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

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The Chocolate Room

Dessert blog, how I have neglected thee!  Dissertation madness kicked into full gear for the past three weeks, but now the full draft is complete and has been sent to my adviser for feedback.  Once I hear back from her, I’ve got some editing to do before I print it, bind it, and send it off to England.  In the meantime, noms and more noms!

One of my favorite things about coming home is that my physical therapy/exercise schedule becomes way more intense, which totally justifies greater consumption of chocolate goodness.  Right?  Right.  There’s a gym in New Jersey called Push to Walk that I go to a few times a week that specializes in providing workouts for people with spinal cord injuries and other neurological conditions.  I can’t go to a normal gym because I can’t use any of their equipment (oh great!  a treadmill with no harness!  what could go wrong?), and I avoid regular hospital outpatient physical therapy like the plague because the physical therapists there force me to work on my wheelchair transfers.  Like all the time.  I remember I once told a physical therapist that I could feel my abs and wanted to do abdominal exercises, and she told me I was imagining things.  So not cool.  That was a rambly paragraph to say that I get my ass kicked (in the best possible way) by a trainer three times a week, which means I get to eat ice cream.

Cue the Chocolate Room (269 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY, 11231).  It’s actually in a part of Brooklyn where you can find parking, so, kudos to them.

TCR Entrance

The entrance is slightly bumpy, and I do need to pop a wheelie to get in.  I think with enough force, a power chair should be able to get in, but please do not quote me on that.  Sadly no power door to get in, but there’s always a staff member by the entrance, so if you wave, you will be noticed.

I went with my mom and dad after a Push to Walk workout (you will notice that many of my future blog posts take place after a Push to Walk workout).

If you're sitting here, odds are you can smell chocolate from the kitchen and hear a Beatles song on their speakers.
If you’re sitting here, odds are you can smell chocolate from the kitchen and hear a Beatles song on their speakers.

We sat next to a window, where, if you put in enough effort, you can spy on people who live in Cobble Hill.

How creepy would it be if I brought binoculars with me?
How creepy would it be if I brought binoculars with me?

We each got a sample of their Valrhona chocolate sorbet when we sat down at the table.  I usually am not a huge fan of sorbet, but this is delightful.  Don’t let the picture below fool you – the spoon is small.  Regardless, it is a lovely sample.

I once came here with a friend who had the sample and then said, "Can I get this, but more?"
I once came here with a friend who had the sample and then said, “Can I get this, but more?”

My mom loves getting the banana split (but only if someone shares with her, so that’s what I did) ($12.50), and my dad likes the milkshakes ($7.50) here.  Between everyone in my family, and a few of my friends, I have tried or seen pretty much everything on the menu.  I’m only going to show pictures of the banana split and chocolate milkshake, but let it be known that The Chocolate Room has a phenomenal chocolate pudding, and the best mint chip ice cream I have ever had in my life.  And yes, they make it all there.  I’ll post a few more things in the TLDR section, only because I feel awkward reviewing things in the main post without an accompanying picture.

My dad’s chocolate milkshake looked fabulous.

See that metal cup next to the milkshake?  That holds more milkshake.  You're welcome, world.
See that metal cup next to the milkshake? That contains more milkshake. You’re welcome, world.

The banana split that my mom and I shared needs some elaboration and two camera angles, because it is a thing of beauty.

BRULEED BANANA YAAAS.
BRULEED BANANA YAAAS.
I would eat this and make questionable moaning sounds, but my parents are here, so I won't.
I would eat this and make questionable moaning sounds, but my parents are here, so I won’t.

The banana is split and then bruléed.  That’s right.  Bruléed.  The sugar in the banana crystallizes and makes bananas even more wonderful.  Between the halved banana there’s a scoop of Madagascar vanilla bean (where you can legit see the vanilla bean), Belgian chocolate, and strawberry ice cream.  To accompany the vanilla, there is caramel sauce.  Chocolate ice cream has strawberry sauce, and the strawberry ice cream has hot fudge on it.  All made in-house.  All amazing.  The ice cream is topped with homemade whipped cream, chocolate shavings, and a real cherry.  My mom and I asked if we could substitute their whipped cream with coconut whipped cream (which they also make there), which they did, and which was amazing.

If you’re not in the mood for a banana split, they make a frozen hot chocolate (called the Not Hot) here that would make Serendipity 3 (an Upper East Side tourist trap that gets way too much good press) cry tears of jealousy.  Seriously, I have had both, and there is no comparison (also the frozen hot chocolate here is cheaper so you have no excuse).  They also do excellent ice cream sodas and hot chocolate floats.  I like to pair their hot chocolate with their mint chip ice cream, because at some point you end up with minty hot chocolate.  My sister also loves their Black Bottom Butterscotch custard.  I guess it would be easier to say that you cannot go wrong with anything on their menu.

And they have a wheelchair accessible bathroom.  Score.

The Chocolate Room gets crowded at night, so I recommend going in the afternoon.  If you want to get stuff to go, they have a counter in the front where you can order ice cream, milkshakes, brownies, cupcakes, chocolates, and a number of other Chocolate Room items.

TCR Shelves

TCR Popcorn

TCR Chocolates
Knipschildt chocolates. Yes, please.

There was also this super accurate mug:

TCR Mug

There totally is.  I bought a shirt from The Chocolate Room a few years ago that said the same thing.  They have another location in Park Slope, but I cannot vouch for its accessibility.

For more information: http://thechocolateroombrooklyn.com/

TLDR:

Entrance: Small bump.  You can pop a wheelie in a manual chair, more effort may be needed with a power chair.
Bathroom: Accessible!
Lighting: Better the closer you are to the window.
Counter: Not too high at the front, but there are seats at the counter that are way too high.
Coffee: Brooklyn Roasting Company (Fair Trade Certified and Organic, and locally roasted), Tea: Harney and Sons, Chai latte: bit on the sweet side.  Also, they sell chocolate beer and dessert wines.
Pastries: All homemade, all stellar.  Oprah loves their chocolate cake.
Other: Super friendly staff.
Recommended dessert item: Although not pictured, my all time favorite thing to get here is a scoop of mint chip ice cream with hot fudge.

Thanks for reading!  As always, if you liked what you read, please like the post, follow my blog, or follow me on Twitter (@Access_Bakeshop).  Hope to have something up in the next week or two, but I have to mail in my dissertation next week, so we’ll see how that goes!

Val