The Cupcake stork decended upon my office yesterday, leaving two little bundles of joy from OMG Cupcakes NYC: a pretty quartet of traditional cupcakes, and a cute quartet of vegan/gluten-free cupcakes. Eager to try some, myself and a few office pals dug in, and the outcome was not what you'd expect. Allow me to elaborate.
The strange thing about these cupcakes is that the gluten-free/vegan ones were better than the traditional ones; I don't think that EVER happens, but in this case, it does. They were all beautifully decorated and perfectly sized too – not too big, not too small. I love cupcakes, but some places make them so large they could fit in a D-cup bra. So far, our hopes were high.
For the traditional flavors, there was Vanilla Bean, Chocolate Peppermint, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, and Pumpkin with Cream Cheese Icing. My main problem with these was consistency; all of them had a different texture and each icing was different. For some that might sound like a good thing to have variety, but I think this works against them. The icing on the Chocolate Peppermint was quite good; creamy and chocolatey. The cake itself was good too, but could have been more moist. In fact, almost all of the cupcakes were lacking in moistness, according to my fellow cupcake clan. The Chocolate Fudge Brownie one was something like I had never seen before, it was basically a brownie, but in cupcake form. It was hard to cut into, which made me nervous because my first thought was, "way too hard to be a cupcake.." but then I saw the inside and thought, "hmm..ok I get it." It tasted like a brownie. Not much more to say on that one. Of the traditionals, the Pumpkin was the best one – the cake was pretty moist and had a nice pumpkin spice taste, and the icing was sweet and gooey. I still prefer the Chocolate Peppermint, but maybe I'm just a chocoholic. The Vanilla Bean one was definitely the least favorite – some comments included, "it smells like lotion," and "I don't know what I'm tasting." I can't say I agree with the lotion part, but something in the icing was definitely off. It had a weird aftertaste.
Winners of this batch: Pumpkin and Chocolate Peppermint.
Poor Vanilla Bean topples over in defeat..
Now on to the vegan/gluten-free cupcakes. This batch had Maple Cinnamon, Carrot Cake, Mounds, and Devil's Food Chocolate. Generally, my problem with gluten-free stuff is that it sits in your stomach like a ROCK afterwards, but I had a taste of all four of these and I didn't encounter that problem. Score: 1 for the gluten free. I actually really liked the carrot cake one. Nice and moist cake with a good, creamy icing. Others who tried this one also agreed, and the second favorite was the Mounds, which was surprising. I'm normally not a fan of cupcakes that try to taste like candy bars, but this one was pretty good; a coconutty cake with chocolate ganache and coconut shavings on top. It was not too sweet, and the chocolate ganache was just right – it actually reminded me of a Mounds. Score: 2. The Maple Cinnamon was the least favorite, it had a strange smell (not like lotion though, which is a good thing) from the spices that were used. This could just be us, but the maple/cinnamon scent was too strong for a delicate little cupcake. It was just too much. And the Chocolate Devil's Food was pretty good, but again, needed perhaps another stick of butter. Oh wait…Vegan…well then it needed another jar of apple sauce and oil. Or whatever the hell they use to make things Vegan..
Winners of this batch: Carrot Cake and Mounds.
Carrot Cake and Mounds on left..
After the taste test, I discovered that OMG Cupcakes NYC is pretty good at chocolate and seasonal cakes, but they seem to be lacking a few basic fundamentals (like more butter maybe?). In their defense though, these were delivered from their bakery in New Jersey to my office in Midtown Manhattan, which might have affected the moistness/fresh-factor. But as of now I wouldn't recommend the traditionals other than the Pumpkin and Chocolate Peppermint. I think their potential really lies in the Vegan/Gluten-Free cupcakes. I have never had a vegan/gluten-free cupcake (nor did I ever have the desire to try one), but I would recommend these to someone looking for a good vegan cupcake. Was it a GREAT vegan cupcake? No, but does a great vegan cupcake even exist?? Cupcakes are meant to be made with butter and eggs! However, these were made with neither and they were still pretty moist and tasty. How'd they do that? I guess you'll have to try and find out. They offer free next-day delivery to most areas of Manhattan.
OMG Cupcakes NYC
174 Union Street