I’ve had a cupcake fixation ever since my mom used to pick me up from preschool and take me to get a cupcake at the local bakery. I have to admit that although I gave up dairy years ago, I still eat the occasional cupcake, whether it’s the butter-laden kind or not.
My favorite cupcake shop in Los Angeles remains Big Sugar in Studio City, which does offer a very good vegan cupcake. But alas, for a Westsider, a trip to the Valley can be a daunting journey. So I have found my go-to substitute: SusieCakes.
Don’t let the fact that SusieCakes is a chain turn you off. I’ve only been to the Brentwood location, but every time I’ve gotten a cupcake there, it has been unbelievably fresh and moist. Every time. To me, that’s extraordinary. Freshness is the most important factor in assessing a cupcake. As much as I love Big Sugar, I have gotten cupcakes there that were a teeny bit on the stale side. And forget Sprinkles — their cupcakes are stale at least half the time.
The frosting at SusieCakes is also beyond reproach: smooth, creamy, not too cloyingly sweet. My only criticism is that there’s too much of it. Many of their cupcakes are filled with frosting, so that when you bite into it, you come across a well of frosting in the middle. This is simply too much frosting, if you ask me.
My favorite flavors are the chocolate with vanilla frosting and the chocolate with peanut butter frosting. Holy moly, these are good. Unfortunately, they don’t have any vegan or dairy-free cupcakes. But unless you have a dairy allergy, I would encourage you to put aside your dairy-free diet to indulge in one of these delightful treats. It’s worth it.
SUSIECAKES, 11708 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049