Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Cupcake Wars: French vs. American at Butter Lane
For weeks I had planned a frosting face-off at Butter Lane, a small cupcake shop in the East Village. Most all dessert shops feature American buttercream, but Butter Lane is unique in that it offers French buttercream as well. I'd never sampled French buttercream, so I was eager for a sample.
The night Paul and I were there Butter Lane had 13 icings to choose from, but the French buttercream was available only in chocolate and vanilla.
That made things a bit easier. Cupcake #1: vanilla French buttercream on a vanilla cupcake.
But what about #2? Lemon icing? Mango icing? Too many choices! Finally we settled on blueberry American buttercream on a vanilla cake.
The American buttercream was just as you'd expect: extremely sweet from all of the powdered sugar. No complaints. The French buttercream, however, was light like a meringue. No surprise there. French buttercream is made from egg whites and granulated sugar.
The winner? The frosting was a toss-up, but the cake itself stole the show. It is the cake by which you judge all other cakes. Not too moist, not too dry. Not too crumbly, not too firm. Perfect. Better yet, the top of the cake just where it meets the frosting was just a tad crunchy almost like a struesel. Delicious.
Unfortunately, Butter Lane has only a small bench inside the tiny shop, and another outside. It would be best to get these to-go ... if you can make it that far.