Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Little Cupcake Bakeshop.

Date of excursion: 10.15.11

Fall fell and boy, did the Little Cupcake Bakeshop smell [good]! Carried over by wafts of frosting and cake batter, the Gang landed at this little SoHo shop – a new dawn, new day, and new cupcakery awaiting us. Even our pal, Mochi, tagged along!

First up: Chocolate Cloud (chocolate base, vanilla meringue frosting)

Wow! Both a cloud and a good cupcake, especially considering the tough reputation chocolate bases have around these parts. And it was vegetarian*, to boot!

This little cake was fudgy but not overpowering, and the meringue added a light, airy sweetness. Even Lemon Meringue was impressed!

“Even I’m impressed,” she said.

You heard it here first, folks.

Next up: Vanilla Chocolate (vanilla base, chocolate frosting)

“This looks like childhood,” Cappuccino Swirl said, while beating on a bongo. She’s cool.

“Do you think this is white cake or yellow?” Mochi asked. An interesting point! White cakes are, indeed, whiter, and contain no egg yolks. This cake somehow seemed to be a hybrid between the two, though, with a firm, cornbread-like texture –

“Stop saying words,” Vanilla barked. A calm overcame us. (But for those playing at home, the answer is “probably yellow.”)

The chocolate frosting on this cupcake was quite chocolatey, but again, not in an overpowering way. Granted, the flavor could have been more complex, but it emitted a warmth and delight that, indeed, evoked memories of childhood**. And elementary school bake sales.

Next up: Pumpkin (pumpkin base, maple frosting)

“I’m pumped for this pumpkin,” Choco-Choco Chip said. Mochi slapped her.

The inside of this cake was nice and orangey, just like pumpkin cake should be. But the taste? Quite underwhelming – not nearly as much pumpkin flavor and spice as the color implies.

And now, the frosting – the amazingly-awesomely-spectacular maple frosting. Is there a bar that serves this exclusively? If so, sign us up for double-shot Tuesdays! (And Wednesdays through Mondays.) … Please?

Next up: The Dreaming Princess (almond cake with raspberry filling, meringue frosting)

Well, well, well, hello filling! The components to this cupcake, while each individually delicious, combined forces to create a mega-force of taste. The raspberry added a bright note to the buttery cake, and the light meringue finished it nicely. Dreaming princess? Dream on! This princess is an extremely successful rock star with a busy social life and lots of popularity.

New York Citttaay!” Vanilla exclaimed. Yes.

So! While the Little Cupcake Bakeshop left much to be desired in terms of pumpkin flavor (and logo design), they still delivered delightful deliciousness. Their specialty cupcakes are well thought-out, and their classic cupcakes, while slightly bake sale-like, are tasty.

The happiest of holidays to you, LCB! We would wish you stockings filled with cupcakes, but why waste a good cupcake by getting it all … socky?

*Marshmallow-free is the way to be.

**Every Gang member’s childhood was cupcakes (only).

Locations:

Little Cupcake Bakeshop
30 Prince Street
New York, NY 10012
Phone: 212-941-9100
Hours: Monday – Friday 7:30am – 11pm
Saturday and Sunday 8am – 11pm

9102 Third Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11209
Phone: 718-680-4465
Hours: Monday – Friday 7am – 11pm
Saturday and Sunday 8am – 11pm

Average cost of cupcake: $3.00

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Sweet Revenge.

Date of excursion: 05.20.11

Emotions were swelling, school years stopped dwelling, and, most importantly, cupcakes were selling … at Sweet Revenge! So the Gang had to check it out, complete with a doubled arsenal at our side.*^

We headed to Sweet Revenge in SoHo, with high hopes of cupcake satisfaction (based on their online menu). And when we arrived, Sweet Revenge did not disappoint — we got flavor fever (which caused us to be escorted to the nearest bar seating).

“Cooooooooooooool interior!” Vanilla shouted. Yes.

We marked our choices – this time, two of each (to accommodate our now-doubled Gang-count). Enchantment was in the air (except for Cousin Meringue, who has a nut allergy that Lemon Meringue failed to warn us about before ordering**).

Before we could say, “hungry,” twenty times fast, the cupcakes arrived. And oh, what cupcakes they were!

“It looks like a mohawk,” Choco-Matzo noted.

