If you got to spend an entire Saturday afternoon with your friends in NYC what would you do? We crawled our way through the city… no not literally… but thanks to an activity. The first annual Abba Jabba, KT & Frappalicious cupcake crawl. That’s right people!!!! We ate our way through cupcake specialty shops and bakeries – starting in midtown, meandering to Chelsea, then Chelsea Market, walking through the West village (we didn’t stop), hitting up East village and finishing up on the Lower East Side. Almost 5 hours of walking… no form of public transportation assisted us in this endeavor… all in the name of finding the BEST cupcake in NYC. It was… AMAZING (although, my feet are throbbing as I type up this entry).
authors note: the naming of this crawl is based on the nicknames we gave one another during grad school. Abigail became Abba Jabba, Katie was… unoriginal… KT (it’s all in the way you say it), and I (due to my last name) became Frappalicious… whenever we get together… we resort to our names.
Abba Jabba, KT & Frappalicious cupcake crawl
1. first impressions of the cupcakes
2. cake quality
3. frosting quality
4. would we want to eat it again
5. bakery / shop impressions (staff, decor, etc)
We pooled together 60$. We selected 7 locations. We pulled on comfortable shoes and … we hit the road.
FIRST STOP: Kyotofu (705 9th Ave, near 49th, midtown)
Reactions: “Delicious chocolate MUFFIN… but I’m not wasting my calories on this” / “Sigh. Nothing to say. NOT a cupcake” / “Excellent chocolate muffin – moist and rich and chocolatey… but where is the fucken FROSTING?!”
white sesame and banana
Reactions: It was spit out. Seriously. SPIT OUT! / “Dry, dry, dry” / “Not a good muffin. But still a muffin. Where’s the crunch? Where are the sesame seeds? I made a better banana muffin when I was 10 yrs” (fyi – it was not me that said that),
Thumbs down. waaaaaaaay down.
Cost of muffins: $7.08 – not worth the money. AND we couldn’t stay in and enjoy our purchases. We actually ate these muffins outside, next to a brick wall. No added points there. Keep walking.
SECOND STOP: Billy’s Bakery (184 Ninth Ave., nr. 21st St., Chelsea)
Inside the bakery: fun, 50s retro, colourful, busy, country kitchen feel… and we could sit down to judge!
yellow daisy cupcake with vanilla buttercream frosting
Reactions:”Presentation – EXCELLENT. However, no depth of flavour… it needed more vanilla.” / “Frosting reminds me of what I would make @ home with my mom… almost too sweet. But I love this because of all the frosting.” / “The cake was dry. Too much frosting – cake ratio; the frosting was grainy and not smooth.”
Obviously… a mixed reaction.
carrot cake with cream cheese frosting
Reactions: “MUCH better! The ratio is good. Coconut & nuts in the cake – very good. Not an interesting or original recipe – but solid.” / “Absolutely delicious. Moist, creamy frosting with the right balance of sweetness… it’s been easy to be bad, and it’s not.” / “HEART the spices! Cake is moist… coconut is a really nice addition. Frosting isn’t too sweet and nice and smooth.”
Best we’d tried yet. Better value for our buck too: total: $5.00. Time to hit up Chelsea Market.
THIRD STOP (this wasn’t part of the original itinerary): Eleni’s @ the Chelsea Market (Chelsea)
inside eleni’s – beautiful cupcake heaven! pretty eh?
raspberry lemon twist: raspberry cupcake filled with tart lemon curd & topped with lemon buttercream
Reactions: “Very, Very good. The tartness of the lemon comes through. Fresh raspberries and smooth frosting – unusual but re-creatable. Tastes like lemon sorbet.” / “Possibly the best today. An unexpected stop.” / “Unusual for a cupcake. Great ratio of cake to frosting. Cake is so dense but moist. Lemon frosting – AMAZING.”
the first cupcake we actually finished. only crumbs left
three very enthusiastic thumbs up
We only selected the one cupcake – and it was expensive – $3.95 for 1 cupcake. But so worth the money. DELISH. Also – friendly service and it reminded us all of stepping into a candy shop. YUM.
At this point we finished our tour of the western side of Manhattan. How did the eastern side treat us? Tune in tomorrow for the conclusion of this crawl. :0) Seriously… you don’t want to miss the conclusion. It’s gonna be a sweet one ;0)