Robicelli’s Intros Three New Cupcakes, All Available at Lily Obrien’s
Cupcakes can be a bit of a contentious subject here on ML. I happen to enjoy a good cupcake every now and then, but if I step back and look at it objectively, I can see where the haters are coming from. When cupcakes became trendy they became ubiquitous and as such there are a lot of mediocre (not to mention overpriced) ones out there. When Lunch’er Felicia recently asked for cupcake recommendations more than a few readers gave a shout out to Robicelli’s cupcakes available at Lily O’Brien’s off of Bryant Park. I’ve had Robicelli’s plenty of times back in ye olde Brooklyn*, but hadn’t yet had a chance to try them out in their midtown location. Meeting up with a cupcake loving friend for lunch last week, gave me the perfect reason to swing by and try several of their brand new flavors.
Unlike many of the cupcakes sold in midtown, Robicelli’s are homemade in small batches often with seasonal and local ingredients by the mom and pop team of Matt and Allison Robicelli, the diabolical geniuses behind the Chicken ‘n’ Waffles cupcake ( a “waffle” cake topped with vanilla buttercream and maple-glazed fried chicken) and The Bluth, an Arrested Development inspired chocolate-banana cake (there’s always money in the banana stand!) topped with chocolate frosting and walnuts . Last week Robicelli’s debuted 3 brand new flavors including 2 seasonal ones (Butternut Spice and Apple Crisp) and Dark Chocolate Dulce.
Since my friend was in town for just a few days and she specifically asked to try Robicelli’s after reading about them on B&B, it was pretty clear that we had to try all of the flavors…the things I do for friends (and science, and of course you, dear readers.)
Butternut Spice: Butternut squash cake with vanilla buttercream, candied spiced pumpkin seeds, drizzled with butternut squash seed oil. The cake was super moist and very nicely spiced and the buttercream added a good bit of sweetness to the dessert. The squash apparently come from a local CSA (now I have an idea for what I can do with my own excess CSA squash). This was my friend’s favorite of the seasonal varieties.
Dark Chocolate Dulce: Dark chocolate cake with dulce de leche buttercream, drizzled with dark chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt flakes. Chocolate and caramel are a pairing that was just made for each other. The chocolate cake was moist and on the light side. This was my friend’s favorite pick overall.
Apple-Maple Crisp: Apple cake with vanilla buttercream, roasted apple butter and oat crisp drizzled with Vermont maple syrup. This cupcake seemed to me like it would be a good gateway for cupcake haters. Between the moist and spicy apple cake and the tender real apple crisp topping, this felt like several desserts rolled into one instead of just a cupcake.
Boston Cream: Vanilla cake with vanilla custard buttercream, dunked in chocolate ganache. The vanilla cake on this one was more dense than the others, but for Boston Cream fans, the custard center and chocolate ganache should leave you satisfied.
Robicelli’s delivers to Lily O’Brien’s on Monday and Friday mornings. Their cupcakes retail for $3.50 there (I usually pay around $2.50 for them in Brooklyn, but that’s your midtown mark up for you–that Bryant parkside real restate can’t come cheap for Ms. O’Brien). The cupcakes aren’t huge and they are best enjoyed the day of delivery, so if you’re going to make the trip to give them a try, make it on a Monday or Friday.
The good news is that according to Robicelli’s tumblr, “At the request of many of our Midtown friends, we’ve decided to repeat last weeks flavors for this week’s Monday delivery.” So all the cupcakes you see above will be arriving fresh this morning. Now I just have to decide which one I’m going back for.
Lily O’Brien’s (40th btw 5+6th), 212-575-0631