. I’ve tasted quite a few lately, thanks to the myriad bakeries that have cropped up around the Cities, and, well, meh. Most of them were inexcusably dry and tooth-achingly sweet. Don’t even get me started on the shortening I detected in some icing. And then there’s Sweet Retreat. The new bubblegum-pink bakery and coffee shop at 50th and France in Edina reminds me of an old-school ice cream parlor, complete with striped awning, little round tables, and wrought-iron stools. These darling details would mean nothing if it weren’t for the cupcakes. Oh the cupcakes. Perfect pillows of buttery, rich, delicate goodness topped with fluffy, buttercream frosting hand-mixed using the ratio of fat to sugar that God intended. They’re the best cupcakes I’ve ever eaten. (For the record: I’ve been to NYC’s famed Magnolia Bakery, and Sweet Retreat’s cupcakes are a million times better.) You can choose from nearly a dozen kinds, including the best-selling Red Velvet, the kid-friendly S’mores, and my favorite: Coconut. For special occasions, Sweet Retreat seals boxes with clever stickers (He’s Dumb. Eat a Cupcake). For Mother’s Day, the bakery is taking orders for whimsical, and very edible, cupcake bouquets ($34). To sweeten the deal, they deliver—in a pink VW bug no less. It’s enough to make cupcake eaters out of us all.


Sweet Retreat
5013 France Ave. S., Edina

Posted on Monday, May 3, 2010 in Permalink

Comments may be edited for length, clarity, or appropriateness.

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May 3, 2010 05:00 pm
 Posted by  Suzette

I concur! I've been in twice and last weekend ordered a few dozen for the toddler's upcoming birthday party. They took pity on my baby belly and gave me a free "cake ball" chocolate cake, dipped in chocolate with chocolate icing. Yummy!

May 4, 2010 02:30 pm
 Posted by  iBurt

Ooooh. Can't wait to check this out! Thanks for the tip. I recently spent 2 weeks in NYC & visited a cupcake bakery almost every day...because...well...NYC is the Mecca of Cupcakes, I saw no other choice. Magnolia certainly disappointed.

Recently, back at home, I had the Cocoa & Fig Black Velvet Cupcake. The cake was _perfect_, still on the fence about the strong cream cheese flavor in the icing....

May 4, 2010 04:23 pm
 Posted by  renee

I mean no disrespect Elizabeth, but either they gave you preferential treatment so you'd write a good article or your expectations for good cupcakes are frightenly low. My husband and I were really excited to try Sweet Retreat and anxiously awaiting its opening this spring. However, upon tasting the cupcakes we were thoroughly disappointed. The frosting was hard and the staff was unpleasant. I tried a cupcake called Monkey Business (Banana cake with choclolate frosting). The Cake tasted terrible - fake banana flavor and the icing was too hard to appreciate. My husband had a chocolate cupcake with vanilla buttercream. His cake was better, but the icing was still bad. To top it all off, the service was horrible. We ordered two cupcakes and a milk and the lady boxed up one cupcake, so we had to ask for the other and the milk again and she got the other cupcake but still neglected to get the miilk, so we had to ask a third time for the milk. Seriously? Sweet Retreat serves far from the best cupcakes ever. In fact, they were some of the worst. I wish the cheese shop would come back. They had good food and fantastic service.

May 4, 2010 04:28 pm
 Posted by  robpahrrk

I am not sure we ate at the same place here? My experience was far less optimal. First off the person waiting on my wife and I at the counter managed to forget our order twice and then forget the milk to go with our cup cakes. After that we forced down a bite or two of the

DRY CAKE which dawned


we tossed the rest and departed unsatisfied with both the food and the experience.

A patron would be better off walking across the street and having a slice of red velvet cake at Salute.

May 4, 2010 11:17 pm
 Posted by  cuppycakers

I think the two bad reviews are unfair. first they only needed to post once since they are posting about the same experience.
I however loved these cupcakes.
i have never been to NYC or their famous cupcake bouteqs but
when i first came here i was expecting a cupcake like any other.
i had no idea cupcakes could be so meticulously decorated or deliciously baked.
the cookies and cream cupcake is absolutely amazing.
and i thought the service was great
the girls here are funny and always greet me with a smile!
i think i am fast becoming a regular here.

May 5, 2010 04:25 pm
 Posted by  MaggieC

I brought home a 4 pack for my family and we could not have been happier with each of our choices! I chatted with the gal at the counter for a bit, and she was friendly and helpful. When I create my business website, you can bet I'll be putting a link to their website on it! I know my clients would be thrilled with both the look and taste of the treats at Sweet Retreat!

May 6, 2010 09:00 am
 Posted by  Tubby

I've never seen such an over-the-top, gushing review like this, but it's actually justified. I've enjoyed these cupcakes on more occasions than I should admit to, and they are sensational. Deep, rich, moist cakes, and creamy frostings you wish they sold by the gallon. Is it possible that a few naysayers got a bad batch? I suppose. Or maybe they were just having a bad day, in which case, nothing tastes good (or maybe they're just sour-grape competitors!). The simple chocolate with vanilla buttercream is the stuff of dreams.

May 8, 2010 05:33 pm
 Posted by  Naomi

I haven't tried Sweet Retreat, but I'd urge the people who were disappointed by their cupcakes there to try the (recently opened) Cake Eater Bakery in Seward (2929 E 25th). I took my daughters there a few weeks ago and my lemon cupcake was out of this world. I also liked my older daughter's S'more cupcake; my younger daughter picked a gluten free cupcake and I can't recommend those (but standards are different for gluten free baking).

May 22, 2010 07:41 pm
 Posted by  cakelover

Love the decor, the friendly countergirl Lara and especially their cake designer decorator Cathy. She was a joy to work with and designed a dream cake for us. Trained at le Cordon Bleu she can do anything with cake! We had a blast brainstorming with her and the cake looked just like her drawing. Move over Duff!

Dec 18, 2012 02:09 pm
 Posted by  cypress


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