Three, Yes Three, Cupcakes – Sprinkles Cupcakes

sprinkles cupcakes, beverly hills, los angeles, ca - red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting

Sprinkles Cupcakes

9635 Santa Monica Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Like wedge-heeled espadrilles for summer, cupcakes are all the rage right now. I’ve always loved cupcakes, but really, there’s quite a pokemon-like frenzy over the little things. Local bakeries and cafes are selling cupcakes like, well hotcakes, and recently, a bakery entirely devoted to the things has opened up in Beverly Hills, Sprinkles Cupcakes. They bake quite a few, but different flavors are available on different days. I had “Try Sprinkles” on my to-do list, and by a stroke of someone else’s birthday luck, I got to try them without any effort on my part.

There were four different flavors, but while everyone else was polite enough to nibble on one, or *gasp* daintily share with someone else, I double fisted and snatched up two! What? There were plenty of cupcakes, and I know everyone else wanted to take two; I was the only one who wasn’t embarrassed enough to hold back. *sheesh*

The chocolate cupcake had a white frosting with chocolate sprinkles. It’s called black & white, and reminded me the most of the cupcakes I had when elementary school classmates’ moms brought in cupcakes for their birthdays. *sigh* I never got any of those, as I think I was too afraid that if I asked my mom to bring something for my friends to celebrate my birthday, she’d bring gim-bahp (aka Japanese futo maki) or dduk (similar to Japanese mochi) and I’d die of embarrassment right there in my completely non-Asian San Antonio elementary school.

sprinkles cupcakes, beverly hills, los angeles, ca - black & white
black & white, a saturday flavor

I shook off my momentary lapse into childhood trauma and peeled off the wrapper to reveal a dark crumb that promised rich and chocolaty. I paced myself and took a delicate bite of the sprinkly frosting. What a sickeningly saccharin-like mistake. Certainly it was made with sugar, but it didn’t seem that the sugar had been blended in, leaving it almost sandy. Perhaps I had made the mistake of eating the frosting alone, because I’m sure I could feel my teeth decaying right out of my jaw. Another bite with the cake, and it was better balanced, but unfortunately, the frosting still overwhelmed the cake. I didn’t get a real taste of chocolate at all. As dark as the cake was, it was a little weak. But at least it wasn’t dry.

Why everyone gets their tastebuds tangled over red velvet cake is beyond me. It’s cake, with a few tablespoons of cocoa powder, and red food coloring. I love chocolate because it taste like chocolate. I like vanilla because it tastes like vanilla. You like red velvet because it tastes like…red? I actually do like red velvet cake, but not because it’s red. If it didn’t have the food coloring, it’s be cake and still taste awesome. *shrugs* It must be the cream cheese frosting. :)

Sprinkles’ red velvet cupcakes have pretty pastel candy flowers. Garnish. I plucked it off and dropped it on the napkin. The cream cheese icing on the red velvet was better than vanilla frosting on the black & white. A little less sandy, and though sweet, not nauseatingly so. The cake was red, but not as dark red as I’ve seen in other cakes. At least Sprinkles doesn’t feel the need to drown their cake with food coloring. A second bite, this time with cake and frosting, and though I didn’t taste “red,” I don’t think I needed to. The red velvet cupcake was good. Not tastebud-tangling good, but good enough.

Thankfully, my sister let me taste her strawberry cupcake so I didn’t have to embarrass myself by taking a third cupcake from the box. After two cupcakes, I had wised up and tasted the cake and frosting together, so as to save my tastebuds from a potentially flavor-fatal overdose of sugar. The strawberry cupcake was a light, dull pink, made from fresh strawberries, and covered with a strawberry frosting. I didn’t get the strawberry in the cake, but perhaps the previous two cupcakes had been to taste-numbing. I did, however, get the strawberry in the frosting. Not too bad.

Sprinkles cupcakes are just okay. The three I had tasted didn’t impress my belt to another notch, especially knowing that each cupcake costs $3.25. I definitely appreciate that they don’t feel the need to supersize them, like the miserable oversizing of muffins in the last ten years, and the little candy decorations are cute, though I have to admit that normally, I usually like natural adornments. I don’t love the way Sprinkles’ frosting is smoothed over – frosting that’s been swirled into little curly peaks reminds me of second grade, and isn’t that what it’s really all about anyway? Okay okay, so $3.25 is pretty cheap for a quick trip down Whisper Valley (the street where I lived).

