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Guest Post by Lynnee: Two Little Red Hens
While Maggie is away from New York City, I’ve been scouting out some cupcake places for her. I live on the Upper East Side, and I’ve found a bakery that will hopefully lure her to come visit me, her college friend. My roommate actually told me about it—whenever he passes by the shop, he tends to buy something. At first I thought it was because when he would tell me about it, I thought he was calling it “Two Little Redheads” (Who wouldn’t want to go somewhere so cute sounding?), but when he brought a cupcake home for my birthday, I realized it was because it has sublime cupcakes.
The cupcakes at Two Little Red Hens may be the best I’ve ever had. Cupcakes I’ve had before mostly have far too much frosting on them. I have trouble eating cupcakes because I either get a face-ful of frosting and no cake with it, or vice versa. And the frosting usually just tastes like artificial sugar, whereas the cake part is spongy and crumbly. But the peanut butter fudge swirl cupcake I had at Two Little Red Hens was nothing like this: the cake part was fudgy, moist, and chocolatey and it had a thick, almost crunchy, peanut butter filling (Reese’s Cup consistency) in it that didn’t skimp out or overwhelm the cake. The frosting wasn’t overwhelmingly tall but rather one thick swirl inside itself. It didn’t stick to my tongue but rather strangely made me think of liquid chocolate that melted in my mouth with a peanut butter aftertaste! Because the cupcake was so rich, it was easy to put away half for later and feel completely satisfied (not sugared out) with the half that I ate. Also, the peanut butter fudge swirl smells like a better quality Reese’s cup.
The shop is pretty small; small tables clutter one half of the bakery so that with a line of customers waiting for pickup, it’s hard to manoeuvre around the shop. But everyone seems happy: customers sharing their pies at a round table, picking up personalized cakes, and ordering Arnold Palmers. The employees were kind and efficient, too. The yellow lighting and checkered curtains also contributed to the coziness of the place. Tea boxes lined one wall, Two Little Red Hens t-shirts were available for sale, and hen figurines were tastefully all over. I also noticed the display counters were orderly and clean, and the cupcakes were well stocked. The line was quite long, but the wait wasn’t bad.
Two Little Red Hens sells cakes, scones, pies, and cupcakes. Something exciting to note is that in 2010, Series Eats rated it among its top 12 best cupcakes in New York City (http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2010/07/the-best-cupcake-in-new-york-city-cupcake-shops-bakeries-nyc.html?ref=thumb). Though the cakes looked pristine and delicately beautiful, I immediately zoned in on the cupcakes. Available on this visit were marble, yellow vanilla, red velvet, banana, carrot, peanut butter fudge swirl (has a filling), and Brooklyn blackout (has a filling). I believe there are also seasonal options sometimes, like Pumpkin Spice and Eggnog. Some have filling inside them, like the peanut butter fudge swirl and Brooklyn blackout. Each have a regular and a mini size option. The regular size is $4, the mini $1.75, though when you think of “mini,” think bigger than Baked By Melissa size (i.e., 2 bites rather than 1 bite, I’d say). I like the cake to frosting ratio: there’s no overwhelming pile of frosting, and what is there (buttercream frosting) looks smooth and pretty.
Location: Upper East Side, Manhattan NYC
Flavors: ~10 flavors +/- seasonal flavors. Check them out online.
Size: huge muffin size (though smaller than Crumbs)
Price: $3 regular ($4 for regular with filling)/$1.75 mini
Atmosphere: Cozy, busy, and cheerful
Taste: Fudgy, moist, rich
Favorite: Peanut Butter Fudge Swirl