On the Cheap: Crumbs Bake Shop

Giving in to cupcake culture
By CASSANDRA LANDRY  |  April 4, 2012

main_crumbs_cupcakes480
I have nothing against cake — or its pocket-size counterpart, the cupcake — but I've always been more of a pie girl. For some reason, cupcakes conjure up memories of grade school, where there were five tedious birthdays in your class a month. This always meant stacks of store-bought supermarket cupcakes before lunch, swathed in synthetic frosting and topped with chalky sprinkles, which of course all got licked off immediately, leaving the spit-slimed cake base for the trash.

When I heard the cupcake-centric Crumbs Bake Shop was finally open in the Financial District, I surprised myself by volunteering to go. Was my subconscious trying to tell me something? Time to give the poor, trendy cupcake another chance.

Opened in Manhattan in 2003, Crumbs has undoubtedly been a major player in the movement that took the dessert world by storm. Its arrival in Boston only further cements our own burgeoning cupcake culture, although it poses the question: how many cupcakes is enough?

When I step into the tiny Federal Street store, it was clear that the people have spoken. There's a line snaking back and forth, with customers clamoring to peek at the brightly hued selections behind the glass, which made the whole thing feel eerily similar to my very first frantic trip (freshman year of college, of course) to Mike's Pastry.

main2_chocchips_cupcake480
Color me shocked, but the "Peanut Butter Cup" ($3.95) sang with the taste of real peanut butter, whipped into a smooth buttercream frosting. The "Mudslide" ($3.95), yielded the ultimate mocha experience — deep chocolate, with just enough of a coffee burst to give it some complexity. I'm a longtime sucker for carrot cake, and "Carrot" ($3.95) had no trouble meeting my expectations. It was effortlessly creamy, and a good balance of nuttiness and cream-cheese-tinged sweetness.

Each cupcake was about the size of a loose fist, so if you're looking for an experience less likely to send you into a sugary coma, the "Best Seller Collection-Taste Pack" ($19.99) offers more modest sizing and 12 different flavors.

Have I renounced pie for cake? Probably not. But damn, I finally get what all you cupcake enthusiasts have been talking about all this time. I surrender!

CRUMBS BAKE SHOP, located at 176 Federal St, Boston, is open Monday– Friday, 7 am–7 pm. Call 617.345.9200 or visit crumbs.com.

Related: Review: Thinking Cup Coffee Bar, On the Cheap: Swish Shabu, Review: Blue Nile Restaurant, More more >
  Topics: On The Cheap , dining, cheap eats, cupcakes,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY CASSANDRA LANDRY
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   DIY DRINKING: HOUSE-MADE INGREDIENTS ARE RAISING THE BAR  |  March 12, 2013
    "When I moved to Boston," UpStairs on the Square bar manager Augusto Lino explains, "it was uncommon for bars to have anything house-made beyond a large container of vodka filled with pineapple on the back bar."
  •   FRESH BLOOD: MEET BOSTON’S NEW CULINARY MUSCLE  |  February 21, 2013
    Whether behind the line of a critically acclaimed kitchen, holed up in a basement pumping out some of the best nosh in the city, or braving Boston’s pothole-filled roads to bring you ass-kicking bites, these chefs are fast becoming ones to watch.  
  •   THE STEEP ASCENT OF TEA CUVÉE  |  February 13, 2013
    We've all been told that once upon a time, angry Bostonians dumped three shiploads of English tea in the harbor to protest taxes, but let's be real here — it was probably just really shitty tea, and they were doing what any of us would do when continually plied with subpar beverage choices.
  •   BEE’S KNEES TAKES FLIGHT: CHEF JASON OWENS READIES HIS GOURMET GROCERY  |  February 04, 2013
    "There was a bit of a setback with the wood for the floors," Jason Owens says, a facemask hanging from his neck and a trucker hat perched on his head, his easygoing Nashville drawl rising above the sound of electric saws.
  •   THE CHALLENGE? TURN VALENTINE’S CANDY INTO HAUTE CUISINE — NO DESSERTS ALLOWED  |  February 04, 2013
    As adults, we find ourselves missing those halcyon years when Valentine's Day was just a Halloween knock-off with no pressure and lots of processed sugar.

 See all articles by: CASSANDRA LANDRY