Tag Archives: frosting

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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Tonnie’s Minis.

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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.

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

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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.

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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?)

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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.***

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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).

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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)

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“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).

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“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.

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*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.

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Tonnie’s Minis

Location:

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

212.473.2002

Average Cost: 4 for $8.50

Butter Lane.

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Date of excursion: 09.07.09

After a horrific misunderstanding over school‘s “in” or “out” status, a blessing in disguise was made, and the Cupcake Gang could once again reunite on sacred New York soil.

And it was there, beneath the blue urban skies, cupcakes were in our ears, and in our eyes.  So to Butter Lane we went.

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And what a glorious Lane it was!  Hip wallpaper!  Frosting shots!  And what’s this?  Choose-your-own-cake-and-frosting combination?  Gadzooks!

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The Gang immediately congregated in front of the Holy Blackboard of Choices.  Kindly Clerk presided as a witness.

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And so the decision process began.  A banana base?!  A four-for-eleven special?!  French chocolate icing?!

“– uh, we’re out of french chocolate icing.”*

… a four-for-eleven special?!  This place was insane!

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After finally constructing our list, we scavenged for seating.  We could foursie a bench, but that would provide minimal face-to-face cupcake discussion.  We could sit outside, but then we’d risk being mobbed by slews of anti-cupcake legions.  So, we opted for the best we could do: the stool and rocking chair in the corner, complete with coffee table accessory.  (And two of us sat on the floor.)

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“Looks effin’ delicious,” everyone said, seemingly in unison.

First up: Chocolate Cream-Cheese (chocolate base, cream-cheese icing)

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“Crumbles.”

Under the steady hands of Dr. Choco-Choco Chip, the chocolate-base cake began to crumble (specifically, into crumbles).  The Gang then doctored* a letter of apology to the family and friends of said butchered base.

“The cream cheese sticks everything together,” Choco-Choco Chip happily noted, whilst consuming the cupcake.

Silence.

“… I feel like God,” Cappuccino Swirl said.

And then that funky*** tune just kept playing.

Next up: Vanilla Coconut (vanilla base, coconut icing)

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Having to switch blades to make the incision in our more vanilla-based base, we realized that whatever chemistry goes on in that Sacred Oven makes vanilla cake crazy-easier to cut than chocolate cake.

“Nice slicin’!” Cappuccino Swirl remarked.  ” … Coconut is crunchy.”

Too delicious for words.

Next up: Chocolate Maple Pecan (chocolate base, maple pecan icing)

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“Uh, hey, are you guys still open?” Rando-Trouser-Travelers said, upon entering the very-much-open establishment.

“We are, indeed, open,” said Kindly Clerk.

Choco-Choco Chip wiped her brow.  The music pace made for a dramatic incision.

After the ceremonial chomp, then came the ceremonial lick o’ fingers.

“So good.”

“This tastes like a Vermont vacation,” Choco-Choco Chip noted.

“What’s that?” Vanilla asked.  “… this is my favorite of cupcake places.”

A good maple pecan can do that to you, Nills.

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A good maple pecan.

The moist pockets of chocolate inside did, indeed, complement the mapley Canadian goodness that was the icing.  And boy, did those pockets sure get under our fingernails.****

Lastly: Vanilla Honey Cinnamon (vanilla base, cinnamon icing with a pool of honey)

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Choco-Choco Chip dipped the wooden dagger into the golden pool of honey, only to be met by the vanquishing powers of the last cupcake standing.  And so our cutting skewer broke.

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Tough love, VHC.   (But no splinters!)

“This tastes like an Eggo Cinnamon Toast waffle,” Choco-Choco Chip noted.

Vanilla agreed, and promptly collapsed onto the floor in joy.

“I mean, it’s not my favorite, but I don’t like that cinnamon kind of spicy taste,” Cappuccino Swirl said.

“Then why’d we get it?!” Vanilla demanded.

Silence.

“… I like waffles.”

So, all in all, Butter Lane proved to be a hip, happenin’, organic, and un-crowded place for a very satisfying cupcake bite on a otherwise not-as-satisfying Labor Day evening.  Perhaps a bit skimpy on the seating arrangements, but our Lemon Meringue begged to differ: “The rocking chair alone makes up for it.”

