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Extraordinary Cupcakes: How Extraordinary ARE they?

Williamsburg and our fair little campus is all a-buzz with the news of a new cupcakery within walking distance of William and Mary. How good is it? Is it worth the money? What is it like?

Her Campus correspondents went on a venture, solely for the benefit of our readers, of course, to eat, taste, analyze, and report on the new baked goods establishment.
Extraordinary Cupcakes is at a fantastic and convenient location for William and Mary students. It is situated right along Richmond Road, next to Qdoba and on the way to Bloom (soon to be a Food Lion if you haven’t heard), Goodwill, and Staples. It is right along the Red, Green, and Blue Bus lines as well as the Trolley line so getting there is not a problem at all!

The décor is very chic, simple, and sweet inside, painted a blue that is welcoming and energizing. Peacocks are the main motif, adding a sense of elegance and sophistication mirrored by the cupcakes—that aren’t your typical made-for-kids, sprinkles-all-around, get-me-the-food-dye, more-frosting-I-said-more-frosting! kind of cupcakes. The thing that immediately strikes you coming in though, is the rotating Ferris Wheel of Cupcakes, designed to look like a peacock’s colorful plumage—that all on its own is impressive.

The menu features a few daily staples available every day until they sell out, as well as many rotating flavors that are only made certain days of the week. According to their Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Extraordinary-Cupcakes) Marvelous Madagascar, The Extraordinary, Wicked Chocolate, Vanilla Flip, and Chocolate Flip cupcakes are available every day. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, you can get Uncommon Carrot Cake, Bodacious Boston Cream, and Sinfully Salted Caramel cupcakes. Tuesday and Thursday are the days that Curious Coconut, Inconceivable Coffee, and Remarkable Red Velvet are available. On Saturday you can get Over-The-Top Maple Bacon, Inconceivable Coffee, Remarkable Red Velvet, and Mom's Breathtaking Banana Pudding.

We tried six different flavors of cupcakes and found that in general, these cupcakes are sophisticated. They’re large—tall, not small, which is good since they’re $3, and no one likes to feel like they paid for more than they got—and they are the kind of cupcakes you picture yourself eating with a coffee, not at a 12 year-old’s birthday party. They’re not over iced and are just the right amount of sweetness—a great plus because a lot of us outgrew our “eat ALL the sugar” phase during puberty when we suddenly understood what our parents meant about “less being more”. They have just the right amount of icing to pair with the dense, moist, not-too-sweet cakes.

Harper’s Picks

The Vanilla Flip cake is a vanilla cupcake with rich chocolate frosting. The chocolate frosting is impeccable—the texture isn’t grainy or under-blended or too fatty. The blend of rich chocolate flavor and sweetness is perfect, with neither being too overpowering, and a great addition when paired with the vanilla of the cake. The cake itself tastes like real vanilla, not just yellow cake, and tastes like natural vanilla, not extract. It tastes great paired with coffee!
The Bodacious Boston Cream left something to be desired. The cake and frosting were delicious as usual, but the cream tasted and felt like half-baked batter. Maybe I had my hopes too high, being a lover of Boston Cream doughnuts—where the filling is like vanilla pudding—but the cream in the doughnut was not like that at all. Perhaps my expectations killed the reality, or maybe this is what “real” Boston Cream is like and my crass Dunkin Donut prototype of Boston Cream is an utter lie. But either way, this taster was a bit disappointed by the filling—maybe you’ll feel differently.
The Red Velvet Cake was phenomenal—the chocolate flavor of the cake was perfectly balanced with the sweetness and the slightly salty, creamy taste of the amazing cream cheese frosting. This cake was perfectly proportioned and well balanced in every way. It was my favorite cake out of all of my choices. It didn’t have that vinegary taste that often comes from a homemade red velvet cake from excess food dye, and the denseness, the moistness, and the amazing balance of decadent flavors made me curl my toes!

Emily’s Picks

The Uncommon Carrot Cake is indeed uncommonly good carrot cake. The cake is moist, and dense (it felt heavy in my hand, definitely worth the $3) and had a perfect blend of spices—I couldn’t pick any one out over another. This is definitely not your boxed carrot cake. It goes extremely well with coffee, which only serves to bring out the richness of the cake and the creamy smoothness of the cream cheese icing, which is both light and buttery, instead of dense and sugary-sweet.
Next I tried the Inconceivable Coffee, which was a dense, super-chocolatey cake with a delicious coffee icing. The combination of the cake and the icing tasted almost like a mocha latte. Since the cake was a plain chocolate, it really allowed for the coffee flavoring in the icing to shine. The icing was extremely well-made; it had all of the taste of coffee (with a hint of vanilla and possibly brown sugar) without being gritty or bitter. Although, you’ll probably want to forgo a cup of coffee with this cupcake and stick with a classic—a nice, cold glass of milk.
The Wicked Chocolate was everything a chocolate lover could hope for. The cake was a rich dark chocolate, sinfully so. Like all of the other cupcakes, it was matched with a perfect icing, a chocolate that was sweet enough to counterbalance the darkness of the cake. From a girl who could almost be a professional chocolate taster, this was possibly the best chocolate cupcake I have ever had.
All in all, Extraordinary Cupcakes is a little pricey, but you get what you pay for, and the cupcakes are high-class. They’re definitely not an everyday thing, but for days when you deserve a special treat (like maybe after you’ve finished a really tough midterm) they are perfect. The staff is super friendly and knowledgeable and will keep you coming back for more of their fantastic sweets!

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