“Or like gills,” Choco-Choco Chip said.

“NO ONE KNOWS OR CARES WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT,” Vanilla burst. (The room was silent.)

First: Sweet Revenge (peanut butter cake, chocolate ganache center, peanut butter fudge frosting)

“The ganache is good, and the peanut butter isn’t overpowering,” Choco-Choco Chip said.

“I like the nutty crunch. And when is peanut butter overpowering?” Cappuccino Swirl asked.

“The cake is a little dry, but more frosting helps” Mochi said.

Overall, a good cupcake, but perhaps a bit forgettable to be the namesake of the bakery.

Next up: Dirty (Valrhona chocolate cake, dark chocolate truffle frosting)

Mochi cut this one — and what a fine “this one” this one was! No crumbling? Easy to pick up? Tasty but not overwhelming? Looks like someone*** is going to have to change her invented predispositions of chocolate.****

“The cocoa powder on top is rich, and gives it a bitter taste,” Cappuccino Swirl noted.

“But is it the legit unsweetened kind?” Mochi asked. Yes. Yes it was.

“I taste a hint of cherry,” Choco-Matzo noted. “Maybe? Maybe there was one cherry? Dipped into the batter? And just taken out?” No one agreed.

“I want to eat your frosting,” Choco-Choco Chip said re: Mochi’s remaining remnants of cake.

“That’s what she said,” Mochi replied.

“GROW UP,” Vanilla screamed.

In general, this was an excellent chocolate cupcake — not overpowering, not dry. Very well-balanced.

Next up: Fresas y Nueces (almond cake, strawberry walnut cream cheese icing)

“This is the best so far,” Choco-Matzo noted.

“It tastes like almond croissants,” Choco-Choco Chip added.

“Superb!” Vanilla barked, seemingly at no one.

“I hate almond extract, and I don’t really like the cake. But the cake with the frosting isn’t bad,” Mochi said. Even Vanilla, notorious for a bias against strawberries, agreed.

“I, for one, am concerned about the red velvet,” Lemon Meringue said, as she stabbed the mood to death. “It’s so easy to screw up.”

Next up: Red Velvet (raspberry red velvet cake, cream cheese frosting)

“The color is off,” everyone noted. Indeed, like many red velvets of its time, this cupcake should probably be called “rust velvet.”

“I don’t like it,” Lemon Lime said, wiping the corners of her lips with the tip of a linen kerchief.

“I think the raspberry adds a brightness to it, and the cream cheese frosting is lighter than usual,” Mochi said.

Yes. A tasty cupcake with bright notes — but is it a true red velvet? Maybe not. Especially since red velvet has a bit of a cult****** following.

And so it was: Sweet Revenge. Had these cupcakes sought revenge upon our taste buds? For some, yes — but for most, it proved to be a delightful culinary experience, with interesting flavor combinations, and surprising vindications of flavor profile’s past. But, once all is said in done, we have one piece of advice for our dear cupcake eaters who choose to visit Sweet Revenge:

Do not sit next to the dishwasher. It smells like black pepper.

” … I don’t fit into my jeans anymore!”

*Choco-Matzo, Mochi, Cousin Meringue, and Lemon Lime.

^We have one communal side.

**To the scullery with you!

***Vanilla

****Edward Said’s theory of “Orientalism” noted that the Western and Eastern worlds were split into “the Occident” and “the Orient” (respectively); he stated that the West, during its imperialist conquests, invented the study of “Orientalism” in order to create a body of knowledge about a “subject” (the East) without ever coming in contact with said “subject.”  This was based upon the narrow-minded Western notion that “the Orient” simply was what the West was not.  The creation of “Orientalism” as a study gave the West the power to perpetuate and disseminate their “knowledge” throughout the European community (Said, Orientalism 12).

******VERY different from a Gang following.

Location:

Sweet Revenge
62 Carmine Street
NY, NY 10014
(Corner of Bedford Street and Carmine Street) 

Phone: 212.242-2240

Hours:
Mondays – Thursday: 8a – 11p
Friday: 8a – 12:30a
Saturday: 11a – 12:30a
Sunday: 11a – 10p 

Average cost of cupcake: $3.50

Spot Dessert Bar.