We entered hungry, and left drunk on deliciousness.

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Butter Lane: in our ears, eyes, and now our stomachs.

*Much appreciated Kindly Clerk!  He [kindly] notified us about this icing’s M.I.A. status amidst the decision-making process, rather than allowing us to finalize our list only to be crushed by the heavy hand of sugary demand.

**Get it?

***Not funky as in “malodorous,” but as in, “it’s got a wank to it.”

****Fun tip: in anticipation of cupcake-ing, one should probably clip one’s fingernails.  Much like when one eats Indian food.

Butter Lane

123 East 7th Street (between 1st Ave and Avenue A)

(212) 677-2880

Average cost of Cupcake: $3.00

Hours:

Mon-Thu 11am-11pm; Fri-Sat 11am-12am; Sun 12pm-10pm

Cupcakes Gourmet (Frazer, PA).

Date of excursion: 06.24.09

The hills are alive with the sound of … cupcakes.

After recuperating from learnin’-time (and an epic Cupcake Gang digitized-win), the Gang, once again, parted ways for the summer.

And thus we are brought to the second “abroad” entry of the Gang: this time, comin’ atchyoo from the lip-smackin’ streets of Choco-Choco Chip’s homeland, Pennsylvania (guest judgers Coconut Cream Pie and Bananas Foster presiding).

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We arrived at Cupcakes Gourmet, stomachs a rumblin’ and a tumblin’.  The environment was instantly a pleaser.

Choco-Choco Chip’s eyeballs fell on the floor upon viewing the glorious cupcake case.  And after Coconut Cream Pie picked them up, it was time to get smackin’.

Whilst the trio tittered with excitement at the prospect of encroaching upon the tasty territory of said cupcakes, the showrunner of TCG*, Maki, greeted us with warm, frosting-coated hellos.

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Feeling adventurous, Choco-Choco Chip, Coconut Cream Pie, and Bananas Foster knew it was their sacred mission for that day to not only represent the heart and soul of Pennsylvania** in their analysis, but to also do honor and justice to the sometimes-forgotten friend of the miniature-cupcake.

And so we began.

First up to plate***: White Chocolate Almond.

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“It tastes like a Toasted Almond Good Humor bar — but more delicious and deep,” cooed Choco-Choco Chip, longingly.

It is presumed that Coconut Cream Pie and Bananas Foster agreed, but they were too engorged with sweet, sweet cake to properly respond.  But it was noted that the cake was rich and moist, and the almond frosting was tasty, but not excessive.

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See?!

Second up: Coconut Lime

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“It’s got an escalating tickle of lime,” someone noted, positively.

Most likely due to the real lime juice used in the frosting!  Can you say “daily serving of fruit?”

Third batter***: Dark Chocolate Mint

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Did somebody say REMIX?

Presentation wise, Coconut Cream Pie became smitten with a new chocolate lover — the dark chocolate cake (new concept!).  This cake was black as a jet engulfed in the night wrapped up in a black cat’s belly (and was far more delicious than any of those three elements combined).  The mint served as a nice balance to this new dark chocolate, bitterly delightful friend of ours.

“A refreshin’ mint blast!” Choco-Choco Chip remarked.

Bananas Foster ducked and cowered at the intensity of truth in this statement.

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And now, without any further ado — the MINIATURE CUPCAKES.

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(Back row, left to right: Peanut Butter, Chocolate Vanilla, Triple Chocolate.  Front row: Classic Vanilla, Lovely Lemon)

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(Another angle.)

Fourth up: Chocolate Vanilla

Do not be misled by the name of this cupcake — we still have our good friend, the dark chocolate base, but with vanilla icing and a secret surprise of dark chocolate ganache on top!

Bananas Foster made the incision into the cupcake and barked that she could FEEL the ganache sinking into the cake as she cut. Now that’s one tasty sink.

What balanced flavors emerged from this cupcake!  The bitterness, the sweetness!  Like racial harmony in the mouth — or at least like a Sour Patch Kid.

“It’s very vanilla, but in a lovely way,” noted Choco-Choco Chip, most likely as an off-handed remark about other “Vanillas” we know. “It carried its own.” (Like Tim O’Brien.)

