Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Angel Cakes, Sprinkles & local cupcake deliveries

Angel Cakes - ordered November 16, 2014
My nieces celebrated their birthdays this month. I had already given them their "big gift" for their birthday and Christmas but also wanted to send something close to the day of. Being me, it had to be food. Normally I bake and send my own care packages to them but I haven't had time to do that in awhile and wasn't going to be able to pull it off before their birthday so I decided to outsource their baked gifts.
Cupcakes from Angel Cakes
And for me that means sending cupcakes since that's one of the things I wouldn't be able to send on my own without a lot of specialized packaging. Best let someone else do that. At first I checked out Crumbs Bake Shop in NYC because I'd once gotten their cupcakes as a gift and thought they were delicious. not to mention they looked spectacular and it was such a fun gift to receive. Unfortunately though, Crumbs being on the other side of the country meant shipping was exorbitant. Like more than $90 exorbitant for a dozen cupcakes. That was even more than the cupcakes themselves! I love my nieces dearly and there's nothing I wouldn't do for them. Except spend almost a hundred bucks each on shipping cupcakes to them. I'd rather give them that money in their birthday card than give it to FedEx.
Peanut Butter Banana (left) and Dulce de Leche (right)
So I turned to my friend Google and started searching for cupcake bakeries on the West Coast where I could order online and their shipping charges would be lower. And ended up finding something even better: local delivery. Turns out when you go to yelp, plug in the city you want, and search for "cupcake delivery", interesting things can pop up. Such as Angel Cakes which had great yelp reviews and delivered to the local area I needed. Cupcakes ranged from $2.75 - $3.25 each, depending on the flavor you choose and delivery was $20. Not super cheap but after the $90 quote from Crumbs, it felt like a bargain. As with most small cupcake shops, you could only order 2 flavors for 1 dozen cupcakes but some places only let you order 1 flavor so I took it as a gift that I could order two flavors. Anticipating my niece's flavor preferences, I ordered the peanut butter banana and the dulce de leche.
Ordering from Angel Cakes was really easy. I filled out their online form, Jen from Angel Cakes responded within a day to confirm my order, and sent me an invoice that I paid online. I had requested that the delivery be made to my niece's friend's house since she lived in a gated building where deliveries are harder to make and asked that she be sent a text to let her know the package had arrived so she could pick it up. Delivery and my niece's pickup of the cupcakes went smoothly and both she and her boyfriend gave thumbs up on the cupcakes, especially the dulce de leche. Although I haven't tried them myself, I'm going by their word and my ordering experience to give Angel Cakes my own 5-star yelp review. I was happy to discover another local small business to support and they delivered on service and product. And it opened a new range of possibilities in gift giving for the future as now I know of a local source for good cupcakes in that area.
For my other niece who lives half a state away, cupcake ordering and delivery was even easier. For her, I defaulted to Sprinkles after ascertaining there was one close enough to her that I could also get it delivered, again for a $20 delivery charge.
And because Sprinkles is a bigger operation with brick and mortar bakery locations, I had the luxury of choosing a number of different flavors for the dozen I sent her. The only drawback is on the day I had her cupcakes delivered, not all of the flavors were available and I only discovered that when I was trying to checkout. Their website ordering process was a bit more klugey but nothing insurmountable and I was able to put in my cupcake order, pay for it, and get confirmation within minutes.
The Sprinkles order also arrived on schedule as ordered and as tempting looking as when bought at an actual Sprinkles shop. I had both my nieces send me pictures of their bounty so I could use for this blog post. Now I want a cupcake.
So as you do your holiday gifting this season, here are a couple of ideas for local gift giving. Even if you don't live where I do or have a Sprinkles or an Angel Cakes nearby, be sure to check yelp and local businesses in your areas or the areas where you want to send a gift. People do it all the time to send flowers from local florists - why not cupcake businesses too?

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