A new store in the Dozen chain of cupcake bakeries opened near our office a couple of weeks ago. From my experience with their previous stores I could not think of a single reason to consider trying the new place. But, a few guys in the office have taken a bullet for the team. One of the intrepid explorers, who I will call “Mike” commented that the move to Craig Street seemed to have had a negative effect on the quality of the baked goods. Where before they were just bad, now they were nearly inedible. This was backed up by Pete’s experience, where he got a cinnamon roll that was so bad that he threw it away. I figured that as a public service to our large population of readers, I should warn people away from this place. So I’m going to try and think of a Dozen reasons to avoid Dozen.
Who am I kidding. I’ll never think of twelve. Here is the bottom line though. If I did try and write down twelve reasons, the first six would be as follows
1. They do not know what good cake tastes like.
2. They do not know what good cake tastes like.
3. They do not know what good cake tastes like.
4. They do not know what good cake tastes like.
5. They do not know what good cake tastes like.
6. They do not know what good cake tastes like.
I believe that the first cake I got from Dozen was a chocolate cupcake of some sort. I might have gotten it from the now defunct CoCo store, but it doesn’t matter because they were about the same. They were 6 inches of frosting on top of bad cake. The cake was bad in the following ways: dry, crumbly, tasteless, and lacking in chocolate. I would like to submit that it should be impossible for a bakery with any self-respect to sell me a bad piece of chocolate cake. If they can’t do that right, they should just shut themselves down.
Anyway, here are other unremarkable pieces of cake I’ve had in my life that are better than the shit at Dozen. Note, long time readers might think I am being hyperbolic or sarcastic here. I assure you I am not.
1. The cake in a Hostess Devil Dog.
2. Chocolate Zingers.
3. Pepperidge Farm’s frozen chocolate cake with chocolate icing.
4. The Red Velvet cake at Costco. A special note about this. One other confection I obtained at Dozen recently was a Red Velvet Gob. That was also worse than the cake at Costco.
5. Sara Lee Frozen pound cake.
6. The cake I used to bake out of a boxed mix from Duncan Hines when I was 15 years old. You know… mix powder with milk, eggs and oil. Bake.
7. The cakes at Whole Foods. Which suck but they do not suck as much as Dozen.
8. Giant Eagle birthday cake.
9. The crazy Chinese sponge cake that you can buy at Lotus or the other Chinese stores in the Strip.
10. The gluten free brownies at Gluteny in Squirrel Hill. They were not transcendent, but ya know: gluten free.
11. Entemann’s packaged coffee cakes, especially the raspberry and cheese.
12. The “Gobs” at Giant Eagle. Other people call these cakes Whoopie Pies.
So there you go. I managed to make a list with twelve reasons on it after all. Never let it be said that I did not achieve something noble in my life.
By the way, if you want some foofy cupcakes made by people who actually know how to bake, follow the advice of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette and go to Vanilla Pastry Studio in Shadyside. They make a variety of tasty treats, including cupcakes with too much frosting. But, the frosting is usually pretty good, and the cake underneath does not suck.