Recently, I decided to explore the Parisian world of cupcakes. As a first step, I spent some time browsing the web to see what our old friend Google had to say in terms of where to start. I got the standard map listing of places with the word “cupcake” in the name, and then another outdated website or two pointing me the direction of a few bakeries.
Last weekend, the Frog Prince and I had plans to go out for lunch at a restaurant we really dig in a neighborhood not too far from ours (posts about this place will follow, at some point, too. There is no shortage of good food in Paris, but the trifecta of good food, great service/ambiance and good pricing can be quite the rarity). Fortunately, one of the bakeries whose name came up in my search was located conveniently in between our place and the restaurant.
To start what I hope to be a long and delicious journey, I took the liberty of stopping in at a bakery that is touted for its cupcakes (and it’s tea) in the 11th arrondissement: Scarlett’s Bakery. Here’s my rundown of what Scarlett brings to, and puts on, the table:
At first glance – I was excited by the cute, clean shop. I didn’t take any pictures of the inside because it was small, we were the only ones there (when we arrived), and I didn’t want to be rude. But the décor of the bakery is colorful, warm, welcoming, and a little quirkier than most of the neutral-colored, traditional bakeries I find myself in in Paris.
At second glance – I was a bit disappointed. Scarlett seems to focus her cupcake energy on minis, which–although they are delicious and turned out to be the perfect size for splitting and sharing–wasn’t what I was looking for, or expecting. Additionally, although the flavors she had were amazing (wait for it), and typical of those you can find among French desserts (pistachio, tiramisu, etc.), some of the classic cupcake flavors were missing: namely chocolate, vanilla and red velvet.
At first bite – The first cupcake I went for first was cookies and cream, being that it was the closest I could get to the classic chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting, which also happens to be my favorite. The cupcake was sublime. The texture of the cake was not too dense but full of flavor, and the frosting was smooth and creamy. Frog Prince went for tiramisu and told me that “it was amazing,” and a friend went for pistache and was also impressed. Other flavors in our batch included pistache fraise (pistachio cake with strawberry cream), spéculoos (a French cookie of sorts) and caramel au beurre salé (caramel with salted butter). All were top-notch.
Overall – the shop is sweet, the selection was a bit limited, but the desserts themselves are to die for. I can’t comment on pricing just yet, as I need to try other bakeries to get a feel for the value in this category, but her minis ring up at 1.80 € a piece, with deals if you buy larger quantities.
Keeping my recommendations to a basic “GO” or “DON’T GO” level, I can give the green light to definitely GO to Scarlett’s Bakery!
I’d recommend the newly opened Sugar Daze shop in the 9th for your next trip – she’s the original cupcake queen of Paris and has some interesting flavor combinations (she also makes American-style birthday & wedding cakes). Be warned, they’re a bit pricey though!
That is my next stop after Berko’s! A fellow American expat and blogger (MommaExpat) wrote about them yesterday! I actually work in the 9th and had been looking for nearby shops and that one didn’t come up, so I was surprised to hear about it, but I’m VERY excited to try it!!! Thanks for the affirmation that I should do it! 🙂
I love mini’s, you can try a few flavors instead of just being “stuck” with one. The cupcakes in this shop do sound delicious, pistachio being among the top id try 🙂
Well as a hint to my future post reviewing the cupcakes I bought today, I will say that minis appear to be the trend here! Not a bad thing, just not what I was expecting… and they sure are yum! 🙂
I was surprised to see the storefront was in English. Is the bakery, or perhaps cupcakes in general, marketed toward Anglophiles? By the way, I’m still totally jealous that you’re in Paris! But, still, I am super happy and excited for you!
Hi Amy! If I had to guess, I would say that cupcakes are probably marketed to Anglophones a little more than Francophones, but we do not receive the entirety of their focus! Being that it is a definitively non-French treat, it makes sense to a degree, but the more I sample cupcakes with French friends, the more are being converted to cupcake lovers!! 🙂
Nikki, I do hope you will stop by – we offer a daily rotating selection of flavors amongst the 30+ cupcakes featured on the menu. I usually try to make at least one vanilla or chocolate variety every day and we regularly have red velvet (my favorite), carrot cake & other American classics.
I would like to address a PP’s comment about our prices. I can tell you I use high quality, natural ingredients in my cupcakes – Nielsen Massey vanilla, eggs from free-range chickens, real fruit and nuts, etc. The same cannot be said for all the other bakeries selling cupcakes at similar prices in Paris. I also hand craft the majority of my cupcake decorations which again is not standard practice here in Paris. I too used to work in market research and am a firm believer in the expression: GIGO (garbage in garbage out). You really can taste the difference in our cupcakes! 🙂
Hi Cat! I am definitely planning to stop by… hopefully next week! So excited to hear you carry the classics! I still haven’t had chocolate or red velvet over here!
Regarding pricing – was I the one to make a specific comment about your pricing? I don’t recall… but I do know that I’m looking for “value,” which in my world doesn’t mean “cheap!” Simply put, I want to know which cupcakes are the most worth my money, and that could be for any variety of reasons! Being that I’m a vegetarian as well, I have a lot of appreciation for care put into pure and natural ingredients (and I think you’re the first person I’ve heard mention the phrase “free-range” over here – yippee!!), and I personally am always willing to pay a higher price for items like that. Looking forward to tasting what you put together, and checking out your shop!! 🙂
Sorry, that was me – I didn’t mean it in a bad way, they are worth the price! I just felt the need to put a caveat out there, because I’ve sent a few friends there and two were upset I didn’t tell them the cost beforehand. But they are very well-crafted and the best in Paris IMO!
Incredible! This blog looks exactly like my old one!
It’s on a totally different subject but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Great choice of colors!