780 Lexington Avenue
I stopped in at Sprinkles for the first time last week. I had always heard that it was a hugely popular cupcake chain on the west coast (and their company slogan seems to take credit for the cupcake craze of the past decade), but it took me a year to finally check out their first store here in New York. The shop is very small and gets crowded quickly. There’s a cute little seating area that features big seats for adults and smaller seats for kids, or perhaps dogs – they seem very dog-friendly. In fact, they’re also very people-friendly. Everyone who works at the store is extremely nice. When I visited there were about four people working behind the counter. They took turns helping customers on line and made sure to ask everyone their name. Then they would address the customer by name several times while they packaged the order and processed payments. It’s like that party trick where when you meet someone new, you’re supposed to address them by name three times and then you remember it forever.
I purchased two cupcakes – the salty caramel (which has a limited run until May 27th) and the red velvet. When I got home I tried the salty caramel first. The cake was described as a caramel flavored cake, but the flavor was faint. It was, however, extremely moist and buttery. The frosting was a smooth butter and cream cheese frosting, this time with a distinct caramel flavor, sprinkled with fleur de sel. There was a little too much frosting for the amount of cake, but since it was so delicious, I didn’t mind. Overall, buttery goodness.
I decided to give the red velvet cupcake to my mother so I only got to try a tiny bite, possibly not enough to get a full impression. It was moist and sweet, but didn’t have the tanginess that I like in a red velvet cake and cream cheese frosting.
At $3.50 a cupcake, I doubt I will make frequent trips to Sprinkles, especially since I can easily make a batch of them at home for the price of just one there. However, in future moments of weakness and laziness, I can imagine being drawn to their salty caramel – when it’s available.