Date of excursion: 02.19.11

Jumpin’ jimmies it’s been a while, folks! Sorry for the hiatus — we are happy to be back and more rarin’ to go than ever.*

Today’s excursion was to the far land of St. Marks Place. It was hip, happenin’, and filled with lively youths. But, more importantly, it was filled with the one thing we were after: cupcakes.

We walked into Spot Dessert Bar to find a pleasant modern atmosphere with new-old tune-age, with a nice touch of class. It became clear upon arrival that Spot wasn’t a location to really sit down and eat (unless you want to eat restaurant-style), but nonetheless, it was eye-catching. Mostly because of the cupcakes.

“Green tea,” Choco-Choco Chip drooled.

“Salted caramel,” Cappuccino Swirl jived.

“Hmm,” Lemon Meringue sniffed.

“Uh,” said Vanilla.


We quickly chose our chosen ones and set to work**. The carrying cases provided to us by Spot were nice, but perhaps a bit excessive (at least in comparison to a box). And, at first glance, you may think: ooh, a futuristic cupcake transportation device! But, alas … nope!

First up: Mocha Maldon Salt Caramel

The name doesn’t really roll off the tongue, but neither does this cupcake (in that it doesn’t roll off your tongue because of bad flavors). This little one had a nice mocha frosting that wasn’t overpowering on the coffee taste (as many frostings of this nature tend to be), even though it was definitely quite aromatic. The cake was also good, although pretty crumbly when it came to undressing it (as a lot of the cake stuck to the wrapper).

(And just a note with this one — not one among us tasted salt, much to our disappointment. We actually thought the salted caramel must have been on another cupcake due to such an intense inability to taste it in this one.)

“GLITTER,” Vanilla shouted (after reflecting upon the sparkly exterior of this cupcake). Yes, yes. We get it.

Next up: Vanilla Almond Coconut

“Your cutting’s getting a little rusty,” Cappuccino Swirl poked.

(Choco-Choco Chip cried.)

Oh babies, oh babies*** — this frosting! How light! How rich! How … frothy? Very much like coconut milk, in all the best ways. And not overly sweet at all.

The vanilla base was also quite good (and did not stick to the wrapper), though we didn’t taste almond anywhere.

“Frothy times five!” Vanilla exclaimed, as everyone pretended to understand.

“I wonder if we lose flavor by eating these in pieces,” Cappuccino Swirl hypothesized.**** (… Probably!)

Next up: Vanilla Caramel Vietnamese Coffee

A couple gang members swore***** they tasted salt in this one! Choco-Choco Chip didn’t see it. Or taste it.

“The caramel filling is good,” Cappuccino Swirl raved.

The frosting was quite good, CS, but the cupcake overall? Maybe a bit forgettable, especially among other coffee flavors at Spot.

“We didn’t start the fire,” Lemon Meringue noted. Yes, that’s true.

Next up: Chocolate Green Tea Fruit Jam******

“I feel like that cupcake exploded in the end.” Indeed, the icing was a bit mushy. And the chocolate cake — well, yes, sometimes things do just fall apart.

“The jam is interesting,” Lemon Meringue noted. “And the icing is very green tea.”

“Sorta bitter,” Cappuccino Swirl sighed.

Perhaps the whole thing could have been a bit sweeter. The green tea, somehow, wasn’t satisfying enough of a taste. And there was so little jam, that it almost didn’t add anything to the overall cupcake. Maybe some ginger notes would help?

“At this point, it’s all just matcha,” Lemon Meringue said.

Indeed. But it was still good (and better than other green tea cupcakes we’ve had*******).

So, a relatively good night of cupcakery has come and gone! While Spot proved to have innovative flavor combinations, it didn’t always deliver on each cupcake-title’s promise. But not too shabby, at all!

And, as always, we welcome recommendations from you, our readers, as you go on your own cupcake adventures throughout the city. With our newly-broken hiatus, you’re sure to hear more from us soon.

And so with some heavy cream and a happy stomach, we say:

Goodnight, good luck, and good cupcakes.

*Sans ever switching to New Coke in between.

**Which entailed walking back home.

***We apologize for the lack of PG hyperlinks. With this!

****Let’s get meta!

*****NEVER swear.

******JAM!

*******No offense, Crumbs.*********

********Actually, maybe slight offense, Crumbs.

Location:

Spot Dessert Bar
13 St. Marks Place
NY, NY 10003

Phone: 212-677-5670

Hours:
Sundays – Wednesdays: 12 PM – 12 AM
Thursdays – Saturdays: 12 PM – 1 AM

(With NYU student discounts available Monday – Friday before 6 PM!)