[Two babies, presumably chaperoning their mother, enter the store wearing matching dresses.  The hilarity of this moment combined with the mintiness still lingering in our esophoguses, and the tasty swigs of milk we enjoyed, all combined to create a delightful Baby/Mint/Milk/Esophagus interlude.]

Fifth up: Lovely Lemon

Upon biting into L-squared, Coconut Cream Pie noted that the icing was quite intense (although it was less intense when combined with the correct proportion of cake).  As an adjunct, Choco-Choco Chip noted that the cake was delightfully moist (as seemed to be a pattern in this cupcake establishment).

Although this may have ranked as the “lowest” of our cupcakes for the day, L-squared still proved to be as lovely as the name implies — and to top it off (literally), its icing packed a zesty punch that just wouldn’t quit!

Sixth up: Triple Chocolate

Blessed Zeus.  If it can’t be determined by the name or appearance alone, then it’d have to be determined by the intense Bwoop-Bwoop-Bwoop face of our beloved Coconut Cream Pie.  Enraptured by the scent, color, appearance, and finally, lingering and sultry taste of this dark chocolate base, milk chocolate icing, with dark chocolate ganache, Coconut Cream Pie had only this to say: “Transcendent joy in a cupcake.”

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“I want to lick this from its head to its toes,” the trio concurred.

Seventh in the mix***: Peanut Butter

The special thing about this cupcake is just how light the frosting was, considering how heavy peanut butter itself is.  And this light taste transcended the frosting and seeped within to the chocolate cake batter, making this cupcake certainly live up to its name in awesome-osity.

Eighth on the floor****: Classic Vanilla

What a way to end the day!  With its nice, clean taste, this cupcake has no hidden secrets or agendas.  Even Coconut Cream Pie, who tends to dislike yellow bases, had positive feelings about said cupcake.  A triumph indeed!

And so, Good Friends, another cupcake adventure was completed.  Battles were won (Triple Chocolate), battles were partially-lost (Lemon), but everyone feasted like Kings.

Everyone is a winner in Frazer, Pennsylvania.

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Destroyed.

*By adding a simple “the” to “Cupcakes Gourmet”, it has the same acronym as the greatest baked-goods-eating gang that ever lived!

**Consists of cheesesteaks and Auntie Anne’s pretzels.

***Excellent cupcake puns.

****Not literal.

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Hours and Locations:

Cupcakes Gourmet
288 Lancaster Ave
Malvern, PA 19355 

484-318-8057 (Frazer bakery)
877-719-0140 (Website help) 

Monday to Saturday 10am to 7pm
Closed Sunday

Jilly’s Cupcake Bar. (St. Louis, MO)

The cupcake gang may have parted ways for the summer, but that doesn’t mean the prowl for cupcake goodness ends at the borders of Manhattan.

Lemon Meringue returned to her native land of St. Louis still with the fresh scent of cake, frosting, and sprinkles in her nose. If St. Louis has created such greats as Chuck Berry, Nelly (…riding in a Range Rover), and Toasted Ravioli, it must also be the place for delicious cupcakes.

Since it opened in July 2007, Lemon Meringue has been eye-ing the polkadot and white front of Jilly’s Cupcake Bar, nestled on the corner of I-70 and Delmar. Her fascination with the place started even before her induction into the gang. Gourmet cupcake bakeries here are as uncommon as non-St. Louisans knowing about St. Paul sandwiches.

Lemon Meringue and her cousin, Cousin Meringue, were on their way to their grandmother’s house when they decided to stop by Jilly’s to try the cupcakes. They walked into a pleasant shop where Lemon Meringue and the cupcakes were separated by bullet-proof glass. No one can be too sure about what will happen when non-threatening threatening cupcake gang members have the right to bear arms.

After much deliberation, Lemon Meringue and Cousin Meringue settled on the cookie monster cupcake and the red velvet. The cupcakes are $4.25 each, which is quite a hefty price. However, the cupcakes had quite the attractive exterior–Jilly’s knows how to present their cupcakes right. Lemon Meringue and Cousin Meringue hoped the interior would be worth it.

They arrived at their grandma’s house and met up with Cousin Key Lime who brought lunch. Their grandma had recently fractured her arm; so doing everyday things had become harder for her. Before any eating or cupcake consumption could happen, Lemon Meringue and fam had some cleaning to do, and boy, did grannie leave them a nasty kitchen.

