A few weeks ago, my brother came to visit. It was his first chance to go to the Mall of America. Based on his facial expressions (shock, awe, disgust, amazement), I'd say that he feels the same way I do about that behemoth: Get in, get out.
I was on one mission, though, that I wanted to share with him. Cupcake, the winner of Cupcake Wars Champions had opened an outpost in the Mall, and I wanted to try some of these touted cupcakes from this Minneapolis-based bakery. Lucky for us, the cupcake shop was right near where we parked, so we didn't have to venture into the belly of the beast...
Cupcake has some incredible sounding flavors, with some quirky names. The June Cleaver is a chocolate frosted vanilla cake, the Razz-ma-Tazz is a chocolate cupcake with raspberry filling and a raspberry buttercream, the list goes on...
The one I was dying to try wasn't in stock, though (The Alton Brown: "a honey almond cake filled with pears poached in grape juice, topped with butterscotch bourbon buttercream and a walnut pecan nougat.") Sigh.
We ordered a variety of cupcakes to suit both of our tastes: Red velvet, chai spice, cookies 'n' cream, and the Paris Hilton (a vanilla on vanilla flavor combo).
I had to order the Paris Hilton, simply so I could get him to do his killer Paris Hilton impersonation. I wish I had it on video to share with you-- the kid is good.
Since we're both nerds, we decided to do our own cupcake judging. I'll let the comments (scribbled on index cards at my kitchen table) speak for themselves:
Chai Spice: Minty? Is it supposed to be like that? Good, but a bit bland. 3.5/5
Paris Hilton: The pink sprinkles are huge. Good flavor in both frosting and cake, but not as razzle dazzle as an heiress would demand. 4/5 (cuz I like vanilla)
Red Velvet: Frosting overwhelms cake. Not as sweet as expected. Cake by itself is lacking in flavor. 3.5/5
Cookies and Cream: Chocolate strong but not overwhelming. Cream hits oreo frosting on the heat. 5/5 (I mean, it's cookies and cream!)
Chai Spice: Minty-- chai should NOT be minty. Cake doesn't have much flavor. Frosting texture is nice, though. 3/5
Paris Hilton: Good vanilla flavor, moist cake-- nothing too special, though. 4/5
Red Velvet: Frosting very strong-- not a lot of sweetness-- can't taste "red velvet" in cake alone. 3/5
Cookies n Cream: Flavor is great; chocolate comes through, and tastes just like oreo filling. 5/5
Well, Cupcake, I'd say two for four... Not too shabby, compared to other shops. I'd go back again to try some of the other flavors, for sure!