Monday, April 2, 2012

The Bakery Babe is burnt by bad cupcakes at J.P. Licks

Don't be fooled by that cute bunny face!

I'm all for big, happy, fluffy cupcakes with lime green and hot pink sprinkles and a plastic bunny ring nestled on top. And I'm a big fan of J.P. Licks' homemade ice cream. You also could say I'm fairly laid back. Like I don't mind all that much if their employees move in a trance of suspended animation whilst engaged in the strenuous task of scooping ice cream (no kidding, I was stuck in a line out the door there a few weekends ago during the hot spell, and in the 20 minutes I stood there waiting, I counted TWO customers walk away from the counter with ice cream...at ten minutes a person, I would've been there for, oh, 3 hours just to get to the counter).

But this I could forgive, if the cupcakes they sell for $2.88 were edible. On a coffee break today, I purchased the above-noted vanilla cupcake with the bunny ring, percolating with whispers that J.P. Licks bakes all their goodies themselves. I only had to wait, oh, TEN minutes for the glassy-eyed troglodyte behind the counter to cognate that I was asking for a cupcake, dump it sideways into a bowl, smoosh all the frosting, and make the pointy finger at the money box to give me my dang receipt. Does this make me sound like an old lady? I'm not. But besmirch a cupcake and the Babe holds no quarter!

So, what crime did the otherwise luscious looking cupcake commit? Very simply this. The frosting is industrial-grade crapoo. It tasted, I do not kid you, exactly like the schmoo that comes out of a cardboard Duncan Hines canister. If they didn't get it from the supermarket, and they didn't get it from an industrial vat, then they worked really hard to emulate that chemical taste that sponges into your tongue after you eat a cake-mix cupcake with shelf-stable goo on it. Why would a company that has so much passion for excellent homemade ice cream compromise on their cupcakes? Why raise my hopes and then dash them into the fiery pit? I came to no conclusion as I nursed a stomach ache an hour later. Some mysteries must remain.

So there you have it. The bitter aftertaste of one of the biggest let-downs in my short but glamorous career as a dessert critic. No doubt I will survive to taste-test another day, and no doubt J.P. Licks will survive too; after all, their ice cream is really very good. Just be prepared for a long wait at the counter.

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