Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Great Cupcake Showdown

We girls about philly never need an excuse to induldge in a little something sweet, but doing so in the name of research it makes it just that much easier to swallow. Our esteemed editor Megan, a self-proclaimed cupcake-aholic, has proposed a project: the cupcake showdown. And who are we to turn down a challenge? I figure we have a solid 2 months before New Year's resolutions kick in, at which time we'll deal with the muffin tops our cupcake study causes.

So over the next few weeks we'll be giving in to every temptation to bring you the best and worst of Philly's cupcake offerings. While this is a purely subjective study, we do have set criteria upon which each cake will be judged, on a scale of 1-10: 1) Appearance; 2) Cakiness; 3) Icing; 4) Sweetness; 5) Freshness; and 6) Overall flavor combination yumminess. I should also mention that only freshly baked cupcakes will be considered; pre-packaged goods need not apply. Once we've scoured every patisserie, corner bakery, grocery and mini mart from here to Manayunk, we'll crown a Cupcake Queen...and maybe a King.

I'll get things started with a chocolate cake/vanilla buttercream Halloween-inspired creation from the Flying Monkey Patisserie, located in Reading Terminal Market (back by the seating area). I was drawn to this option for its holiday appropriateness, although they did have the same flavors sans orange food coloring for all you cupcake purists. The cake was quite fresh and moist, and there was ample icing which I find to be very important. However the icing was way too buttery...all butter hold the cream, which also made the icing quite slick and not as fluffy as I would have liked. Due to the high butter content in the icing, the cupcake was not super sweet. My fiance chose the vanilla cake/vanilla buttercream, and felt the same way about the icing on his. However he did feel the cake itself was too dry.

Score: Appearance- 9; Cakiness- 8; Icing- 4; Sweetness- 6; Freshness- 7; Overall flavor combination yumminess- 6
Total score- 40

Do you have a cupcake we should rate or a yummy bakery in your neighborhood? Add a comment to this post, or send your suggestions to!

Flying Monkey Patisserie, Reading Terminal Market

12th & Arch Sts., 215.928.0340

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