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Pacific Whey and the Chocolate Cupcake

December 24, 2008
The red velvet and vanilla buttercream with
holiday toppers are Pacific Whey cupcakes.

Pacific Whey is a popular Orange County cafe with
locations in the Crystal Cove Promenade, Newport Coast,
Newport Hills Shopping Center and Ladera Ranch.

Last year Pacific Whey opened its 4th cafe at South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa.
Now I know why I never located it. It’s located off the beaten track
in what used to be known as the Crystal Court on Bear Street.
After visiting the Paul Frank Store I discovered Pacific Whey
when I was looking for a restroom. Of course, I had to order a cupcake.

Last May, Kate Lucas of the O.C. Register wrote a food
feature on the best cupcakes in Orange County.
The food writers awarded Pacific Whey
the honor of the Best Traditional chocolate cupcake.

“The frosting was silky smooth and tasted like melted chocolate.
The cake part was fluffy, moist and rich in chocolate flavor”

It was early evening and the bakery case was almost empty except for
what appears in my photos. I wanted a chocolate cupcake.
The waiter pointed to the “old fashioned chocolate cake” that appears in the photo below.

Dayum. That’s a “fat ass cupcake,” I said.
It was the largest cupcake I’ve ever seen.
It was bigger than a Crumb’s cupcake and those are big ass cupcakes.

“That’s really a cupcake?”, I repeated.
The waiter nodded in the affirmative.

Another waiter overheard the dialogue.
He looked at his co-worker sideways.
“That’s not a cupcake. That’s a cake. It feeds 2 people.”
I started to laugh. That’s what I thought.

My waiter looked embarrassed and grinned.
The other waiter told me I had a choice between a
red velvet or a vanilla buttercream.
All the other cupcakes were sold out.
Honestly, neither looked very inviting.
I really wanted to try a chocolate cupcake.

I decided to pass.
“Give it to her.”
“Huh?”

My waiter removed the cupcake on steroids from the bakery case.
I offered to pay for it but there was no charge.
The same cake/frosting is used to bake the chocolate cake/cupcakes.
The cupcakes are popular and usually unavailable by late afternoon.

Of course, free food tastes good.
But, truth be told, the chocolate cup/cake was good.
The cake was moist. Kinda spongy. The frosting was rich and velvety.
Smooth. It had a “Yum” factor.
After a couple of bites I was done.
The rest was boxed up and went home to my freezer.
I picked at it for a week, a bite or two at a time.

The next time I happen by a Pacific Whey cafe,
I intend to order the carrot cake “cupcake.”

The cupcakes normally sell for $3.25.
The cake is $4.95 and really can feed 2 people.


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