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A cupcake love story

Where to indulge in Valentine deliciousness this holiday

Photo credit: Dutch Randall

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Nothing says "I love you" like sweet treats for your sweetheart, and with Valentine's Day just around the corner, we've searched the South Sound for the sweetest choices.  When looking for portable desserts that are pleasing to both the eyes and taste buds, the cupcake is the way to go.  With so many flavor options, it's nearly impossible to go wrong this year.

Miss Moffett's Mystical Cupcakes are available at three locations and has some of the most creative and decadent cupcakes you will ever eat. From the salted caramel with a creamy core in the middle to the S'mores cupcake that is as rich as a brownie, you are sure to find whatever you crave.  Or, don't hesitate to try out one of the limited edition Valentine's Day choices such as Cupid's Kiss of chocolate and raspberries or the Red Hot with red hot candies baked right into the batter. MISS MOFFETT'S MYSTICAL CUPCAKES, 111 Market St. NE #107, Olympia, 360.350.0332; 625 Black Lake Blvd. #B24, Olympia, 360.890.4403; 730 Sleater Kinney Rd. SE Suite E., Lacey, 360.489.0407

Corina Bakery in downtown Tacoma has a presentation of desserts that has something to offer everyone, including cookies and bars, pies, cheesecakes, cakes, and of course, cupcakes. Some selections are certain to win your Valentine over like The Aztec which is chocolate infused with cinnamon, cayenne and ginger or the Tacoma Tiramisu of vanilla cake soaked with espresso and rum. Additionally, this is one of the few places where you can get a truly great carrot cake cupcake with fresh carrots and pecan topped with cream cheese buttercream frosting. CORINA BAKERY, 602 S. Fawcett Ave., Tacoma, 253.627.5070

In Puyallup, there's really only one place to grab a cupcake, and that is Wanna Cupcake on Main Street. They set themselves apart by offering several popular candy versions of cupcakes.  The Almond Roca is a local favorite that features deep, rich chocolate cake topped with buttercream, Roca pieces and chocolate ganache. The Butterfinger is unique in that the chocolate base has candy pieces mixed in as well as topping the chocolate buttercream.  Other creative options such as the Mounds, Grasshopper, Moose Tracks, and Root Beer Float are a must try as well. WANNA CUPCAKE, 2102 E. Main, Puyallup, 253.256.5566

Salted Caramel Cupcake from Celebrity Cakes. Photo credit: Dutch Randall

One of the most popular wedding cake destinations is in Tacoma's Celebrity Cake Studio. And if the cakes are that good, imagine the cupcakes. With over a dozen flavor options, there is something for everyone. The chocolate with salted caramel is made up of a moist chocolate cake topped with thick, smooth salted caramel. If this is heavier than what you're looking for, then try the lemon cupcake with lemon buttercream, the Pink Champagne with raspberry buttercream, or the Orange Creamsicle bursting with citrus yumminess. CELEBRITY CAKE STUDIO, 314 E. 26th St., Tacoma, 253.627.4773

Not far down the street on Pacific Ave. is Hello Cupcake that presents an appeasing collection of sweet options for Valentine's Day.  The most popular this time of year is the rich Red Velvet cupcake adorned with a cream cheese frosting just as it should be. Other February favorites include the Shirley Temple, which is a cherry cake combined with a cherry-citrus frosting and maraschino cherry, and the chocolate raspberry that is filled with a raspberry filling before being covered in a raspberry cream cheese frosting. HELLO CUPCAKE, 1740 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.383.7772

If you find yourself on the other side of the Narrow's Bridge, then make your way to Sweet Melissa's in Gig Harbor.  Her unequaled creativity sets her shop apart more than geographically from the rest.  The adaptation of the famous Girl Scout Samoa combines a coconut cupcake with a caramel buttercream, toasted coconut, and a drizzle of chocolate ganache. My favorite is also in the coconut family: the Snowball is chocolate with a coconut filling, and marshmallow meringue toasted coconut shavings. SWEET MELISSA'S, 4747 Point Fosdick Dr. NW #600, Gig Harbor, 253.432.4071

Red Velvet Cake Donut from House of Donuts. Photo credit: Dutch Randall

Though not technically a cupcake, Lakewood House of Donuts' Red Velvet Cake Donut is just as moist and satisfying as Red Velvet cupcake. It is then topped with a cream cheese frosting.  And as long as you're substituting your cupcake craving for cake donuts, add to your collection the Cappuccino Devil's Food, Cherry Chocolate, or the Peanut Butter cake as well. HOUSE OF DONUTS, 9638 Gravelly Lake Dr., Lakewood, 253.588.2647; 766 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma, 253.314.5702

Once again, not technically a cupcake, but the cutie pies at The Backdoor Bakery in Lacey are personalized size pies that will make you forget cupcakes even exist.  For those that prefer a slice of pie instead of cake; this is your spot.  The imaginative selection includes the basics such as apple or banana cream pie, but also more innovative desserts like caramel apple pie with caramel drizzled over a crispy top, or a fluffy, light lemon sponge and even cheesecake.  However, if you prefer to be more traditional with the red theme this holiday, then grab some cherry or triple berry.
THE BACKDOOR BAKERY, 4444 Lacey Blvd. SE, Lacey, 360.350.0221

Most of us wouldn't actively search out great food in a mall, but Madi Kat Cupcakes, located in a kiosk at the Commons Mall in Federal Way, is well worth fighting parking and venturing inside. Aside from all the expected flavors of vanilla and chocolate, the Peanut Butter Cup cupcake is literally like biting into a large peanut butter cup.
MADI KAT CUPCAKES, 1928 S. Commons, Federal Way, 209.401.9178

The eastside of Tacoma doesn't have a traditional cupcake shop, but what it does have is an amazing Mexican bakery in El Zocalo that features assorted pastries, cookies and cakes. If you're looking to brighten up your sweetheart's day, the conchas here are the way to go: sweet, flavorful and bright in color; plus the wide variety of other confections is sure to win just about anyone over. EL ZOCALO, 701 S. 38th St., Tacoma, 253.474.9000

Often times Valentine's Day can create stress over the perfect gift for the one you're sweet on. Follow these tips to sweeten their heart and celebrate accordingly.

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