Pacific Beach Cupcakery on 'Cupcake Wars'

Dueling cupcakes is the premise. And repping Pacific Beach on the season premiere of “Cupcake Wars” this Sunday is Pure Cupcakes.


Open to the public since last December, in shopper center filled with rations (coffee shop, juice shop, grocery store), Pure is PB’s only devoted cupcakery. They take a stand on shortenings and additives – no on both. Real mango juice is in that curd, piped into a from-scratch toasted-coconut cake. Baker and co-owner Mary Sarain picks up real vanilla bean instead of extract for the tiramisu cupcake. It’s all part of Pure’s genuine-ingredient philosophy, and pureness will run you $2.75 to $3.75 a cupcake.


This Sunday Sarain will appear on the Food Network’s baking royale with Pure’s spiced-carrot banana cupcake topped with vanilla bean cream cheese; vanilla bean cake topped with buttercream and cashews; the tiramisu—an espresso-soaked dark-chocolate cake with mascarpone frosting and shaved chocolate nibs; and a toasted-coconut cake iced with passionfruit curd and passionfruit buttercream.


The episode was actually filmed last summer, back before Sarain and co-owner Nikki Black had the Pure Cupcakes storefront in our beachy hood.


Friends for a quarter century, the duo took cupcake orders from restaurants and catered events for years. Then they were tapped for “Cupcake Wars” and, like many folks who make it to the small screen, felt they could harness their momentum.


“This was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Sarain. “We wanted to get our storefront open so we can handle our walk-ins.”


1772-A Garnet Ave., Pacific Beach. (858) 274-2253 or


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