Oh Crumbs. We have been through so much. I’ve had every.single.one of your massive cupcakes. Seasonal ones too. Yes, I was obsessed. I definitely was a huge fan from day one. You know, before you got lofty goals, went public, and then, bankrupt. I was sad for you, but not totally surprised. Because your cupcakes were never that good; dry cake, way too sweet frostingn, and every single massive cupcake with some filling in the middle. We all know, it’s always about the insanely intricate flavors. Ok, and the massive size. Despite your faults, I was saddened to hear of your abrupt closing. I held out hope that you’d return and when you did, I was over the moon! Welcome back, let’s see if you’ve still got what it takes to make it with these new cupcake MVPs.
This in just half of the cupcake. Yes, massive.
While I didnt expect these cupcakes to stack up to the much stiffer competition that has taken over the New York City cupcake scene, I had to include them. Crumbs is an iconic shop, having opened its original Upper West Side shop over 20 years ago. Crumbs is known for selling monster cupcakes, of a variety of flavors. Seriously. These things are huge. Think jumbo muffin, but it’s cake and covered with frosting and usually filled with something creamy and sweet. Which is brilliant. While they do sell normal-sized cupcakes (and minis) I stuck with a giant one. I will always go for chocolate, but decided to go for the most popular this time. Before I even finished the question, the bakerista (yep, it’s a thing) said, “red velvet.” So here we go.
Now since I’m what one might call a Crumbs fanatic, you’d think I knew what I was about to embark on. Predictable flavors, overly sweet frosting. But I was pleasantly surprised that I liked this massive cupcake monster more than I thought I would. So these cupcakes are huge. More than two cupcakes worth. And while they do offer regular sized cupcakes and even minis, that’s not what we go to Crumbs for.
Crumbs cupcakes have a distinct look to them; the perfect domed top layered with frosting and sprinkles. And this one did not deviate from the norm. This cupcake is so pretty and you just think, “yep. This is going to be delicious.” And then you take a bite and its kind of “ehh.” That is if you can even fit the whole thing in your mouth. Which I can’t. Believe me, I tried.
So I wasn’t too impressed with the favorite cupcake of the masses. And then I broke it apart and the tables turned. Just based on the cake alone, this is a solid cupcake. It has really good red velvet flavor. For those of you red velvet virgins, we need a hint of cocoa but not overpowering. This cake has a moist, fine crumb, and tastes like I want all red velvet cupcakes to taste. Very impressed. Now, the frosting is a different story. Old Crumbs would have given me overly sweet frosting and what did new crumbs give me? Overly sweet, mismatched frosting. So red velvet cake should always be paired with cream cheese frosting. Its one solid relationship. The Crumbs red velvet cupcakes of my youth had delicious cream cheese frosting. Perfectly tart and sweet. This overly sweet vanilla frosting version is not a winner. Its fine on its own, but its not show stopping in any way and its not cream cheese. Or maybe it was supposed to be but if so, it was really bad cream cheese frosting.
So let’s get to my favorite category — cake:frosting ratio. This is tricky because this is just so much cupcake. There is definitely too little frosting and it just grazes the sides of the cupcake, but any more and this cupcake would fall over. I like a well-endowed cupcake but I also prefer my cupcakes to be able to stand on their own. So while I wish for more frosting, this cupcake is already such a monster that more frosting would create issues. These monster Crumbs cupcakes may be pretty and also good, but not the stuff cupcake dreams are made of. Crumbs definitely gets points for the novelty of massive cupcakes, but my perfect cupcake needs to be eaten sans-fork and knife. Because at that point it’s just cake. And I don’t have time to eat cake.
Multiple locations ( I went to an UWS location at 96th and Columbus Ave)
First Bite 2/5
Cake:Frosting Ratio 2/5