Sprinkles Cupcake Mixes … Are they worth it?February 10, 2008 at 9:20 pm | Posted in cupcakes | 17 Comments
I think most of us have heard about Sprinkles cupcakes. They claim to be the original cupcake bakery. For some reason I doubt that, but they may be responsible for some of the recent hoopla surrounding cupcakes. I like cupcakes, I always have, but on some level, I feel the cupcake craze is just that, a craze, a fad, something that will be replaced by the next “in” baked good.
Lets be honest with ourselves, if it weren’t cool to like cupcakes, they couldn’t get away with charging $3 a cupcake.
Do you know how many donuts or even muffins you can get at Dunkin Donuts for that price? I can get a muffin and donuts to satisfy my cakey craving and my sweet tooth and my tummy will be far more filled up for the same price.
I can buy a whole package of Oreos at the grocery store for less.
I can get a small cake at the grocery store for the cost of two cupcakes.
I can get 3 boxes of cake mix. While I may not be a fan of mixes, I would still rather use them than pay $3 for a single cupcake.
As ridiculous as I find cupcake costs to be, when I noticed the Sprinkles Cupcake mixes at Williams-Sonoma (aka my home away from home) I almost broke my jaw when it dropped to the floor after seeing the price … $14!?!?!?! I really thought it must have been a joke, there had to be something amazing in those little tubes. Diamonds, gold, $10? There had to be something more than cupcake mix, or that mix had to be one amazing mix. I refused to pay that much for a mix of all things so I relegated myself to never knowing if they were worth it.
Then it happened. The after-after Christmas sale. You know, that table of the very last things, at 75% off, just hoping that someone will take them home. There was one lone box of sprinkles cake mix. $3 and change. Sweet, I can finally see if these things are worth it. The lone container was Mint Chocolate. Not what I would pick as my favorite, but it was my only choice.
I bought my mix, brought it home and opened it up. I looked for my diamonds, but was sadly disappointed. There was a standard looking bag of cake mix and some crushed peppermint to put on top. I pulled out the directions and, as expected, they were similar to standard boxed mix directions. Then I saw the frosting recipe. Here is where I got annoyed. I actually have to go out and buy good chocolate on top of paying $14 for a mix (we’re ignoring the fact that I got it on sale here)? Are you kidding me, these mixed cupcakes would cost about $20 to make. At the very least they should include the chocolate. That would make it a little bit more worth the $14 price tag, but no, I just got a bag-o-mix and some crushed peppermint candy. LAME. These better be amazing cupcakes.
The mixing and baking process is pretty standard as was the frosting making. The cupcakes looked pretty when they came out of the oven, but I had my doubts about them being $14 worth of good. The frosting, on the other hand was very yummy. You don’t actually think I waited to frost the cuppys before tasting, do you?
Greg and I got the cupcakes frosted and it was time to taste. Ehhh they were ok. I’m more of a light and fluffy kind of girl, these are on the denser end of things. They were moist, but I would take a box of betty crocker any day over these cupcakes. The peppermint candy was so meh, that I added jimmies to a bunch of them. They were good, just not spectacular. If they were priced correctly they would cost about what I paid for them, $3 and change. How did I come with this amount? I’ll break it down for you
$1 – regular cake mix cost
$1 – the cute packaging and Sprinkles name
$1 – the wider variety of flavors than is typically available in boxed mixes
and change – the lame crushed peppermint
Total: $3 and change
I think Greg said it best when I asked him what he thought.
N – So what do you think?
G- They’re good
N – Are they $14 worth of good?
G – Why do you need to spend $14? You already have the frosting recipe right here (as he picks up the recipe).
Haha. G was addicted to the frosting and clearly the cupcakes didn’t impress him all that much.
So, in an effort to save you $14 on a mix that is no tastier than a $.99 box I bring you the frosting recipe …
Dark Chocolate Frosting
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
pinch of salt
2 1/2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
3oz bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature
In a stand mixer beat the butter and salt on medium speed until fluffy
Turn to low and slowly add confectioners sugar
Mix in vanilla
Turn to medium and add chocolate.