Crumbs? I don't think there were much crumbs left to clean on my plate after devouring these cupcakes. Actually, devouring may be too strong of a word here. Savor may be a more appropriate choice of word here since I usually never eat cupcakes in a hurried manner but instead, tasting it completely. I'm on a continuous quest to find my favorite (since calling it best is a very subjective matter here) cupcake shop in Chicago. Unless I find another possibly better cupcake shop in the city, it's safe to say that indeed Crumbs is now #1 on my personal cupcake list.
Tucked in a small store on the first floor of a corporate building in the financial district, this Manhattan import is easy to miss. We almost missed it on the day we were there because of some temporary construction scaffolding structure right outside the store. We kept looking at our GPS and swore that we had arrived at the right place and then ah hah, we realized that it was there right in front of us.
The choices of cupcake flavors were enormous and it took awhile to make some decisions. Staring at all the cupcakes on the display case, I felt like a kid in a candy store on Christmas. There were dulce de leche, butterscotch, green tea, tiramisu, apple cobbler, and Irish cream flavors. But we also wanted the classic red velvet and carrot cupcakes. This was hard! During the time of indecisiveness, I overheard an employee telling another customer that Crumbs has about 120 flavors total but this location in Chicago only carries 45 flavors.
After what seemed like forever, we finally decided on three flavors. Yup, just three. After all, it was our first time trying Crumbs and we didn't want to get way too many cupcakes first since we weren't sure how they'd turn out. The signature size cupcakes that we got were enormous; 4.25" to be exact. They do carry taste size cupcakes although the flavors seemed limited. Besides, getting taste size cupcakes just takes the fun out of the whole cupcake journey. We shared the three signature size cupcakes over three days. What?! It was huge. Even a dessert person like me could only stomach half a huge cupcake at a time.
The dulce de leche cupcake came with a little surprise frosting inside. I sliced it in half to share between the both of us and saw that there was a dollop of caramel cream cheese frosting in the middle of the cupcake. The cupcake itself was chocolate based and had the right amount of chocolate goodness to it without being overly dense nor light; it was perfect middle ground. Carrot cupcakes, in general, are T's favorite and predictable choice at a bake shop each time. The carrot cupcake got his approval. I also liked the little bits of raisins in the carrot cupcake and the crushed walnuts on the edge of the cream cheese frosting. And finally, the classic red velvet cupcake. The color was so rich even just by looking at the red velvet crumbs on the cream cheese frosting that was edged with white sprinkles. The texture of all three cupcakes were moist and soft. That's probably one of the most important criteria to me. There wasn't a hint of dryness even on the 3rd day of eating the last cupcake.
So to date, Crumbs is our top cupcake place. We do hear that Magnolia Bakery (also another NY import) will be opening up in Chicago in June and I'm very excited to try it and taste how it compares to Crumbs. But until then, Crumbs it is for us.
Update: T came home from work and surprised me with a box of cupcakes, from Crumbs of course. He said "I'm not much of a sweets or dessert person but I think Crumbs are great!"
|Front: Vanilla Coconut, Back: Peanut Butter Cup|
Crumbs Bake Shop
303 West Madison Street
Chicago, IL 60606