May 22, 2011

Review of Pamcakes, a Philly Cupcakery

Who knew that a little piece of heaven was sitting just a few blocks away? 22nd & Philly readers spoke up recently in ravishing support for Pamcakes, a new-ish cupcake boutique on 20th Street between Pine and Lombard. I visited right away and the sugar high had me typing at lightning speed to get my thoughts documented on screen.

Pamcakes fittingly opened on Valentine's Day 2011 in the old Darling's Cheesecake location. It is proprietor Pam Kingsland's first formal venture into the cupcake world. She started in Northern Liberties selling cupcakes at farmer's markets to get her name out, but when demand for her treats got too high, she opened up shop.

The store offers traditional flavors like The Classic vanilla cake/chocolate icing and Red Velvet, as well as a long menu of fun rotating flavors like Key Lime Pie, Orange Creamsicle and Almond Joy, and a host of daily specials. Follow Pamcakes on Twitter to know what special cupcakes she has in the oven each day.

Mmmm KandyKakes....
If all that rapture business came true and my next world contained nothing but chocolate and peanut butter, I would be perfectly content. So of course I immediately honed in on the Peanut Butter Cup cupcakes (double chocolate chip cake, fluffy peanut butter frosting, peanut butter cup topping) at Pamcakes. Soooo tempting, but that day she also had KandyKake cupcakes and I simply couldn't resist.

Very delicious, just like a KandyKake from Tasty Baking but lighter. On the first bite, the basic vanilla cupcake bottom balanced out the rich peanut butter frosting on top very nicely. On the second bite, the chocolate ganache filling shot me right off on a one way flight to paradise. Add drizzled chocolate ganache on top and Pam's KandyKake is more or less to die for (rapture or no rapture).

Last Red Velvet in the display case
As is popular in today's cupcake-infused culture, most of our readers raved about the Southern Red Velvet. WOW was it good, too - especially the white chocolate cream cheese frosting. For me, the consistency makes or breaks the frosting, especially if it's cream cheese-based. Pamcakes' had the perfect, delicately cloud-like mix of fluff and substance, with nothing short of soft and gooey love on the inside. I don't know what makes a Red Velvet cupcake "Southern" though, so if you do, please enlighten me.

For my last taste, the chocolate lover in me considered the Triple Chocolate Threat, but picked up The Classic instead (Madagascar Bourbon vanilla cake and creamy milk chocolate buttercream icing). I figured I should try one oldie but goodie and honestly, I think it was my favorite! All three really wow'd me, but I literally blurted out loud mid-first-bite, "oh MAAAAAAN this is good."

Simple and delicious
Nothing fancy about it, just a damn fine cupcake. And biteable. This guy has a point that too many cupcakes today are overwhelmed with icing and hard to eat. Pamcakes are reasonable with their height, so you don't have to be all awkward and get icing all over your face when trying to bite it off in halves.

Make sure you have milk close at hand for all these cupcakes. They are really sweet and you'll want it. In your favorite beer glass, of course.

So obviously I loved the cupcakes, but the place is really adorable too. Cute little storefront, impeccably decorated inside with every detail in theme and bright pink/green walls, plus seating outside for four. Actually, Pamcakes first caught my eye a few weeks ago when I walked by and saw four young ladies sitting out front diving into their shared cupcakes like all good gal pals should. My friends and I gathered for a great Reading Terminal Market lunch last fall, topped off with Guinness cupcakes from the Flying Monkey Bakery. Great time with friends, good cupcakes, but not this good.

Enjoy your Pamcakes!

Inside Pamcakes
How cute is Pam in her Phillies cap?

Outside Pamcakes. Even the overhead lamps match!

Pamcakes on Urbanspoon


jen @ one curly fry said...

This place has definitely been on my list of places to visit since it opened. I love all things cupcake and these look amazing. Thanks for the review! I need to stop putting it off and I need to get there ASAP! :)

A and J said...

I agree with Jen, it's way too close to put off any longer-- plus your glowing review doesn't hurt!

Lawanda said...

I can't wait to try this place! So happy it exists!

cocopuff said...

Yumm...I have had more cupcakes from there than I should admit to!

lilmissfoodie said...

I (fortunately/unfortunately) live RIGHT down the street! But this place definitely has the best cupcakes I've had in all of Philly. I've been a cupcake snob ever since my beloved Sprinkles in LA, but Pamcakes in Philly is definitely a keeper! :)

Anonymous said...

I'm a Crumbs fan, but I'll give Pam a try next time I'm in town. Convert me!

Anonymous said...

Their lemon cupcakes are super-duper yummy! Reminds me of the lemon Girl Scout cookies. The cake is dense and moist and the icing has just the right amount of sweetness.

Anonymous said...

Their cupcakes are average, but the location is good. I prefer Brown Betty cupcakes myself.

Hilary said...

I've gone by a million times and it always catches my eye. Thanks for the great review, I will have to try now!