The expansion of cupcake bakeries in San Diego has shifted the dainty treats from a rare splurge into a common trend with a level of originality on par with Walmart. However, with the uncanny fusion of two popular indulgences, beer and cupcakes, the creative, contemporary and talented Misty Birchall has transcended the conventional cupcake fad with the opening of her shop PubCakes.
The atypical idea to infuse cupcake batter with beer began inherently for Birchall with her love of beer and a natural aptitude for baking. After concocting the initial batch of the beer-blended cakes for a friend’s birthday, she soon became known as the “cupcake girl” and spent a semester off from school developing her newfound culinary experiment. After partnering with a fellow San Diego native and owner of Treehouse Coffee Company earlier this year, she opened the first PubCakes at a dual storefront in El Cajon, selling both cupcakes and locally-brewed coffee.
Birchall draws on the sensational flavors of craft brews to create equally sensational cupcakes for her menu. The cupcakes are made signature by their distinct beer infusions, such as Guinness in the popular Irish Carbomb and locally brewed Iron Fist in the exquisite Velvet Glove red velvet cupcake.
Girl Scout cookie lovers swoon about the crowd favorite, Stoned Portzilla, a cupcake equivalent to the Samoa. The Stone Smoked Porter cake filled with coffee ganache, topped with caramelized coconut is the epitome of moist and crunchy sweetness baked to perfection. Quirky menu items such as Beer for Breakfast may seem dubious, but there is no denying the savory satisfaction of maple-flavored cream cheese frosting atop a bacon and AleSmith Wee Heavy beer cupcake. Birchall’s innovation is clearly portrayed by both the diversity and distinctness of her cupcakes, and new recipes are introduced nearly every week.
Those enticed to sample PubCakes should take advantage of the store’s happy hour. Through the last hour of operation on business days, the remainder of cupcakes are buy one get one free – ideal for a quick and inexpensive chance to try something new.
PubCakes’ shared storefront, located at 7229 El Cajon Blvd. is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (or until it is out of cupcakes). PubCakes are also available to purchase at various retail locations throughout San Diego, such as Toronado, KnB Wine Cellars, Bottlecraft, Rosaria’s Pizza and Perks Cafe at the University of California, San Diego.