Review: Ava’s Cupcake Shoppe & Cafe, Rockaway, NJ

by Cate on September 12, 2011

Front of Store of Ava's Cupcakes
I have exactly four cupcake shops to review for you. That means two things. One, I’m really behind. And two, if you like cupcakes, you should continue to hang out here.

Today? Ava’s Cupcake Shoppe & Cafe in Rockaway Borough.

The first time we went there was a few weeks ago for a mid-day can’t-believe-summer-is-almost-over pick-me-up. Which is one of the very best kind of mid-day pick-me-ups one can have, don’t you think?

Located on a side street off the small downtown section, there is ample parking right in front of the store, on the street, or in a nearby parking lot. The inside of the store is cheery and bright with a retro, 1950s style vibe to it.

Interior of Ava's Cupcakes

There are several tables and chairs for you to sit and enjoy your sweet treat, although there was quite a bit of grab-and-go foot traffic while we were there.

The cupcakes are $3.00 each, and if you buy five, the six one is free. I think it’s about average for cupcake pricing. Let’s face it, folks, cupcakes are not really a huge bargain, but in the terms of splurge snacks, it’s right there with your Mocha Frappuccino. Oh wait. That might be just me.

There are a number of cupcake places within a five mile radius, and several are higher priced than Ava’s. I think only one is lower. Ava’s perk of the sixth cupcake free is a nice bonus.

Wanna know another fun bonus? Ava’s delivers. I think we need a moment of silence.  Only cupcake shop in the area to stake that claim and I can think of nothing more fun at the moment than a cupcake delivery, can you?

Cupcakes on Display

Ava's Elvis
The shoppe has a bunch of fun and rotating flavors, and if you sign up on their facebook page, you can see the daily changing flavors. Perfect for when you need a little cupcake motivation. Or arm twisting. Or both.

Peppermint Patty Cupcakes
The first time we went, I ordered a Peppermint Patty cupcake. I’ve always been a sucker for the chocolate and mint combination. Just don’t share that with my hips. Then again, they might already know. The cupcake was moist with a nice crumb and the frosting had that perfect level of sweetness. Like walking that fine line between saying “Hi, I’m frosting!” and your teeth screaming for mercy. ‘Tis quite the tightrope to walk.

Double Chocolate Cupcake
If you eat in, your cupcakes are served on these cute little floral decorated trays, which I love. I don’t much love the plastic forks. The eco-green part of me wishes they used real silverware like Joanne Chang and her Flour Bakery empire. It’s one of those little things that mean a lot, you know?

Happiness is a Chocolate Cupcake
Madeline is a fan of Ava’s. But then again, I’m not sure that girl has met a cupcake she doesn’t like.

Ava's Cupcakes - Aerial
This past Friday, I stopped in to buy cupcakes for us to celebrate the end of the first week of school. I chose a vanilla with sprinkles one for Nick, and the double chocolate one again for Madeline, and I got a Maple Walnut. Nick demolished his and pined for Madeline’s, trying to negotiate for half of hers. Or some frosting. Or the crumbs. She’s tough. Wouldn’t budge.

I loved the Maple Walnut. The maple flavoring was definitely evident through and through and since I’m not a huge fan of nuts in my baked goods, I totally appreciated that the walnuts were tiny pieces. Perfect.

My only complaint is the height of the frosting. Stuff like that drives me a little crazy. No one needs two inches of frosting on top of the cupcake. Especially kids. I took half of mine off from mine and the kids, and it was still plenty. And way easier to get your mouth around. Without getting frosting all over. Well, for some of us. And I’m sure regular readers can guess exactly who I’m talking about.


