yum alert - mini cupcakes from Baked By Melissa in Soho
I was minding my own business, shopping in Soho today, when I pass a line of more than dozen people all leading up to a little window in a wall. I get closer and realized this closet-sized establishment is called Baked by Melissa (on Spring Street between Mercer and Broadway), and their sole fare is miniature cupcakes.
So although I've already bought macarons from Ceci-Cela, I stand in line. The line doesn't move very quickly, as it turns out, because the girl who works the window has to climb up on a stepladder and retrieve each mini-cupcake from racks stacked to the ceiling behind her. What a work out.
The question those of us in line had was how small are these things and how many should I buy? The minimum purchase is 3 for $3. Then it's 6 for $5.25 and 12 for $10. I decided on the dozen, so I could try all the flavors I wanted to, and have leftovers for City Guy.
Of the seven flavors (S'mores, Peanut Butter Cup, Cookies & Cream, Peanut Butter & Jelly, Red Velvet, Tye-Dye, and Cookie Dough) I tried five (skipped the Tie-dye and Peanut Butter & Jelly), and let me tell you, as I type, I am experiencing a truly great sugar high. I'd say four or five of these things make one regular size cupcake. As a snack for one person, the three is perfect. For two people, the six is good, but if you're hungry go for the 12.
The genius of the thing is the cake to frosting ratio, which is very high. All of the cupcakes except the Tye-dye and Red Velvet have injections of filling into the middle. The cake is very moist and blends well with the flavorful frosting, and someone has obviously put a lot of thought into how to evoke the quintessential flavors of each cupcake--the s'mores have the graham cracker bit stuck in the middle, the peanut butter cup has a strong peanut buttery frosting, sticky cookie dough is injected into the middle of and tops off the cookie dough cupcake, the red velvet has a white cream cheese frosting that evokes homemade, the cookies and cream has Oreo bits on the top and the white frosting tastes like Oreo filling.
My favorites were the S'mores (check out the graham cracker bit laced with marshmallows in the chocolate ganache frosting) and the Cookie Dough (the yellow cupcake to its right, both injected and topped with a dollop of cookie dough), but they were all really good.
Someone who works in the area says the window is only a few weeks old. Maybe one of you knows better. In case you're wondering where they fit the oven in the crawl space of a store, the girl at the window says the bakery is in a separate location downstairs. You can also order in bulk (100+), but you have to order in advance.
Cupcake and window photos are on my blog.
Like you we stumbled upon Baked By Melissa while on holiday in NY and shopping in Soho in early March. We also experienced a sugar rush but unfortunately not a good one - when we tried the cakes there was no taste to them - just sugar. The frosting we had was sugar and the cake base was flavourless bar again sugar.
I was totally disappointed - maybe we got a bad batch but I personally couldnt' eat more than the mouthful I had. My husband who has a way sweeter tooth than me tried 2 and agreed they were just tasteless sugary treats. We tried 8 different cupcake places in NY in 8 days and this was definitely the bottom of the pile!
Weird. Maybe they're inconsistent or maybe they've gotten better since then, but they were great the day I had them, and I'm pretty picky with my sweets. But it sounds like you're a true cupcake connoisseur, so maybe your criteria is different than mine. Of the 8, which were your favorite? Just curious...
I think there was a Melissa doing desserts for Westville in the early days. I wonder if it's the same person...
We stumbled across this little hole in the wall a couple of weeks ago. I thought they were excellent. Just the opposite experience as a PP. Ton of flavor in two bites. Love having different flavors.
Like Mario Batali says "Who need 27 bites of the same thing?"
Here is their website:
You can actually order as few as you want, I asked. I got two when I went at one dollar each and while they were tasty, they were just TOO small to really enjoy. Now, a cupcake the size of Crumbs is too big, in my opinion, but I like them to be able to last more than a singular bite. You'd really need about five of these to equal a smallish regular cupcake.