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Sprinkles Cupcakes in Palo Alto

Sprinkles, the famous cupcake bakery that started in LA and was all the rage once Oprah featured it on her show, is opening a dozen more locations, one of which will be in the Town and Country mini mall in Palo Alto. No word on when.

Yay! A cupcakery on the Peninsula! (Sibby's doesn't have a storefront, unfortunately.)

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  1. I love Sprinkles cupcakes. Do you have an approximate opening date?

    1 Reply
    1. re: peachblossom

      According to the Sprinkles website ( http://www.sprinklescupcakes.com/loca... ), it will open sometime in August 2008.

      But it's already mid-August and it is not open yet!

      Hurry up, Sprinkles! I want to eat your famous cupcakes!!!

    2. I've read about these cupcake stores but never been to one. What are the cupcakes like? Is it like having a good homemade one, or somehow better than homemade?

      4 Replies
      1. re: burntcream

        Never been, but supposedly Sprinkles is to LA what Magnolia is to NYC. I can't wait to try it for myself.

        1. re: burntcream

          I have been to Sprinkles in Beverly Hills on Little Santa Monica, and have tried four or five different cupcakes. It's on par with Magnolia in NYC. Personally, I don't care for Magnolia or Sprinkles. Both are too sweet for my taste. But since I am a terrible cupcake barometer, I'm sure Sprinkles will be a huge hit! There are always lines out the door of the shop in LA whenever I'm down there visiting, which is maybe every month or two.

          1. re: burntcream

            Completely overrated. They are dry and overly sweet. The frosting is also gritty. I'd eat one if someone stuck it in front of my face, but I wouldn't go out of my way to get them. There are far superior cupcakes from elsewhere in LA, so I assume there's gotta be better places in the Bay Area.

            1. re: way2cook

              I was at the mall today with a line at sprinkles down the sidewalk. I couldn't believe people would wait 30 minutes to get a cupcake. It wasn't my plan anyway for a sprinkles cupcake. I drove 5 mins. over to Kara's and got my fix and was totally happy with the results. They are up there with Sibby's cupcakes in my opinion.

          2. There was a previous discussion on this Sprinkles here:


            I don't know about Town and Country, but it is to open soon at Stanford Shopping Center.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Wendy_san

              Kara's Cupcakes just opened in Town and Country, Sprinkles will be at the Stanford Shopping center.

              1. re: Anfhann

                Oh, perfect timing. I have two meetings scheduled in Palo Alto tomorrow. I'm definitely stopping in for a cupcake or two at Kara's.

                1. re: JasmineG

                  Sprinkles opens Tuesday the 23rd. Kara's was very busy on Saturday, and sold out it looked like. At least their inventory was running low and they closed at 5. I need my husband to try both of them vicariously for me to tell me how they are, but alas he isn't a big cupcake person, so don't know if that will happen. Now, if they ever decide to get a gluten-free cupcake, I am sure my son and I will partake.

                  1. re: jsaimd

                    I went to Kara's yesterday: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/558185 It looks like they've noted that they run out quickly, because they were restocking everything when I was there at almost 4. They said that they'll be open every day until 6.

                2. re: Anfhann

                  And I think Kara's Cupcakes is also opening sometime at Santana Row in San Jose.

              2. I've had Sprinkles cupcakes at the original location in LA and at an outpost in Dallas. I think they're good cupcakes. Good, not great. I'm guessing all the rage developed around them because people in LA rarely eat such decadent food? I know Oprah and the celebrities who frequent the store are usually on raw-food diets, and so if someone makes a cupcake place trendy, it will remain trendy because it's their one chance to indulge and eat like the rest of us. I'm not trying to be cynical, I'm just trying to understand the hype. Being a good southern girl originally from Texas, I'm going to have to recommend the Red Velvet cupcake. The cream cheese icing is just enough sweet to balance the tang. Enjoy!

                1. There's already a great cupcakery on the peninsula - check out Vanilla Moon on Laurel in San Carlos.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: bbulkow

                    What have you tried? Has anyone tried the red velvet cupcake?

