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Crumbs Bake Shop chain closes: 5 foods that could be the next cupcake

Dining and DrinkingLifestyle and LeisureJapan
Crumbs Bake Shop closes its stores, but here are five sweets that could be the next cupcake
Looking for the next cupcake? Try a hand pie, concha, refugiado, kouign amann or imagawayaki instead

Crumbs Bake Shop Inc., one of the bakeries that helped fuel the cupcake craze that swept the country a couple of years ago, closed all of its stores Monday. But before you shed too many tears over your beloved frosted mini cakes, know that Sprinkles is opening a new location at the Americana at Brand in Glendale, and there's always Magnolia Bakery and Joan's on Third.  

And for those still riding the cupcake train, might we suggest a few other pastries to swoon over. Here are five sweets that could be the next cupcake. 

Vanilla concha from La Monarca Bakery: This bakery makes a classic Mexican sweet bread that's light, airy and buttery. And as the name suggests, the crunchy vanilla topping is shaped into a decorative pattern resembling a seashell. Eat it by itself, or dunk it into your morning coffee. 5700 Whittier Blvd., Commerce, (323) 869-8800; 1300 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, (310) 451-1114; 1001 Mission St., South Pasadena, (626) 403-6860, www.lamonarcabakery.com.

"PopTart" hand pies from Red Bread: Pop-Tarts, the toaster treats, have been around for years, but "PopTart" hand pies from Red Bread bakery are an entirely different breed of pastry. These pies are made with a super flaky crust wrapped around the bakery's homemade preserves. If you find a flavor you like, make sure you stock up -- the hand pie flavors vary seasonally. 13322 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, (424) 272-5752, www.thebreadisred.com

Guava and cheese refugiado from Porto's: It may not seem like a winning combination at first, but guava marmalade and cream cheese were made for each other. The two come together in this refugiado pastry from Porto's. Think of it as a cheese Danish on steroids. 3614 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, (818) 846-9100; 315 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale, (818) 956-5996; 8233 Firestone Blvd., Downey, (562) 862-8888; www.portosbakery.com.

Kouign amann from McCall's Meat & Fish: Deputy food editor Betty Hallock called this uber-buttery pastry "as good as or better than any you've had in France," describing it as extra caramelized, over-the-top butter and super flaky. 2117 Hillhurst Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 667-0674, www.mccallsmeatandfish.com.

Imagawayaki from Mitsuri Cafe: If you've ever walked past Mitsuri Cafe in Little Tokyo you may have noticed a man or woman standing in the storefront flipping what looks like mini pancakes. Those small pockets of batter are called imagawayaki, a Japanese pastry filled with red bean paste. The outer pastry gets a little crisp around the edges and tastes like a cross between a pancake and a waffle. The bean paste inside is rich and offers a hint of sweetness. Mitsuri Cafe serves theirs hot and fresh out of foil-lined bags. 117 Japanese Village Plaza Mall, Los Angeles, (213) 613-1028.

Got a sweet tooth? Follow me on Twitter @Jenn_Harris_

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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