This past Sunday was NYC’s annual Puerto Rican day parade. Arguably the biggest and best parade of the summer in my opinion. Interestingly, all the flags and Boriquan pride reminded me it was a good time to eat some cupcakes. There has been a fantastic new comer to the overexposed, uber trendy cupcake market and this Sunday there was no better day to celebrate it. You see, this little shop doesn’t host a duo of pink checkered, puffy sleeved, laced fronted, A-line, above the knee, dress wearing hipsters. You won’t find the staff with thick framed colored glasses delicately icing and stacking their toy cakes like fresh baked jewels. On the contrary, behind the counter you’ll find a troop of hard working woman (and men) multiplying cupcakes faster than a wet mogwai. Every time I’ve visited the shop it’s been engulfed with fresh cakes in various states of completion. Boxes, trays and cake displays have pushed out of the kitchen hoping to find an empty front of house table to temporarily rest on before being escorted outside into the delivery truck. I’ve often wanted to ask if every little Brooklyn girl with a birthday placed an order simultaneously. Needless to say they are busy. They must be doing something right.
The power behind this miniature cake making madness are four amazing Puerto Rican and Italian woman. Besides turning out a moist and delicious cake they have brought some of their traditional flavors into the fold. Beyond their tasty and unique flavored cakes the shop has a noteworthy motive to give back to the community. Their philantropy and dedication to the neighborhood is awesome but let’s dig deeper into what makes these cupcakes such contenders. The flavors.
The no nonsense and highly functional packaging choice pictured above contains four of their most unique and latin of flavors. The Tres Leches (3 milk cake), Dulce de Leche (double condensed milk until it’s almost caramel), Flan(caramel custard) and Coquito (a rum, coconut eggnog) take on flavors you’ve never imagined in cupcake form. Popping in for an individual helping of some of these classic, flavorful latin specialties makes for an awesome mid-day pit stop. Pair it with a proper cafe con leche and you’ll become an instant regular.
Dulce de Leche
Rounding out the above packaging are two flavors from their Italian side, a strawberry cheesecake and ingenious Rainbow Cookie cupcake. Bringing two goomba classics into personal cake form can only be great. The Rainbow cookie is worth a pause. This three layered cake of almond-based sponge cake, apricot and raspberry jam topped with a chocolate coating is hard enough to perfect in a cookie, let alone a cupcake. They have succeeded with all the punch that a well made Italian nona’s cookie would have. Bright colored cake, distinctively tasting layers and a rich chocolate coating that works so well it could be stand alone makes this not only a taste bud pleaser but the winner for the best looking internal cupcake you’ve ever seen.
The menu just keeps going and going. More Puerto Rican and Italian flavors include Guava Con Queso (a unique guava paste and cheese mixture) Morir Sonando (Orange Creamsicle-Like), Pistachio and french toast. That last one comes out of no where but it’s still a really unique idea just without the ethnic link.
Think we’re done with flavors? Think again.
Bananas Foster (Weekends Only) and Key Lime (Seasonal) amongst some of their heritage flavors.
Tiramisu (Weekends Only)
Completing the line up with more standard but equally delicious flavors are Strawberry Shortcake, Crazy Carrot, Brooklyn Red Velvet, Coconut, Chocolate Coconut, Peanut Butter & Jelly, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Madagascar Vanilla and Chocolate Raspberry.
With all these choices it’s going to be tough to decided. My advice, bring some friends and get at least a six pack. Ohh yeah remember to leave your frilly cupcake ensemble at home. Instead brush up on your Luis Guzman knowledge endearingly referred to as Pachanga in my house.