And I still want to try their coconut to see how my Disco Coco Babycakes stack up against a professional’s. :)

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  • Anonymous

    I agree with you COMPLETELY – the cupcakes are overpriced for what basically taste like flavorless cake mix and store bought canned frosting with sugar ADDED to it.

  • Julie

    Sarah, I totally identify. Although I don’t know
    Sprinkles, since I’m in NYC, we have TONS of cupcake shops. The newest craze is one called Crumbs, which has things like Snickers and Oreo cupcakes. They’re all WAY too sweet, with sugary frostings and undistinguished cake bases. I find even the much-hyped Magnolia Bakery too sweet for my taste. And I totally agree with you about Red Velvet Cake! I’m sure your Disco Coco babycakes rocked, and are far better than what most bakeries have to offer.

  • sarah

    LOL! well, hopefully my coconut cupcakes didn’t suck. that’s all i could hope for :) and oreao and snickers are okay in ice cream. it sounds kinda nasty for a cupcake. LOL!

  • Anonymous

    My mother always put red beets into her chocolate cake. Is red velvet just an imitation of that?

  • sarah

    wow! i’ve never heard of using red beets! did the cake come out looking red?!

  • Anonymous

    my mom used to make red beet cake as well… she told em the beats are the there to add moisture. you cannot taste them. I am going to make some cupcakes now.

  • dylan

    IGNORANCE,I didnt see a review of the milk chocolate or peanut-butter chip cupcakes [the fucking best specimens of unhydrogenated bake goods in america] Sprinkles is ubelievable for their chocolate yourself a favor:PEANUT-BUTTER CHIP AND MILK CHOCOLATE from Sprinkles.

  • Anonymous

    You are CRAZY! If you think you can get a better cupcake, made with all natural ingrediants like Sprinkles, anywhere, I dare you to find them! A chef myself, I consider my palate well versed and have not had a better cupcake anywhere. Their chocolate coconut is insane! Maybe you need a good old fashioned, side by side, taste test.

  • sarah

    anonymous: i completely trust that your palate is well experienced, but i do believe that taste in many things is a preference. i tried leda’s cupcakes, and the lighter cake part and less saccharin-like frosting was better suited to my tastes.

    of course, i still need to try auntie em’s, joan’s on third, toast, and yummy cupcakes, all of which receive both raves and rants for their cuupcakes.

  • Katherine

    Try coconut. That’s my favorite. I like banana as well. I sometimes scrape off some of the excess frosting, but I still think the cupcakes are excellent.

  • sarah

    katherine: i’ve tried the coconut – we ordered sprinkles cupcakes for my sister’s bridal shower. the coconut cupcakes looked perfect – fluffy, white, and frilly, just like a wedding dress! but the taste…well, the cake was too dense and dough-y for me.

    sprinkles for a bridal shower

  • Anonymous

    I just finished eating one of Sprinkles’ Milk Chocolate cupcakes. Meh. I’ve had better. Honestly, I’ve made better out of store bought cake mix that I added a few things to. And I’ve made better icing. The cake itself was nearly flavorless and the icing left a bit of a thick feeling on the roof of my mouth.

    Sorry Sprinkles, your overpriced fare does nothing for me.

  • Susan

    Just got back to Arizona a couple of hours ago. Stood in line for an hour in the sun yesterday to see just what all the fuss was about under the blue awning. My opinion; Although I like sprinkles on baked goods, I must say when that’s all you can tastes it’s a bit yucky. The cake part was too dense and had no flavor. Made me want to bake some good cupcakes, and make a stop off at the bank for a loan to open a cupcake shop in my own tredy town, with my recepies that actually tast good.

  • Anonymous

    very overrated. but as long as the celebs eat them, people will buy them. porto’s is the best by far.

  • Anonymous

    I totally agree with the comments about Sprinkles cupcakes that they just aren’t that great. The vanilla cupcakes are very doughy tasting almost like a bread and the chocolate ones are very bland. If I’m going to eat a chocolate cupcake i want it to be sweet. I also tried the carrot, (no biggie ) although i have to admit i did like the chocolate frosting. I will take the advice of one writer and try the peanut butter chip. A new Sprinkles store is going to open closer to my home in Corona Del Mar, Ca. so we’ll see if business is good, but like one writer wrote as long as celebs eat um I guess people will keep trying um, although at 3.25 a pop I can find much better cupcakes around, say like a box that makes a dozen that I know will be sweet and very moist.

