Friday, February 1, 2013

[REVIEW] Nothing Bundt Cakes (Tustin)

Nothing Bundt Cakes (Tustin)

[will post a picture of the storefront when I go again!]

The District at Tustin
2875 Park Avenue
Tustin, CA 92782
Phone: (714) 258-2253

Monday - Thursday: 9 am - 7 pm
Friday - Saturday: 9am - 8pm

Quick Tips
- Not your average (cup)cake
- Fabulous not-too-sweet cream cheese frosting



I'm a fan of the occasional cupcake, I never really fell into the cupcake craze. It might have something to do with all these cupcake stores popping up selling overpriced cupcakes with an insanely unbalanced ratio of sickeningly-sweet frosting to actual cupcake. I had no idea that Nothing Bundt Cakes (stylized as NBC from now on) was a chain store/franchise so I thought this was just another one of those gimmicky cupcake stores with sub-par confections where you're paying more for frosting than cake, albeit in a different shape. (Thank goodness) I was wrong!

Taste: NBC has a nice variety of flavors for cakes including marble, white chocolate raspberry, carrot, vegan chocolate chip, and red velvet. All are covered with a generous but not overwhelming amount of their signature cream cheese frosting in a lovely starburst-y shape so as to get frosting in every bite. First of all, I am not a fan of frosting at all since many cupcake places don't seem to meet my picky frosting-to-cupcake ratio. I like my cakes moist enough to stand alone without frosting. 

I've only gotten the bundtlets (similar to a large muffin), which are large enough to satisfy me and small enough to have me buy two so as to try different flavors. One word: MOIST. I don't know what they do here at NBC (probably butter x100), but their cakes are so so SO moist and pretty dense. I can't stress this enough. The amount of frosting perfectly complements the moistness and even after a few days in the fridge, they tasted delicious. Say it out loud with me: MOIST.

The red velvet was vibrant in color and had a lovely deep cocoa flavor absolutely perfect with their signature frosting, which chocolate chips sprinkled within the cake itself. The marble cake seemed to me nothing too special; I basically tasted a mixture of vanilla and chocolate cake. I hate carrots so I wasn't expecting to enjoy the carrot cake. It was more cinnamon-y than carrot-y in my opinion. The vegan chocolate chip was good, but not exceedingly stand-out. The white chocolate raspberry is my absolute favorite. The white chocolate flavor was surprisingly very pronounced and melded beautifully with the ribbons of raspberry in every bite. Some might find the frosting on the too-sweet side but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Did I mention it was moist? 

Large (8") = $21, Bundtlet = $4.49, Bundtinis = $18.75 for a dozen
Their cakes come in 3 sizes: the large bundt cake (for sharing/celebrations, including a 10"), the bundtlets (single serving...theoretically), and the bundtinis (which are only sold by the dozen and you can mix and match flavors). There are also tiered towers and other specially decorated cakes whose prices make me cry. 

I usually get 2 Bundtlets to share so it comes out to about $9 including tax. It's a little on the pricey side...but if I'm paying $5 for a (cup) cake, it better be a darn yummy huge serving.

Service: I've been here 3 times so far and every time, I do that little thing where I pretend to look at their huge booklet of cake designs as if I'm going to order a cake...when I'm really inching my way towards the samples (no shame). Service is usually very friendly (unless they're busy or helping other customers) and they don't hesitate to offer you suggestions.

On my first trip, I walked in on a whim not intending to buy anything but then I saw *samples*. Tried them and was impressed, but not impressed by the price initially. Every time I come here though, I feel a little pressured by the people silently watching my every move in attempts to telepathically cajole me into buy something (it worked apparently...)

Any place with samples is great...but you can tell NBC really puts effort into making their small samples delicious enough to have you desire (aka buy) something bigger. They pipe individual dollops of frosting onto each cake cube, so you get just the right ratio of frosting to cake. Finally, a place that understands me. And kudos for the cute stickers used when packing up your cakes. 

Location/Ambiance: Located at the corner a few doors away from Whole Foods, this place can be easy to miss if you're not looking carefully. No seating inside; mostly for to-go. Parking isn't usually a problem. The only thing I'm disappointed about is the hours. I usually go out on Sundays craving bundt cake and forget that they're closed :(

Returnability: Yes please, ASAP. This is going to be one of those little luxury desserts that I will treat myself to on rare occasions only so as to fit into my skinny jeans. The moistness and samples featuring new flavors will definitely have me coming back.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 bundtinis for moistness, a few unique flavors, yummy frosting, and *samples*. (5 out of 5 bundtinis for the raspberry white chocolate one alone!)

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