Next after Groupon, Living Social (LS) is where I have made the most group-buying purchases. No doubt LS is doing a good business for itself but I’ve noticed they got a fancy new logo (can’t even remember the old one) and differentiating itself with family-oriented Family Edition coupons as well.
I didn’t know about Kreation Artisan Cakes, itself a narrow shop tucked between narrow shops on the west side of Cambie Street between West 17th and 18th Avenue. Their LS deal of $7 for a half dozen cupcakes (reg. $14.25) and $14 for a dozen cupcakes (reg. $27) sounded reasonable and their Cambie Village location sealed the deal for me–I could pick it up easily and support an independent, local area business!
Staying open until 7 p.m. was convenient for me to leave work without rushing and when I arrived, I think it was the owner, Kaeko giving a consultation to a couple about wedding products. I was not allowed to reserve cupcakes over the phone but learned that the LS cupcakes were pre-boxed and set aside. Coupon-wielders do not get to choose their flavours, as indicated in the fine print, “Flavors subject to availability”! But they pre-boxed six different flavours and that pleases the novelty-seeker part of me: the flavours we got included mango, passionfruit, cherry (with vanilla cake), chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry (with chocolate cake).
Honestly, I was relieved the cupcakes were not overly large; at the same time, just based on size they hardly seemed to justify their regular $2.50 price tag. In NPY’s health-conscious household, they went like hotcakes and I was further relieved that they were superbly light in taste and flavour! I had the mango vanilla cupcake first and I could tell from the first bite that the cake mix was, surprisingly, Chinese sponge cake. The mango buttercream had real mango flavour to it. And it all means I was quite nervous to try the chocolate cake. It was also the Chinese sponge cake flavoured with cocoa powder–not at all a decadent cupcake. The chocolate buttercream also tasted a bit like mocha.
I wonder how many other bakeries in this funny city are using Chinese sponge cake in lieu of the normal, sweet Western fare. So, contrary to expectations, I prefer and recommend their vanilla cupcakes more.
The galleries certainly showcase Kaeko Kanno’s experience in the craft of cake-making but I wish the website told me now long her company has been around. The marketing-wannabe part of me also would like to see proofreading of the website (a bad typo in the page title for some pages) and a custom sticker with the company name/logo on the plain white boxes would make the exterior look as special as the contents.