In New York and Los Angeles, cupcakes are the hottest yuppie culinary craze since the sushi boom of the 1980s. Not only are city-dwellers consuming cupcakes like everyday is a 2nd grade birthday party, a record number of hard-charging careerists are abandoning their cubicles to become cupcake bakers.
As any connoisseur knows, there are two fundamental components in a fine cupcake – the cake and the icing. For some reason, rarely are the two of the same quality. There is an enormously popular cupcake shop near my home in Manhattan, offering a wide variety of cupcake flavors. The problem? While the icing is tasty and rich, the cake is plain, dry vanilla. At other shops I’ve sampled, the cake is moist and delicious, but the icing is a bland, saccharine cream.
The only cupcakes I’ve ever sampled that marry the perfect cake with the perfect icing come from LA’s Sprinkles, which we profiled this morning. Across a wide range of varieties, the cake could stand on its own as unadorned desert. And, the icing could stand alone as a delicious custard. Together, they are perfection.