In the quiet unassuming town of Rancho Santa Margarita amidst a cluster of small shops, a cupcake shop by the name of Island Cupcakes caught my eye. The very next day, their Groupon arrived in my email and I was sold.
This cupcakery occupies a small space, is brightly painted, and their staff sports the biggest smiles and stellar customer service. Cupcakes are baked fresh daily. The theme is tropical – guava, coconut, pina colada, banana macadamia, passion fruit, and mango. They also serve breakfast cupcakes such as apple cinnamon, blueberry, and java and the usual suspects – red velvet, chocolate, caramel, peanut butter, and vanilla.
I took home an order of a dozen (per my Groupon) and honestly it took a while for these to grow on me. The all-natural butter cream was a bit cloying but I quickly realized that perhaps this was due to it sitting out all day. The top layer had hardened however once you got past that the real flavor came through. The cake itself is consistent and moist. Most of the cupcakes have a fresh fruit filling, chocolate, or something else that is unique to the cupcake.
My favorites were: strawberry (this is seasonal), guava (this has a yummy guava filling), lime (even though I’m not a big fan of limes this one really surprised me. It was light and refreshing), banana macadamia (my absolute favorite!), and the red velvet (the frosting and the cake were so moist, rich, and delicious).
If you find yourself deep in the Orange Curtain and in the suburbs of South Orange County make a stop at Island Cupcakes. Their cupcakes are quite a treat. Follow them on Facebook for more updates. For more cupcake photos, check out my fan page.