Sweet San Diego

Oh mama mia, are you ready for this day?! This post should come with a warning label! ;) Last week my sweet friend Jenny from the fabulous blog Picky Palate drove down from the OC to spend a day cruising around San Diego with me. Whenever we girls get together we just can’t resist running around the town and searching out as many fun sweets and treats as we can find. We’ve sought out cupcakes, doughnuts, and cookies in NYC, San Francisco, and Disney and we were delighted with what we found in San Diego. Get ready, reading this post may cause no less than 5.794 pounds of virtual weight gain. So put on your stretchy pants and join me and Jenny for a day of complete indulgence as we explore 3 must-see bakeries in San Diego!

San Diego, California

Our first stop was Elizabethan Bakery, which came to us highly recommended by our food-bloggin’ pal Kathy at Panini Happy. This is such a cute spot, it’s located right in the middle of a garden and nursery.

San Diego, California

I think both of our jaws dropped when we walked in and saw all these incredibly cute mini cupcakes!

San Diego, California

Reason #5708 why I love Jenny. She didn’t bat an eyelash when I enthusiastically suggested, “I think we should try one of each.”

San Diego, California

And that is the story of how, dear readers, at 10 o’clock on a Wednesday morning, we ended up with 18 mini cupcakes.

San Diego, California

Look at the cute little bumblebee cupcake. This was one of my favorites. A chocolate mini cupcake frosted with honey buttercream and dipped in milk chocolate. Loved this deliciously soft frosting! I see myself attempting a honey buttercream in the very near future.

Reason #1497 why I love Jenny. She let me eat the little sugar bumblebee decoration and pretended she didn’t like it so I wouldn’t feel guilty about selfishly hogging the whole candy.

San Diego, California

So many fun cupcakes here! On the left we have a Chocolate Toffee cupcake with caramel buttercream, dipped in milk chocolate, and  sprinkled with homemade toffee. And on the right, a banana vanilla bean cupcake with a caramel drizzle topping.

San Diego, California

How cute are these! The one on the right with the pink buttercream rose was sprinkled with sparkly gold glitter.

San Diego, California

Blackberry and strawberry…

San Diego, California

Mr. Mustachio! This was a white chocolate pistachio cake with a pistachio buttercream frosting. I wasn’t too sure how I’d like pistachio frosting, but this little guy was definitely one of the highlights. I loved the flavor of the pistachio frosting, and wondered if they’d used some kind of pistachio extract for the unique flavor. It reminded me of the frosting from my favorite cupcakes in New York. Although Jenny, with the more trained palate, thought what I was tasting was actually almond extract. All I know is that I am definitely adding almond extract to my next batch of buttercream frosting.

San Diego, California

Red Velvet cupcake. Now you guys know I am a buttercream frosting gal all the way, and red velvet cakes are generally topped with cream cheese frosting, but this one had a white chocolate cream cheese frosting. Knocked my socks off!

San Diego, California

This coffee cupcake might’ve been my favorite! This was a decadent chocolate cake topped with coffee caramel buttercream, dipped in dark chocolate and topped with a homemade espresso toffee. Oh mama mia, that sweet, crunchy espresso toffee was over the top!

San Diego, California

Check out this fun Churro cupcake! Definitely one of my favorites.

San Diego, California

Not only were the cupcakes gorgeous, but they were definitely some of the most delicious cupcakes I’ve ever tasted. I could not get over how rich and decadent this chocolate one was!

San Diego, California

Sad to say, we didn’t have much left over when it was all said and done! If you are anywhere near the area, go here! These cupcakes and this cute bakery are a definite must-try.

San Diego, California

After a gleeful start to our day, we drove down the coast a bit to walk off our cupcakes at picture-perfect La Jolla Cove.

San Diego, California

Loved walking along this beach in the beautiful San Diego weather!

San Diego, California

The crystal clear water was paradise.

San Diego, California

For lunch we ran over to Little Italy and stopped in Pappalecco, a wonderfully charming Italian sandwich and gelato shop. My slice of pizza Margherita was incredible, this place is a definite must try!

