02 Dec The EATORIALIST: CUPCAKE CRACK & MOLLY’S
Fasten your “swing” belts for MOLLY’S CUPCAKES, yet another player in the cupcake craze (and, “craze” is the operative word when it comes to cupcakes). From their simplest, the Classic, to the gooey Center-Filled, these steroid laden cupcakes go overboard in sheer size and garish style. Sort of makes sense as these cupcakes are good in combat – they won the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars– but for us they don’t transition well back into civilian life.
Guess ” You’ve Gotta Have a Gimmick ” – it worked for Gypsy Rose Lee and the likes of Ms. Electra so why not for Molly and her cupcakes? Well, while they’d probably be pretty good as embellishments to a burlesque dancer’s bra top, beyond those gooey centers it’s hard to find much appeal. Not much excitement or enticement to Custom Cupcakes when they’re pulled from cheap plastic containers stacked behind the main display counter. At the Sprinkle Station there are lots of texture and color options but, with more plastic containers, the setting can’t escape feeling pre-packaged and fake. It’s all very much like Crumbs Bake Shop and that’s not a complement – something is clearly lost on the trip from Molly’s basement oven to the shop upstairs besides a fresh-baked-in-house smell. Better to opt for any of the nostalgia minded bakeries like Billy’s or Magnolia’s where you’re likely to get a memorable Betty Crocker moment time after time.
Then there’s the shop itself. Along with the cutesy vintage lunchboxes and shelves of boardgames (think day care center or rec-room) there are the swings. What you ask? To the bizarre and ridiculous in retail shop design add swings: industrial chains strung from the ceiling have wooden planks to mimic your neighborhood playground. The thing is, with the seats chained to the floor there’s no thrill to this swing set and there’s no thrill to these cupcakes either. My friend’s son summed it up at Molly’s the other day with, “Mom, I’m bored, let’s go home!”
Molly’s Cupcakes, 228 Bleecker Street, New York City. Tel. 212.414.2253