Friday, August 29, 2008

Bennison's Bakery

1000 Davis St, Evanston, IL

Chocolate cupcake with vanilla buttercream frosting

Price: $1.30

Weight: 2 3/4 oz (78g)

Value: $0.473/oz

Frosting There are really 2 frostings on this cupcake. The white frosting is less grainy and slightly greasy; the blue frosting has a sweeter, sugary taste and a grainy, thick consistency. If the white frosting can be described as moist, the blue might be described as having a somewhat dry texture (while not actually being dry). I liked the combination of textures, although I have to say I was partial to the grainer blue frosting. Rating 9.25/10

Cake The cake has a superb chocolate flavor and a soft, chewy texture that has some substance to it. An excellent cake. Rating 9.25/10

Another fantastic cupcake. I don't know if I'm just being too easy of a judge lately, or if it really takes a special talent to make a bad cupcake.

I liked the fact that there were essentially 3 textures and 3 flavors here: the chewy chocolatey cake, the smooth plain white buttercream frosting, and the sweeter, grainer blue frosting.
Overall Rating 9.25/10.0

Friday, August 22, 2008


The BCG Cupcake Portfolio Matrix

Friday, August 8, 2008


Various locations around Chicago

Chocolate cupcake with vanilla buttercream frosting

Price: $3.78 for 6

Weight: 2 3/8 oz each (67g)

Value: $0.265/oz

Frosting The frosting is thick, slightly grainy and has a candy-like sweetness, though not overly sweet. Rating 8.5/10

Cake The chocolate cake has a nice flavor and a moist, soft crumb. Rating 8.5/10

That's right, Jewel the grocery store. We've all had grocery store birthday cake -- some are so sweet and overbearing that even those of us with the most dedicated sweet tooth can't finish even a single slice, and others are so tantalizingly good we keep going back to the fridge to sneak just one last slice, again and again. This cupcake is like the good birthday cake. I bought a pack of six, and they were gone in 24 hours. Cupcake purists might roll their eyes when I say this, but in my opinion this cupcake rates near some of the best. Actually, I have to admit I wasn't really all that surprised. There are certainly better cupcakes out there, but when you can get SIX really good cupcakes for the price of one very good cupcake, you have to wonder if what you're paying for at some of those fancier bakeries is worth it. Overall Rating 8.5/10.0

Friday, August 1, 2008

Fox & Obel

401 E Illinois, ChicagoChocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting

Price: $3.06

Weight: 4 5/8 oz (130g)

Value: $0.662/oz

Frosting The frosting is smooth, sweet, and chocolate fudge-like. I would also say it had a quality that can only be described as....well, wet. It was like frosting you would get out of a can at the grocery store. Rating 6.0/10

Cake The cake was a little bit dry on the edges, but toward the center it was fairly moist. I know this will sound strange, but it also seemed like there was some kind of spice or herb in the cake -- I kept tasting something that I couldn't quite put my finger on. I can't say it was bad necessarily, but I wish I could place it. Even though the texture was a little dry, I was intrigued. Rating 6.0/10

I've heard people rave about the cupcakes at Fox & Obel, but I couldn't help thinking the frosting was something from Duncan Hines. The store seems like a nice place though. I would describe it as a grocery store with mood lighting. I didn't look around a lot, but my initial impression is that of a more upscale Whole Foods (if that means anything). Even so, I was impressed that the cupcake, for as big as it was, wasn't more expensive. It's a decent cupcake, and worth the price overall -- in other words, I wouldn't turn it down. Overall Rating 6.0/10.0