Reason #2736 why I love Jenny. I can ask her the same question 14 times in a row, wording it only slightly different each time. And she’ll give me the right answer the first time, and every other time after that, just as patiently as the first, until she figures out which answer it is that I want to hear, and then she’ll give me that one, convincing me I was right all along. Until I get home and look it up, and realize she, of course, was right all along.  *blush*

San Diego, California

I had no idea what a treat we were in for when we headed to Extraordinary Desserts! This was the place everyone told us we had to try.

San Diego, California

My jaw dropped when I saw these truly extraordinary desserts! Lovely Pots de Créme.

San Diego, California

Gorgeous Dulce de Leche cake. Layers of chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, crunchy milk chocolate and topped with sweet dulce de leche.

San Diego, California

Loved these chocolate shavings!

San Diego, California

Decadent. Divine. Delicious.

San Diego, California

This strawberry shortcake was my favorite. The cinnamon shortcake biscuits, fluffy whipped cream, and fresh strawberries were perfect.

San Diego, California

Stunning Créme Brûlée. These desserts were a joy to photograph!

San Diego, California

We had one more stop on our San Diego dessert tour! Had to make it a good one. We headed just up the street to Babycakes for some beautiful and mouth-watering cupcakes.

San Diego, California

They had so many wonderful flavors to choose from, we had a hard time narrowing it down! Here’s what we ended up with. The Vanilla Shorty, a custard-filled cupcake with whipped cream frosting.

San Diego, California

The Marble Monkey, a vanilla and chocolate marble cake with banana buttercream frosting. Saved this one for Kev.

San Diego, California

The Funfetti cake! This is always my favorite. Loved this one!

San Diego, California

Oh you know I couldn’t resist the marbled hazelnut cupcake. Completely delicious.

San Diego, California

And here’s their signature cupcake, the Babycake. This was a vanilla and chocolate marble cake with chocolate chips and cream cheese frosting.

They also had a Peanut Butter & Jelly cupcake and a Mocha cupcake that I’m totally wishing I could get my hands on right now!

Loved every minute with Jenny and our decadent day in San Diego, stay tuned for our next sweet adventure! :)

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66 Responses
  1. Deanna - Mommygaga

    I am from San Diego and I must say that you went to all the right places!

    Another place you should try, similar to Pappalecco, is Choclat. There’s one in Hillcrest and one Downtown. Delish authentic italian paninis, meat and cheese boards, and gelato. Don’t forget the sweet and savory crepes :)

  2. Joe Bean

    No doubt you liked the coffee cupcake at Elizabethan. It is called Mr. Bean’s Cup of Joe and it’s namesake is in fact a Boston Terrier.

  3. Rachel Pond

    I grew up in North County San Diego and Extraordinary Desserts is my absolute favorite place to go when we’re home visiting! I’m sure I’ve gained many pounds from my visits over the last couple of years but totally worth it! I’m glad you enjoyed your visit, it makes me a little home sick, but your photos are just gorgeous!

  4. Tricia

    Yes, next time you make buttercream frosting – add the almond extract. I can’t make buttercream without it. So YUMMY. And I don’t know how you two stay so small when you eat so much yummy stuff!

  5. stacie

    Amanda, you and Jenny are my Sheros! I LOVE sweets and those sweets looked fabulous. I wish I could have been there with you all to try them.


  6. Shaunte

    A: I have got to stop coming over here.
    B: Especially since I am trying to lose the seven pounds I gained over the holidays. Eating crap.
    C: How are you not 400 lbs? :)

  7. Amy at TheSceneFromMe

    Oh, I would have totally done the same thing and gotten one of each of those mini cupcakes! How could you have turned down any one of those? They all look scrumptious!
    Beautiful food photography!

  8. Kristen

    This is my Home!!!! I love San Diego! I am currently stationed in Germany with the military..and perfectly content until I saw this post. Homesick now. I am so glad you loved Diego. I love it too!

  9. Sarah

    Those mini cupcakes were gorgeous! I’m in love! I’m definitely going to have to try the honey buttercream when you get a recipe up here! So get going because I have about 30 odd stuffed cupcakes that I make, and I’m eager to add a honey themed one!

  10. Jennifer

    AMANDA! How are you so dang skinny, and sporting gorgeous and clear skin, whilst eating your way through beautiful cupcake after cupcake??!!!

    Hope you had a blast!

  11. Emily L.

    I am so glad that you went to babycakes!! It’s been on my list of places to try, and seeing that you loved it makes me happy to know I will be enjoying it soon :)

  12. Sharie T

    Since you come SO close to Oregon, please take the trip up and take me with you to photograph anything you wish! Food, scenery…you name it. I’ll show you around :)

  13. suzanne coolbaugh-walker

    okay, chickie-pea, i need to know your workout routine, because you really SHOULD weigh 957 pounds. but you don’t. thank you for the drools, and i’m now pricing flights to california!

  14. Cary

    You are definitely wrong Amanda, I gained 15 pounds just from your pictures!!!! Looks like y’all had a blast!! (and good food too)!

  15. Mary

    These just look incredible! I love your photography, too–the lighting is simply beautiful. I’m definitely stopping by on my next trip to CA…this gives me something to look forward to :))

  16. LCSmithSAVED

    How can you POSSIBLY stay so thin???
    (Maybe you only eat on these trips, lol?)
    gorgeous photos as usual
    You get to have so much fun!!!
    Thx for sharing.

  17. Janeybird

    OMG! Do you know what torture it was to scroll down and view gorgeous tempting cupcake after gorgeous tempting cupcake!?!?!??!?! If you do replicate any of those recipes, I hope you will (please please please) share them!

    As always, your photography amazes!

    Thank you, Amanda, for sharing with us!

  18. Heather :) :) :)

    Yummy…you clearly have a sweettooth, especially for cupcakes. The red velvet cupcake look absolutely DIVINE!! :) ) :) :) Thanks for sharing all these tasty treats :) :) Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

  19. Shell

    Amanda you must work out like crazy…lol Most people would gain 5 pounds just by looking at these. Wow they are so pretty almost makes you not want to eat them key word (almost!)…lol You had me at white chocolate I like red velvet cake and it my moms fav. But adding the white chocolate seems really yummy, I love white chocolate.

  20. Tiffany Sanders

    Thanks for this post! I’m encouraged to check out what the Baltimore dessert scene has to offer! I’ll let you know what I find!

  21. Kathy - Panini Happy

    LORD HAVE MERCY, girls!! You definitely know how to get to know a cupcake shop! I am so glad you guys added Elizabethan to the itinerary – Amanda, I knew you’d love their fluffy, mousse-like buttercream. What a fun, fun excursion – thanks for sharing it with us. :-)

  22. Andie

    Wow. How does one eat that many sweets? *gasp* And, where in the heck do you all put it in those tiny bodies?! *double gasp* If I put a little too much sugar in my coffee, I am toast for the day. It really does stick with me and makes me very nauseated. It looks as though you guys had a blast, as always! I love how unique the cupcakes are. So cute and so creative!!!

  23. Emily Schwartz

    Holy Cow…I’m drooling. Living in San Diego I’ll HAVE to try to track these goodies down. Amazing photography like always.

  24. Danette

    Amanda….I want to first of all welcome you to San Diego. This is where I was born and raised and love everything about this wonderful city. But with it being as big as it is and me being the single mom stuck at home and work at all times…..I miss out on exploring this ever-changing place that I love. So I really want to thank you. Thank you for introducing me to places that I don’t know and thank you for the 5 lbs that I just gained from just looking at your wonderful photos and the 20 lbs I will gain when I too make it to these wonderful sweets. You and your blog are wonderful.

  25. Danielle R.

    OMG – these pictures look amazing. I can almost taste and smell the cupcakes. I think I just gained 15lbs reading your last few posts. Yummy *tummy grumbling* :)

  26. *kristi*

    Nevermind how do you stay so thin eating all this, how do you NOT have a really bad tummyache after all those sweets?! LOL I would never make it through the day with all of that, but it is so fun to look at all the heavenly pictures! Thank you for sharing :)

  27. Jen @ The Decor Scene

    Now I want a cupcake. Thanks for sharing these places. My hubby and I love San Diego, so the next time we go, we will have to check out these places. Yummy!!!! We love San Diego so much and La Jolla is just gorgeous isn’t it. We have so many great pictures from SD. Thanks for sharing yours.

  28. Cantstopbaking

    Absolute cruelty!! ! SHowing us these yummy pics! Ahhh, its only 10 am and now I am starving. Thanks though, they look heavenly!

  29. Lisa McCully

    Love the red cupcake with the heart, the pink chipped tray, beautiful ocean scenes………….Beautiful, I love San Diego, you made it look even more wonderful. Thanks!

  30. Marywithgarden

    I am jealous of all those flavors you tried. Mmmmmm, I love cake in all forms and flavors. Such pretty food you found in San Diego. I would have loved to try them all, especially the strawberry shortcake. What a fun day!

  31. Jenny Flake

    It’s funny how we both posted on the same day about our fun day together! Loved every minute of this sweet eatin’ day :) Can’t wait to do it again.

  32. Kocinera

    Oh my gosh! What a day! Every single one of those desserts looks absolutely amazing. Although now my laptop is covered in drool…which is somewhat inconvenient. :D

  33. Daphne

    Cupcakes OH MY!!! You have my stomach going crazy. I too can’t wait to see if you post some of these recipes! I am a huge, I mean HUGE fan of cupcakes. They are the perfect ending to a great meal.The lil honey bee one is so cute that would be perfect for my “Mommy-2-B” collection. Thanks for such a yummy post. Now I must go bake.

  34. Kathy F

    My mouth is watering at all those desserts! If I had eaten even a part of all those, I would have to jog home from California to Virginia to avoid gaining 10 pounds! You must have an amazing and youthful metabolism, Amanda ;)

  35. Paulette

    O.K. in the last two days of looking at this wonderful food and goodies, I have just gained five pounds. LOL Thanks for all the pics, especially the cupcakes my downfall. Oh they look wonderful and I could just taste them on my lips as I look at each one. Paulette

  36. Lori @ RecipeGirl

    You girls did even more damage than you and I did the day before. Crazy!! You’ve opened my eyes to finding some new places in San Diego. I look forward to dragging my husband and son along to try some delicious, new things. Something tells me they won’t be too upset!

  37. Kathy Martin

    Good God girl! How in the world do you maintain your figure with all that good eating? If you need another friend to tag along on your next adventure, I’d go! I mean it looks like incredibly difficult work, but I think I’d be up to the challenge! :)

  38. Kristen@PrettySweet

    That Elizabethan Bakery looks so fabulous! Well, all I saw was the sign and the actual cupcakes, but still, I know for a fact that I’d love to visit. =) Their cupcakes were unusual and just beautiful! I nominate them for Cupcake Wars on the Food Network! ;)

    And, yes, I’m also wondering how you stay so thin! I know you’ve posted about your weight loss story on here, but we need to know how you manage your weight on these trips…and in your own kitchen! You must have some excellent willpower – that’s all I can figure out. =)

  39. Heidi Gore

    Now if only I could think of a legitimate reason to leave snowy Delaware to head to San Diego for a decadant day like this, I’d be in heaven, or diabetic shock!!!

  40. Debi

    OMG AMANDA!!!!!! I think I just gained 10 pounds and I also think I am on a wicked, wicked sugar high…. How DO you stay so thin??? Loved all the pictures…

  41. Heather (Heather's Dish)

    oh man…talk about indulgent! i need to travel with you ladies! the churro cupcake and the honey buttercream cupcake sound absolutely divine :)

  42. Mia_h_n

    OK, it’s official!! I’m definitely moving to America if it means I can have cakes and desserts like that all the time!! (My doctor’s gonna hate me!)

    “I think we should try one of each” That’s my motto :)

    I can’t wait for your next adventure with Jenny!

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Meet Kevin & Amanda

Kevin and Amanda

We love to travel and to eat! Here we share our favorite quick and easy recipes, plus travel tips and guides for our favorite places around the world. If you have any questions about what camera I use or how I edit my photos, check out my photography tutorials.


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