Whitestone, NY 11357
Monday & Tuesday-closed
Wednesday - Friday 12PM-8PM
Saturday & Sunday- 10AM-4PM
Items ordered: strawberry shortcake cupcake, crumb cake cupcake, rainbow cookie cupcake, red velvet, vanilla, & chocolate with no frosting.
Price: $13.50 (standard flavors like vanilla are $2, special flavors like red velvet are $2.50)
Rating out of 5:
In November I blogged about a cupcake shop opening up in North Eastern Queens, specifically in Whitestone. This is a big deal because Queens seems to be the forgotten and neglected borough.
Despite the heavy over-development that goes on here, and being the most culturally diverse place in the world, were usually seen as "not worth the trip" by those outside the borough. And I really don't mind that as much as I used to- the moment a place becomes appreciated by the masses is often the moment its ruined by them.
Little Cakes is a sliver of a store situated right off the Cross Island Parkway, accessible only by bus or car (the Q15 or Q76). Its surrounded by a small but lively strip of stores that extends for a few blocks, and includes Cherry Valley (they have the best sandwiches in Queens), Storks Bakery, and La Dolce Via (gelato & pastries).
You can read about the owners success story here.
Anyway, enough chatter, onto to the cupcakes!
From left to right, the top row: Strawberry short cake, crumb cake, red velvet.
From left to right, the bottom row: Rainbow cookie, vanilla, chocolate without frosting.
The vanilla: The cake tastes very similar to a corn muffin, but is softer, which is good. The frosting has a light, whipped texture to it as opposed to often thick buttercream. Overall a decent cupcake, but I didn't think the frosting complimented the cake at all, it did taste just like a corn muffin, after all. If your looking for a familiar comparison, think of a toned down version of Magnolias vanilla- this isn't a sugar bomb, but its still sweet.
The crumb cake: To me, almost all crumb cake tastes the same (like it might as well have come out of an Entenmann's box). I'm sure there are some amazing exceptions out there, but I haven't been fortunate enough to come across them. The cupcake is good, sweet and soft, but as you can see in the picture the hard crumb part is loaded onto one side of the cupcake, leaving the other side bare. Its un-evenness was its only flaw.
Look at those beautiful colors!
The rainbow cookie: By far my favorite cupcake out of the bunch, which surprised me because I had such low expectations for it. Most bakeries have trouble making a proper rainbow cookie, never mind transforming the cookie into a cupcake. But it tasted like a rainbow cookie (it was NOT simply yellow cake dyed rainbow), the almond flavor came through nicely, but the cake itself wasn't heavy with almond paste like the cookies are. It retained the lightness cake is supposed to have. My one issue is the choice of frosting- blech! The chocolate frosting tasted cheap, and not sweet or bitter enough to belong in either category. I wiped it off and ate the cake by itself, its definitely good enough to do that. This cupcake alone gets a 4 out of 5, but if they work on that frosting it could very well become a 5 out of 5. Or maybe a 4 1/2 out of 5, since I'm so damn picky.
Strawberry shortcake: To be honest, I'm not a fan of strawberry flavored things. I got this flavor because the box held six cupcakes, and we had only picked out five, so this was what I went with. Its not a bad cupcake, sweet but not "too sweet" as some say. I just couldn't take more than a couple of bites.
Chocolate without frosting: My roommate got this one, he's a freak who prefers his cakes naked. He described the cupcake as "rich", and said I might like it. I tried a bite, and while it was super moist, I found it more bitter than rich. Not a fan.
Red Velvet: I almost didn't get this one, mainly because I don't like cream cheese frosting, and most bakeries insist on putting it on their red velvet cakes. This was one was no exception, although they do sprinkle some cinnamon on the top- an interesting and unique addition. The icing has a gentle cream cheese flavor, probably the least cream cheesy cream cheese frosting I ever ate (which is why it was not spit out). But I still didn't find it enjoyable. As for the cake itself, its not red velvet. There was no vinegar in it, and without that its just chocolate cake dyed red. It was still decent red chocolate cake, and very moist.
Every cupcake we bought here was fresh, and the staff were friendly and helpful. They also have seasonal flavors, like gingerbread and snowballs. I do think the frosting on the cupcakes needs to be spread around the whole top, and not piled so high, it makes eating it in one piece awkward and its hard to get frosting with each bite.
Over-all a good experience, with solid baked goods. So...come to Queens to check out our cupcakes! And then go home (I of course mean that in the nicest way possible) ;)
Update: Just something to keep in mind, these cupcakes do not keep well, by the next day their a little too stiff to eat, so make sure you eat these babies the day you get em!