Cupcake Truck Makes its S.F. Debut at Outside Lands Tomorrow

The former mail truck was was tricked out by a taco truck specialist.
Listen up, potheads and others obsessed with buttercream: A cupcake truck is making its first San Francisco appearance at Outside Lands tomorrow, dispensing deliciousness in varieties that include Red Velvet, Twinkie, and S'more.

Called Cupkates (we know, cute), the truck rolled out last week at Caltopia, Berkeley's annual campus welcome fest. Owner Kate McEachern -- a former managing editor at Dwell magazine -- told SFoodie the whole cupcake taco truck concept came after her dream of opening a brick-and-mortar bakery in the East Bay tanked. "We found all these dead zones," McEachern said. "Berkeley dies after the school year; Rockridge is awesome on the weekends, but during the day it's dead. We got sort of commitment-phobic." When her husband suggested she do the whole street food thing, she thought, Meh. When a former colleague at Dwell suggested it, McEachern thought, Oh my god, yes.

Red Velvet is a specialty.

​She purchased an old mail truck in Southern California, then had it tricked out by a guy in East L.A. who specializes in taco truck conversions. Dwell senior designer Brendan Callahan came up with the logo and panel design.

The baking and frosting happen at a commercial kitchen in Richmond. McEachern lacks formal training, except for a brief internship at Chez Panisse, where she did things like hull 40 pounds of strawberries in what she described as a tiny, floury former closet. Baking was always a passionate hobby. "People sort of joked I was Dwell's in-house pastry chef," she said.

Red Velvet ($2.75) is Cupkates' signature flavor, followed by the Twinkie (vanilla cake with marshmallow buttercream), and S'more (both $2.75). There are classic vanilla and chocolate iterations ($2.50 each), too. Guittard chocolate, Clover dairy, high-class vanilla. "I'm very encouraged by the rise of street food recently," McEachern said. "I believe very much in taking high quality products to the street and selling them at a reasonable price, and the truck lets me do that."

Cupkates will roll up to Outside Lands tomorrow starting at 4 p.m., and later dispense treats to bands in the VIP area. Find out more about Cupkates online (including info about delivery), on Facebook, and via Twitter.

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