Ingredients Archives: Frosting

Sugar Shots from the D Bar Opening

Mini cupcakes from D Bar in San Diego

D Bar officially opens today, right beside Snooze in Hillcrest. Both spots are Denver imports. D Bar is the creation of pastry chefs Keegan Gerhard (of Food Network fame) and Lisa Bailey. At the preview event, I sampled several savory items and a few cocktails, but the best part was the desserts, all of which were foot-stompingly, teeth-tingly good. Many of the items served were created specially for the preview, but the churros and souffle are part of the plated dessert menu. Scroll through the pics for a closer look at what’s in store at Hillcrest’s newest sugar shack.

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Taste Test: Regular, Gluten Free and Red Velvet Cupcakes from Sprinkles

San Diego Sugar | Sprinkles Red Velvet Cupcakes: gluten-free vegan regular

I feel bad for anyone whose dietary restrictions limits their intake of baked goods and other sweets. Vegans and those with gluten intolerance have it the hardest, but Sprinkles has created three variations on a classic cupcake flavor that lets more people experience the pure joy of partaking in a frosting-covered single-serving cake. This morning, I taste tested all three versions of their red velvet cupcakes to see how they are different and which one’s the best.

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Fast Food: Glazed Doughnuts from 7-Eleven

San Diego Sugar | Glazed Doughnut from 7-Eleven

As a transplanted Canadian, I take my doughnuts very seriously. On a weekly basis, I pine for the deep-fried dough of my homeland: Honey Dip, Marble, and Sour Cream Glazed doughnuts from Tim Hortons, washed down with a frosty Iced Capp. And though the food scene in Southern California does have its advantages, when it comes to doughnuts, the options are severely lacking. Though my better judgment advised against it, my crippling doughnut cravings (and curiosity) drove me to try 7-Eleven’s 2 for $1 Glazed Doughnut deal. At best, I’d discover a reasonable replacement for my beloved Timmy’s, and at worst, I’d be out a buck.

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Sweet Trip: San Francisco Sugar

San Diego Sugar | Mango Mochi San Francisco

One of my favorite things about San Diego (aside from the palm trees, beaches, and cheap Mexican food) is its proximity to San Francisco. Hop in a plane and you can be there in about 2 hours (including baggage pick-up and BART). On a recent four-day binge vacation full of discovery, eating, and lots of walking up hills we sampled some truly spectacular sweets. Here are some of my favorites:

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Carrot Cake from Sugar and Scribe Bakery

San Diego Sugar | Carrot Cake from Sugar and Scribe Bakery

Admittedly, most of my trips to Pacific Beach are centered around frozen yogurt, but I’m glad I stumbled upon Sugar and Scribe, a relatively new Irish bakery on Garnet Street. The cozy shop features a variety of baked goods, including scones, breads, coffee cakes, and pies, but once I locked in on the carrot cake ($5), I couldn’t budge. The single-serving sized cake was slightly cupcake-like in appearance, with a dollop of cream cheese frosting dusted with cinnamon on top.

I was curious what made an Irish carrot cake different than a regular carrot cake, and luckily, Owner Maeve Rochford-Shulz was able to fill me in.

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German Chocolate Cupcake from Sweet Treats Truck

San Diego Sugar | German Chocolate Cupcake from Sweet Treats Truck

San Diego’s food truck scene has reached critical mass. It seems like every weekend, there is at least one food truck event, ranging from small gatherings, to full-blown festivals. Hoping to find something in the middle, I headed to 57 Degrees, for their monthly gathering of food trucks, which happens on the third Friday of every month. Fifteen food trucks set up shop in the parking lot, including a few options for sweets.

After gorging myself on savory items from The Gathering Spot, I almost didn’t have enough room for dessert, but leaving without something sweet just wasn’t an option. The Sweet Treats Truck had several tempting options, including peanut butter brownies, red velvet whoopie pies, and eclairs, but once I laid eyes on the German chocolate cupcakes, my dessert dilemma was solved.

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Cheap Thrills: “Little” Cinnamon Rolls from Homies Cinnamon Rolls

San Diego Sugar | Cinnamon Roll from Homies Cinnamon Rolls

If you’ve ever walked by a Subway and been bowled over by the delicious scent of fresh-baked bread, you’ll understand why it was impossible to walk by Homies Cinnamon Rolls without going inside on the pretense of “just taking a peek”. Fresh rolls were baking in the oven and the aroma of warm pastry and cinnamon was wafting out the door.

The shop offers a few different flavors of cinnamon rolls, including apple, pecan, and raisin, but only the original flavor was available when I visited.

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Cupcakes made with Beer at Pubcakes

San Diego Sugar | Collection of Cupcakes from Pubcakes

San Diego’s vibrant beer culture is so pervasive that it seems like a perfectly natural place for a bakery like Pubcakes — where you can get cupcakes made with beer. The combination may at first seem strange, but after sampling several different flavors, I can confidently say that not only does the combination of beer and cake work, it’s magical.

The five flavors we sampled were Irish Carbomb (a deep chocolate cupcake frosted with Guinness and chocolate whiskey ganache), Stone Portzilla (made with Stone Smoked Porter, a coffee ganache, and caramelized coconut), Top Ten Cake (with Karl Strauss IPA and sweet and spicy cherry frosting), Cup ‘O Hefen (with Ballast Point Wahoo Wheat and a citrusy icing), and one of the newest cupcake creations, a ManzaNeed It! (with Manzanita’s Gillespie Brown Ale, black pepper, and Nutella buttercream).

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Cupcakes from Babycakes

San Diego Sugar - A cupcake from Babycakes

In Hillcrest, San Diego’s gayborhood just north of the downtown core, dessert options are abundant. One of the best places to satisfy a sweet tooth is Babycakes, a cafe/bar that serves some of San Diego’s biggest and most frosting-laden cupcakes.

Cupcakes come in a mind-boggling variety of flavors, including classics like vanilla, chocolate, and red velvet, plus inspired flavors like blood orange, guava mango, and peanut butter and jelly. For $3.50 you get a larger-than-usual cupcake topped with a towering swirl of icing.

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San Diego Sugar is a site devoted to discovering the best sweet eats that San Diego has to offer. We take photos of sweet things, eat them, and write about them. Learn more →