                    Vanilla Moon Bakery
                    872 Laurel St, San Carlos, CA

                    1. re: rworange

                      I went by a couple of weeks ago and bought 3 of every type they had for an office party. They gave us their full flavor list and graciously suggested we call ahead instead of buying half their stash on hand.

                      I personally did eat a red velvet, and must say I enjoyed it, but I'm also a little confused about what to look for in a cupcake. I don't really get the subtle points. The cupcake was moist, flavorful, good mouth feel, creamy sweet frosting - but what makes them great?

                      We had sprinkles some particular Friday as well - but only the minis - felt like the two were in the same league to me.

                      1. re: bbulkow

                        bbulkow - I agree with you: I find Red Velvet enigmatic (not bad, but not interesting). I chalk it up to remembrances of things past, like madeleines or chicken feet...

                  2. Yesterday after DD's soccer game, we headed over to the mall to try our first Sprinkles cupcake. After a 15-20 min. wait, we got vanilla & dark chocolate. I agree with poster above that it is somewhat dry & sweet. However, I didn't mind the frosting as it wasn't so sweet compared to the cake and proportionally seemed ok. I really didn't see the uniqueness/deliciousness of these cupcakes as to warrant future "treat" visits.

                    In summary, DD & I both prefer Kara's (not as sweet) especially the vanilla although personally I don't think I will ever get a craving for a cupcake. May be if I try the passionfruit next time:-) FWIW, I do think Sprinkles cupcakes are slightly bigger than Kara's. For my treat money, I'd rather go to Fraiche.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ceekskat

                      I agree with the treat money conclusion, I asked my 3.5 year old daughter and she said she'd prefer Fraiche's chocolate yogurt rather than a cupcake.

                    2. Granted Sibby's doesn't have storefront, but the cupcakes are soo good! I actually think that Sibby's taste better than Kara's cupcakes and I love the cream cheese frosting. I haven't tried Sprinkes yet.

                      1. We have roughly 6 cupcake places in DC where I'm from; it's become a very big deal here. With DC one of the cities on the Sprinkles expansion list, we made it a point to give these a try last week when we were in Palo. Really disappointing for two main reasons. First, the frostings on most of the flavors were sickeningly sweet--way too much sugar. And, the cake itself was a mushy mess that fell apart if you took the wrapper off. You should be able to hold a cupcake and eat without using a fork (or spoon!). These were all over the place. Really wanted to like 'em but I guess we're spoiled here in DC. Never would have dreamed that DC would have an edge on SF Bay area on anything food related. Short lived I'm sure!

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: nwdchound

                          I wouldn't take anything at the Stanford Shopping Center as representative of what California has to offer. The place is slowly losing all independent business in favor of large upscale chains. Sprinkles fits that, but I can't believe the lines. We live very close and often walk to the mall - the lines have been non-stop. Whereas, Kara's have been manageable. Alas, I can't eat cupcakes to weigh in, but from the descriptions Kara's sounds like my winner between the two. I am hoping Sigona's stays strong at the mall. That and the little French bakery are about the only things left at the Shopping Center besides chains. OK - Babbo (sp?) too.

                          1. re: jsaimd

                            Totally agree on the Center as a whole. We found it very odd. Niemans and Macy's? Tiffany, Frette and PF Changs? We couldn't find a good food option there and initially didn't understand why Sprinkles would locate there versus on University if they wanted to do with Palo before SF. Oh well. Made up for it with some great chow in Napa and in town--will post a report separately.

                          2. re: nwdchound

                            I agree with your Sprinkles assessment, and think you would like Kara's better: less sweet, and not so crumbly.

                            1. re: Claudette

                              Kara's is also coming to Oxbow Market in Napa. We noticed that while there for lunch at FL.

                              1. re: nwdchound

                                Ive had the Sprinkles red velvet.. personally you can make it yourself better .. William Sonoma's sells a mix.. this is kind of like Krsipy Creme.. its good,, but not THAT good...

