In trying to explain the cupcake trend to my dad this weekend, I told him that part of the appeal is in the presentation. Two parts mommy, one part a clever brand of twee, a good cupcake is half about the attitude. And with its slightly off-kilter flavors and adorable cupcake-carrying apparatuses, the CupcakeStop adopts just the right tone.
Take the flavors. I was feeling a little adventurous, so I opted for an Elvis (banana and peanut butter), a pumpkin spice, a rocky road, and the unusual but enticing French toast and bacon. I also tried out a little baggie of chocolate chip cookies tied with ribbon—like the cupcakes, $3.00.
How did the cupcakes fare? Some were better than others. The frosting on the Elvis was a treat--very peanut-buttery and just sweet enough—but the banana cake bottom was a bit dry, especially given how moist banana cake can be.
By contrast, I wished the pumpkin spice tasted far more like pumpkin. The cream cheese frosting, which always makes me weak at the knees, saved this cupcake, but it could have packed a bigger pumpkin punch.
And now for a brief cookie interlude. I was excited to see that the CupcakeStop had expanded its offerings since another Serious Eater sampled it last year. They now have muffins, cookies, even coffee. (On a side note, they seem to have outsourced their muffin production Choice Market, which also supplies my local coffee shop Sit and Wonder, and I can vouch that those are delicious--dense, moist, and very flavorful.) The cookies were made by the CupcakeStop itself and dotted with tens of tiny chocolate chips. A perfect fit for lovers of the sweet, moist, and chewy chocolate chip cookie.
The Rocky Road cupcake, on the other hand, wasn't nearly chocolatey enough; I detected none at all in the brown frosting. The marshmallows that decorated the top and were melted inside the cake's center were also less than appealing, having become slightly crusty over the course of the day.
Finally, the French toast and bacon was a treat. An intense cinammon frosting topped the maple syrup cake, which was dotted with little bits of bacon. The tastes come in in waves—the maple syrup and the cinnamon first and the bacon at the end—and the cupcake is all the more delicious for it.