frost me gourmet cupcakes / downtown san diego
Frost Me Gourmet Cupcakes is the newest cupcake shop to pop up in San Diego. I was recently invited to go down to Seaport Village and check out the new shop and stuff my face with cupcakes. Was I up to the task? OH YEAH!
The shop is owned by Audrey Hermes and her boyfriend Jon, who were incredibly welcoming and friendly. They’ve been on Cupcake Wars twice! The first time they didn’t win but the second time they took home the prize!
When you enter Frost Me Gourmet Cupcakes (which is just around the corner from Ben & Jerry’s, next to the carousel) you immediately get a “boutique” feel to the shop. It feels like you’re in a display kitchen in one of those brand new model homes. It’s gorgeous and pristine with the drop crystal mini chandelier lights, the big display of fresh flowers and the other chic little touches.
The cupcakes each have their own unique display stand with cute little mini frames describing what each cupcake is. Each one looks like a fancy window display. Should I be touching anything in here?
In the back of the shop is this really creative and cute setup for the milks and sugars for your coffee. Not only do they offer the prettiest cupcakes, but they also offer fancy coffee (Mostra!).
And also: they make cold brew! HELL YEAH! Look at this crazy fancy very tall cold brew extractor set up! It looks like a science experiment!
Naturally I had to try it. I had it with a little milk and a little bit of sugar and it was extremely delicious. It also tasted good in contrast to the cupcakes.
Audrey put together a pretty box of cupcakes for Jake, T and I to sample. I love that the boxes they use have the clear top so you can actually see the pretty cupcakes.
[vanilla bean mousse]
This is a vanilla bean cake. I forgot to take an “innards” photo but there is also vanilla mousse inside the cupcake and it’s topped with vanilla bean buttercream and a little filo chip. I love that you can see the specks of vanilla bean in the frosting! The cake was good and had a nice crumb. The mousse filling was delicious and a nice addition to a “plain old” vanilla cupcake. The buttercream was also excellent – not too sweet and it had that decadent butter flavor in the background.
Coconut! This cupcake is all happy and tropical with coconut infused throughout it. I liked the toasty semi-crunchy coconut flakes on the outside. The cake has coconut flavor and so does the frosting – but it’s not overwhelming, if that makes any sense. It’s a nice balance of coconut flavor.
This is one of the cupcakes that they created for their win on Cupcake Wars. The cake is a caramel orange zest cake with a caramel frosting that’s topped with a little orange zest and plenty of roasted cashews. The orange is subtle but really pops and makes the other flavors shine with that hint of citrus. I loved the cashews on this, making for a crunchy bite! Really yummy cupcake!
The vanilla chai smells heavenly before you even take a bite. The cake has chai flavoring and it’s topped with chai flavored frosting AND they make their own gingersnaps to put on top of the cupcakes. They crumble a little on top and then stick part of a cookie in. The flavors of chai (cinnamon, cloves, ginger, etc) shine through – it tastes a lot like a cross between a spice cake and a carrot cake. The cookie reinforces the ginger flavor that peeks through and it also a tasty addition to the cupcake.
Now onto the chocolate flavors!
[espresso chocolate cherry]
This is another one of the winning cupcakes from Cupcake Wars. It’s a chocolate cake filled with Luxardo soaked cherries. Directly on top of the cake is an espresso ganache and that’s topped off by chocolate buttercream frosting.
The cherries were a nice contrast to the chocolate and Jake actually enjoyed this one (non-chocolate fan that he is). I really enjoyed the layer of espresso ganache which enhanced the deep, chocolatey flavor of the cake. I’m not a huge fan of cherries but I still enjoyed this.
[classic chocolate ganache]
To “step up” the chocolate cupcake game, they add a layer of chocolate ganache on top of the chocolate cupcake and then top it with chocolate buttercream. YUM. It was a slightly intense, uber chocolatey experience and I knew from the first tasty bite that Jake wouldn’t like it (I was right). If you’re a chocolate lover you’ll definitely appreciate the simplicity of this cupcake and all of the layers of delicious chocolate. It’s intense but also not too sweet.
[chocolate peanut butter]
This wasn’t in the box that Audrey curated for us but I asked to try it since chocolate and peanut butter is my favorite combination in life. LOOK AT ALL THE PEANUTS! I love that peanuts are all over this thing for the taste and the texture! There’s also a peanut butter filling in there (yum) and more of their luscious chocolate buttercream. I think I still loved the Chai the most but this would be my next favorite.
Jake requested to try the red velvet, which is his favorite cupcake flavor ever. Funny since it’s like a “chocolate lite” cupcake. This one has a cream cheese frosting. I loved those cute little pearls on top! Since we ate like a gazillion red velvet cupcakes earlier this year I’m surprised we’re not all sick of this flavor. This had a very light chocolate flavor and the cream cheese frosting still had that nice “tang” to it that you get from the cream cheese. Not my most favorite of the bunch, but a pretty decent red velvet.
In case you need instructions. I don’t. STUFF INTO FACE. That’s all I need to know.
Audrey was wearing the “are you staring at my cupcakes” shirt which made me chuckle. Jake liked the one below!
And since I know you’re wondering, here are the prices for the cupcakes.
And the coffee.
They bake cupcakes throughout the day, changing out the flavors as the day goes on. Every time you visit there will probably be something different offered! They also offer gluten-free versions of their cupcakes, you just need to ask for them.
A second location is opening up on September 22nd in UTC near the food court. I thought they were opening on Monday and I tried to visit this past Tuesday but sadly they weren’t open yet (probably due to that awful awful heat wave). It’s a little kiosk in UTC, like ‘Lette Macarons, and all of the cupcakes will be baked at the Seaport Village location. Look for them in UTC, too!
We had a great time sampling the cupcakes and chatting with Audrey and Jon. I’ll definitely be swinging by the UTC location on a lunch break to pick up more cupcakes!
Disclaimer: I was invited to Frost Me Cupcakes on behalf of The i.d.e.a. Brand. Our cupcakes and drinks were complimentary. All opinions stated here are my own and I was not further compensated for this review.
Frost Me Gourmet Cupcakes
859 W Harbor Drive, Suite B
San Diego, CA 92101
Hours: Everyday 10am to 9pm