Molly’s Cupcakes

Bakery blog, I have returned! And I’m going to ramble about a cupcake shop on Bleecker Street, which is a pretty magical street in the West Village. So magical that if I had the pictures for it, I’d devote a whole post to its glory. Between 7th Avenue and Carmine Street, there’s a gelato place (Grom), an ice cream place (Cones), a cheese store that makes arguably one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches in NYC (Murray’s Cheese), a pizza place (John’s of Bleecker Street), a doughnut shop (The Doughnut Project – not technically on Bleecker, but close enough), and several bakeries. You could spend your whole day eating your way through this street.

But today, cupcakes. Molly’s Cupcakes (228 Bleecker Street), to be specific. My mother and I wandered in because we were in the neighborhood, and it was too cold for gelato or ice cream. The entrance is mostly flat. I think a power chair could get over it with enough momentum.

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Molly’s Cupcakes is pretty adorable. Even the chalkboard outside assures you that you’re in a cupcake judgment-free zone.

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There are also cute signs around the store.

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I understand why cupcakes should be held securely instead of held while frolicking, but it’s just so much fun to frolic.

The owner of Molly’s Cupcakes says on their website that Molly was his third grade teacher. She baked cupcakes whenever one of her students had a birthday, which is so sweet. This is probably why the store looks like a cross between a swing set and an elementary school classroom, with chalkboards and desks galore.

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These desks are giving me flashbacks of spelling quizzes, and times that I worried over my first grade GPA (which wasn’t actually a number, but I still felt a need to cram for quizzes).

Not that I’m complaining. Elementary school cupcake birthday parties were a highlight of my childhood. Except our cupcakes were usually comprised of cake mix and store-bought frosting, which the cupcakes at this establishment most definitely are not.

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This lighting isn’t doing the cupcakes justice. I really need to fiddle with my filters more.

Molly’s Cupcakes has an impressive display case and selection, with each flavor written out in neat, occasionally small handwriting. They have vegan options, and one flourless chocolate option (the Flourless Molten Chocolate). They also have the option to build your own cupcake.

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You too can live your dream of getting a chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting and brownie chunks.

My mother and I decided to split a chocolate raspberry cupcake (we had just eaten lunch at Murray’s Cheese Shop, and their grilled cheese sandwiches are very filling), which is a chocolate cupcake with raspberry filling and a chocolate ganache. Had I gone there alone, I might have gone after the Oreo cupcake or the often-Yelped crème brûlée cupcake, which both looked lovely. We wanted a decaf latte to go with it, but we were told that they didn’t have any decaf. Apparently West Village residents have no need for decaffeinated coffee or espresso. Alas.

The cupcake itself was pretty good. Then again, my requirements for a pretty good cupcake are: 1. the cake is not dry, and 2. the frosting is not overly sweet. This sounds like a low bar, but I assure you that it is not. Most cupcake shops suffer from one of these ailments, and Magnolia Bakery is terrible on both counts (seriously, why is it so popular?). But the cupcake I had at Molly’s Cupcakes was solid. I’d definitely go back for another (and maybe sneak in some decaf coffee in a thermos).

TLDR:

Entrance: Mostly flat. A power chair should be able to get into the shop.
Bathroom: Although I did not use the bathroom there, it has a handicapped sign, so it looks promising.
Lighting: Good, although writing on labels for cupcakes might be a bit small at times.
Counter: Easy to see display, slightly difficult to reach for the counter to pay.
Coffee: No decaf.
Pastries: Chocolate raspberry cupcake is solid. Vegan options are available, in addition to at least one flourless option.

Website: http://www.mollyscupcakes.com/ny/home.aspx
Twitter: @MollysCupcakes
Instagram: @MollysCupcakes

Thanks for reading! If you like what you’ve read, then be sure to subscribe to my blog/follow me on Instagram (@valpiro221)!

Val

Robicelli’s

I know it seems like I haven’t posted in a while, but in my defense, I had to draft a bunch of personal statements for PhD applications, and then send those statements to my recommenders.  Also postseason baseball has been happening, which takes up oodles of time because I feel a need to watch pre-game and post-game coverage (I mean, who doesn’t want to hear Pedro Martinez talk about the Mets, am I right?).  Oh, and I did a guest post for Guest of a Guest!

http://guestofaguest.com/new-york/brooklyn/7-dessert-spots-in-non-williamsburg-brooklyn

The post features a few places I haven’t mentioned on this blog yet, such as Leske’s (doughnuts!), Van Leeuwen (ice cream!), and Jean Danet (Italian cookies!), but I assure you, they are all wheelchair-accessible.

I’ve been talking about chocolate cream pie for two separate entries, so it’s time I delivered: Robicelli’s (9009 5th avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209).  They started as a gourmet sandwich shop in another part of Bay Ridge several years ago and closed that location.  That same storefront became an Italian bakery (with amazing biscotti), which has recently closed.  I’m going to guess that storefront must be haunted.  But anyway, Robicelli’s is now located on 5th avenue and 90th street in Bay Ridge, a neighborhood that frequently gets cut off of tourist maps.  Do I have a problem with this?  Absolutely not, because I can go through my whole day without having to dodge a tourist on the sidewalk, and that is a beautiful thing.

