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Cupcake Love in Solana Beach

Cupcake Love. Photo by Emily Robichaud.

The woman who cares for the arch in my eyebrows tipped me off to the decadent sugary wonders of Cupcake Love & in Solana Beach. Since she cultivates beauty for a living, I figured she would know a thing or two about a good cupcake. Turns out she couldn't have been more right. & The precious morsels are encased in a jewel box of a shop--the walls are appropriately pink, crystals adorn the cupcake plates, and a very Design Within Reach (For a Few!) chandelier hangs over the counter.

The current cupcake craze was (arguably) begat by Sex and the City, whose leading ladies swooned over the petite wonders at the West Village cupcake emporium, Magnolia . When I moved from NYC to San Diego a little over a year ago, the cupcake craze was in full effect, with lines snaking around Magnolia's block on weekend afternoons. Slowly, the craze spread throughout the country. This summer I witnessed cupcake mania when Georgetown Cupcake opened in Washington D.C.-come morning there were lines around the block, and each evening co-eds and Georgetown hostesses tiptoed home in order to keep their cupcakes fully upright.

Like any other self-respecting female in New York, I (grumpily) waited in the winding Magnolia line for an hour for my sugar/proximity-to-celebrity fix. But quite frankly, I think Cupcake Love's cupcakes blow Magnolia's out of the water . The frosting to cake ratio is very generous-Cupcake Love doesn't skimp. Their frosting is a smooth and creamy buttercream, with no residual sugar crystal crunch. The cake is very moist and has a nice crumb. Unlike many cupcakes, the cake has a lot of flavor-- chocolate tasted like chocolate, the vanilla like vanilla. I'm a big fan of the Coconut Cream Dream, (they reminded me of the Hostess Sno balls my Dad used to buy for my sister and I on road trips) a cupcake made of smooth white velvet cake covered with Italian buttercream (according to Cupcake Love they buy their ingredients for this from Italy) and rolled in coconut. The Vanilla Loves Chocolate was also delicious and perfect for anybody who is a fan of black and white milkshakes - it's the black and white of cupcakes, with vanilla cake and chocolate buttercream.

Cupcake Love adds a new flavor weekly to their roster and can fulfill special orders. They also make other baked goodies like brownies and lemon squares. (After you've tried all of their cupcake flavors, of course!)

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