Thursday, May 19, 2011


I had never tasted the famed Sprinkles cupcakes-- that storied Beverly Hills cupcakery to the stars -- and normally I would pooh-pooh anything too trendy. But that was before I tasted their cupcakes.

Like other cupcakeries reviewed here on the blog, especially Kara's and Crumbs, Sprinkles has an extremely good brand. It's clean, clear, and fun. They do things right, like providing a "flavor card" (itself a clever, fun name for the boring word "menu") in PDF on their web site (here's the link for your convenience), using iconic symbols where possible (like the dots used on the top of each cupcake), and keeping their packaging clean, clear, and attractive with darling little cupcake-sized boxes. Their website is excellent, filled with all the right kinds of cool-looking photos, and also taking the time to do what I haven't seen any other cupcakery do: provide a whole page of info about each flavor. Wonderful! So right off the bat I loved their marketing, but equally off the bat, I wondered if Sprinkles would be too big for its well-branded britches.

How the cupcakes fared
We tried the chocolate marshmallow and the lemon. The chocolate marshmallow was sumptous belgian dark cake filled with marshmallow cream, topped with bittersweet chocolate ganache. Delicious and rich. Not a single complaint, even about the marshmallow filling, which I find can be tricky-- you don't want to make it too sticky or too soft. The consistency of this was just right, though.

The lemon was lemon cake with lemon-vanilla frosting. It sounds much plainer than the chocolate marshmallow but this was hands-down the best cupcake I've ever had. It was so so so good. The frosting melted in my mouth. Just so wonderful. Not too tart and not too sweet. However, it was also incredibly rich. I had to down a glass of water afterwards. This is not necessarily a bad thing, except perhaps for Sprinkles, because I wouldn't want to buy a dozen of lemon cupcakes (although I'd be tempted to) unless for a party because they'd be too rich. On the other hand, having a dozen lemon cupcakes might mean that I could spend several days floating in a lemon-scented sugar bliss.

So, Sprinkles was a winner in my book.
Sprinkles website

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine's Day Cupcakes: Summer Thyme's Bakery and Deli

Well! I've been rather remiss in posting cupcake updates, haven't I? But this is not entirely my fault. I blame my unborn baby, who does not crave cupcakes the way he does cheese (preferably melted, on anything). So my consumption of cupcakes has gone rather down. However, I have rallied! With Valentine's Day upon us, what better way to celebrate than to indulge in pink buttercream dreams?


I'm not sure I've officially reviewed Summer Thyme's Bakery and Deli, based in Grass Valley, CA, before. Possibly because Summer Thyme's is less of a bakeshop and more of a deli. Also, I'd only been to one of their locations and the cupcakes hadn't been worth purchasing (that is, there was only one and it looked old). But recently I visited their historic downtown Grass Valley location, which is fantastic by dint of it being attached to a used bookstore. And I found these beauts:

Let me tell you: the buttercream frosting was as tasty as it looks here. I didn't actually eat the red one because that is red velvet, which I'm not a fan of, but the pink one went down my gullet faster than a fish before a seagull. If this is Summer Thyme's offering, then it's a damn good one, and they got high marks for the super pretty rose-like frosting swirl. The cake was quite decent as well: a solid entry in the vanilla cake field.

On the web: Summer Thyme's Bakery and Deli