coconut cupcake and a cup of tea

Review – Daisy Cakes in Durham

sky reflecting in the window with Daisy Cakes sign
Daisy Cakes is located on Foster Street next to the Piedmont Restaurant

After spending a day watching documentaries at the Fullframe Documentary Festival and feeling uneasy about the world, it was a nice relief to take a stroll down Foster Street and see a sunny, pink daisy on the door that immediately made me smile. “It’s Daisy Cakes!” I declared. I had heard about Daisy Cakes back when they just had their food truck and were serving their cupcakes at the Durham Farmer’s Market.

people sitting at tables inside Daisy Cakes
Daisy Cakes is a charming little place in Downtown Durham

About a year ago, they purchased this cute little place on Foster Street. I knew I had to drop in and try one of their homemade cupcakes. When you walk in, there’s a feel of the modern mixed with the old brick and mortar. They had a plethora of cupcakes along with other baked goods to try. Most of the ingredients come from local sources. For example, the eggs and dairy come from Homeland Creamery in Greensboro. The flavors of cupcakes also change according to what is in season.

I settled on the coconut cupcake. The cake was fresh and fluffy and had nice slivers of coconut in the batter. It was topped with a delicious cream cheese based icing. Of course, like with any cupcake I’ve ever had, it was a little awkward to eat as it’s a bit too big to get a bite of both the cake and the icing.

coconut cupcake and a cup of tea
Coconut cupcake

My friend, Donna, also had wandered down the street after her film was over and met me outside. She tried the black and white cupcake and she let me have a taste. The chocolate had a deep, complex flavor and was not too sweet. The cake was so fresh it was falling apart to the touch. The icing was a homemade whipped cream that was nice and thick and, again, was not too sweet. The coffee was also from a local roaster, Counter Culture Coffee.

chocolate cupcake with whipped cream icing and a cup of coffee in a white mug
The black & white cupcake with some coffee.

The next day, I came back to have lunch here. There were lots of great choices of sandwiches and salads using locally grown produce. I chose the beet and goat cheese tartine with lemon confit. The bread was toasted and had a great crunch to it. The beets were shaved thinly and sprinkled over the goat cheese. The side salad was light and was a nice compliment to the tartine.

Woman taking orders from customers. Kitchen is in the background.
Order at the counter and take a number. The food is then delivered to your table
beet and goat cheese tartine
Beet and goat cheese tartine with a side salad.

Daisy Cakes was started by Tanya and Konrad Catolos both chefs who have worked at Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill, Washington Duke Inn in Durham and the Piedmont Restaurant in Durham. They started selling their cupcakes in a food truck lovingly named “Sugar” and were frequently seen at the Durham Farmer’s Market. In November of 2011 they opened their shop on Foster Street.

In addition to the great cupcakes, Daisy Cakes has all kinds of pastries, tarts, bars and other goodies. I can’t wait to go back again sometime real soon to try the strawberry rhubarb tart. All the pastries, along with the sandwiches change ingredients due to what is in season and available locally.

Daisy Cakes is open from 8am-5:30pm Monday-Friday and from 9am-3:30pm on Saturday.  It is located at 401 Foster Street, about three blocks from the Marriott. Follow them on Twitter @DaisyCakesNC.

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