One perk/hazard of working at Serious Eats is the regular stream of free food that falls into our sedentary blogger laps. Sometimes the food isn't exciting, but other times we get boxes of adorable mini-cupcakes that are so perfectly formed that they look like they could've been craved out of angels' bellies. And by "other times" I mean "one time," when Betsy Thorleifson of Brooklyn-based Nine Cakes dropped off two boxes of her two-bite (or one, if your mouth is large enough) cupcakes, each box containing two flavors and 12 cakes.
After reading Ed's optimal cupcake attributes in his review of Chikalicious Dessert Club, Betsy felt compelled to bring us her cupcakes to test against his list.
And test well, they did. Betsy's cakes were moist and light with a fine crumb and topped with delicate, well-proportioned plops of fluffy, smooth frosting. Neither cake nor frosting was too sweet, which allowed the actual flavors to shine through.
My favorite cupcakes were the non-chocolate ones: vanilla bean apple with cinnamon frosting and pumpkin walnut with maple frosting. I especially liked the small apple chunks in the former and the walnut chunks in the latter. In conclusion, I like chunks (or disparate textures).
Of course, I wouldn't pass up the chocolate cupcakes, which were also memorable: dark chocolate with peanut butter frosting and dark chocolate with vanilla bean frosting. I preferred the peanut butter over the vanilla bean for its stronger flavor.
For more information on how to order Betsy's cakes (which also come in 6", 8", and 10" sizes), check out her website. She doesn't have a bakery, but she sells small cupcakes at Brooklyn Indie Market for $1.50 each.
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