Before we get deeper into this entry there are a few things you should know upfront:
1) I am not a huge sweet fan. Sure, I enjoy a serving of ice cream from time to time, but first and foremost, I’m a savory girl and generally prefer salty to sweet.
2) I do not bake. I once tried to make cookies from scratch and ended up using almond extract instead of vanilla. A girl’s got to know her strengths and unfortunately the baking genes went to my older sister.
3) I’ve never really understood the fanaticism around gourmet cupcake shops.
On that last point, let me rephrase…I never really understood the cupcake fanaticism…until now. Bay area is replete with cupcake options. My neighborhood alone has three different options within a ½ mile walk. Kara’s Cupcakes, That Takes the Cake, and American Cupcake tempt passerbyers to stray from their diets and embrace the sweet. Yet, I can say that in four years of living in San Francisco I’ve never bought a cupcake from any of these hot spots. Cupcakes were just never my thing. And then I discovered Moon Baby Cakes.
Moon Baby Cakes is a one-woman show, and that woman is business person turned baker, Priscilla Chung. One year ago Priscilla left a career in commercial real estate to pursue her real passion – baking; and San Francisco sweet tooth lovers have been rejoicing ever since.
Baking is in Priscilla’s blood. It took her mother a bit of time to gain English fluency, but her knack for baking developed instantly upon arriving in the United States. Priscilla absorbed her mother’s teachings with a ravenous appetite. Homemade cookies, breads and cakes stocked the Chung household on a regular basis.
Her father also played a role in the development of Moon Baby Cakes. He used to call Priscilla his “moon baby,” saying he traveled to the moon and found her under a tree, then brought her back home. I liked this touching, more creative rendition of the classic stork story.
So what makes Moon Baby Cakes so different than other cupcake establishments? It all starts with the ingredients. Priscilla only uses the highest quality organic ingredients and employs a healthy dose of QC (quality control) to ensure her product is up to strict standards of perfection. The frosting is the best I’ve tasted in the city. Normally one to wipe frosting off of dessert, I inhale Moon Baby Cakes smooth, luscious creamy topping and anxiously seek seconds. The frosting is a more traditional American style than European or French versions. Depending on the flavor of cupcake you’ll enjoy either cream cheese frosting or butter crème. Priscilla does not use Swiss meringue, which is known for resulting in a thinner frosting.
Her frosting and cakes are entirely homemade and the cake itself is soft, fluffy and moist. Unlike other cupcakes I’ve tasted in the city, Moon Baby Cakes has a lighter density, which makes it that much easier to take down a few in a single sitting.
Cupcake lovers can select from seventeen different flavors that cover a wide range of sweet preferences. More traditional flavors include: Classic Vanilla, Cookies & Cream, Chocolate Raspberry, Black and White, Chocolate Overkill or my personal favorite, Red Velvet. More unconventional dessert fans may opt for the Snoball (vanilla almond cake or chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting and shredded coconut), Chai Spice (spiced chai cake from real chai tea with cardamom and ginger crème frosting), or Tropical Carrot (carrot cake with coconut and pineapple topped with coconut cream cheese frosting). Small touches like decorative, edible flowers or miniature Oreos adorn the cupcakes. If you have a special event, Moon Baby Cakes offers customized fondant shapes to match.
The majority of Moon Baby Cakes business comes from events, parties or weddings but it’s just as easy to make a quick order to satisfy a sudden craving. The minimum order is a dozen single flavor regular cupcakes for $36 or two dozen mini cupcakes (single flavor) for $42. Priscilla accommodates for special conditions as well, offering vegan and gluten-free options.
Moon Baby Cakes operates out of a commercial kitchen in North Beach called Mariposa Kitchen. You can either pick up orders at the Green and Columbus location or Moon Baby Cakes will deliver within San Francisco for a small $15 fee. Even if you are outside of San Francisco, do not fret, delivery is still an option and is based on time and mileage to your destination.
To place an order, e-mail // email@example.com or call 415.480.4622.
Right now Moon Baby Cakes is in the running to win Best Cupcakes in SF in the annual SF Gate contest. I’ve already voted it #1 and after you taste one of the treats, trust me, you’ll agree.