One of the newest cupcake shops to open its doors in Miami is Sweet Times Cupcakes & Coffee. The owners, Michael Moed and Angela Prada-Moed, are originally from Miami and spent part of the last decade living in Las Vegas as professional poker players. The couple decided to take a different type of gamble when they opened the doors of their Kendall storefront four months ago. The road to getting Sweet Times up and running was one that required a lot of flexibility as the couple first explored locations on South Beach and Midtown and changed business plans from making standard cupcakes to "midi" (the size between mini and standard) cupcakes. Now, with the store open, and the positive reviews pouring in, the couple is starting to think about expansion.
The storefront and cupcakes are, simply put, gorgeous. Everything about the store is visually pleasing, from the decor to the color scheme to the way the cupcakes are displayed. The store looks gourmet with a certain elegance you would not expect from a cupcakery but is also inviting at the same time. All the cupcakes at Sweet Times are baked on site, with Red Velvet, Carrot, Vanilla Vanilla, and LightsOut being their everyday offerings. What truly sets Sweet Times apart from other bakeries in the area, however, is their exclusive use of Italian buttercream, a frosting made from egg whites and granulated sugar, as opposed to the traditional butter-powdered sugar frosting.
On a recent visit to Sweet Times Cupcakes & Coffee, six of their cupcakes were sampled: Red Velvet, Vanilla Vanilla, Strawberry, Carrot, Nutella, and LightsOut. The Red Velvet cupcake is a red velvet cake topped with white chocolate buttercream and decorated with a sugar rim. Topping the cupcake with a white chocolate frosting versus the traditional cream cheese frosting may take the red velvet traditionalists aback, but the combination works to create a softer, deeper cupcake flavor; there is no doubt when you bite into this cupcake that you are biting into a red velvet cupcake. The white chocolate buttercream keeps the focus on the red velvet cake, which can sometimes be lost when the cream cheese frosting is too tangy.
The Vanilla Vanilla cupcake is a vanilla cupcake topped with Madagascar bourbon vanilla bean buttercream and decorated with rainbow nonparelis and a fondant Sweet Times logo. This is a classic cupcake that hits all the right notes at Sweet Times and is so perfect in its vanilla flavor that you are left wondering if you truly ate a cupcake or were really eating the vanilla bean itself.
The Strawberry cupcake is a strawberry cake topped with strawberry buttercream and decorated with a fondant Sweet Times logo. The cupcake, a pale pink, is like biting into a plump, deep red strawberry. The best part of this cupcake, however, was the buttercream. The buttercream was magnificent in its flavor and was like breathing in ripe, ready-to-eat strawberries. This is a cupcake that one experiences with all his or her senses.
The Carrot cupcake is a carrot cake topped with white chocolate buttercream and decorated with a fondant Sweet Times logo. Here, again, Sweet Times takes the traditional carrot cake-cream cheese frosting combination and instead pairs up the cake with white chocolate. Again, the combination works because of the lightness and the subtle nature of the white chocolate flavor in the Italian buttercream. The frosting compliments the carrot cake, which has enough spice in it to make one wish for the smells and cooler temperatures of the fall season.
The Nutella cupcake is a chocolate cake filled with a hazelnut ganache and topped with a Nutella butter cream and hazelnuts. If one did not know the cupcake was filled, the filling would be a pleasant surprise. This cupcake is like melting down one of those gold wrapped Ferrero Rocher chocolates and turning it into a cupcake. The chocolate cake is rich, the hazelnut ganache is luxurious, and the Nutella buttercream has enough Nutella in it so that you know it is Nutella but not so much that it would turn the on-the-fence Nutella eaters against this cupcake.
Lastly, the LightsOut cupcake is a chocolate cake topped with a chocolate buttercream that is then covered in a chocolate ganache. The cupcake is decorated with chocolate sprinkles and the signature fondant Sweet Times logo. This is the cupcake for the chocolate lover; Sweet Times' very own love letter to chocolate and its way to proudly showcase all the wonderful forms of chocolate. This is the type of chocolate cupcake that puts all other chocolate cupcakes to shame. The Moed's said they wanted Sweet Times to be known for their gourmet cupcakes and this cupcake will make sure that happens. The cupcake is intense, rich, and, without a doubt, one of the best (if not the best) cupcakes in Miami.
In general, it can be said that all the cupcakes at Sweet Times are a decadence that will satisfy each sweet tooth that walks through the bakery's doors. The use of Italian buttercream creates a frosting that is lighter and silkier in texture and serves to firmly plant the cupcakes in the gourmet category. The cupcakes are consistently good, proving that care and quality are put into every one of their offerings.
Cupcakes ate $1.50 each, $9.00 for six, and $16.50 for a dozen. The offerings at Sweet Times rotate daily; for a menu of the offerings visit Sweet Time's website.
Sweet Times Cupcakes & Coffee is located at 8530 SW 124th Avenue #101 in Miami and is open from 10:00am to 8:00pm Mondays through Fridays and 12:00pm to 9:00pm on Saturdays. For more information on Sweet Times Cupcakes & Coffee visit their website, Facebook page, or call (305) 270-0300.