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One of the Bay Area’s Most Popular Cupcake Shops Touches Down in Oakland

Cupcakin’ Bake Shop is almost ready to open

Christina Yan

After months of delays and permitting woes, Cupcakin’ Bake Shop is finally opening its first location in Oakland. The stall inside Old Oakland’s Swan’s Market is set to debut on Friday, February 22.

It’s an exciting homecoming for Oakland native Lila Owens, who has been drawing a loyal following to her Berkeley cupcake shop for more than five years.

“A lot of my people come to Berkeley from Oakland, so it’s nice they won’t have to travel so far,” she says.

The Oakland Cupcakin’ takes over the former Hen House space, joining popular restaurants like Cosecha and AS B-Dama in the bustling food hall at 538 9th Street. It’ll be the only dessert-focused operation at Swan’s.

Cupcakin’ fans can expect to find many of the same cupcake flavors as the Berkeley shop, such as salted caramel, red velvet, and key lime pie — there will be 10 to 12 in stock each day with vegan and gluten-free options. The new location will also carry some Oakland-specific specials, including a new maple bacon cupcake and tall slices of the “Hella Chocolate Cake,” a chocolate cake studded with chocolate chips, slathered with dark chocolate buttercream, and lined with crispy chocolate pearls in between the layers.

While it might be tempting to eye roll at another cupcake shop, Capcakin’s sweets are stunningly good.

“I think we pay a lot of attention to the texture of the cupcake... and we use really great ingredients,” says Owens, adding that she has a top secret process for maintaining the moisture of the cake.

This is only the beginning of Owens’ expansion plans. In addition to moving her original Berkeley shop from Durant Avenue to a larger space at 2391 Telegraph Avenue last fall, she is set to take over the historic Virginia Bakery 1690 Shattuck Avenue in North Berkeley. Given Virginia occupied that space for 65 years, there is still a lot of work to be done to bring it up to code. After that? She might take her cupcakes beyond the Bay Area on her quest to make Cupcakin’ a national brand.

Christina Yan

When it opens on February 22, Cupcakin’ Bake Shop will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Swan's Market

538 9th Street, , CA 94607 (510) 287-5353 Visit Website