                          3. I think Sprinkles average quality is a little better than Kara's- Kara's has some hit and miss frosting that doesn't work for me, especially their buttercream (too much like straight butter). My fave flavor at Sprinkles dominates the Kara's version (the chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting), but Kara's really is very very strong. I sense a little defensiveness about Sprinkles "chain-ness" and its invasion of our shores. We also like to hype our own and resist hype from outside. My wife really likes cupcakes and she has some faves at Kara's (their banana). She also prefers the shorter lines. We live in the area so she can go on a whim and take a pass if the lines are too long. I usually just want a couple of bites, but the chocolate cupcake at Sprinkles really is worth it. Ultra moist, deep round rich milky chocolate. Smooth, not too heavy frosting. Leaves you desperate for a glass of milk. Very good.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: P. Punko

                              So far I've had the red velvet and the mocha (chocolate cake with coffee sprinkles) from Sprinkles and for both I could taste the metallic leavening in the cake too much. The cupcakes I've had from Kara's were much moister. I happen to like Kara's style of buttercream, but I realize that's a personal preference.

                              1. re: Melanie Wong

                                Melanie- my personal favorite is the Black and White. I expect my palate isn't as sensitive as yours, so I've not tasted the leavening, and the dark chocolate cupcake that is the base of the black and white has been moist everytime. (Is this the same cupcake base as the mocha?) In fact, I especially noticed that it was moister than Kara's. I wonder if it is just a day to day thing? I think the B/W has a cream cheese frosting, and it also is a reasonable and not too great of an amount. I have an uneaten half downstairs and I'm gonna go see right now if I can detect the notes you mention.

                            2. I finally went last Saturday and the line wasn't that long. (Then again, it was around 12:45 p.m. so maybe most normal people were still have lunch). I got three cupcakes, the cinnamon sugar, dark chocolate and strawberry. The cinnamon sugar had a dry topping, which was weird, and the strawberry was super sweet frosting and oddly beige-colored cake. Both are not my favorites. But the dark chocolate was great, moist cake and mousse-like frosting. Sprinkles redeemed themselves with that one.

                              I don't know if I'd go out of my way for Sprinkles. Seems really like a "label" cupcake. And even though Kara's turning into a brand and "label" I still love their measured balance in flavor and the fact that they have filled cupcakes, which is still pretty unique I think.

                              And what's up with that dot they put to decorate at Sprinkles? It's like cardboard!


                              5 Replies
                              1. re: singleguychef

                                Howdy. I'm visiting SF for a couple of days from NYC and had craving for cupcakes. We drove to Stanford and had a red velvet and chocolate cupcakes at Sprinkle's. The store was elegant and the counter help was kind. The cupcakes, on the other hand, were not very good. I found them moist, but the icing was gritty. Today, I was at Ghirardelli Square and found Kara's Cupcake. The design of the store was elegant and the counter help was kind. I had the chocolate and the Meyer Lemony Lemon. The cupcakes were moist and the icing was smooth. Both stores have the same style concept. It was like walking into a museum and the cupcakes were displayed beautifully. Overall, Kara's was way better than Sprinkle's. Back in NY, our cupcake stores aren't this elegant, they're rather homey compared to these two places. Why is that?

                                1. re: Da Vid

                                  Glad you tried Kara's and not only stopped at Sprinkles for a California cupcake taste adventure. I think the cupcake craze here started in Beverly Hills so it really has that high-end feel and look. Whereas in New York, it started at Magnolia Bakery, which has a more comforting, bakery feel. But I'm just guessing. Must be an East Coast-West Coast thing. :)

                                2. re: singleguychef

                                  The chocolate really is their best.

                                  The strawberry cupcake is too sweet on its own. I think it would benefit from some vanilla ice cream. The almost crumb-link top on the cinnamon sugar weirded my wife out at first, but she has grown to really like it. I think it is like a cupcake/coffee cake hybrid, or perhaps the particular nice they are going for.

                                  Again, I'm not a huge cupcake lover, but we've been having them a lot because my wife really has had a taste for them. She also says the filled caramel apple (a special that ended today I think) was excellent.

                                  1. re: P. Punko

                                    I just found out that each Sprinkles cupcake is almost 500 calories!

                                    1. re: hhc

                                      Great. Now we can't be in "ignorant bliss."