Cupcakes. They’re such a delicious little treat that when we eat them, we don’t feel like we are cheating on our *diets*. Let us introduce you to Sweet Box Cupcakes. Located in Washington Square, these delicious bites are sure to make you come running back for more. These cupcakes have won numerous awards, including 2015/2013 Philly Happening Best Cupcakes, 2015 Best of Style Bakery Philadelphia Style Magazine, and 2011 Vendy Award Best Dessert.
In 2011, Sweet Box came to the Philadelphia food scene in the form of a food truck. The name of their concept came pretty easily – they were sweets in a box. After seeing much success with the truck, owner Gretchen decided to open a brick and mortar in 2014.
These delicious cupcakes weren’t Gretchen’s first dive into the culinary scene. She grew up helping her dad at his restaurant, where she was able to hone her hospitality and back of the restaurant skills. Gretchen dabbled in baking here and there for fun, but never thought to turn it into something more than just a hobby. That all changed, however, when she started to take care of her grandparents, and they would ask for an after dinner sweet. Gretchen found, after running from bakery to bakery, that while the treats all looked delicious, they didn’t taste all that great. She discovered there was a need for artisan baked goods that not only appealed to the visual senses, but tasted delicious as well. Voilà, Sweet Box was born.
The shop is super cute (albeit super tiny). There is your typical cupcake counter where you can pick which flavor you want, there are baked goods up front, and there are a few small tables where you can eat your delicious treats, should you choose to eat them there. You can see what’s baking behind the counter, which is always a fun way to people watch.
This shop offers great deals for their customers. There is a $15 deal for 4 cupcakes, $5 for 2 cookies, and $23 for 6 cupcakes. The food truck also still makes appearances, including the Trucks Brews and Bites Block party (this year held on April 16th), the Swarthmore Truckathon, Roxborough Night Market, Philadelphia Science Festival, and many more.
Their most popular flavors are the “Strawberries & Champagne,” “Yards Chocolate Love Stout,” “Bacon Maple Pancake,” and “Cotton Candy.” Their staple flavors include red velvet, birthday cake, chocolate ganache, chocolate peanut butter, brown sugar cookie dough, vanilla vanilla, cinnamon bun swirl, and black&white milkshake. Seasononal flavors include peach cobbler, blueberry cheesecake, salted caramel apple, snickerdoodle, pumpkin chocolate chip, and blueberry cheesecake. There are occasionally vegan cupcake options, but sorry gluten-free foodies, there isn’t much here for you (read: keep moving).
Other baked goods include ricotta cookies, dark chocolate sea salt cookies, sugar cookies, lemon pound cake, banana pudding, cookie dough brownies, trifles, cakes, lemon bars, creme brulee, funfetti sugar cookies, red velvet butter cake, and cake batter bars. (Did someone say “wear your stretchy pants?”)
We thought the cupcakes were pretty delicious. The actual cupcake itself is nice and dense, and the frosting was thick – unlike some other places where the frosting is light and fluffy, this frosting stuck to the cupcake and didn’t fall off when we took a bite. We will say that while we thought it was delicious, we definitely couldn’t eat more than one at a time, due to how dense they were. We also brought some home with us to eat over the next week, and they quickly got hard – so if you’re going to take some home, we’d say their shelf life is 1-2 days.
Delivery is available via GrubHub and Caviar, and keep your eyes out for another truck making its debut in 2017!
-Arielle and Lea
We’d like to thank Gretchen at Sweet Box Cupcakes for allowing us to come in, sample some goodies, and take home some delicious treats.