Address: 4409 Main St., Manayunk
Rating: (out of 5 stars): ★★★★
Food: Delicious cupcakes in creative and innovative flavors and assorted baked goods.
Atmosphere: Fun and colorful
Parking: Street parking can be challenging, pay lot is nearby
Service: Friendly, accommodating and professional
Price Range: Inexpensive
Unique Features: Menu offers all things cupcake (including lip balm and wrapping paper) and baker-themed gifts including whisk necklaces and t-shirts.
I was interviewing a chef months ago and we discussed the lack of a stand alone bake shop in Manayunk. Think of the possibilities we said to ourselves. Muffins on the way to work, a chocolate chip cookie on the way home from school, a cupcake just because. Well as they say, “from our lips to God’s ears…” came onto the scene a few months back and has been catering to everyone’s sweet tooth ever since.
I ordered a wicked chocolate cake with mascarpone cream cheese frosting and raspberry jam filling, a Harry Potter butter beer cupcake with cream soda cake and butterscotch frosting, a chocolate chip cupcake with strawberry frosting, a roasted banana cake with Nutella frosting, a red velvet cupcake with mascarpone cream cheese frosting and a peach cupcake with amaretto frosting.
The wicked chocolate cake did not have any sort of spicy kick but was more a nod to the owner and chef’s New England roots. The cake was moist, full of chocolate flavor and had a wonderful soft texture. The mascarpone frosting was rich, sweet and just slightly savory. The raspberry filling actually tasted like raspberries which was a nice change of pace from the gelatinous fluorescent red goop you find masquerading as filling these days.
The butter beer cupcake was a pleasant surprise. I wasn’t sure what to expect from a cream soda cupcake but it tasted like a sweeter yellow cake. The butterscotch frosting was out of this world. It reminded me of butterscotch pudding, with that same intense flavor of butterscotch candies. I especially loved the handmade candy snitch on top.
The chocolate chip cupcake had a denser crumb than the previous cakes but was a nice blend of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry flavors. The chocolate chips were evenly and abundantly dispersed throughout. The strawberry frosting was subtle and understated.
The roasted banana cake was outstanding. Simply delicious and bursting with banana flavor, this cake was complimented well by the Nutella frosting. For me, chocolate and banana flavors will always go hand in hand. Adding hazelnut is just gravy.
The red velvet cupcake was fantastic. I can understand why it is one of their best sellers. The cake was incredibly moist and I thought the richer, deeper burgundy color was more appetizing than the blood red velvet cupcakes that are the norm. The wedge on top reminded me of the pate de fruits I made during my pastry days.
The peach cupcake with amaretto was one of my favorites. It was a grown up cupcake perfect for the summer months. I was told that the peaches were orchard fresh and hand picked by the owner. A delicate and flavorful cupcake, the peaches were highly noticeable in each bite. As a big fan of amaretto I was excited to try the frosting and it completely delivered.
The chocolate chip cookie was good but paled in comparison to the cupcakes. I am also spoiled and have eaten too many cookies fresh out of the oven to enjoy anything less than a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie.
The service is stellar, extremely friendly and the staff is very knowledgeable. I appreciated the cupcake art hung throughout the shop which was painted by a local artist. The motto of Sweet Elizabeth’s is Cake. Love. Art. This was obvious in everything I saw and ate. The cupcakes taste good because they are made with love by someone who really loves what she does. While I can’t eat cupcakes all the time, the cupcake lip balm actually smells like cupcakes so it should tide me over until I give in to temptation and grab some more.