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Best Seattle Cupcake: Dahlia Bakery

dahlia bakery cupcakeDahlia Bakery’s Easter cupcake

This is another in my sporadic series of “Best of Seattle” food posts. I LOVE cupcakes. And there are so few good ones out there. Cupcakes are so common that every bakery and market seems to offer them and over 99% are a sorry-assed excuse for what can be a glorious dessert.

What makes a cupcake so great is the juxtaposition between the firm texture of the cake and the moist richness of the icing. If you get that combination right you’ve created a heavenly thing. And Tom Douglas’ Dahlia Bakery does get it right. In fact, no other cupcake I’ve ever had in this town comes anywhere close. And if anyone out there has the temerity to argue that Cafe Verite’s cupcake royale is a worthy contender, don’t even bother. That is a feeble excuse for a cupcake.

Dahlia makes a different cupcake every day. They feature wonderful icings from chocolate, to vanilla to strawberry. The cupcake pictured here was made for Easter. You’ll notice the candy Easter egg in the nest. You can’t beat a pastry chef who manages to evoke such culinary creativity.

In my family, we don’t have birthday cakes anymore. We go out and buy a few Dahlia cupcakes and stick a candle in one. Voila–a lovely, simple birthday cake! Can’t be beat.

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Erin August 3, 2006, 2:38 PM

    Bless you Richard Silverstein. Having moved to this glorious city from NYC – where my cupcake consuming caboose was often found at the local cupcakeries (i.e. Magnolia’s and Billy’s), I am pleased to know about the Dahlia bakery as an alternative to the gerneric (and dry) Cupcake Royale treats.

  • Richard Silverstein August 3, 2006, 3:27 PM

    Erin: Welcome to Seattle!

    If you live anywhere near Leschi or Mt. Baker, Sweet & Savory (31st Ave.) makes delectable cupcakes though only on the weekends (at least that’s what the proprietor told me recently). Whole Foods cupcakes aren’t too bad either. But Dahlia’s rock.

    If you have any other food questions about Seattle pls. ask. Also, check out Seattle Bon Vivant and the eGullet NW food section for good local eats.

  • Lani September 8, 2006, 1:30 PM

    Ditto the Sweet and Savory cupcakes (the best strawberry cupcake ever!) but Macrina’s are also very good. The Mom’s Chocolate Cupcake was fantastic! Yes, I’ve always found Cupcake Royale’s cupcakes to be too dry.

  • Richard Silverstein September 8, 2006, 4:13 PM

    I just rediscovered Sweet & Savory by reading Seattle Bonvivant. I used to buy S&S cupcakes when the owner did the farmer’s markets & they were heavenly. She hasn’t done the markets for a while & I never knew where her store was till recently. Almost everything they do is wonderful. However, yesterday I bought a chocolate cupcake there & did not like it. The cake was way too dry & crumbly and the icing was really hard. Not their best effort.

    As for Macrina, I find that everything they make with fruit is yummy especially their fruit tart (sort of like sachar torte). The jam is simply delectable.

  • Lawrence M. Fleetwood March 28, 2007, 4:06 PM

    Trophy Cupcakes in Wallingford makes fine cupcakes as well. Definitely up there with the Dahlia Bakery in deliciousness.

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