Finally, I've found something terrific in the general vicinity of Brentwood. (I moved here recently and haven't had much luck finding good stuff to eat. I miss Fremont...To make matters worth both of us have been ill and busy and so we've been eating out more than usual.) It's Republic of Cake in Oakley, their second location after the one in Orinda. Their savory cupcakes (brussels sprouts! broccoli and cheese!) may sound like a gimmick, but they are a thoroughly pleasurable thing to eat. We've had a chipotle and corn cupcake and a couple of others. The sweet ones we tried were excellent too.
I have tried several different Bay Area cupcakes and find most of them either too dry or indistinguishable from Betty Crocker. These stood out. They were just moist enough and very flavorful, probably reflecting their website's mission statement regarding ingredients. Seriously, some places make claims about their ingredients and you just wonder about it when you take a bite, but I'm satisfied in this case.
The cupcakes are also inexpensive and not gargantuan, both of which are pluses as far as I'm concerned.
This location sells ice cream (soon changing to Double Rainbow) and cookies and will make you an ice cream sandwich with any combination. Haven't tried that yet.
The location is, of course, a little odd. Oakley seems half-dead, but there are signs of life. There's a cute little plaza and fountain adjoining the bakery (which is blessedly non-twee, by the way).
Compared to many cupcake places, the prices are good enough you could probably go out of the way and save a little money. I realize most people don't wind up out this way very often, but you never know. Anyway, it's made me feel a little better about our new location.
I mean, I might have to make another visit this weekend to assuage my angst. Heh.