Monthly Archives: October 2009

REVISITED: The Cupcake Cafe.


Date of excursion: 10.10.09

New addition: Indeed, Cupcake Colleagues! We would like to present you with a new installation to our extensive cupcake-reviewing process — revisitation. We’ll be sporadically revisiting ghosts of cupcakes past in order to provide you with the most up-to-date, representative, and abridged analyses of your favorite (and not-so favorite) treats.
“… Does that place still sell that cupcake?!”
“… Are the prices still the same?!”
“… How has the service changed over the years?!”
Answers to these questions (and more!) in our new “Revisited” series!


The Cupcake Cafe, take two, eh? Our stomachs were prepared for what we deemed to be one of the more delicious cupcakes/cupcake-eating atmospheres we’ve encountered in our happy trails.

But we couldn’t just slap a “Revisited” on you without some style.

That’s right, ladies and gentleboys, it is time for the long-awaited, [twelfth of a] feature-length documentary on yours truly: the Cupcake Gang. (Directed by resident Francis Ford Cupcake-ola-expert, Choco-Matzo.*)

“Look at that depth of field!”

(Shut up, Vanilla.)

So we arrived at the Cupcake Cafe (forks ready) and chose our flavors — flavors of which have now come to be known as staples in the Cupcake Community**: chocolate vanilla, chocolate chocolate, vanilla chocolate, and, once again, the sultry stylings of the holy maple walnut.


A Machiavellian cupcake clerk soured the mood of sweet consumption/filmmaking at once. She may have had good intentions, but her ability to instill fear into a Gang as tough as ours was astounding — so we bowed our heads in sorrow for her disdain for the visual arts (and probably puppies).

“The cahsier was nicer last time,” someone muttered.

He sure was.

And so we sat down at a lovely table (adorned with highly-appropriate rat-rabbit hybrid designs), and began our second take on the Cupcake Cafe.

First in the spotlight***: Chocolate Vanilla.


Not a bad choice at all, cupcake fans. Cut nicely, and a welcome addition to our previous experiences with bad chocolate vanillas.**** But, then again, even though it was good, it’s still nothing to write Gramma about.

Second up: Vanilla Chocolate.


That beautiful cut! That icing! That moist cake! That exquisite flower! And the way it just melted in your mouth and —

“Can we eat the next one now?” Lemon Meringue mhehw-ed.***** (The movie lights and Hollywood fame were getting the best of our patience.)


Third up: Chocolate Chocolate.


Oh, dear.

This cupcake was twelve different kinds of scary.

“The pollen on the flower looks like bird feces,” Choco-Choco Chip noted.

“It looks more like a coccoon,” Cappuccino Swirl replied.

“…. Lemon Meringue hates snails,” Vanilla added.

And not only was its appearance offsetting, folks. But the taste — oh how it crumbled over everything in sight! How it failed to cohesively blend into a medley of chocolate depth and ecstasy in the mouth! How the icing was just so plum[b] melty! The camera crew almost buckled over in tears at the sight of a cupcake gone so terribly wrong (but they couldn’t, owing to the fact that insurance is costly and does not cover NaCl and lysozyme tear-seepage into equipment).


We can only hope that you, the Cupcake Craving Public, should never experience the chocolate-squared travesty we experienced at that moment. (And we suppose it’s not completely your fault, Choco-Choco Chip.)

Fourth up: Maple Walnut.



There are no words.

There are too many words.

No! There are words — “this cupcake is delicious,” to be precise.

We can only thank the Lords of Film (and Cupcakes, of course) that this glorious gift to all of Cupcakedom was documented on film. Still images alone cannot capture its mapley goodness.


What an informative revisit! Laughter (maple walnut), tears (Machiavelli), and plenty of crumbs (Chocolate Chocolate).

With that said, we hereby extend not just a wonderous, frosting-coated “thank you” to Choco-Matzo and Company for handling our delicate evaluation process with such care, but also a cordial invitation to join the Cupcake Gang on any upcoming journeys through fiery pits of brimstone, soot, and grime — all in the hopes of discovering the best cupcakes in the world (or just New York).

In conclusion:

Look before you leap.

Party hearty.

And eat cupcakes.


“… we were being filmed?!” Vanilla roared.


*And his swift n’ sassy crew of cupcake trainees: Tres “the Pinto Bean” Leches, Tiramisu, and Colombian Coffee.

**A prosperous society of peoples just outside of Simsbury, Connecticut.

***Hip and showbizzy diction!

****Vanilla and Choco-Choco chip are rumored to share a cousin — Chocolate Vanilla. Choco-Choco Chip has demanded a cousinternity test.

*****Think of a cat’s face. Think of a sour cat’s face. Think of the type of “meow” it would make. That’s what this noise is.

