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Jul 2, 2009 10:28 AM

Cupcake review for Cake Ambiance - AVOID

Today I stopped into a new bakery, Cake Ambiance, on Dean Street and Flatbush near Atlantic Center to get my daughters cupcakes. I bought two small cupcakes that were relatively pretty in terms of decoration, but not Cupcake Cafe caliber pretty. I was somewhat shocked when I was told it was $6. These were the smaller cupcakes and we're not talking about a fancy store or high real estate area, but whatever, one will do crazy things for a pretty cupcake.

I have never been a hardcore cupcake critic. Some area really good, some are just eh, most are edible. These were truly vile. First of all, they were frozen in the middle so how nice that they charge Manhattan plus prices for non fresh cupcakes. They were also, well, I don't know that dry is the right word. Hard is the right word and it wasn't just a result of the freeze. You could tell nothing is softening these babies up. Did I mention flavorless? Yes, flavorless and the stiff buttercream icing lacked sweetness or any taste whatsoever. It had the texture of sticky silly putty. I asked the woman if they were frozen and she acknowledged that they were and I will say she offered me another one, but it came from the same batch and plus why would I want another vile cupcake. I should have asked for my money back, but I'm kind of a wimp when it comes to such things. What we did do, however, was throw the cupcakes away, fully uneaten, and walked out. I felt a little guilty about that since someone was inquiring about wedding cake prices and probably left a moment or two after we did. That said, if your product sucks and your prices are out of control, you should be put out of business.

So I was the sacrificial lamb on this one. I am $6 poorer and pretty pissed off about it. But spread the word, this place is a major stinker.

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  1. i had an entirely different experience when my husband and i visited the shop a couple weeks ago. we tried a chocolate cupcake and enjoyed it--the lack of sweetness in the frosting was something i actually appreciated since i'm not a fan of overly sugary icings. i did not have the problem either with the cake part being hard/frozen, and for me at least, it was moist, if a bit dense.

    i would agree that the cupcakes were pricey--and i would be more likely to frequent this place if they were more affordable. i would, in fact rather, have the cupcakes simply iced without the flowers--and priced more reasonably.

    when my husband i were at the shop, the owner waited on us--he was very warm and gregarious, and we enjoyed speaking with him--and really wanted to support his business after our exchange--i am wondering if perhaps he would be interested in hearing about your disheartening experience, vvv03?

    i know that charging so much for a cupcake sets up high expectations, so i understand the feeling of wanting to spread the word after spending so much to wind up feeling so disillusioned--but i had a different experience--and feel that perhaps at least part of the problem may be a lack of consistency--and that the owner deserves at least a chance to rectify the situation--especially, since this is a small, local business.

    again, i completely understand feeling duped--that has happened to me with various food items more times than i care to count in this city, but that was not my particular experience with this shop--

    also, i am wondering, how many other bakeries freeze at least some of their goods, and allow them to thaw out--i don't know, but am now curious--

    3 Replies
    1. re: brooklynsabra

      I found your post after posting mine and I was really surprised to hear such a differing review. I am not exaggerating when I say the cupcakes were close to inedible. I had the yellow cupcakes with white buttercream icing, so maybe he's got the chocolate down pat and hasn't perfected the yellow cake. The owner wasn't there during our visit so I didn't feel much beyond the anger one feels at being duped into paying a lot of money for something that's clearly not worth it. Who knows, maybe it was a bad cupcake day. I am sure my post won't bring the place down. Either I will be the only person who has the bad experience or others will too and that will be the end of the place. Believe me, I was as excited as you were to support a small local business. But they've got to be good if they want to stay in business.

      1. re: vvv03

        You may want to consider a place called LadyBird on 6th ave (near 12 street). There is a wide assortment of cakes,muffins etc. Additionally, there is a cupcake place around 3rd Avenue and 93 Street in Bayridge.

        1. re: brooklyndweller

          LadyBird Bakery is on 8th Avenue in Park Slope, not 6th Avenue. I haven't tried their cupcakes, but their cakes are really wonderful. The Brooklyn Blackout cake is top-notch.

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. I disagree with your review. I was told about the bakery by my sister who is in love with their chocolate cake and banana pudding.I have visited this new bakery, and I think is one of the best bakeries that is really coming up with great cakes in Brooklyn. I ordered a birthday cake and cupcakes for my girlfriend's birthday, and my friends we were all delighted, and even inquired where I got the cakes.The cake looked so beautiful and no piece of cake was left untouched.I love sweets ,and I've tasted most cupcakes from different cake shops in Brooklyn. The cupcakes all have fillings in them, which I think make the cakes very unique. My favorite was the green tea cupcake with blood orange filling. Is n't such impeccable combination rare in other cake shops? Not even cake shops in Manhattan have great flavors like that. I also love the vanilla cake with french vanilla filling. His buttercream reminds me of the gateaux in Paris. It's really tasty, flavorful and not too sweet. Moreso, I saw the owner who seem very warm and friendly. He gives variety of good samples as you enter the store. I have visited the store about five times especially on my way from work, and I've never been disappointed. $3.00 for a standard cupcake is not too pricey for the quality that I got from the store. I don't have to go to Manhattan again to order for cupcakes. I think it's really worth it for the impeccable quality. Let's help new businesses to grow and not tear them down woefully. You may call and request to speak to the owner. I think he's a great person.

        2 Replies
        1. re: victor27

          i am happy to see another poster who shares my experience with this place. i had posted earlier re: how much i enjoyed a cupcake from cake ambience, as well as the personality and charm of the owner--while i do think that .$3.00 for a smallish cupcake is pricey, no matter how good, i would certainly return for the occasional treat. (i suggested previously that there also be a selection of simply iced cupcakes, with no flowers, offered at a lower price point. i often buy cupcakes for my 6-year old, and there are certainly enough parents in this neighborhood who do the same--and speaking for myself, simpler and more affordable in this economy is preferable.

          i also suggested speaking with the owner since i feel he would be receptive to feedback as well--

          also, re: the lack of sweetness issue, it could be a matter of taste. i liked that the icing was minimally sweet, but that isn't for everyone.

          1. re: brooklynsabra

            Apparently they took your suggestion because they now have regular cupcakes too. Not sure the pricing on them.

        2. Hmm. That wasn't my experience at all.

          I just moved here from San Fran and stumbled upon this bakery late Thursday night. I've been back every day since then. The cupcakes and cakes I've had have been moist, rich, uniquely flavored and visually stunning. I can tell a lot of care goes into making them and quality ingredients are used. The owner and staff are all very warm and friendly. Plus they give free samples. :-)

          As for pricing, I'm pretty thrifty and tend to get the smaller cupcakes for $3 but also have gotten cake slices for $5. And banana pudding and something called a "gooey cake". Right now I'm sampling EVERYTHING while determining my favorites and haven't been disappointed yet.

          Maybe you really were the sacrificial lamb on this one. As a result of your post, I've learned about LadyBird and Essential Cakes AND have been given an opportunity to support my new favorite local bakery in my new hometown. :-)

          1. The original comment has been removed