After a few days of wandering around Richmond, I realized the phrase “Cupcakes.  Find Delicious Cupcakes,” was ringing around in my subconscious.

Anyone who knows me knows I love cake.  I love eating it, I love talking about it, and I love birthdays because they’re an excuse to make it.  In each new city I’ve lived in, I’m likely to prioritize the finding of local bakeries beyond other (much more important) things.  Upon arriving in Parma, for example, I’d found every bakery within a 3km radius of my apartment before phoning my parents to let them know I was alive.  I just can’t help it; it’s an instinct.

I thieve cupcakes at friends' weddings and eat them behind vending machines with co-conspirators.

Today, I’m terribly pleased to let you know I’ve found a cup cake-ery in Richmond called Bell’s Bake Shop.  Rejoice!

Honestly, I hesitated to go this early because I thought “Does this mean I can only go once?  Can I never return because I’ve already written a post?“  What if I really want another cupcake???”  Then I had an idea.  I’ll write one post dedicated entirely to Bell’s now, then throughout the year when I happen to be craving something sweet, I’ll go back and try new flavours.  I’ll eventually have tasted them all, settle on a favourite, and as an extension of this post offer a detailed and scientific explanation of my #1 pick backed by graphs and statistics.  I know, it’s genius.  Please save your applause until the end.

Bell’s is located just back from the harbour in Steveston, on 1st Avenue.  Like most cupcakeries, it’s bright and feminine, with a big purple cupcake welcoming visitors at the door.

Inside, there’s something for everyone, with flavours like Lemon, Carrot Cake, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Cookies and Cream, and many more (you can see their entire selection and price list here).  For you vegans, gluten-intolerants, and celiacs, I have GOOD NEWS – there are cupcakes for you, too!  They also make a few cookies and two types of brownies – one with peanut butter and the other with goat cheese (heck yes) – as well as full-sized cakes and giant cupcakes.  Giant cupcakes.  You may also applaud for those.

Owner Jennifer Bell earned some well-deserved recognition last year for her brilliant Stanley Cup-cakes.  She’s obviously  a very creative lady, and I’m looking forward to trying all the new flavours she comes up with in the next year.

So what flavours did we try on this first visit to Bell’s?  There were two of us, so we split the Red Velvet and the Chocolate Peanut Butter.  The cake was fresh and tasty, but the thing I most wanted to write home about was the creamy, not-too-sweet buttercream they swirl on top with a distinctive little dip to hold the garnish.  Good icing is a serious coup.

We enjoyed them so, so much, and I was thrilled to have my friend Megan with me.  Megan is not only an exquisite cupcake-eating-model, she’s also a doctor.  If I was to get over-excited about the amount of delicious cake and choke (a realistic possibility), she’d know how to save me.  I owe you my life, Meg.

I am SO excited to try the other bakeries in Richmond, whether they make cake or bread or egg tarts or coconut buns (also known as cocktail buns, one of my favourites).  I can feel myself getting worked up over here and it might get dangerous……Meg, can you come over?

People of Richmond, I would LOVE to hear your favourite places for sweets.  Ideas?