I’ve heard of Swirls Bake Shop since a couple of months ago but it never piqued my interest because the location was very out of the way and my expectations of cupcakes are not easily met.
They are having a bazaar stall at Orchard Central until the 25th December so I picked up 2 mini ones to try, since I didn’t want to commit too many calories on the standard ones.
For $2.50, these are extremely expensive considering the size.
My first impression is that these really resemble Magnolia Bakery’s cupcakes in terms of appearance, where the frosting is smeared on top and shapes with a spatula, instead of piping neatly.
And the verdict is: it tastes like Magnolia Bakery’s.
Whether it is a good or bad thing depends on you. For me, I personally do not like Magnolia Bakery’s cupcakes so of course I didn’t like this.
The cake was not the moistest ever, especially comparing to Twelve Cupcakes who managed to get the cake (chocolate especially) to be moist and “bouncy”. This one is somewhat moist but still crumbly/ loose.
What I didn’t like at all was the frosting. This one tastes like it has no meringue in the buttercream. It tastes like simply butter/shortening + sugar + flavour. The frosting was rough and stiffer than meringue buttercream (be it swiss or Italian meringue). Grains of sugar can be felt. You can also see from the appearance that the buttercream frosting looks rough and stiff. Whereas for Twelve Cupcakes, their buttercream is smooth and there are definitely no coarse grains to be felt. Swirls’ buttercream are also on the sweeter side. Do note that it is just my personal conjecture – I do not know for sure their buttercream recipes. It could be the method (inadequate mixing? Different technique in mixing?) that leads to this difference, but what I do know for sure is that for these 2 cupcake shops, the end product of their buttercream is very different. Do choose the type you prefer.
Then again, they did claim to be American style so probably that’s why they resemble Magnolia Bakery which is popular in America due to its feature in Sex and the City.
Overall, I will not recommend Swirls Bake Shop because the cake was unimpressive, the buttercream frosting is not my type at all, and the price is very expensive compared to other cupcakes.