I must be slacking in keeping up with the cupcake shops around the Bay Area because I found out from SF Weekly’s Top 10 Cupcake list that there are a few places still new to me. One of these yet-to-be discovered spots actually topped the list, at least according to the weekly.

Let’s Cupcake is fairly new, so it’s a big feat to be named the best in the city, beating out established cupcake bakers like Kara’s and Miette. So I went to check it out myself, catching the N Judah almost to the end of the line since Let’s Cupcake is in the Sunset District at Judah and 28th.

Colorful artwork on the wall plays up the colorful cupcakes

The place is actually more than a bakery. With its huge space and seating area, it was more like a lounge or café. The cupcake menu uses some familiar ingredients and familiar recipes like the red velvet, but there were a few unusual cupcakes to live up to the store’s boast of serving up some “un-ordinary” cupcakes. One of them included what’s known as the Panda cupcake, a cookies-and-cream tasting cupcake that has frosting shaped like a panda head on top.

I bought the Panda along with a special New Year firecracker (a spice cake with caramel frosting) and the red velvet. I enjoyed all of them, each offering different flavors but all moist and easy to eat. (Cupcakes run on the high end at $3 each.) The frosting, often butter cream or cream cheese, isn’t very sweet, which is just right for me.

I don’t know if Let’s Cupcake is the best in town, but it’s pretty close to the top. The location on the city’s edge (at least for me coming from the East Bay) does make it harder for me to frequent them often, but maybe that’s a good thing because I don’t want to end up looking like a Panda cupcake.

Let’s Cupcake, 2255 Judah St., San Francisco. PH: 415.702.9649. Open daily. Check out its Facebook page.

The Plain Jane cupcake ... vanilla frosting on a vanilla cupcake

The New Year firecracker cupcake was like a spice cake (left) and the cafe seating let's you lounge and enjoy your sweets.

The Panda cupcake has a cookies-and-cream flavor profile. (I think the Panda head looks more like a mouse.)

The classic red velvet tasted of fresh, quality ingredients

7 Responses to Going to the Edge for Something Sweet

  1. hungry dog says:

    I’m surprised the cupcake craze continues. I like them, but probably buy them about three times a year. Wonder how these little places stay in business? But good for them. I’ll check this place out…next time I’m headed toward Ocean Beach (it’s way out there!)

    • Ben Ben says:

      It does seem like the cupcake craze is dying down (if not dead by some accounts) but I still like ’em. I probably buy them maybe once a month, unless I hear of a new one to try. 😉

  2. Sandy says:

    Yum!! As an additional FYI, there is a delicious cupcake food truck driving around too. I think it’s called Sweet Treat Stop and it is mostly in the East Bay but look around for it!

    • Ben Ben says:

      Are you talking about the “That’s Sweet!” truck? They used to stop at my workplace in Oakland, and I liked their stuff. But Oakland is a bitch for food trucks, so now no food trucks in my area. And they mostly hang out in the lower East Bay like Union City and Fremont. 🙁

  3. Row says:

    Hehe, I thought the same thing when I looked at the Panda cupcake pic. That’s good that the frosting isn’t very sweet. I like cupcakes, but rarely buy them, because the frosting is usually too sugary for my taste.

    • Ben Ben says:

      I have to say, though, I may be developing a sweet tooth with all these cupcake testing! So maybe they might be sweet. But I generally don’t like sweet food so I know it’s at least not cloyingly sweet, and I’ve had cupcakes like that.

  4. Carolyn Jung says:

    I’m all for not-too-sweet frosting, too. These cupcakes look very inviting. Gotta put this place on my list for sure.