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Hillcrest got its Babycakes back

Cupcake maker returns to the neighborhood

The babycakes cupcake: marble cake with cream cheese frosting and center
The babycakes cupcake: marble cake with cream cheese frosting and center
Place

Babycakes

3795 Fourth Ave, San Diego

A couple of years ago, after a decade doing business in Hillcrest, fancy cupcake maker Babycakes moved out of its 5th Street home base to pursue a bigger bakery opportunity out in in Paradise Hills, near National City. I don’t know whether the loss of a cake-maker can be said to leave a hole in a neighborhood, but the collective weight loss surely made some kind of a dent.

You can see chocolate mousse in the center of this chocoholic cupcake.

Either way, it has to be considered good news that, a few weeks ago now, Babycakes made good on hints it would someday return to Hillcrest, opening a new bakery counter at 4th and Robinson, in what used to be a Pinkberry. So if you had the cupcake trend outlasting the frozen yogurt trend, congratulations! Buy yourself a cupcake.

A box of cupcakes: (clockswise from left) chocolate raspberry, bloody orange, peanut butter, and vegan salted caramel

Judging by the crystal chandeliers hung in the new shop, it’s fancy enough to represent its signature cupcakes. As to what makes them fancy, one could easily cite the tall swirls of frosting and generous application of sprinkles topping them, but the truth is you’ve got to look, and bite, a little deeper.

German chocolate cupcakes at Babycakes

For example, at first glance its namesake Babycakes cupcake looks like a flashy yet simple white cupcake with white frosting and rainbow sprinkles. But in truth, it’s made with marble cake, cheesecake frosting, and a dollop of cheesecake and chocolate chips buried in its center.

Oreo cupcakes at Babycakes

The chocoholic cupcake has chocolate cake with chocolate mousse frosting to go with a mousse-filled center, topped with chocolate sprinkles and drizzle. These are just the beginning, it gets more tantalizing from there, incorporating frostings made from fudge or butter cream, and centers enriched by raspberry sauce, peanut butter cream, Oreo crumbles, and more. There are cupcakes based on carrot cake, German chocolate, and a bright green one highlighting pistachios. Even the vegan take on its salted caramel proved better and moister than most mortal cupcakes.

A new Hillcrest location for Babycakes

The new Babycakes doesn’t try to incorporate sandwiches and other fare the way the old restaurant did; this time the focus is clearly on cakes of all sizes, but especially small ones. Along with coffee and tea.

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The babycakes cupcake: marble cake with cream cheese frosting and center
The babycakes cupcake: marble cake with cream cheese frosting and center
Place

Babycakes

3795 Fourth Ave, San Diego

A couple of years ago, after a decade doing business in Hillcrest, fancy cupcake maker Babycakes moved out of its 5th Street home base to pursue a bigger bakery opportunity out in in Paradise Hills, near National City. I don’t know whether the loss of a cake-maker can be said to leave a hole in a neighborhood, but the collective weight loss surely made some kind of a dent.

You can see chocolate mousse in the center of this chocoholic cupcake.

Either way, it has to be considered good news that, a few weeks ago now, Babycakes made good on hints it would someday return to Hillcrest, opening a new bakery counter at 4th and Robinson, in what used to be a Pinkberry. So if you had the cupcake trend outlasting the frozen yogurt trend, congratulations! Buy yourself a cupcake.

A box of cupcakes: (clockswise from left) chocolate raspberry, bloody orange, peanut butter, and vegan salted caramel

Judging by the crystal chandeliers hung in the new shop, it’s fancy enough to represent its signature cupcakes. As to what makes them fancy, one could easily cite the tall swirls of frosting and generous application of sprinkles topping them, but the truth is you’ve got to look, and bite, a little deeper.

German chocolate cupcakes at Babycakes

For example, at first glance its namesake Babycakes cupcake looks like a flashy yet simple white cupcake with white frosting and rainbow sprinkles. But in truth, it’s made with marble cake, cheesecake frosting, and a dollop of cheesecake and chocolate chips buried in its center.

Oreo cupcakes at Babycakes

The chocoholic cupcake has chocolate cake with chocolate mousse frosting to go with a mousse-filled center, topped with chocolate sprinkles and drizzle. These are just the beginning, it gets more tantalizing from there, incorporating frostings made from fudge or butter cream, and centers enriched by raspberry sauce, peanut butter cream, Oreo crumbles, and more. There are cupcakes based on carrot cake, German chocolate, and a bright green one highlighting pistachios. Even the vegan take on its salted caramel proved better and moister than most mortal cupcakes.

A new Hillcrest location for Babycakes

The new Babycakes doesn’t try to incorporate sandwiches and other fare the way the old restaurant did; this time the focus is clearly on cakes of all sizes, but especially small ones. Along with coffee and tea.

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Comments
1

The cupcakes look so amazing that I wanted to bite my monitor. But I'll miss the equally good brunch menu at the original location. That's why I went there, not for cupcakes.

Jan. 21, 2020

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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