Forget Charly’s Bakery; I’ve found the best Cupcakes in Cape Town at Maison Gateau. No seriously, I’ve always found Charley’s to be quite overrated (Gasp! Let the stoning begin) and my theory was confirmed when I moved to Joburg and discovered Belle’s Patisserie. Belle’s makes THE best cupcakes in the history of ever so when I moved back to Cape Town I was beyond depressed that I had to leave their delicious cupcakes behind. Luckily for me, and my sweet tooth Maison Gateau has come to the rescue. I tried some cupcakes from this new little confectionery shop in Woodstock and was immediately compelled to start messaging anyone and everyone about what I’d just discovered.
Maison Gateau isn’t exactly new to the Cape Town baking scene; owner Tara Moranduzzo started her confectionery journey with Centerpiece Cakes. And now, after 2 years of baking the most beautiful cakes and cupcakes for weddings and other private events Centrepiece Cakes has answered the calls of their loyal customers by opening a walk-in shop where everyone can satisfy their confectionery cravings without the excuse of a special occasion.
According to Maison Gateau’s website, their focus is on “inventive interpretations of classic favourites” which means that on any given day you will find in store, freshly baked cupcakes, macarons, and eclairs with the most intriguing and creative flavour combinations. Take for example the Candied Bacon & Banana cupcake (a soft banana cupcake with honey & cinnamon Italian buttercream and a sprinkle of salty, sweet, sticky candied bacon chips), the Peppermint Crisp macaron (complete with a delicious minty crunch), and the Raffaello (white chocolate and coconut infused silky creme pat in a crisp choix shell and a toasted coconut topping).
I was lucky enough to sample the Crunchy cupcake (a honey syrup soaked vanilla buttermilk sponge with honeycomb chunky Italian buttercream dipped entirely in dark chocolate, and honeycomb crumble) and the Snickers (rich, moist Devil’s Food Cake with a peanut & salted caramel center, a fluffy Italian Meringue top and a sprinkle of peanut brittle for good measure), two very different but equally delicious baked treats.
I started my Maison Gateau journey with the Snickers and I’m not even ashamed to tell you that I took one bite and then proceeded to stuff the entire thing in my mouth in a matter of seconds. The only way to describe this cupcake is to think of it like someone throwing you a surprise party … in your mouth. As you sink your teeth into the ultra fluffy Italian Meringue icing and perfectly moist cake and think; “It doesn’t get any better than this” you’ll be met with the “surprise!” of the decadent peanut & Salted Caramel center. It’s a treat of note.
And then there’s the Crunchy; if you love chocolate then this cupcake will be the death of your diet. The best part about biting into this cupcake is experiencing the ‘crack’ of the chocolate under your teeth followed by the big reveal of the fluffy buttercream icing underneath. Combine that with the soft, honey soaked vanilla sponge and you’ve got perfection.
If you want to experience the magic of Maison Gateau for yourself then pay them a visit at shop 1, Mason’s Press, 7 Ravenscraig Road, Woodstock, Cape Town. The spot is open Tuesday – Friday 10:30 – 17:30 and Saturdays 10:30 – 13:00. For up-to-date info on new additions to their menu say Hi to Centerpiece Cakes on Facebook or visit the Maison Gateau website.