Culinary Sagacity

~Thought for Food~

The Cathayans believed that the soul or mind is located not in the head but in the stomach.

Doubtless this explains why they fret so much about the preparation and serving of food.

It may also explain why their memories are so much better than ours.

Information is stored not in the finite head, but in the expandable stomach.

--Cyrus Spitama in Gore Vidal's Creation

Friday, March 20, 2009

Sprinkles in Beverly Hills – The Best Cupcakes I've Ever Bought

On my recent trip to visit family and friends in Los Angeles, my sister and I took a day to go bakery hopping, to check out some of Los Angeles Magazine's Top 20 Bakeries. After hitting up about five bakeries on their list, and finding myself a bit under-whelmed, we headed to Beverly Hills and our last stop, Sprinkles Cupcakes.

The first thing we noticed about Sprinkles was the line out the door, a serious line stretching about a hundred feet. The second thing we noticed was that everyone in line seemed to be smiling and happy—not the usual case with long waits—but this was a Disneyesque line, Sprinkles seemed like the happiest place on Earth to everyone waiting.

After standing on the sidewalk for 50 minutes, we finally got inside and discovered the shop itself was tiny, it only fits about seven customers at one time. The cupcake case was smaller that I'd expected too, with only a dozen varieties on display. However, Sprinkles offers up their full line of 22 cupcakes from the back of the store, where they bake fresh cupcakes all day to refill their stock.

Huge cupcake fans, my sister and I couldn't wait to get these little beauties back to her house so we could devour and critique them. With my nieces—whose absolute favorite cupcake place is Yummy Cupcakes in Burbank (which are truly Yummy)—we gathered round the table and dug in to the five different varieties we'd chosen to buy. At $3.25 a pop, we expected to be WOWed.

Clockwise from the Top: Dark Chocolate, Chocolate Coconut, Black and White, Irish Cream, and Chocolate-Marshmallow (center)

We were. Sprinkles cupcakes are my nieces' new favorite—and mine and my sister's too. They weren't overly sweet (a flaw found with most American desserts), they didn't have way too much frosting (or not enough to satisfy my nieces' sweet teeth), and the cake—be it chocolate or vanilla—was the perfect consistency: soft, dense, and moist.

My only complaint was that they got my order wrong, they left out one of the cupcakes I'd chosen, a Chocolate-Marshmallow. But, had they not been so good (my sis gave me a bite of hers), I probably wouldn't have cared. Unfortunately for me, the Chocolate-Marshmallow was so heavenly, and the filling so smooth, billowy and perfectly sweetened, that I was rather annoyed to not have my own.

Having finished our Sprinkles Cupcakes tasting, my sis and I looked at each other, and at the empty cupcake platter, and concurred: Even if we had to wait an hour again, we'd still go back to Sprinkles—we'd just buy more cupcakes next time! Indeed, Sprinkles Cupcakes were so good that as I boarded my flight back to NYC a disquieting thought hit me—We have no Sprinkles in Manhattan yet! Now I'm left missing my family, my friends, the sun and surf... and the best damn cupcakes I've ever bought.

Sprinkles Cupcakes

Beverly Hills, CA
9635 Little Santa Monica Blvd.

Other locations:
Palo Alto, Newport Beach, Dallas, Houston, and Phoenix-Scottsdale

Coming Soon to:
New York City (WooHoo), DC, Boston, Miami, London, Vegas, Denver, Tokyo, San Diego, Charlotte, Seattle, Philly, Chicago, and more!
Regina Varolli

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