The laborious work of ridding the kitchen tile of its grease stains was done, and then it was on to lunch. After an appetizing meal, it was time for what Lemon Meringue lived for: cupcake consumption.

Cousin Meringue quartered the cookie monster cupcake. The vanilla cake was fluffy and sweet. Lemon Meringue was expecting the frosting to be hard, but it was just as soft as the cake. Cousin Meringue described it as buttery. Although Lemon Meringue is quite the sour one, she admits to having a soft spot for soft rock. So she would describe the frosting as silky smooth like Peter Frampton’s “Baby, I Love Your Way.”

“This cookie half looks like a Pac Man.”

If the cake was money, it’d be $2.12. If the frosting was money, it’d be $2.13. Altogether that cookie monster was worth every penny.

On to the red velvet.

After Cousin Meringue prepared the red velvet cupcake for consumption, Lemon Meringue held her slice in her hand with wariness. She openly expressed that she might be disappointed again, especially after having had that Red Velvet cupcake from Crumbs, “which tasted a lot like sucking on a penny.” Nevertheless Lemon Meringue ate the cupcake with an open mind.

“What does this one taste like? A quarter?” asked Cousin Key Lime.

If by quarter she was referring to George Washington’s warning against partisanship in his Farewell Address, then yes, the red velvet cupcake tasted like a quarter. The actual cake in all its red glory was neither good nor bad, but something to munch on. (Lemon Meringue has come to the conclusion that perhaps she doesn’t really know what red velvet is supposed to taste like or just doesn’t care for it.) Fortunately, the frosting made up for the cake’s neutrality. Hidden inside the cake was a brown surprise of what seemed to be caramel. After, finishing off the red velvet, Lemon Meringue noticed the taste of cheesecake. This cupcake was quite the Puppy Surprise.

In upholding the ideals of the cupcakeocracy, Jilly’s Cupcake Bar has done it’s honorable duty right in the heart of Middle America. Good cupcakes. Good surprises. Good times.

Surprise! It’s the S’murtle.

Jilly’s Cupcake Bar:

8509 Delmar Boulevard in St. Louis, MO
314.993.JILLY (5455)

http://www.jillyscupcakebar.com/

Average cost of cupcake: $4.25

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 10am – 7pm ; Lunch served: 11am – 2pm
Brunch/Lunch served Saturday: 9am – 2pm ; Sunday: 9am-4pm

Whole Foods Market.

Date of Excursion: 3.8.08

The gang headed over to Cappuccino Swirl and Choco-Choco Chip’s box. They decided to play “Name That Dorm Room”, “Name X Amount Of Countries That Start With The Letter I’m About To Give You” (“name” pronounced “neighm” [in an “uptalk” manner]), and “What Would You Do With $1,000?”. For the last game, Cappuccino Swirl wanted a fancy hotel; Choco-Choco Chip wanted a jacket (and approximately $950); Lemon Meringue wanted filmmaking equipment; Vanilla wanted to analyze the modern-day effects of the century-old notion of “Orientalism” in Japan. The room was abuzz. After Vanilla collapsed from all of the excitement, the gang decided it was time to mosey on down to to get some cupcakes, for a good, old-fashioned cupcake boogie-down.

The gang decided to evaluate the cupcakes of local grocery stores. But which store to pick? It was a regular case of Goldilocks and the Three Bears: Forever 21 was quite warm, and apparently only sold clothes; Trader Joe’s was closed, and could only be reached after trudging through the cold rain; the only other options, it seemed, were Food Emporium and Whole Foods.

The decision was tough. To expedite the process, the gang decided to undergo mitosis, and split up. Cappuccino Swirl and Lemon Meringue stayed at Whole Foods, while Choco-Choco Chip and Vanilla (enemies) went to Food Emporium. After a heated debate, some bloodshed, and the reconcilatory exploding high fives, the gang decided to buy the Whole Foods cupcakes. The porridge was just right.

After the cupcakes (Vanilla Vanilla and Chocolate Chocolate) were purchased, it was again time to head back to Cappuccino Swirl and Choco-Choco Chip’s box (owner Mrs. Haversham).

And surprise-surprise-puppy-surprise, a bottle of sparkling lemonade suddenly appeared! This was sure to be a feast for kings.

