Thursday, March 12, 2009
A Rose By Any Other...
...Would Taste Sweeter.
God knows I love cupcakes. In fact, I'd say they rank in my Top 5 Favorite Desserts. That is, provided, they're baked to perfection and frosted. Heavily. I've had the pleasure of trying a number of varieties at bakeries throughout NYC, including the popular Magnolia (the only bakery with a bouncer at the door), Billy's (a Magnolia rip-off), Buttercup, Amy's Bread, Sweet Revenge, and Sugar Sweet Sunshine (my personal favorite), and--last night--Cupcake Cafe.
I was en route to meet my cousin and aunt for dinner at the Film Center Cafe in Hell's Kitchen and, having some time to kill, took it as a sign when I spotted CC. It's a warmly lit, eclectically decorated, and all-around inviting space that more closely resembles a small-town antiques shop than your typical bakery. I ordered a "cuppa" joe (a hand-written note on the easel outside advertised it as the "best" in town)--decaf, of course--and headed back to the cupcake display case.
Let me start by saying that CC bakes some of the most aesthetically pleasing cupcakes I've ever seen--almost too beautiful to eat, in fact (almost). (Turns out they offer cake decorating classes!) The cakes come in mutliple appetizing flavor combinations (maple walnut paired with mocha, for example) and are adorned with delicately crafted, colorful flowers made of frosting. I unimaginatively chose the vanilla cake frosted with chocolate buttercream. Considering its bite-size (at a miniscule 2.25") and price ($2.50), I was expecting a taste explosion in my mouth. I was sorely disappointed. The cake was fairly bland and a bit dry, while the cream was spread thin and nearly flavorless. (It also had an odd whipped-like consistency.) Give me a $1.50 pistachio cupcake from Sugar Sweet Sunshine over CC's selection any day.
Their coffee was good, though.