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“Pearl's is back on top this time around for us!!”

Pearl's Cupcake Shoppe
Ranked #9 of 22 Bakeries in Richmond
Restaurant details
Reviewed April 30, 2013

Every one of my visits to Richmond brings me to Pearl’s; it’s a ‘must do’ kind of place. On this trip I happened to be heading to a lengthy doctor’s appointment and was worried if I waited until later the selection of cupcakes would be less; so I made Pearl’s my first stop just ten minutes after the start of cupcake serving time. I’ve sampled many flavors of theirs, but there are plenty more on my ‘haven’t tried yet’ list. For some reason, I always seemed to miss one cupcake in particular on each visit, but thanks to the cupcake fairies...the Mexi Cali chocolate was in the display case that morning. My husband tends to favor the ordinary flavors and I am addicted to sampling the unique selections. This time around , the ‘never before tasted’ I chose were the Mexi Cali, the Cherry Pie, the vegan Chocolate Coffee Coconut and Minty Chocolate. I am no fan of mint and chocolate, but I thought I’d give it a shot-recommended by the young girl who boxed up my treats with a smile. Just prior to my doctor’s appointment, I hid the cupcakes in the trunk of my vehicle, and hoped the valet drivers had a poor sense of smell otherwise, my cupcakes may have been eaten; the aroma of chocolate permeated from my trunk into the passenger compartment. It was a tough drive home on an empty stomach; really wanting to sneak a bite, but I waited.
After a light dinner, it was time to cleanse the palate and sample my chosen batch of cupcakes. I do this after cupcake visits. I take a few bites of each, sampling the icing and cake separate, then all together. First up, the one I’d been dying to try for a very long time-the Mexi Cali Chocolate. This super chocolaty combo has heat that kicks in after a few bites and is spot on when it comes to the level of it. There’s just enough of the cayenne pepper to know it’s the magic ingredient, but not overpowering to ruin it. A clear winner! The Cherry Pie had an insane amount of cream cheese frosting on a vanilla cupcake with cherry pie filling. It was delicious, but I ended up scraping a lot of the icing off. For those who think vegan options taste blah, you are missing out on a really scrumptious cupcake. I am not a vegan, but couldn’t resist the Chocolate Coffee Coconut –three of my favorite cupcake ingredients in one. This was a perfect combo of flavors-moist, tasty and the best out of my selections this day. Onto the Minty Chocolate, which I saved for last and for good reason; I wasn’t sure I’d like it and didn’t want to ruin my taste buds before sampling the others. One bite of this mint flavored green icing with the bite of the devil’s food chocolate cupcake and I headed for the trashcan. Yep, it was disgusting; like Colgate dyed green and squirted on a chocolate cake. On the other hand, my husband loved it; but he’s a fan of mint and chocolate. I can at least say I tried it. There have been some that I didn’t think I’d enjoy, but I did...so you have to give each cupcake at least one taste test. Our everyday favorites-the Red Velvet and Carrot Cake never disappoint, both loaded with cream cheese frosting and moist cake. My husband’s remaining choices-the Top Hat, Plain Jane and Black & White are his favorites; to me they’re boring flavors, but overall still rockin’ cupcakes. Pearl’s is back on top this time around for us! We look forward to our

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Thank kribbean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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38 - 42 of 50 reviews

Reviewed February 24, 2013

My husband and I are cupcake lovers and in our eyes, or rather mouths, no one beats Pearl’s. We’ve sampled cupcakes from all over and have always compared each tasting to Pearl’s. Sadly, yesterday our taste buds were not tickled with delight. My husband was in Richmond for the day and knew a Pearl’s stop was the top priority. Arriving at 10:40am on a Saturday, the place was packed with eager souls drooling for their sweet tooth fix. Knowing what the daily specials were, I had browsed the specialty cupcake options online making my list of possible choices I’d enjoy. I figured that out of five of the specialty cupcakes surely I’d have a few matches. My husband called to tell me that they had Oscar-themed cupcakes, none of the specials I was anticipating and this is when my disappointment began. I give them a huge round of applause for such an original idea; it was quite obvious that their customers in shop that day were totally wowed by their creations, but I was not. My husband rattled off the descriptions of the Oscar cupcakes and I decided to be a trooper and select three that appealed to me in hopes that my tongue would dance with joy upon sampling. In total he ordered a dozen, two each of the Lincoln, The Les Miserables and the Silver Lining Playbook; and an assortment of daily flavors. Out of the three Oscar choices, the Lincoln was a clear winner. The generously cream cheese frosted snicker doodle cake with apple pie filling was moist and dense, a heavy cupcake and pretty darn tasty. The Silver Lining Playbook which we thought would be the best of the Oscar bunch would be better named The Black Cloud. A bitter and very dry chocolate cake with a tasteless cheesecake filling and topped with a pretty swirled blob of chocolate ganache ended up in the trash after a few bites. The Les Miserables, a beignet flavored cupcake was light and fluffy, but had no real flavor and reminded me of a sugar-free cake. The sugary topping was not sweet at all. My red velvet was dry and rubbery around the edges, making me think it was more than likely left over from the day before. The Pearls Goes Co Co had a decent chocolate flavor, but the 7 minute frosting was overpowered by far too much dried out coconut. The carrot cake, always a favorite of mine, was dense, moist and covered in a huge amount of cream cheese frosting. I never complain about too much frosting; it’s easy to scrape off the excess, but you can never add more when it’s lacking. Our cupcake samplings left us feeling like a young child whose heart melts after finding out that there is no Santa. Where oh where was our Pearl’s magic this time around? We hope to find it again on our next visit in March. I am hoping that then the menu will feature the specialty cupcakes on their website, there are so many more I need to try!

