The death of the cupcake has been predicted for some time now, but that hasn’t stopped Chicago-based confectionery Molly’s Cupcakes from setting up shop in town. On Sunday, the spot opened at 228 Bleecker Street, peddling both its premade offerings and its signature build-your-own-cupcake creations. We stopped by for a peek. And a taste or two. OK, three.
The interior is rather large and even features a cute nook filled with board games and toys, perfect for after-school visits or rainy afternoons. We also loved the addition of swing stools up at the bar, bringing a bit of the playground inside. It’s an airy, open shop that was peacefully quiet on a weekday afternoon, though we can easily see it being mobbed come weekends.
The first cupcake we sampled was Nutella and peanut butter flavored, pictured above. The cake was nicely moist, and the center of the cupcake featured a big creamy hunk of Nutella ganache. It’s a known fact that Nutella makes everything better and this just reinforced that premise. We would have liked a little more peanut flavor, especially in the ultra buttery buttercream icing, but, all around, a good cupcake.
We then sampled the blueberry-cheesecake cupcake, what could be viewed as a cupcake for the cupcake hater. Topped with blueberries and some streusel, it was almost more of a coffeecake. An added bonus was that it was slightly less sweet than the other offerings.
Finally we went for the build-your-own, getting red velvet with vanilla icing. Yes, we’re boring. But the thought of gummy bears on our cupcake just didn’t sound appealing. But had we not been pressed for time, we could have come up with something more exciting. All in all, it was a good, moist cupcake with a nice crumb, though it could have used maybe a hint more cocoa.
Molly’s Cupcakes is only a few blocks down from Magnolia Bakery, that temple of cupcakerie, but we have to say that there’s really no comparison. Why? 1. There are no Sex and the City tours. 2. There’s seating. 3. There are multiple flavor options. 4. Board games! Being in the $3 range, the cupcakes are slightly pricier than those at Magnolia, but given all the other bonuses, we’re basically sold.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 12, 2011