Monday, March 26, 2012

Nothing Bundt Cakes [4/5]

Nothing Bundt Cakes


Given the advertising bonanza that has announced their arrival, you have likely heard of Nothing Bundt Cakes which opened earlier this month in the Jones Valley shopping center. As part of that same PR blitz, they invited me in to try some samples and talk with the manager. I followed that up with a second visit to purchase some bundtlets (pictured above) in additional flavors.

The shop features a small display case, a rotating plate of sample squares (lemon on both of my visits), a large book displaying custom decorating options, and various cake related paraphernalia--stands, servers, greeting cards.

At any given time the shop feature 10 flavors of cakes, 9 of which are static and one which changes every 2 months or so. Currently, the bonus flavor is chocolate turtle. All cakes are iced with thick ropes of their signature butter cream cheese frosting (although a thinner "drizzle" style can be requested.)

Aware that cakes are often used to mark special occasions, Nothing Bundt Cakes makes it easy for their treats to serve as gifts as well as dessert. A large bunt cake (8", 10", or tiered) can be wrapped with either flowers or handmade bows and include a punny card. Bundtlets (approximately the serving of a large cupcake) can be packaged in stacks of three or wrapped with some of the small gift items from the shop. Even the buntinis (the donut holes of the bunt cake world, small treats sized for just a couple of bites and sold by the dozen) can be decorated with cupcake decorating kits sold in the store.

As for the cakes themselves? Between the tasting and the bundlets we purchased, we sampled 6 flavors. Across the board, the cakes were moist with a spongy texture and a tight crumb. The butter cream cheese icing had a tangy zip which paired better with some flavors than others, but the smooth, thick consistency was dreamy.

I am generally not a cake fan, simply because it seems like you get so little flavor for your calories compared to other dessert items. However, all six flavors held their own.

My favorite selections were the lemon and carrot cakes, both of which were perfectly complimented by the tangy cream cheese based frosting.. The lemon cake featured a bright lemon flavor and the carrot cake was dreamy, dense confection tasting of cinnamon and studded with shreds of carrot.

The hubby was won over by the chocolate turtle. A chocolate cake dotted with nuts and topped with a layer of caramel under the frosting, it offered more of a textural contrast. I found the caramel flavor was rather lost until we reached the center of the bundlet where the caramel had pooled. It was there that I discovered that the caramel had a spectacularly smooth consistency. I was surprised by how well the cream cheese frosting went with the caramel and chocolate.

The cinnamon swirl featured cinnamon chips sprinkled throughout a yellow butter cake. The yellow cake was delicious and the cinnamon chips gave strong bursts of flavor as you ate. This paired fairly well with the frosting.

The marble cake was a yellow and chocolate blend with a lightly sweet flavor. It was much tastier than a garden variety cake, but nothing about the flavor particularly grabbed me.

The chocolate chocolate chip was successfully chocolatey (something hard to achieve in a cake) but was a bit odd paired with the frosting. Unlike the cinnamon chips in the cinnamon swirl cake, the chocolate chips here were more discrete helping simply to intensify the flavor.

The two bundtlets that we purchased (the carrot and the chocolate turtle) were refrigerated overnight before we sampled them and were no hurt at all by their time in the fridge. Nothing Bundt Cakes recommends that cakes be refrigerated no more than three days and that the cakes be allowed to sit out for a few hours to come to room temperature before serving. Since it was just the two of us, we ate them straight out of the fridge, but the frosting was still soft and pliable.

Nothing Bundt Cakes keeps the focus on the cakes with a single frosting option and relatively minimal application. As much as I wish they had additional icing options, the cakes are good enough not to need the crutch of mile high frosting. This will undoubtedly be appreciated by the frosting haters but even this dedicated frosting lover found the cakes delicious enough that I didn't really miss it.

Total for the visit: $8.62 (includes two bundtlets)


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