That’s some cupcake, cupcake

Cupcake by Crumb in RaleighI have to confess, the cupcake craze has not swept me along. I find that most have the wrong percentage of cake to frosting – about twice as much frosting as cake. Now, I have nothing against good frosting, but I want a bite of both each time. And cupcakes I’ve sampled from bakeries, until now, have seemed like just miniature cakes, not exploring the possibilities of the cupcake’s petite form.

Then, just before Christmas, a friend lured me to an unlikely cupcake locale: a corner of Designbox Gallery at 323 W. Martin Street in downtown Raleigh that was holding an annual holiday crafts sale. There, Shotbox offered coffee from Ty Beddingfield, the original owner of Third Place, and Rich Futrell of Durham’s Counter Culture Coffee. But the stars were cupcakes from Crumb, with bakers Carrie Gephart, formerly of the stellar Hayes Barton Dessertery (yes, the place behind the pharmacy at Five Points) and David Menestries.

I ordered a chocolate cupcake with chocolate mousse filling, and buttercream icing flavored with jalapeno and cilantro. This was a cupcake revelation. Just enough icing to enhance the cake without drowning it, with the cilantro adding a green-mint like flavor. The jalapeno provided a subtle jolt in the back of the throat. The cake was not too sweet (another beef I have with most cupcakes).

The blog at the Crumb website implies that the take-out operation may be back this month. Let’s all hope so. I hate that I missed the one with candied habanero buttercream and Patron tequila. If you want all the cupcakes to yourself, you can place orders through the website.

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