Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

The state of NYC cupcakes 2011


Fat Guy
 Share

Recommended Posts

Cupcakes, it seems, are here to stay. I've got no problem with that. I love cake. A cupcake is an individual-size cake. That's a good thing. Still there are aspects of the cupcake trend that are annoying, not least the enduring popularity of Magnolia Bakery's not-good cupcakes: dry, crumbly, with gluey icing.

Yesterday I had an assortment of cupcakes from Crumbs and thought they were quite good. I tend not to eat a lot of cupcakes, however, and with Magnolia as such a low bar to clear I have no idea whether my assessment of Crumbs makes sense.

So, what are the best cupcakes? And what makes a cupcake better or worse?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My favorite cupcakes are at Dessert Club ChikaLicious (especially their red velvet and premium caramel). To me, they are the perfect size and have the perfect cake to frosting ratio. Even though I live around the corner from Two Little Red Hens, I find their cupcakes too large; their mini cupcakes are quite cute and perfect for a little treat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I second the comment about Chikalicious cupcakes. The heaviness of super-size cupcakes with almost equal proportions of frosting and cake can be overwhelming. Chikalicious cupcakes are about the size of cupcakes you might bake at home, and there's just enough frosting to give the cake a sugary kick. Simple flavors done well, without all the additional crumbled candy pieces, cookies, sprinkles, etc. If you're more of a purist when it comes to cupcakes, you'll enjoy Chikalicious.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you find yourself in Koreatown, Cafe Muse (32nd - closer to Broadway, uptown side) is worth popping into for their red velvet cupcakes. Really good post BBQ winter dessert solution, easy to take home containers of 2. Best I've had in NY, mostly due to the fantastic cocoa flavor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The gold standard for a lot of people seems to be sugar frosting piled on high in a giant swirl. Whatever is most Duncan Hines like. And the cupcake acts more like a frosting delivery device than anything else. For that style, Sugar Sweet Sunshine is the best of the Magnolia-esque as long as you avoid the red velvet which has an off taste to me. I love Chikalicious' cupcakes but they are petite and the frosting is whipped. Not super sweet and less impressive looking than Magnolia. I like them a lot but people looking for the Magnolia style and the resulting sugar high are often disappointed.

I also like Sage Kitchen (available at Dean & Deluca, large but a more reasonable frosting to cake ratio), Two Little Red Hens (especially chocolate, but they are large), Butter Lane (more natural and organic tasting, not super sweet). Not a fan of Magnolia, Crumbs, Buttercup Bakeshop, Cupcake Stop, Cupcake Cafe, Billy's. Quality control seems to be an issue overall as it's so easy to over-bake a cupcake.

"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My favorite desserts tend to be the more simplistic - Bread Pudding and Cakes, as such I have a bit of an affinity for cupcakes and found both Sugar Sweet Sunshine and Magnolia quite bad. While Dessert Club Chickalicious and Two Little Red Hens are both really good, Sweet Revenge makes (IMO) the best cupcakes in terms of texture, frosting, and quality that I've had in the US. YMMV, but definitely worth the trek.

http://uhockey.blogspot.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Similar Content

    • By cteavin
      I posted this on YouTube the other day and thought I'd post it here. Personally, when I make them for me I only use Erythritol (a sugar substitute) but depending on the friend sugar or a blend of the two. Unlike other zucchini brownies, these don't use egg white, so they're not cake-y, but dense and fudgy. 
       
      Oh, and because I use whey protein, they're higher in protein and good for post-workout bite. 
       
       
      Ingredients
      300 -400 grams zucchini 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup sugar or sugar substitute 1/2 cup cocoa 1-2 tablespoons flavoring (brandy, rum, vanilla, etc) 2 shots of espresso (or instant, 60ml/2oz) 2 egg yolks 1/2 cup flour 1/2 cup oatmeal 1 cup whey protein (or milk powder) 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional, but adds nice flavor)   1. Mince the zucchini in the food processor with the salt.
      2. Add the sugar or sugar substitute and process until the sugar is dissolved.
      3. Bloom your cocoa: In a separate bowl, combine the cocoa with HOT espresso and your flavorings (including cinnamon). Stir until mostly dissolved.
      4. To the food processor add the cocoa mixture and two egg yolks and blend together.
      5. Add the whey protein or milk powder to the mixture and blend together.
      6. Add the oatmeal and blend.
      7. Add the flour and pulse to incorporate (in other words, try not to over mix).
      8. Pour into a brownie pan and bake for 20-30 minutes at 180C/350F
    • By ShylahSinger
      Hello! I'm fairly new to this site so I don't know if my search was weak. I'm trying to find a way to make Mandarin orange puree at home, but I couldn't find anything even similar in the forum. I am a home cook, but I have been making chocolate bonbons and other confections for over 4 years (intermitantly). It is too expensive for me to purchase this online- not because of the price of the puree, but the cost of shipping makes it prohibative. The recipes I've seen online are all differant and don't seem to be what I need. 
      I would love any help with this! I look forward to hearing and learning from those who have much, much more experience than me. Thanks!
    • By Darienne
      In hopes of sleeping better, etc, etc, I have currently given up gluten, dairy and now sugar.  The gluten and dairy pose no problems...the sugar does.  I am not happy using mannitol or erythritol or any of those artificial sweeteners...they give me severe digestive problems.   But I can tolerate stevia very nicely.  The only problem is that there doesn't seem to be much sweetened with this ingredient.
       
      I do have a carob/coconut oil/peanut butter/stevia candy of sorts.  I don't really like it all that much, but it does work.  That's about it.
       
      Has anyone any recipes for desserts using stevia?  Thanks.
    • By Janet Taylor
      Ever since Todd talked making cupcakes I have been cupcake crazy. Although, I am not a cake maker but more of a pie person.
      My first dessert that I love that I make is my Coconut Cream Pie w/heavy whipped cream. I don't use low fat anything and probably angioplasties is necessary after this baby.
      My second is Peach Cobbler w/rich vanilla ice cream. I never met a cobbler that I didn't like, but peach is my favorite.
      I don't make these often because I wouldn't be able to get through the front door if I did.
      How about yours?
      .....Janet
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...