After opening the cupcake boxes, we soon realized how relevant Plessy vs Ferguson still was to this day.

But nonetheless, we decided to dive on in. We toasted: “Un brindis para el mundo” (enunciated heavily).

We tried to eat Vanilla Vanilla and Chocolate Chocolate in one bite. It was wild.

We found ourselves a bit saddened by the fact that, at Whole Foods, we could only choose between Vanilla Vanilla and Chocolate Chocolate. So what did the creative, crafty, cool, clever, cunning, and attractive cupcake gang do? We began to contemplate what vanilla/chocolate and chocolate/vanilla babies would look like. How would this even be accomplished? Via a squishing mechanism*? Via transplant**?

After choosing the latter strategy, we finally decided to operate. We dipped into the box o’ knives in order to surgically manipulate their phenotypical data. Dr. Choco-Choco Chip made a seamless incision (you know, her father always wanted her to go to medical school). And what did Dr. Frankenstein create (after several clumps of frosting falling– due to the whispery, panda-ness of the Vanilla, especially)? None other than Vanilla Chocolate and Chocolate Vanilla.

The sinister music began to play.

After consuming these, and noting the surprisingly urine-like appearance of the sparkling lemonade, we concluded that perhaps the grocery industry may be good for the overall purpose of feeding one’s family, but when it comes to the noble cause of delicious cupcakes, it falls slightly flat. Don’t get us wrong– the cupcakes were not toxic. They were not made of rat droppings. They did not have the consistency of sand. However, the general rule seems to be: eat one, leave the rest for another time. Perhaps for a tea luncheon with your nanny and/or posse.

Or maybe our somewhat negative feelings are simply a result of the fact that the mass produced may simply not mesh with the our delicate pallettes. But seeing as how we of the [threatening] non-threatening Cupcake Gang are just like you viewers out there, and we consequently have similar, tolerant pallettes, this is unlikely. We apologize, Whole Foods. It’s not your fault that, as a grocery store, you cannot focus all of your energies onto cupcakes (even though they are a staple food).

Overall

Vanilla Vanilla

Cappuccino Swirl: Vanilla Vanilla. Not harmonious with my pallette.

Choco-Choco Chip: The vanilla icing was VERY stong and VERY sweet. Unlike the Vanilla we know.

Lemon Meringue: The frosting was a bright white.

Vanilla: Dey so kute. 2cayoote.

Chocolate Chocolate

Cappuccino Swirl: The swirl of the forsting was jivin’ to Cappuccino Swirl’s taste. Smooth.

Choco-Choco Chip: The cake was a bit crummy (PUN 100% INTENDED, dizzle). The icing was luxurious-ish. BAM.

Lemon Meringue: The frosting was nice and the chocolate cake was what you’d expect from a mass-produced cupcake.

Vanilla: One effin’ bite.

Vanilla Chocolate (Vanilla icing, Chocolate cake)

Cappuccino Swirl: Sha-bam-jazz. I was not lost in the chocolatey smoothness.***

Choco-Choco Chip: I don’t like when my icing tries to kidnap my mouth. I want my mouth to feel whatever it wants. This icing didn’t let me feel. And the cake? Can you say “sub-par carnival?”

Lemon Meringue: I’ll leave the commentary about this chocolate-vanilla cupcake to Choco-Choco Chip and Vanilla. Because I can.

Vanilla: Integration of people: good. Integration of cupcakes: maybe not.

Chocolate Vanilla (Chocolate icing, Vanilla cake)

Cappuccino Swirl: Too much for Cappuccino Swirl. ‘Nough for now.

Choco-Choco Chip: The icing was delightful–but I liken the cake to Bobby Brady from “the Brady Bunch”– seemingly innocent, but actually a tad disgusting, perverted, and childish.

Lemon Meringue: I won’t leave commentary to Choco-Choco Chip and Vanilla. This was a successful experiment in integration.

Vanilla: What did I just eat?

*A squishing mechanism, also known as a distal glucose compression, involves fusing two cupcakes together via their own respective icings. The result is a mass of cupcake, very similar to what a Now 16! CD looks like (if we knew what a Now! CD was). Sometimes, swanky music accompanies a distal glucose compression.