Average cost of cupcake: $3.00

The GIANT Cupcake.

Date of Expedition: 01.30.10

Who said that those who can’t do must critique?

Well on a lovely winter night, the Cupcake Gang decided to add another notch to their Cupcake Connoisseur Belt*, as we tackled our newest challenge: the GIANT cupcake.

Now we’ve all seen the commercials, but is this legend all it’s cracked up to be?

We started the adventure with resident Lemon Meringue and Cappuccino Swirl trucking over to a local food supplier to buy some cake mix.  Red velvet was finally decided upon as the flavor of choice, with a delicious cream cheese frosting as our topper — homemade, of course.

A tip for all who choose to plunge into the GIANT cupcake: use two boxes of cake mix — one for the base, and one for the swirly top. Bake each part separately; a little extra time for a better result (pipe down, Vanilla).  Also, be sure to butter up that pan like a lobster milkshake**. This ensures that the cake slides out with ease, to reveal that authentic cupcake shape.***

How did the GIANT cupcake taste, you may ask?  Well, the grand taste of the cake we can attribute to Monsieur Duncan Hines, while the frosting is a testament to the Cupcake Gang’s own ability to mix butter and cream cheese (a la Paula Deen) — but what did the pan do for the cupcake? The general consensus agreed that the ridged edges of the cupcake base tasted a little crunchy, but the overall look of the GIANT cupcake was quite appealing, even before the frosting!  A crowd pleaser for sure.

What’s more, it took the Gang nearly four days to finish, even with the addition of guest judge, Cannoli Cupcake — but rest assured, Cupcake Public, that even with age, the GIANT cupcake seemed to satisfy our late night (morning, mid-morning, mid-day, mid-mid-day) craving for cupcakes. A healthy addition to any meal! ****

Think about it: a GIANT cupcake, a GIANT taste, and a GIANT gut groove-down***** — all in the comfort your own home!

*Won at Nestlemania 2000.

** Not recommended.

***Food & Wine centerfold-worthy!

**** Not recommended.

***** Defined as happy dancey-times in your stomach.

Babycakes.

Date of Excursion: 05.29.09

*

This is first in Cupcake Gang History: the notes for our trip to Babycakes — the city’s hippest gluten-free / vegan cupcakery — were mysteriously destroyed. All we have left is one final scribble on a frosting-stained napkin crumple.

“Lemon … okay. Other flavors … not okay.”

We apologize for the harshness of this post, Public, as we realize these are images and facts that cannot be unseen.

However, we feel that any cupcake place deserves a second chance for evaluation, and would be willing to give Babycakes another shot.

If they’re ready for us.

*To clarify, we enjoyed being at Babycakes, and having the opportunity to declare our presence.

Babycakes

Location:

248 Broome Street (Between Orchard and Ludlow St.)

212.677.5047‎

Average Cost: $3.95

Mission Cakecomplished.

WE WON!!!!!!

WOW WOW WOW WOW (spells “Mom” upside down four times in a row), Cupcakers! That was quite an insane month at Butter Lane, and we thank you all for your cupcake support. We hope you all enjoyed your buy-one-get-one-free cupcakes with mix-n-match cakes n’ frostin’! You are all, sincerely, cupcake heroes*.

*Hogan approves.

ATTENTION CUPCAKERS:

Bonkers! A sweet deal is in our midst!

If you go to Butter Lane bakery and mention that you saw them through none other than the Cupcake Gang blog, you get TWO FOR ONE cupcakes on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays all throughout February (limit two per day)! You read right: TWO FOR ONE.

Then, at the end of February, blog scores are tallied, and the winning blog gets a dozen free cupcakes (which we will gladly share with our beloved readers)!

They are quite delicious, folks — believe us. So help a brother out, and go eat cupcakes!

Butter Lane

123 East 7th Street

NY, NY 10009

Hours: Mon-Thurs 11 am to 11 pm
Fri and Sat 11 am to midnight
Sun 11 am to 10 pm

And remember to become a fan of us on FACEBOOK.