I'd read about Sprinkles first on The Delicious Life! where she blasted the poor cupcakes as just the latest example of fad theory. Fad theory and rumor theory, with the epicenter being Beverly Hills, and the hinterlands being represented by our very own Newport Beach. So when I found myself just doors away from the store a few nights ago, I had to find out for myself!
The store itself reminds me more of Chuao Chocolatier, with a fairly shallow storefront hiding what are hopefully the Oompa Loompas and assorted magick implements in the back. What storefront there is, is dedicated to row upon row of cupcake dish trays, filled with near uniform renditions of each flavor, identified by small, brightly colored sugar-wafer circles that match up with the menu board above.
I'd read that the lines were out the door for this place, but I got there in the evening, on a weekday, when it was drizzling, and so what customers there were, fit inside that night. And of course, the hordes seemed to have gotten there already, as many of the cupcake trays were empty, and they were down to only a handful of the interesting flavors, like coconut and banana. They seem to operate on the same menu principle as Strickland's Ice Cream, with their subset of flavors per day, hopefully getting you to come back on multiple days to try them all.
I got six that night. I figured hey, when would I be back down this way?
Verdict: almost insanely sweet. Jaw throbbingly, Pavlovian saliva-gland trippin' sweet. Hard to distinguish between flavors sweet.
My kids were split- one loved the frosting so much that's all he ate, the other seemed to prefer the cake portion. I ate a bit of the dark chocolate, the coconut, a bit of banana, and a bit of carrot, but really I'd be hard pressed to tell which was which, in a blind taste test. They were good cupcakes- moist and spongy in the right place, with a frosting that had both the crispy sensation when biting into it as well as the melt-on-the-tongue fluidity that I like. I just couldn't taste beyond the sugar.
They say that your taste buds die off and become less sensitive as you age, which, paradoxically, makes you more finicky and prone to notice nuances in flavor. There weren't any nuances here for me- it was as sure a blood-sugar-busting pick-me-up as, well, Jolt Cola. I was fortunate that my children didn't bounce off the walls all night long. (Or maybe they did, and I was just too sugar-low'd to notice)
Corona Del Mar Plaza
944 Avocade Ave
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Labels: Dessert, Julian Hsu, Newport Beach