The line of over twenty eager patrons wrapped around the side of the building on this Saturday afternoon should have prepared us for this delightfully decadent gluten-free treat.
My wonderfully supportive boyfriend had found a local place that advertised a gluten-free cupcake. On a mission we headed there on a recent weekend field trip. We hoped Sprinkles cupcakes would be the perfect dessert offering to contribute to our evening barbeque with friends and family.
Young and old were gathered to woo the gem-like cupcake creations housed in this La Jolla bakery. Founded by Candace Nelson in Beverly Hills, the Sprinkles website quotes Food Network as naming them “the world’s first cupcake bakery.”
The mood was serious as we waited outside the door along with other patiently eager patrons. Which flavors should we choose? What will be available today? A sign above the door requests that patrons help to keep the door closed to maintain the freshness of the cupcakes! This is serious business.
A gluten-free red velvet cupcake that rivals its gluten filled relatives.
While the gluten-free red velvet cupcake was not clearly listed on the menu, when we asked the server replied “of course!” The clever folks at Sprinkles color code their cupcakes – trademark colored modern dots beside flavors on their menu coincide with available cupcake flavors in the display case that day.
Our party consisted of both gluten and gluten-free eaters. The folks at Sprinkles kindly packaged my red velvet gem separately from the others we ordered. Just in case you have a canine friend in your party, Sprinkles also offers doggy cupcakes made from all natural ingredients.
After dinner it was time to admire our lovely Sprinkles cupcakes. A food photo shoot followed. The gluten-free red velvet cupcake emerged from its own bag marked with a distinctive red G nestled in the frosting. Admittedly, never a huge cupcake fan, I offered to share my gluten-free red velvet cupcake with the table. I remembered cupcakes as sickeningly sweet and overpowering. I was the little girl who scooped the frosting off and simply ate the remaining cake. This time was another story…
The rest of the groups poured over cupcakes flavors with names like black and white, cinnamon sugar and chocolate marshmallow. Each cupcake had its own distinct, delightful-in-its-own-right flavor. As I only ate the gluten-free version I am relying on the reviews of my faithful friends and family. Black and white and cinnamon sugar were the favorites for the traditional cupcakes.
I’d offered up samples and as I’d remained guiltily silent throughout dessert all eyes were on me. Truth was, my little gluten-free red velvet cupcake was simply divine. I had no intention of sharing! Some gluten-free desserts can feel like a compromise or after-thought to lure gluten-free customers. Sprinkles’ gluten-free red velvet cupcake, however, is exquisite in its own right.
In the end, I changed my mind and decided to share. Truth is, everyone needs to try this gluten-free gem – it’s simply unbelievable!
Light, airy, delightfully sweet but not overpowering with just a subtle hint of whipped cream cheese in the ethereal frosting. Is it possible that this cupcake is gluten-free?! This little gluten-free red velvet cupcake’s flavor has an elegant, deliciously uncomplicated about it. This treat achieves the golden ratio, a delicate equilibrium of frosting and cake. A heavenly gluten-free dessert, this cupcake is a perfectly crafted, fresh-baked sweet that conjures long-lost memories of home-baked cupcakes from my own childhood.
The surprise? Hands-down this gluten-free cupcake won the taste test against all of the other cupcakes and made converts out of many in our party.
I will be looking excuses to celebrate with Sprinkles’ gluten free red velvet cupcakes. Thank you, Candace Nelson and Sprinkles, for reminding us that gluten-free can be delightfully delicious and doesn't need to be a poor substitute! Sprinkles gluten-free red velvet cupcake reminds us that gluten-free baking is an art form yielding desserts that can taste even better than their traditional, wheat-filled relatives.
P.S. Still trying to understand what gluten IS, exactly?
Read our quick and easy definition in this post – what is gluten?
© Copyright Clea Shannon 2013
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