Robicelli’s has gotten a ton of press within the past year.

Robicellis Awards

Some of the press has been for their stellar baked goods, but lots of it has been for their creation, the Nutellasagna (now called the Nutella Lasagna), which is made up of lasagna noodles, cannoli custard, roasted hazelnuts, homemade marshmallow, and Nutella.  They (by they, I mean Allison and Matt Robicelli, the most badass baking couple ever) created the Nutella Lasagna during the summer of 2014 as part of their Jump the Shark Week, which was their way of mocking the “What’s the next cupcake?” question.  Because there are some self-proclaimed foodies out there who are not satisfied with a miniature cake (which, I’m sorry, how is that possible?) and who declared that they were “over” cupcakes after Crumbs went out of business.  These people wanted to know what was after the cupcake, and Robicelli’s created the Nutella Lasagna as a delicious joke, so of course it went viral.

It’s kind of silly that I went into that much detail over the Nutella Lasagna, mostly because I have never actually had it.  It was introduced the summer before I left for England, and I was too busy packing/figuring out how to ship physical therapy equipment across the Atlantic to go get a slice.  It then became popular while I was on another continent.  Perhaps this summer I will finally try it.

As much as I’d love to ramble about a dessert I haven’t tried, this would make for a more convincing review if I talked about something that I actually ate.

But first, I will show you the entrance, because it is flat.

Robicellis Entrance

I always go in with at least two items I definitely need to get in mind, but then I become painfully indecisive because they’ve started making something else that I must try (especially on weekends).

Robicellis Display
My cameraphone is not doing these desserts justice.

I should also mention that they have seasonal cupcakes named after the Golden Girls.

There is a cupcake named after my favorite southern belle and my day just got several times more fabulous.
There is a cupcake named after my favorite southern boss lady and my day just got several times more fabulous.

On this particular day, my sister and I wanted to split a cupcake.  What caught our attention instead were pudding cups (which were introduced to the regular menu while I was in England).

Robicellis Tiramisu

Okay, so we definitely had to get a pudding cup.  Wait, what is that cupcake?

I know I'm going to go broke if I buy everything I like, but holy crap that looks good.
I know I’m going to go broke if I buy everything I like, but holy crap that looks good.

My sister and I decided to get a Chocolate Kahluha banana pudding cup.  Because that sounded like the most logical thing to split.

This is the top of the cup.  I thought it'd be a good idea to take a cross-sectional picture once we were some of the way through, but then we finished it. My camera wasn't fast enough.
This is the top of the cup. I thought it’d be a good idea to take a cross-sectional picture once we were some of the way through, but then we finished it. My camera wasn’t fast enough.

I know Robicelli’s is famous for their Nutella Lasagna, and for their cupcakes, but I need to talk about their chocolate cream pie.  There’s chocolate budino (think dense pudding), which has a slight bitterness to it, and the top is a light and slightly sweet mascarpone chantilly.  It is a super heavy pie with an all-butter crust, but is worth the calories.  I ordered a pie to bring to a party last summer (I should mention, if you order anything, do it at least 48 hours in advance).  At the party, one of my sister’s friends told me that the pie changed her life.  It’s a magical pie.  I recently ate a slice before I could take a picture.  This has been happening a lot lately.

I did manage to take a picture once when I returned from England and wanted to buy a pie, but it was like, 90 degrees outside and the pie topping might have gotten jostled in the car:

Oh. My. Pie.
Oh. My. Pie.

The pie may not have been at its most photogenic at that moment, but it still looked mighty.

The location itself isn’t exactly a “stay for five hours writing your statement of purpose” place.  It’s pretty small and has a table with super tall chairs.  I also don’t think there’s a bathroom for customers.

Robicellis Table
Looks like I’m eating my pudding cup on my lap.

There’s also an area for kids to play with toys while their parents stare at dessert items.

Robicellis Kids

If you need coffee, by the way, they serve Stumptown.

Also, I have to say that for much better food photography than my post has to offer, please check out the Robicelli’s Instagram feed (@robicellis), which features all the food porn you could ask for.

TLDR

Entrance: Flat!
Bathroom: I don’t believe there’s one for customers.
Lighting: Great
Counter: Easy to see most things on display, but it’s a little difficult to reach up to pay.
Coffee: Stumptown
Pastries: Everything. Just get everything.  But the chocolate cream pie is my favorite.

Robicelli’s website: http://www.robicellis.com/
Current menu: http://www.robicellis.com/uploads/4/4/9/0/44906969/fallonlinemenu2015.pdf
Robicelli’s cookbook (filled with great recipes and a delightfully unexpected amount of swearing): http://www.robicellis.com/buy-our-book.html

Thanks for reading!  If you like what you’ve read, please subscribe and/or follow my Instagram (@valpiro221).

Val