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  • Writer's pictureJenna Broughton

Cupcake Conversations: Sift Cupcake & Dessert Bar

Updated: May 2, 2021


The cupcake scene in San Francisco has reached a point of saturation. I can’t walk a couple feet in the Marina District without kicking a cupcake. And as much as I love these perfectly individually portioned desserts, I have started to wonder where can they go next?

Up the hill and a short distance from the Marina sits Sift Cupcake and Dessert Bar in Pacific Heights. Led by Andrea Ballus, the San Francisco store is her forth location with the other storefronts residing in Wine Country. With a healthy dose of creativity and a hefty dose of sugar and butter, Sift is taking cupcakes to new heights.

If Ballus’ name sounds familiar, it might be because she has made several appearances on the Food Network – competing in Cupcake Wars in 2011 and 2012. If you liked what you saw, then you will be thrilled to know that you can sample some of the winning creations like the Pink Champagne, Samoa and Battle Royale.

With so many choices and classic favorites like red velvet, peanut butter and chocolate and carrot cake, it was hard to choose until I set eyes on January’s Flavor of the Month – Hot Buttered Rum. When thinking of how to describe this cupcake, the first word that comes to mind is substantial.

The dense, moist brown sugar cake filled with a rich, creamy rum ganache made for a weighty cupcake. The luscious cake was balanced out with a light spiced whipped cream frosting. Decadent in every way, the cupcake was satisfying and could cure any a sweet tooth. But mostly, the Hot Buttered Rum was original – something that I was beginning to feel was missing from the abundance of cupcake joints that have cropped up on street corners throughout the city.

While you can’t buy this delicious treat individually, Sift accepts orders for one dozen or more. And since two is always better than one – twelve has to be pretty darn good.

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