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Thank kribbean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2013

I first heard about Pearl's Cupcake Shoppe when I was in college, attending VCU- They were doing a celebratory special for VCU's advancement into the NCAA tournament! (brownie points for supporting the local community's morale!) The cupcakes were so festive AND delicious, I had to order more to be picked up later for a family gathering! My family from ATL and the metro-RVA area LOVED them! The icing is divine- very sweet, delicious butter cream/cream cheese, and the cake was very moist and melt in our mouths! When it was time for my graduation party, my mom surprised me and ordered from there for my party! They had made an assortment of mini's and regular sized cupcakes- mixed flavors... every flavor I tasted, I loved! Recently, I found that I had a wheat-intolerance (which for a cupcake lover is the worst!). I discovered that Pearl's made Gluten Free cupcakes and cake pops! THEY WERE DELICIOUS! I have had gluten free cupcakes from various other bakeries (even those in DC), and none of them tasted as good as Pearl's- They melted in my mouth, just like the regular cupcake did! I almost didn't believe that they were GF! TO wrap this up- Everywhere I go, I MUST explore the local bakery and my favorite dessert is a cupcake (specifically a red velvet cupcake, but I'm open to all flavors, esp since I eat about 3 or 4 cupcakes at a time! LOL). THere have been, of course, others that had delicious cupcakes, but I will tell you- Pearl's is on my top 3 list!!!!

1  Thank Cristamcole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 24, 2012

I moved to Hampton Roads a little over two years ago and have searched all over for cupcakes that compared to the shoppes we had in Seattle. I've searched high and low but shoppes in Hampton Roads were lacking in moisture, had too much moisture, lacked in taste, and so on.

Then I happened to be in Richmond for an event and happened to fall upon a little place called Pearl's Cupcake Shoppe. At last, I have found a cupcake in Virginia with the perfect balance of moisture, taste, and sweetness! They have a wide range of flavors and I have yet to try one that wasn't delicious! I cannot say enough good things about these cupcakes. I only wish I didn't have to drive an hour to enjoy them, but honestly, it's worth it because I have yet to find a place to compare.

Everyone is always friendly here and I love that the shoppe is spacious and allows plenty of seating in comparison to other shoppes I have visited. Pearl's Cupcake Shoppe is a delight to visit. I'm already planning my next trip there!

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1  Thank MakingMemories317
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2012

Since our first visit to Pearl's some time ago, we've gone to various locations within Virginia and other states sampling cupcakes along the way. We have yet to find any other cupcake place that can top them. The cupcakes at Pearl's are to die for!!! With a broad selection of every day flavors and the unique creations of the daily specials, it makes it tough to leave there with just one.
My husband and I stopped in on a Friday afternoon, hoping that they would still have all of the special of the day flavors available. Drooling over the cupcakes in the display case, we knew a teeny box of 6 was not going to work for us. There were a few people ahead of us, but with speedy girls behind the counter serving each order with a smile, the line quickly disappeared. We popped up to the counter and proudly boasted that we'd be needing a dozen to go. Yep, a dozen for just two people. My husband chose the regular daily flavors and two of the specialty. I decided that in order to really experience Pearl's I needed to choose all specialty flavors. There was a small tray in the display case that had a mixture of cupcakes on it. I wondered if these were from the previous day or leftover from a special order. To me, this was a bonus! When sampling these particular cupcakes they were a tad drier around the edges, but still plenty of life left in them and the icing tasted fresh.
Here were our selections and some comments. 1. Candy Bar-pbutter cake w/ chocolate frosting and mini pbutter cup on top. My husband said this was one of his favs. There was just enough pbutter flavoring, not overpowering like a pbutter cookie.2. Banana Split-banana cake with strawberry puree, frosted in pineapple buttercream, choc ganache and cherry. I am no fan of banana splits, but love banana bread. I thought I'd be daring and give this one a try. I honestly thought I'd sample it and toss the rest. Wow! I was pleasantly surprised, it was one of my favorites-minus the cherry (don't like them). I ate this two days after purchase and it was still moist. The combo of all flavors after taking a bite of this was excellent, all complimenting each other deliciously well. 3.Toffeetastic-a chocolate cake, with icing that had toffee candy pieces. The chocolate cupcake overpowered the toffee flavor to some degree, but not a negative thing about this one. I ate it all. 4. Candied Sweet Potato-sweet potato cake filled with marshmallow fluff, vanilla/marshmallow frosting and topped with candied pecans. My favorite of my six. I am a sucker for anything pumpkin or sweet potato and this was no disappointment. I did not taste marshmallow in the frosting, which was fine. Just the right amount of fluff in the middle combined with the sweet potato and icing made me wish I had ordered more of this one. 5. Tropical Bliss-keylime cake, keylime curd and coconut whipped topping. Keylime pie in a cupcake form minus the meringue. This was a tart tongue pleasing cake rich enough to thoroughly enjoy with half of the icing that came on it. 6.The Wilma Ray-champagne cake batter frosted with Italian champagne buttercream. I do not like champagne, and this cupcake definitely had a slight champagne flavor. However, if I didn't know what was in it, I would not have been able to guess the ingredients. The cupcake was light, not rich and slightly sweet. Not bad, but I would not choose this one again.
My husband also ordered the Red Velvet, Double Trouble, Black and White, Top Hat and the Cookies 'n Cream. He obviously had no complaints, eating all of each, leaving only the wrapper!
Thanks Pearl's for doing what you do so well.

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1  Thank kribbean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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