Obviously I’m way into all things cupcake. It’s been that way for awhile. Even before I moved to New York and embraced the cupcake craze of the mid-2000s. Bite sized cake with perfectly portioned frosting. Heaven. Well 3-4 bites, actually. Who wants one bite? A couple bites is more my style. Especially if its the perfect cupcake.
When I first moved to New York City, I was 22, not jaded by the big city, and I was all over every cupcake I could get my hands on. And froyo was acceptable as lunch. Magnolia Bakery was the reigning gourmet cupcake queen. There was nothing quite like exploring a new neighborhood in the city heat with a cupcake in hand.
I’ve always felt a flutter of excitement when I pass by a bakery and scope out the cupcakes. And yes, I’m totally judging you, cupcakes. Is your cake the moistest? Is your frosting creamy but not sickly sweet? How does the cake:frosting ratio measure up? These are all essential questions when evaluating potential mini-cake consumables. But most of all: will one bite send me into a food coma of happiness? Does a mini foodgasm hit? This is really the effect any good cupcake should have. Foodgasm factor is key.
image via Bent Spoon
Now I’m already biased on the perfect cupcake. And it does not reside in New York. The gold standard of cupcakes, the one that all other cupcakes must measure up to come from Bent Spoon, in Princeton, NJ. This amazing bakery is actually known for their ice cream (which is also epic) but their cupcakes have been my favorite for a long time. They don’t carry crazy flavors, they keep it simple with vanilla and chocolate. But its perfect. Perfectly moist cake. Perfectly creamy frosting. Perfect cake:frosting ratio. Just perfect. Foodgasm. Every.single.time. And there have been many, many times. Every trip to Princeton involves a cupcake souvenir of 16 mini cupcakes. And while I’d like to make the trek to Princeton every time I need to stuff my face with perfect cupcakes, I definitely need to find my holy grail NYC cupcake.
So its time for a Cupcake Challenge. I will find the best cupcake in this city. Sifting through the good and the bed to find The One. I know this has been done before but with the influx of gourmet cupcake shops, a few new notable cupcakeries needed to be added to the list of contenders. I know its a tough job but someone has to do it. I’ve developed an intense rating system and multi-round taste-testing. Because if I’m going to eat a million cupcakes, I’m going to do it right.
Consuming cupcake after cupcake will take some time and there’s only one way to do it: in a purely scientific manner. Because science is legit. I’ve compiled a list of over 50 (61 to be exact) bakeries whose cupcakes I will be consuming. I have developed an in depth rating scale and I’m putting on my researcher hat and taking all five senses on the research project of my dreams. Get ready for Round 1, its going to be a sugary, awesome mess.