Since moving to New York my baked good repertoire has really expanded. I’m seriously into a variety of ethnic desserts. Greek, Italian, Spanish – I’m into it all. How did I never experience the holiness that is rainbow cookies? It’s tragic. But as delicious as these new foodsperences are, I’m still a total white girl and cupcakes rein supreme in my book. And that’s one thing the bakeries of Astoria haven’t seemed to master. Case in point, Leli’s Bakery on 30th Ave. While the entire shop is full of heavenly pastries, cupcakes are near the back, and even though there are several varieties, you can tell they just aren’t given the same amount of love as everyone else. Actually, I wanted to break the mold and eat every single thing inside, except not the cupcakes. But we’re on a mission and I’m not a quitter. Especially not a cupcake quitter.
I went with a Caramel Apple cupcake, because why not? It had a uniform dome with a perfect hashtag of caramel. But upon first bite I was not impressed. The cake was cold (thanks to my nemesis, refrigerated cases), and there definitely wasn’t enough frosting. I couldn’t get a good handle on the flavor because the cake was so cold, but after breaking it down it was discovered that this cake had a subtle vanilla flavor, moist crumb, and an apple compote filling, which added depth of flavors. In contrast, the frosting had no flavor, it just tasted like thick white stuff. I don’t know what that flavor is but I wasn’t a fan. The cake:frosting ratio is where this cupcake really dropped the ball. While there definitely wasn’t enough frosting, the moist cake and bland frosting didn’t pair well together at all, and after a couple bites the cake is dry because of the lack of frosting flavor. Which is really unfortunate, because the cake on it’s own could really shine. Overall, this wasn’t even on the middle of the road in terms of cupcake assessments go. I’m probably still daydreaming about the amazing cupcake from Amy’s Bread, or wishing I was eating rainbow cookies, or anything else at Leli’s. But this cupcake is definitely not my favorite.
35-14 30th Ave
First Bite: 2.5/5
Cake:Frosting Ratio: 1/5