Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Enough With The Latkes! It's Cupcakes For The Last Day Of Hanukkah

Have you had your fill of latkes this Chanukah?  We have, and we accept some of the blame for overloading you with this potato delight, with recipes from The Bubbe and from Jamie Geller, the "kosher Rachael Ray."  So as we're getting ready to light the eighth and last candle tonight, we found an alternative delicacy to ring out the festival.

What is it?  Sufganiyot (donuts)?  No, it's cupcakes.  And if you live in Los Angeles, as many of our readers do, you're right in the middle of a battle for who makes the best kosher cupcakes.

Two new cupcake bakeries, Sweet E's and Magnolia, have opened in Pico-Robertson, one of the most populated Jewish neighborhoods in Los Angeles.  And each one is claiming to have the best cupcakes.  But they're not alone.  A third chain, Famous Cupcakes, has locations in North Hollywood and Beverly Hills.  All three have kosher certification.

As Orit Arfa posted in The Jewish Journal's blog,
Erica Tucker is no stranger to sugary battles. The baker has proven herself to be a valiant fighter on the Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars.” With the expansion of her delivery and catering baking operation into the Sweet E’s Mini-Bake Shop off the corner of Pico/Robertson—LA’s own Jewish quarter—her war has become a religious one.

The native-Texan has definitely made kosher way more hip and glamorous with her red carpet style opening on November 18. Pictures of her Tinsletown clients were served up as marketing frosting near the neat displays of the “mini-cakes” and other goodies.
But the LA branch of Magnolia Bakery has proven a stalwart kosher cupcake warrior.  Founded in 1996 in the Jewish hood of all hoods—Manhattan—the New York favorite was bought by Steve Abrams in 2007. The good Jewish boy opened three new branches in New York and made them all kosher. The LA branch opened this past July on the corner of Third Street and Orlando, not far from the other Jewish quarter—Third/Fairfax—bringing back some kosher bakery glory to a hood overshadowed by the rise of Pico/Robertson.
Arfa reported on the competition by personally sampling some of the offerings in this video.  Then take a look at the Hanukkah greeting from Famous Cupcakes as we bid farewell to Chanukah 2010.  Enjoy!

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