My husband and my dad have a great relationship and often go to events without me. They were early for a small entertainment industry event, so they stopped at the Los Angeles Farmers Market to pick up some grub. Eric noticed a new cupcake stand and saw that they offered vegan cupcakes, so he very thoughtfully stopped and bought me one. Eric mentioned more than once how friendly and approachable the employees/proprietors were.
Eric got a card from them, so I did a little research and checked out the Zia Valentina website, which is not yet complete. They boast “fresh and natural ingredients, with no preservatives, no sugar,” which is always good. The website lists the following vegan options: espresso drinks with non-dairy milks, chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal coconut cookies, vegan cupcakes, and a vegan oatmeal coconut chai frosting sandwich. They actually list 6 different types of vegan cupcakes – take that Sprinkles! There’s red velvet, s’mores, chocolate coconut, chocolate banana, vanilla chai, and carrot. However, there’s one major issue. While kindly telling Eric all about the vegan options, it came out that the red velvet cupcake is vegan except for the frosting. Apparently, the frosting for this particular cupcake has egg in it.
Eric was assured that the vegan s’mores cupcake was actually vegan, so he brought it home at the end of the night. After hearing about the problem with the red velvet cupcake, I was a little concerned about the s’mores cupcake, but I took them at their word and tried it out. It was hands down better than Sprinkles’ yucky red velvet cupcake (found in the same place). The cake wasn’t dry at all, despite sitting in the car for a few hours until Eric got home and the frosting was thick and creamy. My only complaint was that the “s’mores” flavor was very faint. Had I not known that it was supposed to be s’mores, I don’t think I would have realized what flavor it was.
I would definitely stop by the Zia Valentina cupcake stand on a future visit, but I have a few concerns that I hope they address in the meantime. I applaud their effort to provide healthier cupcakes and other treats, especially vegan ones. I would just encourage them to do a little more research into the restrictions involved in the vegan diet so that they can truly offer legitimately vegan desserts. I’m worried that, if the vegan red velvet cupcake has egg in the frosting, the s’mores cupcake may have gelatin in the marshmallow frosting or honey in the graham cracker crumble. Once they get a good understanding of the vegan diet, I’m sure they will be great competitors to the nearby Sprinkles booth.
On a side note, I still prefer No Udder Desserts and I’m glad that they are the closest to my home.