The Cupcake Controversy

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Alright, so, by now, everyone should be up to speed with the closing of all of the Crumbs Bakeshop cupcake stores across the nation, right? With the abrupt ending of this cupcake empire, many people and publications have chimed in to express their excitement toward the end of the “cupcake craze”. And, there are definitely lots of haters, like these guys, these guys, and these guys too. For whatever reason, I feel really conflicted about the whole celebration of killing off cupcakes and trying to make another baked good the “next new thing”. So, I decided to put out my thoughts on the whole topic.

I get it, in the past 10 years, the cupcake game has been pretty over saturated. Hell, there’s a show, “Cupcake Wars”, and every other person or aspiring baker is opening up a cupcake shop every other days it seems. So, yes, I get that it’s become a beast of it’s own and there’s now a surplus of cupcake shops. But when did we decide who can open up a shop if they want to? It’s their venture, and we can just make it our choice to be a customer, or not.

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Well, I’ll be the first one to admit, there are some $hi!!y cupcake shops out there. I know, I’ve tried some of them. But, I don’t think it’s fair to say, “down with all cupcake stores”, since, there are some bakeshops who are doing an amazing job at crafting some tasty cuppies. I’ve written about a couple of my favorite spots, Butter Lane and Sugar Sweet Sunshine, which, I truly hope don’t disappear with all of this cupcake bashing. I know, this sounds dramatic, it’s really lighthearted, but, it just saddens my heart to see awesome places bulked into a trendy, fad-type of dessert hate-fest.

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The other thing that’s pretty annoying is, all of these sources and people talking about the end of the cupcake trend, and the new trend of the next big dessert. I get it, it’s all about marketing. I mean, no one knew what the hell a Cronut was before Dominique Ansel made one. And then, it was like the second coming of Christ. But, I think innovation is cool, and reinventing something is cool too. But, it’s kind of funny when people say that the next big thing is doughnuts (which, presumably date back to the 19th century…doesn’t sound too “new” to me…but, they’re still ridiculously delicious), or macarons (which were possibly created in 791. 791! Does that sound “new”??). Believe me, I’d celebrate and encourage both, I love them and visited a number of doughnut (or donut) spots and macaron shops.

So, what’s my main gripe? I guess it’s the whole hype about ending one type of business and going full throttle into another. Isn’t there enough room in the dessert space for everyone? Even I’m just a squirrel trying to get a nut in the sweets space. And, I mean, quality of the product will hopefully always have the influence over what stays and what closes up shop. Unfortunately, I know that’s not always the case. There are plenty of crappy companies and products out there that have their hype-men (and women), and paid-off publications to promote their sub-par stuff. And so, we as the consumer then listen to them and follow the Pied Piper. This isn’t revolutionary, it’s the whole world of PR and marketing, and, it’s reality.

So, instead of celebrating the end of cupcakes, I want to still embrace them, and welcome the new, interesting goods to come. I mean, let’s be honest…if someone gave you a delightful, delicious cupcake today, would you smash it and say “f#@k you, cupcake craze!”, or, would you shut up and enjoy it?

So, RIP, Crumbs. I’ll remember you best when I was surprised with one of your Giant Cupcakes for my birthday a couple years ago.

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And I wasn’t saying “ughhh this stupid cupcake craze”…I was thinking:

awesome

sugar Sweet sunshine

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I’ve lived in NYC for over seven years now, and love going to new places. But, I also stay loyal to my favorite places, one of them being sugar Sweet sunshine on the Lower East Side. 

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This 70’s inspired bakery is home to some groovy cupcakes and far out treats (threw in some 70’s jargon…you’re welcome). These two former Magnolia bakers joined forces to create an inviting and delicious bakery (and I personally like their cupcakes better than Magnolia).

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They have a variety of cupcakes with fun and whimsical names. But, after you grab a cuppie, you need to head over to the other window full of their puddings.

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They have a rotating crew of seasonal flavors along with their staple flavors (and yes, I’ve tried all of them).

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Since it’s only seasonal, I had to grab some of my favorite flavors of pudding there, The Nog (pumpkin cake, eggnog pudding and whip cream). Each batch is configured like a trifle, alternating layers of each ingredient. You get all the flavors incorporated together, making each bite equally delicious. The pumpkin cake is soft and flavorful, mixed with the custard-like and creamy eggnog pudding. Then, you have the light whip cream to bring it all home. You can also get different sizes, starting with a shot glass sized cup, graduating to a 10 oz-64 oz big boy. 

The Shorts:
Name: sugar Sweet sunshine
Location: 126 Rivington Street, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? I have been for the past seven years, and I don’t plan on slowing down.
Would I recommend it? Did I mention I’ve been going for almost a decade?