******One shot?!


Become a Fan of The Cupcake Gang — on Facebook.

The Cupcake Gang is comin’ atchyoo via a popular social networking site — check it out, and get hip and tech-savvy with us!

Become a fan on Facebook.

Tonnie’s Minis.


Date of excursion: 09.12.09

Hunger chords were a-rumblin’ and a-tumblin’, and the Gang had only one thing in mind: falafel.

Psyche!  It was cupcakes.

And the Lords of Cupcakery bestowed on us a new, close-by location with which to feast our mouths upon — a little-known gem called Tonnie’s Minis.

Minis?!” Vanilla growled.

Yes.  Minis.

But, as we soon discovered, these Minis were not so mini after all  (leading us to wonder: what would the Jolly Green Giant look like at Tonnie’s?).

Our first decision was whether or not we wanted Hollywood-themed cupcakes. What did this even mean?!

“We’re out of Hollywood cupcakes.  Some NYU kids just came in and bought the last of them,” said Amicable* Associate.

(A potential second Cupcake Gang?!  Curse you, NYU!  [And see you in class on Monday!])

We got our pickers out and began a-pickin’ from the ripe and luscious crop before us.  And soon enough, it was time to scarf and swill like nobody’s business.


First up, Chocolate Vanilla (chocolate base, vanilla frosting).


This may have been the easiest cut in Cupcake Gang History!**  Plates, knives, salt and pepper… Well, needless to say, Mother Nature was pleased that night.


Presentation-wise, these cupcakes almost looked storebought, but taste-wise, they could have bought the store themselves!  Or at least a farm.

“The vanilla complements the chocolate cake so well,” Choco-Choco Chip noted.  “Unlike other Vanillas we know.”

“Freakin’ good!” Vanilla squealed, unable to take the hint.

“Amazing,” was the general consensus on this dark chocolate cake batter.

Next up, Lemon.  (Did someone say “child support”, Lemon Meringue?)


With a yellowy tint that could only represent that classic lemon taste, we began to engorge ourselves.

A little to the left, oh yeah, that’s it.  Now pose like you’re waiting for a bus.***


A very sweet little cupcake.  Literally.  Not necessarily personality-wise.  (We didn’t get much time for small-talk.)

“It tastes like an Amy’s Christmas spongecake with the lemon icing, only better.”

“The chunks of lemon zest.  They’re singin’ to me.”

“It’s like drinkin’ Mama’s Lemonade.  Country Time, not that Minute Maid bullsh–”

— Whoa, there!

Next up: Chocolate Chocolate (chocolate base, chocolate frosting).


This cupcake looked like a black tie event, and cut like a bloomin’ onion — both qualities of which the Gang reveres.

“Very smooth icing.”

“It condenses in your mouth.”

“It’s so moist, that I’m not even thirsty,” Cappuccino Swirl jived.

All wise words to describe this little diddy.

“Does this taste so good just because I’m hungry now?” Choco-Choco Chip wondered.

“No!” Vanilla foamed.

Next up: Marble! (vanilla AND chocolate base, chocolate frosting)


“This is messy chic.”

“Such rich frosting!”

“It has a certain lemony sourness…”

“You mean, ‘acid?'” Gail Simmons probably chimed in.

So, it seemed that this cupcake represented fashion-forwardness and high levels of eatability — but let us not forget that, above everything else, this cupcake made a great deal of personal sacrifice in order to honorably unify two flavors previously engaged in murderous conflict.  Caught up in the swell of emotions, Vanilla and Choco-Choco Chip decided to call a truce.  (And then Vanilla fell asleep, briefly.)****

And, finally: Coconut (vanilla base, vanilla frosting, shredded coconut topping).


“Oh, wow.  The icing is melty,” Cappuccino Swirl said.

“It has a lemon taste,” Lemon Meringue bragged.

(We get it, Lemon Meringue.)

“I want more…” Vanilla fumed.  We all did.  “Is that a beagle outside?” Vanilla continued.

Amazing!  What surprisingly moist cake we found in all of our tastings that night, despite having arrived at the end of the day!  Eight thumbs way up, Tonnie’s.

And, so:

Five cupcakes.

Four friends.

Probably three or two laughs.

And one satisfying evening with not-so-mini Minis from Tonnie’s.


*Can we please talk for a second about how amiable and amicable only differ by one letter, but they mean the same thing?

**A hulking, cumbersome tome dating back to the late 14th century.

***The Cupcake Gang is an avid anti-advocate of Lemon Meringue’s camera, as well as Ashton Kutcher.

****Look for V56.028.003 during your next course registration term — we’ll be teaching a seminar on Poly-Cakes.


Tonnie’s Minis


120 W 3rd St. (Mac Dougal St. and W 3rd St.)


Average Cost: 4 for $8.50