Thursday, June 17, 2010

Never Enough Cupcakes

I know, I know ... everybody thinks the cupcake trend is tierd and people are starting to act like they're over cupcakes. I'm not buying it. I say people have become intolerant of bad cupcakes (which I think is a really good thing ... kind of like how nobody eats parmesan cheese from a green can anymore). I'm quite certain a stellar cupcake can still deliver a moment of somewhat perfect joy to just about anyone, even if they won't admit it. And Sprinkles has brought their game to town, apparently to keep everyone on their toes.I've already rambled about cupcakes in this blog so I'll try not to be repetitive but ... I really do (still) love a really good cupcake; always have. A really good one used to be hard to find ... not so much anymore. It's not something one can have every day (at least not me unless I'm willing to upsize my entire wardrobe) and so it still needs to be special. Of course I'd heard of Sprinkles and all the buzz - Hollywood starlets having catered parties, etc. But I really didn't expect for them to be that great (I hate to have my high expectations dashed I guess). Um ... if the ones I sampled tonight are any indication (and consistency is something I pray for when something is good) ... it's game on.
I'll skip to what I consider to the best around - and I won't bother going to the ones I don't care for (there are plenty I don't care for unfortunately). I really like Oooh La la cupcakes but they're in Katy. My friend Sarah Delachica makes a mean cupcake via her custom-order cupcake and cookie company Sugar Shack. Any cupcake Rebecca Masson makes and especially the devil's food w/ salt caramel frosting completely freaks me out (custom orders only until she gets her own shop which will have way more than cupcakes). Some people love Crave and some hate Crave ... I pretty much like Crave though I have found some random inconsistencies ... the Strawberry is pretty much always great. I really didn't realize that Crave was a total knock-off of Sprinkles right down to the menu style (how'd they get away with that?) and the look of the cupcake is dead-on ... no pastry bag swirl/dollop of frosting ... they are hand-frosted just like Crave w/ the same little fondant "symbol" (I actually don't care for fondant but that's a different post altogether and yes I love you Becky Masson for hating fondant, too). Same amount of frosting (which some say is too much ... I don't think so). I want to say the cake is different/better at Sprinkles as far as those I sampled tonight - and I worked hard on your behalf, trust me. The cake was absolutely moist but did not fall apart when I bit in - the way my Crave fix does sometimes. These held together beautifully ... with a gorgeous crumb. I was excited to try the Chai Latte - a spiced chai tea cake with chai-vanilla frosting. It totally delivered ... not overly "spice-cakey" - very subtle and just perfect with the vanilla frosting (available only on Fridays!). It was a promising start.
I also didn't mind at all the Red Velvet with it's earthy/not-too-rich (described as "southern style light chocolate cake") and cream cheese frosting. The coconut was good but maybe without as much coconut flavor as I had hoped; the Black & White (dark chocolate cake with vanilla frosting) was definitely solid. I think I would have really loved the Chocolate Marshmallow - belgian chocolate cake with marshmallow cream and bittersweet chocolate ganache ... but I brought that one home (to especially savor it) and foolishly left it within reach of my boyfriend ... stupid move. He said it was really good but not as good as Becky's version (but he did eat the whole damn thing which he never does, so that says something).
The point is ... I'm glad Sprinkles has come to town. The space in Highland Village is chic, modern and adorable. The staff is enthusiastic and precious. This has to be the coolest teenager job in town ... infinitely cooler than I was when I worked at Baskin Robbins for my first job! Since I volunteer at the Highland Village Pet Adoption Center regularly, this could get dangerous in a hurry.


Steve Romero said...

Cupcakes are very popular now. A friend of mine owns Sugarbaby's. Have you ever been there?

Jodie Eisenhardt said...

I have been to Sugarbaby's but not in awhile. I didn't love them when they first came along but perhaps it is time for a re-visit? :)

Kaleidoscope CupCakes said...

Hi, we'd like you to check out our Fall Cupcake Tasting. It's this Sunday at the Kitchen Incubator Downtown. Our cupcakes are different but always deliver (pun intended).