Oct 15, 2011

Frostings, Etc. Tampa, FL Cupcake Review

The Place:  Frostings, Etc. 500 South Howard Ave. Ste. F, Tampa FL 33606
The Flavors:  Champagne Pear Bellini, Death By Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Red Velvet
The Drawback:  Parking.  Almost impossible.
The Conclusion:  Buy the cookie dough icing in to-go containers and use at home.  Liberally.  Do the shots. Get the Champagne Pear Bellini, maybe 2.

I was given a couple tickets to a women's conference in Tampa FL and asked to review it on my blog.  So it was that I found myself wandering around Tampa with a couple girlfriends.  With you, my hungry reader, in mind, I decided to visit a few cupcake shops.  And my friends -- well, they were eager to help in any way they could.  Selfless friends that they are.....

We drove into the SoHo neighborhood, circled a few times looking for a parking spot and entered Frostings, Etc.   Joe Barbato, co-owner, brought us our cupcakes, plus a few extras on the house, plopped cupcake headbands on our heads and sat down to have a chat.  

Joe, originally from Connecticut, opened the shop about three years ago with Sharon Tabasco, a Jersey girl.  He rubbed it in how we missed out on the morning's flavors:  Banana Dream, Chocolate Guinness Beer, Oreo Cookie Cream.  These sold out early.  But Champagne Pear Bellini, he said, he had in minis and he set a few in front of us.  Wow.  Refreshing, light cream cheese based icing.... chunks of pear in the cupcake.... these were excellent served chilled. 

Our absolute favorite was the chocolate chip cookie dough pictured above.  I've been to a lot of cupcake shops and I've never.... NEVER had one this good.   Carefully getting both cake and icing in a forkful, (seriously,that detail is crucial) Connie moaned, "That's insane."  I begged Joe for some baking hints on this baby.  "It's mostly in the mixing," he admitted.  "It has to be mixed precisely the right amount of time.  If Sharon gets sidetracked and mixes it wrong, it's ruined."  What I did find out: The icing is pretty much pure dough without eggs.  The cake was mostly vanilla, but I tasted a spice or two, maybe nutmeg?

The chocolate chip cookie dough icing is so good, they sell it to-go, cakeless.  You can get a "shot" for just 75 cents.  I know, right?!  Icing shots!!  Who knew??  You can get a larger tub as well.  If I lived here?  I'd make my own cupcakes and purchase the tub of icing with which to frost my cupcakes, plus a shot for myself.

We also tried Death by Chocolate and Traditional Red Velvet, both of which were fabulous.  The icing on Death by Chocolate was a mousse type icing... light... frothy.  The cake had a surprise in the middle, very yummy.  It was not as sweet as it's peer at Cupcake in Columbia, SC, our usual cupcake shop.  Jen preferred this one over the cookie dough, admitting, "It'd be better if it was chilled.  The icing needs to be served cold."

Upon a second visit, Connie and I will get the chocolate chip cookie dough while Jen will stick with the Death by Chocolate.  Poor Red Velvet, she's so yesterday.

Catch Frostings, Etc on Facebook for daily specials.  Here's some more of my Cupcake Reviews.


Jen said...

Most excellent review my friend! Next stop...St. Pete's cupcake spot!

Linny B said...

I agree -- Joe and Sharon's cupcakes are the BEST in Tampa or anywhere!

pookie said...

If you have been here, tell us your favorite flavor.

Cinda From Citrus County said...

Pretty much anything that Sharon makes is my favorite, however the Pear has got to be the BEST! I live about 2 hours away and will go on a "cupcake road trip" from time to time. Never leave Tampa without bringing at least a dozen home with me!