A few weeks ago I spent a pretty spectacular day with my dear friend Jami taste testing cupcakes. I know….cupcakes are OVER, but I don’t really see it that way. I think cupcakes were under appreciated before, had a brief moment of over exposure and now they are firmly set into the fabric of our lives. A little cake that you get all to yourself has timeless appeal if you ask me.
There are a oodles of places to enjoy cupcakes in Chicago and I love supporting the homegrown establishments, but for the purposes of this taste test we focused on the two bakeries that are credited with kickstarting the cupcake craze; Magnolia Bakery and Sprinkles Cupcakes. We have one of each here in Chicago now and each delivers what they have been doing well for many years on opposite coasts of the country. Sprinkles with it’s modern and clean presentation stands in stark contrast to Magnolia’s homey-vinatge vibe, but both serve up frosted goodness made of basically the same stuff; butter, flour, sugar and eggs. Jami and I set out to see who does it best.
In the end I am a Sprinkles lover through and through. From the flawless identity to the pristine interior of the shop, I love the whole Sprinkles experience. But the taste is what really matters and their vanilla milk chocolate (with sprinkles, of course) is the cupcake that I hold all others against. The same flavor at Magnolia is too sweet for my taste, but it hasn’t stopped me from waiting on line at Bleeker and West 11th in NYC to get one. The Sprinkles cake was a little dense for Jami and we both agreed that a vanilla cake from Magnolia frosted with the fudgy milk chocolate cream cheese frosting from Sprinkles might be cupcake perfection.
What do you think? What is your favorite cupcake spot? Are you over cupcakes? Under them? Will you wait in line for a cupcake?