- $18 for one dozen classic regular cupcakes or two dozen classic mini cupcakes ($24 value)
- See the menu.
Republic of Cake
After completing his undergrad in molecular biology at UC Berkeley, Chih-Chung Fang decided to take his talents to a different laboratory: the kitchen. For years, he experimented with recipes as a pastry chef in some of the Bay Area's most revered kitchens, including Rivoli, Chez Panisse, and Arizmendi Bakery, before opening his own spot, Republic of Cake.
It would appear Fang has no regrets about changing careers. He says he often wakes up in the middle of the night, scrambling to jot down a new cupcake recipe he's (literally) dreamed up.
Here's a look at some of his more unusual flavors, and some of Republic of Cake's other distinguishing traits.
Sweet, Savory, and Slightly Sophisticated Cupcakes
Gourmet cupcakes may have become ubiquitous in recent years, but Fang's desserts still manage to surprise. Sure, there are classic vanilla and chocolate flavors. But customers will likely be drawn to combinations such as crimini and shiitake mushrooms with blue cheese or tangy red-curry frosting with sweet squash.
Local, Seasonal Ingredients
To create these unique concoctions, Fang shops for more than just eggs, cream, butter, and milk. The brown-butter-pear cupcake, for example, uses fresh bartletts, and the red-curry-pumpkin cupcake features roasted kabocha squash.
Cupcakes for a Cause
Fang's generosity is sprinkled all over Republic of Cake's website: every Monday, 10% of sales are given to local schools, and he's donated to Little League teams and community centers, among other local organizations. Then there's Sam's Very Messy chocolate cupcake, named for the general manager's son, who has special needs. Each month, the shop donates a portion of the cupcake's sales to a different children's charity chosen personally by Sam.
Quality over Quantity
As much as he might like to, Fang isn't going to bake a pumpkin-cheesecake cupcake for every gourd lover in town. This why the business hours have an asterisk beside them—he'd rather close early because he ran out of cupcakes than sell less-than-fresh leftovers the next day.