First Taste

21 Cakes: Gourmet Cupcakery of Swanky Sweet Treats in North Scottsdale

​When a new spot opens in town, we can't wait to check it out -- and let you know our initial impressions. Share a few photos, some menu items. First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead a peek inside restaurants that have just opened, sampling a few items, and satisfying curiosities (yours and ours).

Restaurant: 21 Cakes Location: North Scottsdale Open For: Almost two months. Eats: Cupcakes, teacakes, and petite cakes. Price Point: Standard cupcakes are $3.35 each, $37 for one dozen.

Sure, many of you might be saying, "Enough with the cupcakes already!" But after Urban Cookies (OllieCake) took home ten grand in August after winning Cupcake Wars on Food Network, it appears the cupcake fad is not going away quite yet.

Good news for pastry chef Linda Schneider. She opened 21 Cakes, her North Scottsdale gourmet cupcakery, around the same time OllieCake made it big. How's that for timing?

I had a chance to pop in the other day for a sweet treat or two.

It certainly is a pretty place -- marble, glass, and a community table in case you're planning on a sweet play date with a friend of two.

The menu features cupcakes that are available every day of the week like vanilla, signature chocolate, and red velvet, in addition to varieties like bubble gum, cherry, and the breakfast cupcake, that are offered less often. Friendly folks behind the counter do an outstanding job of directing guests to the most popular kinds.

All the varieties of cupcakes at 21 cakes are perfectly prepared. Moist, with icing that's more sugary than creamy, and lighter than what you might think (in weight, not in calories.) My favorites included cherry and vanilla which were delicately sweet and flavorful. I wanted more spice in the breakfast cupcake and more salted caramel in the vanilla salted caramel.

One deterrent for folks may be the price. At $3.35 each, they're smaller than most cupcakes from the competition, which might make 21 Cakes more of an indulgence than a regular sweet treat stop, a gourmet gift idea for someone special, or simply the reason behind the North Scottsdale location.

What say you, cupcake fans? Have you been to 21 Cakes yet? What did you think?

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