Buttercream Bakery & Cafe seems typical of its genre, with cakes and tarts on the pastry shelves and quiche and salads on the lunch menu, but it boasts some unusual specialties thanks to the Filipino heritage of the owner, who runs the place with her two sisters.

A couple of tropical specialties stand out among the yummy cupcakes, says AntarcticWidow. Ube, a kind of Filipino yam, makes an appearance in cupcakes with lavender-tinted frosting. Chunks of young coconut are layered between cake and frosting. The frosting on the mango cupcakes tastes of the fresh fruit, and there’s a layer of sliced mango in there as well. Red velvet cake may be less exotic, but it’s nicely restrained: The cream cheese frosting “tasted like cheese and not some sugary mass,” says the Widow. Chocolate is less impressive.

Also, a lighter version of a Filipino breakfast is tucked among the morning menu options: organic chicken longanisa (Filipino sausage, typically pork) with garlic fried rice and two poached eggs.

Buttercream Bakery & Cafe [East Bay]

841 San Pablo Avenue, Albany

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