Oreo, peanut butter, marshmallow, mint chocolate, raspberry, devil's food...I don't think it's any secret that one of my favorite New York treats is...drumroll, please...cupcakes. Though I have my favorites, I am constantly in turmoil over flavors. After all, despite constantly being mentioned in my articles and contrary to popular belief, I do not often allow myself to indulge. Since I tend to be a traditionalist (and an earth), I also tend to stick to basic flavors and very rarely veer away from this - despite my desire to taste test. As you may or may not have noticed, I am a sampler. Rarely do I like to commit to a full meal or, in this case a full cupcake flavor, because then I only get to taste just that one. All too often, I'll stick with my usual - chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream (and sprinkles, if available) - but then I don't get to try the many other delectable flavors..making sense?
Luckily, I'm not the only one with this problem. This weekend, I met my sister for some Soho shopping and stumbled upon Baked by Melissa on the corner of Broadway & Spring and suddenly my world of cupcake tasting was turned upside down. What's so special about another bakery selling fresh cupcakes? Well apparently Melissa is a gal after my own heart. After suffering from seemingly the same predicament, she started Baked by Melissa, a teeny window/counter in Soho that sells quarter-sized stuffed cupcakes. With flavors like Peanut Butter & Jelly, S'mores, Mint Chocolate Chip, Cookies & Cream, Cookie Dough, Red Velvet, and Tie Dye (didn't get to this one this time, but it's on my short list for the next trip), each mini cupcake is $1. And the best part? I was somehow able to rationalize this as being guilt-free since they are so teeny. The basic order is 3 for $3 and I ordered the S'mores, PB&J, and Oreo Cookie.
Clockwise from bottom left: S'mores, Oreo Cookie, Peanut Butter & Jelly
Each cupcake was fabulous in it's own right and completely encompassed the essence of said flavor, even in its smallest form. The S'mores featured a chocolate cake with marshmallow filling and topped with a small yet buttery graham cracker. If I sat in front of a campfire with a marshmallow on a stick, it couldn't taste more S'more-like. The Oreo Cookie was chocolate cake stuffed with vanilla cream and topped with a piece of Oreo. I have to say, this had potential to go seriously wrong, but it tasted just like a real Oreo cookie, right down to the super sweet & sugary icing. I saved my projected favorite for last - the Peanut Butter & Jelly. And I must say - it did not disappoint. Yellow cake stuffed with jam and topped with peanut butter frosting...the flavor combination doesn't really get better than this. And if you've found one, please tell me at your earliest convenience.
Bottom Line: For a fab sampling of sweets on the go that won't break your bank or your calorie count, be sure to check out Baked by Melissa's.