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.