I feel like I've pretty much established how much I like, no love, cupcakes. I'm always on a quest to try them wherever they pop up. Some have the folly to say the fad is over and it's all about donuts now, and while they are good, they are not the small servings of cake and icing that bring me small moments of sugary joy. That's what brought me to Sift Cupcake + Dessert Bar. This is their fourth location and they won an episode of Cupcake Wars on the Food Network so I took my high hopes to their shop to try 'em out.
It's a cute little shop just off Fillmore with some tables out front to sit, a sitting bar around the wall and a case full of cupcakes and sweet confections. After looking at the choices I decided to go with the Battle Royale, which was a winner on Cupcake Wars and the Knock Your Sox Off.
Battle Royale is an almond cake with a blueberry tequila filling and acai berry cream cheese frosting. Knock Your Sox Off is a variation of a Boston Creme Pie, vanilla cake with Bavarian cream filling dipped in chocolate ganache for a topping. Above is a shot of them whole and then halved for the filling. Let's start with the good--the acai berry cream cheese frosting was tasty. It was thick and creamy and not achingly sweet, though it tasted more like raspberry to me than acai berry, but maybe that was just my taste buds. Unfortunately, it saddens me to say that was all there was good about both these cupcakes. The cake part of both cupcakes was too sticky, usually this is a sign of too much sugar and not enough baking time. The cake stuck to my fork like glue. You could also roll the cake into little sticky balls of dough, not appetizing. Plus if that was almond cake you couldn't taste it, it was more like a plain yellow cake. The blueberry tequila filling? You couldn't taste the tequila at all and the blueberry was barely detectable either. And yes while the frosting was good it was pretty much the only thing you could taste--it did overwhelm any other flavors that may have been present. The Bavarian cream was bland and barely a tablespoon if that. The ganache was like a bitter shell of chocolate that didn't help matters either. If these were Cupcake Wars winners they haven't done a very good job of recreating them here as the different flavors on both of these didn't not mix or compliment each other in the least.
Disappointment, they name is Sift and they haven't helped further the cupcake cause for me. Still I saw they had other things to offer and I truly wanted to give them another chance and went back to the dessert case and chose the Awe Snap whoopie cookie.
Housemade chewy ginger snap cookies with a lemon buttercream filling. The idea of it sounded great, the execution of it, however, not so much. Among the problems with this was it was WAY TOO SWEET. And if I'm saying it was sweet, then it truly was. The cookie was definitely chewy, if a bit too much. It was more overly moist mushy when it probably would have been better served to a regular crunchy ginger snap. But because the filling was overboard on both sugar and lemon flavor you couldn't taste the ginger in the cookie at all. The whole experience was more akin to eating a lemon flavored cube of sugar paste. Teeth achingly, headache inducingly sweet. That makes me 0 for 3 with Sift and I will be writing them off as a place I won't return to.
Maybe I caught them on a bad day and whoever did the baking put a little of this and not enough of that in the recipes causing them to slide to the too sweet to eat side for me. Though if you have four locations you'd think there would be a little more consistency. I'd hate to think this is the way they really want them to be. If sweet to the sweetest is you thing, then by all means head on down. If you like a little more balance to your flavors, however, I say seek your sweet treats elsewhere because there are plenty to go around in this town.