First Bite

Ava’s Cupcake Shoppe & Cafe
20 Wall Street
Rockaway, NJ

September 12, 2011 – Bonus Photos
Tough love
Miss Mocha apparently was bored while we were at work and school today and managed to keep herself quite busy while tearing apart her adoption folder, a flashlight and a tube of ChapStick. I had nearly forgotten what almost-puppies are like. Now I, ahem, remember. I asked Madeline what she thought we should do to Mocha to show her how she should behave. She responded with “I think we should stick her in the refrigerator.” Luckily for Mocha, the fridge is always way too full for her to be stuffed inside. You know, in case a resident 3-1/2 year old got any bright ideas.

Baby toes
One of my co-workers had her three-month-old son in the office today. As if I didn’t have serious I-want-more-children pangs before, baby toes certainly weren’t helping.

PS – For those who didn’t see the updates to Sweetnicks over the better part of the last week-and-a-half, I’m sorry! I *was* updating regularly, but unfortunately there was a coding issue that meant not everyone could see the new content. That also means you have some catching up to do – welcome back!

PPS – Lauren O. from Love Oatmeal!, the random generator chose you as the winner for the Hershey’s S’Mores Giveaway – please send your address details to me > cate AT sweetnicks DOT com. Congrats!

PPSS – The five winners from the recent Luna Protein Bar giveaway are Joanie from CLBB, Claire from Cooking is Medicine, Jenna Z from Corgi Pants, Jenn (of the Trader Joe’s cheese sticks snack tip) and Rose Finnerty – E-mail me your deets please. Thanks much!

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

claire September 13, 2011 at 2:27 am

YAY!!! I’m so excited. Will get you the info soon. I’ve heard that puppies are worse than babies sometimes…that is one thing that deters me from getting one, at least right now. Though I would love to have a little pup to keep me company. our local cupcake shop is putting out new fall flavors in a week and I have SEVERAL that i want to try…one is a maple one, I think with bacon on top! :-)


Joanne September 13, 2011 at 6:27 am

I LOVE cupcakes. They are actually my baked good of choice…all the time. And I’ve yet to find a shop in nyc that actually stands up to the cupcakes I can bake at home, which is sad. This place sounds awesome though! I love that they have rotating flavors..makes it more fun every time you go!


Joanie from CLBB September 13, 2011 at 8:48 am

Oh, happy SQUEE! I’m as excited about the Luna giveaway as I was about a radio contest 25 years ago when I won a Windjammer Bahama cruise (which turned into a week camping at sea basically :-()! Seriously! Thanks, Cate! Will email address ASAP!

I want to come up and have a double chocolate cupcake with Maddie, yummers!

Hope you got a little rest over the weekend to recover from your hectic week. Hugs and thanks again. Miss you over at the CLBB…


Sarah Caron September 13, 2011 at 9:24 am

I have to totally disagree with you girl. *I* need two inches of frosting. It’s the best part!


Ramona September 13, 2011 at 10:34 am

My hubby would luv it if they put 4 inches of icing on them.


Chris September 13, 2011 at 12:57 pm

I have to agree a giant blob of icing on top is not appealing to me. I prefer to take it out to the edge swirl it around and put a little in the middle. The presentation is nicer and it is not a sugary overload. If you have a great tasting cupcake you really don’t need all that frosting, it should just be a garnish. The fact that they deliver definitely is amazing, though unfortunately I live no where near Rockaway, NJ.

Nice blog, love your recipes, I printed quite a few.


Debbie September 13, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Best cupcake I ever had was from Baked & Wired in Washington DC. Had one for the first time about 2 weeks ago when a coworker brought them in. They are to die for…..lots of cake and not heavy on the frosting at all.


Cathy Ortiz July 20, 2012 at 10:38 pm

I went to Ava’s today. I usually get my facials next door and Facials by Francine. I consider myself to be somewhat of a cupcake connoisseur–
I couldn’t STAND these cupcakes. Dry, flavorless cake and the frosting was WAY to sugary. I could feel the confectioners sugar granuals in my teeth.
I will stick to Mr. Cupcakes (at 1/2 the price!) or Baked by Melissa.
Note I tried 6 different flavors. Couldn’t finish one of them! ICK!


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