I was walking in Beverly Hills to get a cup of coffee when I received an offer I couldn’t refuse, a free cupcake from the new, hyped New York export, Crumbs Bake Shop. The display in the glass case was a vast colorful sugary array. The opposite of the refined decorated mini cupcakes at Vanilla Bake Shop, the frosting and toppings are liberally applied to Crumbs’ gigantic cupcakes. I couldn’t begin to navigate my way through the names of each cake/frosting/filling combination of cupcakes with titles like hostess and devil dog so I settled upon the Reese’s cupcake: chocolate cake, peanut butter frosting and filling inside. I felt guilty about walking away without supporting the business, so I spent $2.25 on a “mini” cupcake, the size of a regular cupcake by most standards.
The smaller sized cupcake had a bland, slightly dry and very sweet white cake with a chocolate cream cheese frosting. Both the cheese and the chocolate in the frosting were completely undetectable leaving only the taste of sweet sweet sweet – a cupcake for a 4 year old.
The chocolate peanut butter cupcake (normally $3.75) was only slightly less disappointing. The cake was moist and unlike the aforementioned frosting, did have some chocolate flavor. At first I was pleased by the presence of what tasted like real peanut butter in the frosting. The frosting however, left an unpleasant shortening like film on my tongue and considering its consistency, there was way too much of it (see below).
On the bright side, there were other, more promising flavors: apple caramel, pistachio, cobbler, key lime, raspberry/blueberry swirl, carrot. Crumbs either possesses gumption or a clever business plan to exploit runoff from the long lines formed at the overrated Sprinkles only two blocks away. Unlike their nearby neighbors, Crumbs also sells scones, cookies, danishes, croissants, (massive) brownies, fruit pies, and full sized cakes. Given the hallow sugar high induced by the partially consumed confections, I don’t think I’ll be returning any time soon.
9465 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills