Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Food Review: Merely Sweets--Brea, CA

Pin It Now! On the recommendation of my brother, my family and I went down to Merely Sweets Bakery in Brea, CA since we were right down the sidewalk at Farell's Ice Cream Parlor.

Picture from Kat's 9 Lives blog

When you walk in, it is a very clean, contemporary, somewhat stark design that really allows the desserts to shine.  They were displayed very nicely, with a few cakes, several kinds of cupcakes, a few cookies, and a beautiful display of macarons. They had much less out than I thought they would for a bakery, but I don't know if that is because it was a late sunday afternoon and they were running out, or they just only have a few items.

I am a die hard nutella fan, so when my husband saw they had a nutella cupcake, he pretty much had that ordered right off the bat...he knows me well :)  My brother was going on about macarons earlier that day, even lent me a book on making them, so I had to try one to see what it was all about.  I got the salted caramel macaron.  In the picture below from Kat's 9 Lives, you can see what the salted caramel macaron looks like, it is the one on the bottom left.  It was wrapped up in a nice little bag all by itself, very cute.

The nutella cupcake was wrapped in an individual box and they were both put it another bag.  The prices are a bit high, but for artisinal sweets, I guess it is expected.  Here is the nutella cupcake, photo also from Kat's 9 lives. 

I lovingly protected my stash all the way home.  This is what it looked like when it went in the box, but when I got home and opened it, even though it hadn't tipped over in the box or anything, the frosting had split and completely slid off.  That was disappointing.  I decided to blow all my remaining calories for the day, and indulge in my treats since I didn't know how they would keep.  I started with the macaron.  First off, I LOVE caramel.  The first bite was heavenly!!  It was salty, sweet, and very caramely.  I was so sad I only had one.  The shell was crisp on the outside, slightly chewy on the inside, and I was hooked on macarons right then and there.

With the bar set so high, I was looking forward to the cupcake, even if the frosting did slide off.  I unceremoniously put it back on, grabbed a fork, and dug in.  This is where my happiness ends.  Having eating many, many, many containers of nutella, I know what it tastes like.  I can honestly say that I could not discern a lick of nutella taste from the cupcake or the frosting.  The cake was kind of dense, not a very fine crumb, and not as chocolaty as I would have imagined.  The frosting is where the worst offense was though.  It was like a mouth full of grainy, sugary, shortening laden paste.  It had no chocolate flavor, absolutely no nutella flavor, and it was not flavored of anything really other than sugar and butter or shortening (not normally a bad thing, if there is some other flavor to go with it).  It was so unpleasant, I was so bummed.  I ate it only because I spent almost 3 bucks on it.  Wasn't going to waste the money.

I really expected more from a bakery that looked as nice as this.  The presentation on everything was beautiful.  The macarons where to die for.  The nutella cupcake though, such a disappointment.  It is very possible that it is just my opinion and expectations for frosting, but when you say nutella, in my opinion (and this is all this is), it should taste like nutella, not a mouth full of sugar with no other discernible flavor. 

I would definitely go back for the caramel macarons, but I won't be buying any cupcakes any time soon.

Merely Sweets on Urbanspoon


  1. Hi Lindsay-----I doubt that the bakery will be there too long. It seems as if that location has trouble keeping stores there. Bruxie Waffles is an exception , and I can understand why--delicious food, and different too. There was a Cold Stone ice cream place for awhile--I thought it would do well--but--nope! I think there is maybe a problem figuring out the dynamics of those who go to the movie, Ferrells, etc? Thanks for your review!!

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