**The process by which frosting and cake combinations are switched, often resulting in psychological trauma/post-traumatic stress disorder in mentally-unstable cupcakes. This is also known as frosting reassignment surgery (FRS).

***Highly “paraphrased.”

Whole Foods Market

Cost of the box of 12 cupcakes $4.99

1) Union Square

40 E 14th Street

Fax: 212.673. 5393

2) Bowery

95 E Houston St

Fax: 212. 420. 1360

3) Chelsea

250 7th Ave212. 924 .9923

4) Columbus Circle
10 Columbus Circle
Ste. SC101
Fax: 212. 823. 9610
 

Crumbs.

Date of excrusion: 2.23.08

The Cupcake Gang was watching a scary movie about a girl who must have had rabies (or maybe she was a thirteen-year-old) when they got a hankering for some cupcakes. They trekked over to the nearest cupcakery– Crumbs.

It had a large window which beckoned us like a beckoner to its beckonee.

It took approximately 11.6 years (leap years included) to choose what cupcakes to purchase. There were so many cupcake candidates to choose from, it was like the Democratic primary– so many delicious options (oh, and the cupcakes looked good, too).

Vanilla asked Mr. PimpCake, “What is your favorite cupcake?”

Mr. PimpCake replied, “Well, actually I’m allergic to them, so I haven’t tried any of them. But red velvet is the most popular.”

We examined Red Velvet. Done.

Vanilla asked Mr. PimpCake, “What is your second most popular cupcake?”

Mr. PimpCake replied, “The Artie Lange.” Done.

Sensing an oncoming friendship, Vanilla then asked PimpmasterCake, “What is your third most popular cupcake?”

PimpyCake replied (in a somewhat disgruntled tone of voice), “I don’t keep a list of these things.”

Vanilla, after sobbing on the ground and being escorted to a nearby therapy center, returned to state the original premise of her question: “What would you suggest?”

PimpaZilla replied, “Cookie dough.”

We decided to purchase a vanilla cupcake with chocolate buttercream frosting.

“It smells like a Quizno’s sub,” Cappuccino Swirl stated. No one agreed.

We sat at a table near the windows. We opened our Pandora’s plastic box of cupcakes to undress Cupcake One (chocolate buttercream). As we began to toast our cakes, Cappuccino Swirl noted the incest between our cake pieces, as they began to touch and crumble upon each other in the name of love.

We noted the music taste of the Crumbs staff. We approved.

[Red Hot Chili Peppers Interlude. Sexy.]

Lemon Meringue spilled cupcakes all over the table. The table was 3 inches away from explosion, but Lemon Meringue slurped the crumbs up just in time. Crisis averted.

Then, it was time for Cupcake Two (Artie Lange).

“This cake is in my fingernails,” said Choco-Choco Chip. “It’s like Indian food, without the stains.”

We began to dissect the cupcake. Lemon Meringue taught Vanilla about vanilla intercourse.

sexcircle1.jpg

“I enjoy the circumference of this cupcake. It looks like the trim of a skirt,” said Lemon Meringue.

There was an awkward pause as a lady dropped something on the ground. Cappuccino Swirl thought it was a bag of forks. Lemon Meringue thought it was a very controlled shattering of glass. Choco-Choco Chip thought it was a baby made out of newspaper. Vanilla thought.

There’s chocolate filling in this cupcake, we collectively noted. “Surprise, surprise, puppy surprise!”

It appeared that these Crumbs cupcakes required some sort of beverage, as their intense moistness was difficult to handle alone. Milk or water is certainly a must for cupcake amateurs and experts alike. 

Crumbs was certainly an appropriate name for this place, as we noted the increasing moistness of the cupcake that Choco-Choco Chip likens to melting butter. The cake crumbled all over the table, again. Lemon Meringue slurped it up, as explained earlier.

After Cupcake Two was destroyed, we moved onto Cupcake Three (red velvet). Red velvet. So ominous (we likened the inside to blood and guts).

[Plastic fork fight between Vanilla and Choco-Choco Chip. “You’re making fire in my loins,” said Vanilla.]

Cupcake Three was an obstacle. It was tough, not moist. It was red, not… other colors. It was… salty? (No one else agreed with Cappuccino Swirl on this one.)

“It tastes like cloth.”

“It tastes like metal.”

“It tastes like a coin.”

