Thursday, February 01, 2007

Hey, Cupcake

The cupcake brigade just keeps getting louder.

“Look at these cupcakes! They’re ridiculous!” This is exactly what you hear, standing in line at the new Crumbs on Eighth Street. What started in 2003 as an Upper West Side bake shop is now a sugar magnet for locals and tourists alike. At the newest café—the fourth in the city—NYU girls duke it out in front of the display case with parents toting baby strollers and pirouetting two-year-olds for a view of the candy-studded creations. It’s the sort of perverse glee that pretty, sugary pieces of cake inspire.

Carrot and raspberry swirl cupcakes are relatively modest in appearance, if slightly oversized beneath their dollops of buttercream frosting (“Mini” cupcakes, about the size you’d bake at home, are also available). But what Crumbs does really well is inventive and irresistible flavors. Reese’s Peanut Butter, Fluffernutter, S’Mores and Banana Split are just a few of the 25+ options, many of which are topped with chunks of candy and drizzled in chocolate.

The cake is moist; the frosting, sugary; and they’re next to impossible to eat with any dignity. But who’s thinking of dignity with a Devil Dog cupcake in hand? As another fan put it, “We’re coming here for breakfast tomorrow.”

37 East Eighth Street

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