Thursday, October 22, 2009
A few months ago I literally stumbled into Crave Cupcakes while killing time over at Houston's Uptown Park before a dinner meeting. After buying a dozen on the pretense of treating Dave for his birthday back in May, I've been using just about any excuse (baby showers, birthdays, random Tuesdays) to swing by and order two or four...or twelve. As a self-appointed connoisseur of the cupcake (I've had my fair share, believe me), I can honestly say that these are the best money can buy -- and yes, even better than Sprinkles or Magnolia. At $36/dozen they aren't cheap, but boy are they worth it. Moist, flavorful, and with just the right amount of icing. And today, after waking up at 4:30 am to participate in a company charity event, I'm in need of a sweet pick-me-up more than ever. Alas though, Crave Cupcakes don't exactly jive with my recent efforts to eat healthier, so a little day dream eating will have to suffice for now.
Of course it doesn't hurt that they're pretty to look at as well. If you order at least 24 hours in advance, you can even select from an assortment of cute decorations to personalize them further.
While you can take your cupcakes to go (or even have them delivered -- Lord help me!), their storefront is so retro chic it's worth eating one (or two) there to fully appreciate the ambiance. Something about it feels very Southern Californian to me.
Unsurprisingly, I love all of the soft turquoise; it's the perfect counterpoint to the cool whites and rich chocolate browns. Unlike a lot of cupcake bakeries in Houston, this one doesn't look cutesy or overly sweet (thankfully). The large menu board displays the flavors currently on offer that day.
While I highly doubt the dozens and dozens of cupcakes baked here each morning come out of this vintage oven, I absolutely love the retro touch. It also coordinates with a half dozen vintage turquoise mixers on display by the cashier.
While I have yet to have the privilege of sampling every flavor they offer (there are 28 flavors, many of which are only available on certain days), my favorite so far is a tie between the red velvet (shown above left) and the vanilla on chocolate (shown above right).
...All I can say is, as far as my waistline is concerned, I'm very, very fortunate that Crave is a bit out of the way for me.