**first post of 2011!**
Located on Big Bear Lake Blvd, Sugar Pine Bakery averted our dinner trip to “The Village” due to its eye popping pink door & streetside signage. My friends and I basically sprinted inside before the 6pm closing time because of our sugar craving after a three hour tour to get to our cabin.
Almost unnoticeable on the busy boulevard.
What laid in front of us as we opened the bright pink door to leave the frigid mountain air (mind you we are from LA/OC) was a room of pink, checkerboard tiles & holiday decorations avast with the odors of sugar, spice and everything nice. Our eyes immediately went to the bakery display, making our lips salivate.
The bright and eclectic interior.
Between four of us, we ordered a small smörgåsbord of local delights: red velvet, pink champagne, pumpkin spice and vanilla chocolate cupcakes, chocolate chocolate chip, chocolate chip, harvest oatmeal, cappuccino pecan, and sugar cookies, peanut butter brownie sandwiches and some chocolate dipped macaroons. After our mediocre dinner, we headed back to our lake-front cabin and ended the night with a buffet of our purchases and activities that need not to be mentioned here.
The wide array of Sugar Pine’s baked goods.
My favorite purchase would definitely have to be the Peanut Butter Brownie Bar Sandwich (pictured below), which was basically two thick squares of melt-in-your-mouth brownies with peanut butter buttercream in between. From the first bite, I was blown away by the quality of the sandwich. The mix of textures in each layer called for a new experience in every bite. The decadence of the chocolate in the brownie to the light and fluffy peanut butter buttercream to the thick ganache on top had me and my friends wanting more…so we bought them all.
Fudge brownie sandwiches w/ a peanut butter buttercream filling & a chocolate ganache topping ($2.50)
At $2.50 a cupcake, the prices are very affordable, compared to the over-hyped cupcakery that is Sprinkles at $3.25 each. The overall presentation of the cupcakes were nothing out of this world or unique, but one thing that did differentiate it from other cupcakeries was the buttercream! Every single one of the cupcakes we devoured had light and airy frosting. It was a nice change and worlds apart from the heavy and unappealing frosting from Sprinkles.
Black & white cupcake & Champagne cupcake w/ rose buttercream ($2.50 each).
To continue my anti-Sprinkles trend, I bought the red velvet cupcake. Similar in appearance but oh so different in texture, quality & flavor, the Sugar Pine red velvet opened my eyes to another interpretation to the southern recipe. The cake was lighter but had a stronger kick, which according to the owner is how red velvets are supposed to be baked.
One of my favorite red velvets ever.
We came back the next day only to visually feast on a new variety of morning-related goods: Raspberry/Apple Danishes, Cheese Danishes, 1/4lb Cinnamon Buns, various cookies and even an interpretation of the liquor store bear claw. The staff were all hospitable, giving my friend another cupcake as he dropped his before taking a bite, giving us some other cookies because a certain type wouldn’t be baked in time before we had to leave to go home.
Needless to say, our weekend trip to Big Bear was highlighted not only by snowboarding on the slopes and staying in a lakeview cabin but also by our experience at Sugar Pine. I will definitely return…the next time I can handle frigid weather and falling on my butt snowboarding. Next time you’re by the lake, head on over to get your sugar fix!
– gmangoman a.k.a. hemang