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Katie Davis



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Just a Little Sprinkle

Thursday, September 16, 2010 @ 12:09 PM

dark chocolate cupcakeI am pretty sure you are all aware of the cupcake phenomenon that is sweeping the nation.  Well if you are not, you have been living under a rock.  No offense, or maybe I am just speaking to women here, but cupcakes became all the rage a few years back and it is now not often that you don’t see them in every bakery, magazine, wedding, or party alike.  I get it, I love them and all of their possibilities, I especially love that they are the perfect portion and just enough of a dessert, indulgent without making you feel sick because you ate half of the cake!  And again I may be speaking to the ladies out there, but let’s be real, they are just so cute and again the possibilities are endless.  I was so about the cupcake bandwagon, that before we got married I registered for a 3-tiered cupcake stand.  And I have actually even used it once, which is more than I can say about some of the other things we registered for 🙂  With their extreme popularity many shops have popped up around the nation devoted to that one thing and one thing only, CUPCAKES!  And the very first to do so was the now notoriously famous shop known as Sprinkle’s, opening its doors in Beverly Hills in 2004.  The founder and creator of Sprinkles was Candace Nelson who was deeply inspired by her grandmother who owned a very popular bakery in San Francisco in the 1930’s.  Channeling her grandmother’s legacy, Candace’s goal was to create cupcakes that were not only beautiful but made from the best ingredients, fresh without any preservatives.  These cupcakes are certainly a fresh take on a classic we all know and love and very inventive to boot.  With a wide range of flavors that change daily, it is no wonder that people flock to these shops, that are now 10 major cities with many more to follow.  I mean who doesn’t love a good cupcake?  And she must know what she is doing, because this year Candace was asked to be a judge on the Food Network’s new competition show Cupcake Wars.

Not only are their cupcakes modern and inventive, complete with their signature candy dot on top, but their architecture and design were also greatly considered in the development of these shops.  I always love when design and decor are considered a major partner in the operation and not just an afterthought.  Their shops are very visually appealing and the designer’s goal was to evoke a feeling of being in a small European bakery with all the wonderful sights, smells, and playfulness.  And although simple and not overly fussy, the details are just enough to keep your focus, you do not have to look in a million directions to take it all in, your purpose is right in front of you…the cupcakes!

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I mean let’s be honest, how gorgeous and mouth watering is that set up?  Now this particular picture is from the Beverly Hills Location, but Adam and I set out one day to visit the Dallas location, which is almost identical in style.  We were fresh off a wonderful couples massage and happened to be in the neighborhood of the newly opened Sprinkles Dallas.  I had been dying to try one of their creations for some time now and since we knew this may be our last opportunity before we moved, we stopped in.  Now I was perfectly content to just get one flavor and be done with it, but my lovely husband being the one who always wants to try every flavor and still couldn’t make up his mind thought we should get 6!  But they were 6 beautiful cupcakes!  We ended up deciding on the Dark Chocolate (for me), Milk Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, Peanut Butter Chocolate, and the Cinnamon Sugar.  I will admit now that it was very hard for me to wait until we got home to break into these bad boys!  But I was patient and it paid off.

003006007 I dug into that dark chocolate cupcake no problem and enjoyed every morsel!  Adam chose the vanilla, but unfortunately was not as impressed, he is a bit picky when it comes to cake!  I on the other hand loved mine, I though the cake was perfectly moist, yet stayed together well and didn’t crumble everywhere.  The icing was divine, smooth and creamy with the perfect dark chocolate flavor.  You could really tell how fresh they were and the natural ingredients I felt made such a difference.  I really enjoyed it so much, it was hard not to grab another one, but I restrained myself.  Adam just was not really impressed, I guess this ritzy cupcake, with all the hype just didn’t cut it for him.  He also said it just didn’t taste like anything, I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree.  He also tends to pay more attention to the “cake” part on any dessert like that, where as I am more of an icing girl, which also might be why our opinions differed.

One thing I will mention, they also mention it on their website, since these cupcakes are made with natural, fresh ingredients, they do not save super well and should not be refrigerated.  So come the 2nd day I really didn’t want one because honestly their texture was just not as appealing, so sadly the dark chocolate was the only one I tried.

SIGNATURE DISH: Well if you gathered from this post there was really only one topic of conversation today and that is cupcakes!  This bakery shop has been doing one thing and one thing only since 1994 and as successful as they are at it, I doubt they will try to change it up.  It will be interesting to see if this craze subsides, but it doesn’t appear to be anytime soon!

TASTE: This is where Adam and I differ on opinion, I thought my cupcake was pure decadence and divine, he thought his had no flavor.  He even tried another one later and said the same thing.  Whether he has a better cake palette than I do, I’m not sure, but what I do know is that I thought this cupcake was pretty dang good and I might have to give them a different rating than him this week! 😉

AMBIANCE: I loved the design of the shop and thought it was creative, modern, and eye catching.  They do a wonderful job of showcasing what they are selling and making those cupcakes simple in design, yet so visually appealing.  The shop itself, with its wood tones and bright colors to contrast, really draws you in and complements the cupcakes.  And as I mentioned, I think is wonderful when the design is a complement to what is going on inside, instead of being an afterthought.

PRICE: This is where sprinkles falls a bit short for me, I mean I understand these are “gourmet/designer” cupcakes, but let’s be real at the end of the day they are still cupcakes and at $3.25 each, they are a bit pricey.  The only thing I can think is that one, they have extreme notoriety and can therefore charge that much and two, fresh ingredients are expensive and therefore they need to charge a bit more.  Either way I still would not pay this often, but on a special occasion it is a fun treat!

Overall I was very pleased with my experience at Sprinkles even if Adam was not and I hope I can visit again.  But in the meantime this week I am going to give this lovely shop 4 Little Piggies while Adam will only be giving them 1 1/2 Little Piggies.


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