  • Miss Tenacity

    The cupcake phenomenon is indeed spreading, and I think the menu at our fair city’s establishment is more adventurous than Sprinkles (and cheaper!):


  • Anonymous

    Best cupcake I’ve ever had. Really.

    My husband and I happened upon Sprinkles while strolling Beverly Hills last week. We bought two – Vanilla and Dark Chocolate.

    What I love about these cupcakes is that they don’t have that horribly bland Crisco flavor, or the dry texture, that overwhelms most traditional bakery products. On the other end of the spectrum, high-end bakeries (I’m thinking Whole Foods, etc) overdo the butter and oil, producing a baked goods that are brick heavy, yet still bland.

    My Sprinkles cupcake — the Dark Chocolate — had just the right amount of sweetness and moisture. The icing was oozing real dark chocolate – it was almost like chocolate fudge. The cake was moist and flavorful.

    I tasted my husband’s Vanilla with white icing, and it too was good. The white frosting was a little sweet, but better than most cake frostings I’ve had.

    Anyway, I definitely recommend the Dark Chocolate.

  • sarah

    i don’t know. i feel like i have given sprinkles cupcakes their fair chance. i have now tried the cupcakes in various flavors three times (twice from beverly hills and once from the sprinkles cupcakes in huntington beach), and every time, the were too dense to the point of leaden, and very dry. they must try to overcompensate by loading the cupcake with frosting, but that’s just seems to make it worse.

    i won’t make an effort to go back there, but if someone were to just hand me one, i’d try it again.

  • Anonymous

    No way…Sprinkles cupcakes are THE ABSOLUTE BEST CUPCAKES in the entire world!!! I read about them in a magazine while at the beauty shop and decided to visit them while in L.A. All I can say is I knew where the shop was because everybody to the right of me was either eating a cupcake or carrying a bag of them!! I couldn’t believe how fresh and flavorful they were. No preservatives makes all the difference. Maybe you critics need to cleanse your palates so you know what REAL food is supposed to taste like. I tell everybody I know about the place, can’t wait for them to open in Phoenix!!!!

  • cuteypie

    i heard babyblonde waffles on sawtelle and olympic in west LA are yummy too. you can get a dozen for a lot less..

  • Anonymous

    I also agree! We though they would be awesome but we are extremely disappointed! We try all of them with a bunch of friends and they all had the same opinion on them very heavy and not much taste. I’m not really sure why some people keep going back to buy more. Maybe they never tasted a good cupcake before!

  • southern girl

    i don’t know what people think are great desserts!! i am a very good baker and know my sweets. sprinkles cupcakes are everything and a bag of chips. i had red velvet, banana, carrot and lemon. each one had a distinct flavor and was very fresh, real cupcakes are supposed to be dense and moist and i could definitely taste real ingredients as oppposed to bakery fluff. i am from memphis and honey we know real food!!

  • Anonymous

    i just baked my own sprinkles cupckaes with the mix i bought at wiliams sonoma..being a baker, i wanted to see what all the excitement about sprinkles was for.. i found the cake so heavy and dense, and the frosting has way too much sugar..was not impressed at all..heading to beverly hills in two weeks and have no desire to visit the shop after trying the vanilla cupcakes….was not impressed and my kids hated them

  • Anonymous

    i just baked my own sprinkles cupckaes with the mix i bought at wiliams sonoma..being a baker, i wanted to see what all the excitement about sprinkles was for.. i found the cake so heavy and dense, and the frosting has way too much sugar..was not impressed at all..heading to beverly hills in two weeks and have no desire to visit the shop after trying the vanilla cupcakes….was not impressed and my kids hated them

  • Anonymous

    I disagree and agree with you Sarah. I think that sprinkles cupcakes are an excellent way to douse a tongue of sugar craving tastebuds. I absolutely agree that my opinion and that of all others that have posted in response to the sprinkles hype is entirely a matter of preference. Some people like the overpowering bundle of frosting that entraps a dense and bland dough, and others would rather shy away and embellish a cupcake of their own fancy. I for one hail sprinkles for satisfying my gluttonous sweet tooth.

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