Yummers 2 the 3rd Power may seem a renegade name for a cupcake bakery, but the usual short-and-sweet saccharine names like “Fluff” or “Dot” wouldn’t work for a bakery that sells cupcakes made from Monster Energy Drink topped with pop rocks.
Yummers is the kind of bakery you get when you mix one part VooDoo Doughnut (a Portland institution and home to the bacon maple bar) with one part the current dessert du jour; cupcakes (so when does the pie shop trend start here??? We’re waiting…).
When Yummers owner/baker Amber Serrano told me by phone this week that she was working up a Slim Jim cupcake prototype, I didn’t know what to think. But she assured me it was “sweet and tasty.” She slices and cooks the Slim Jim meat stick in maple syrup, which gives the dried sausage a “raisin” texture, said Serrano.
Yeah, a sausage cupcake. You read that correctly.
After trying her booze-soaked strawberry Riesling cupcakes last week, I might be inclined to believe that she really could put Slim Jim in a cupcake and make it tasty.
The maple French toast and bacon cupcake is a big seller. Did I mention the sweet pickle cupcake Serrano will be recipe testing this weekend?
She makes buttercream frosting with vodka for one cupcake; and cooks plantains in balsamic vinegar for another. Big and odd are two words in Serrano’s cupcake vernacular.
Yummers just began its third week of business after a hasty remodel of the tiny space that is saturated in day-glo pink, and located near the Pacific Lutheran University Campus.
Yummers first opened in mid February, but it was simply too tiny and could not keep up with cupcake demand (darn those hungry Lutes). The bakery closed in late March and Serrano and crew spent six weeks tearing down a wall to open up the dining room. It’s still tiny, but instead of seating three, the bakery now seats 10. Even with the expansion, it gets crowded quickly.
The bakery is decorated just as Serrano imagined when she saw the empty storefront while completing an errand at the post office across the street. She imagined pink walls and a cute chandelier – and that’s exactly what she created. The pink is a jarring shade of saturated Pepto and the chandelier is funky. The space exudes fun, just like Serrano.
Serrano runs the bakery with help from her father Eddie Serrano. She’s not a classically trained baker or chef, but calls herself a homespun food lover. Her bakery is from-scratch.
Serrano offers at least a half dozen assorted cupcake flavors for those walking in off the street, and all flavors are available special order. The full flavor menu is listed at the shop’s website, but call ahead for the day’s flavors.
In addition to cupcakes, which cost $2.25 each (or $4 for the jumbos), Serrano makes something called cake pops, which are decadent little cake balls consisting of mashed-up cake mixed with frosting, shaped into a ball, then dipped in chocolate and served on a stick (insert drool sounds here). She has them in two sizes for 99 cents to $1.50 each.
I gave her cupcakes a try last week and was impressed with the textures and big flavors. These aren’t light and airy cupcakes, these are cakes with body. While the signature blue coconut tasted a touch stale (made the day before?) and was too dry for my liking, the peanut butter and jelly cupcake tasted like a peanut butter cookie translated into cupcake form, and topped with a creamy, rich peanut butter frosting and a drizzle of jelly. The truffle cupcake was a deeply flavored chocolate cake with a fudgy texture and topped with an obscenely decadent dark chocolate truffle. The strawberry Riesling cupcake was topped with wine-soaked strawberries that carried a decidedly grownup boozy flavor (don’t give that one to your kids). The red velvet was a touch dry, but its mascarpone cheese frosting topper was buttery rich. Compared to other local bakeries, the cupcakes at Yummers are slightly larger. Calorie counters, be warned.
Below you’ll find descriptions of a few of Serrano’s signature cupcakes, in her own words. Visit her site for more flavors.
Yummers 2 the 3rd Power
317 Garfield St. S., Tacoma UPDATE 2012: This bakery has moved to 10625 Pacific Ave. S., Tacoma.
Phone: 253-507-5631 or 253-507-5893
Hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday. Open noon-5 p.m. every other Sunday (call for details).
IN OTHER CUPCAKE NEWS: Burning Cupcakes opened Saturday at 4312 Sixth Avenue, Tacoma. The small, low-slung building offers seating and drip coffee (mom tip: it’s a great place to bring kids). The bakery features cupcakes, but also is a full-service dessert bakery that offers tarts, cookies, quiche and other baked items. Eventually, the bakery may offer fresh-baked breads. I spoke with owner Taressa Neal last night. Watch the TNT Diner blog tomorrow morning for the story. I’ll also write about a new donut shop opening on Sixth.
SIGNATURE CUPCAKES from Yummers 2 the 3rd Power bakery, in Serrano’s words:
What’s For Breakfast/Maple French Toast and Bacon Cupcake: Fantastic Maple French toast and Bacon Cupcake with a maple syrup buttercream frosting, topped with a candied piece of bacon.
Yummers 2 the 3rd Power/Signature Blue Coconut Cupcake: Incredible and Moist, coconut cream cupcake with a crazy good blue coconut buttercream frosting and topped with coconut chips.
Puerto Rican Vacation/Carmelized Balsalmic Sweet Plaintain Cupcake: Delicious carmelized plantains cooked in a balsalmic brown-sugar, vanilla bean glaze, baked in a sweetcream batter, with a caramel buttercream and topped with balsalmic pearls.
Fancy Ruby Slipper: A red velvet dream cake, with slight notes of cocoa and vanilla, with a white chocolate buttercream frosting and topped with red ruby sparkles.
*Also available with a vanilla, marscapone cream cheese frosting.
Why Bother: Incredible vanilla bean cupcake with a creamy, melt in your mouth vanilla bean frosting.
Eddie Monster/Monster Energy and Pop Rocks Cupcake: A vanilla citrus cupcake, full of Monsterous Energy, to keep you running all day. Topped with a vanilla citrus buttercream frosting, and a sweet kick of molecular power.
Get Your Groove Back: A dreamy, dark chocolate cupcake with a fudge ganache, and chocolate cloud frosting, topped with a Belgian chocolate truffle.
Sweet Potato Pie Cupcake: A yummy sweet potato cupcake with a marshmallow buttercream, topped with a candied pecan, and pie crust.
Not your Momma’s PB&J/ Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcake: Moist and de-lish, peanut butter cupcake, with a grown up jelly filling, peanut buttercream frosting, with a jelly drizzle, and peanut topping.
Butterfly Cosmopolitan/Pink Coconut Martini Cupcake: A fabulous coconut cupcake with coconut vodka buttercream frosting with pink glitter, with a beautiful butterfly topper decoration.
Baby Boo Bear: Incredible and moist, flavorful honey walnut cupcake, with a honey buttercream frosting, topped with a candied walnut, and honey cream drizzle.
Oatmeal Cookie Cupcake: Incredible oatmeal cookie bottom with a moist oatmeal cookie cupcake topped with a cinnamon vanilla buttercream, and cinnamon sprinkle.