“It tastes like a young woman’s chewed up purse.”

“It tastes like bread. Bad bread.”

“D for disgusting.”

[A water bottle continued to roll off of the table. The table almost exploded.]

Vanilla caught Lemon Meringue on Candid Camera, much to Lemon Meringue’s disappointment. Lemon Meringue likened her photograph to a disgruntled cat. Choco-Choco Chip loves disgruntled cats.

Eventually, Cupcake Three was destroyed. Even though he put up a fight, we still won.

As our journey at Crumbs came to a close, we concluded that there was one common theme throughout every cupcake in the world, whether it was moist, dry, hard, rough, smelly, sticky, drippy, hot, sparkly, scandalous, unattractive, voluptuous, or sweet: each cupcake is individual. Each cupcake is sassy. Each cupcake has a song to sing.

Overall:

Cupcake One (Chocolate Buttercream)

Cappuccino Swirl: The chocolate buttercream frosting was silky smooth*, and the sprinkles added that BAM crunch.

Choco-Choco Chip: The yellow cake is silky-smooth like Akon’s voice. But so silky-smooth that it CRUMBles. The icing was pretty dec[ent].

Lemon Meringue: The fluffy YELLOW cake was adorned with a generous helping of frosting, but could I tell that it was buttercream chocolate? … It was just candies and sprinkles.

Vanilla: I would eat just the bottom.

Cupcake Two: Artie Lange

Cappuccino Swirl: The cupcake made my throat dry like a desert. But it was a decent dessert. I liked the crunchy topping. I’m all for the crunch.

Choco-Choco Chip: Again. A good cake (but very crumbly). I liken the icing to Mike Brady from “the Brady Bunch”: very serious, and linoleum-like. It was cool, but not the cooliest.

Lemon Meringue: After a quick caucus with my taste buds, I found the cupcake to be very rich in chocolate (the top and the filling), but the filling was needed to keep the flaky cake together.

Vanilla: I like cake.

Cupcake Three (Red Velvet)

Cappaccino Swirl: Cappuccino Swirl was less than pleased. Taste was a tich salty. Frosting was dec[ent].

Choco-Choco Chip: The cake itself was very tough– it was like chewing a piece of cloth covered with wimpy, flimsy, whispery icing. I liken this cupcake to a sugary con artist– you SEEM delicious, but you are truly quite evil.

Lemon Meringue: If this cupcake were a red velvet carpet, it would be one leading to nowhere. The taste… I couldn’t name it. It had no direction. I say “Make it cake”, and it definite wasn’t made.

Vanilla: FRIENDZ. Not with this one.

*”silky smooth” (as mentioned in Cappuccino Swirl’s comment) and “silky-smooth” (as mentioned in Choco-Choco Chip’s proceeding comment) are completely different phrases–in every way imaginable.

Crumbs (6 locations):

1) The Village: 37 East 8th Street (Between University Place and Greene Street) 212.673.1500 (We went to this location)

Average Cost: $3.25

2) Wall Street: 87 Beaver Street (Between Hanover Street and Pearl Street) 212.480.7500

3) Bryant Park: 43 West 42nd Street (Between 5th Ave. and 6th Ave.) 212.221.1500

4) Upper East Side: 1371 Third Avenue (Intersection of Third Ave. and 78th Street) 212.794.9800

5) Upper West Side: 321 1/2 Amsterdam Avenue (Intersection of Amsterdam Ave. and 75th Street) 212.712.9800

6) East Hampton: 35 Newtown Lane (Between Park Place and Main Street)

Hours:

1) Sunday 10a -9p, Mon. 7:30a-9p, Tues.-Thurs. 7:30a-10p, Fri. 7:30a -11p, Sat. 10a -11p

2) Sun.- CLOSED, Mon.-Fri. 7:30a-8p, Sat.- CLOSED

3) Sun. – CLOSED, Mon.-Fri. 7a-8p, Sat. – CLOSED

4) Sun. 8:30a-9p, Mon.-Tues. 7:30a-9p, Wed.-Fri. 7:30a-10p, Sat. 8:30a-11p

5) Sun. 8:30a-9p, Mon.-Tues. 7:30a-9p, Wed.-Fri. 7:30a-10p, Sat. 8:30a-11p

6) Unavailable

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