You might find yourself exclaiming this very same statement after encountering Whole Foods’ cupcakes, for one or all of the following reasons:
1) They’re expensive – $3.49 a pop
2) They’re huge. Like, there’s no possible way I could smoosh the whole thing in my mouth (because, you know, I like to have that option)
3) They’re scrumdiddlyumptious! (name that movie…)
After my little identity crisis last month, I finally got my act together and marched into my local Whole Foods with downright determination. I was gonna eat a cupcake gosh darn it and eat it good.
There were 11 flavors available, along with 7 characters (like Elmo, Spongebob, a cow, and I think the pig from Angry Birds) to choose from. I paced the counter, back and forth back and forth, so many times that (I believe he was) the baker came out to offer assistance. He gave a detailed run-down of each flavor, and with his help I able to narrow down my selection to the two flavors exclusive to the Merchant’s Walk (Marietta, GA) Whole Foods – the Peanut Butter cupcake and the Cookie Dough cupcake. A few more minutes passed and my mind was made – the hefty Cookie Dough stud of a cupcake was coming home with me!
Back at home, I cozied up on the couch with my plate o’ cupcake in one hand and an eager fork in the other. I had a good felling about this. Took one bite and swooooooned – this cupcake was divine! The cake was fresh, chocolately, moist and sweet. Then the frosting was oh so lovable – soft and sugary. And I think that actual cookie dough mixed into buttercream is genius. Nearing the end of my little, cupcake love affair, I realized I was doing something unusual – I was taking teeny tiny forkfuls, almost crumb-size bites. It was so good that I guess I was just doing whatever necessary to prolong the sweet experience. Word to the wise – this cupcake is literally sweet! I’m pretty sure eating the cupcake in full (I split mine with Steve) would result in a cupcake hangover. And trust me, those are not cool.
Let’s break it down now…(btw, I’ve added a new category to the list. I hope you like it!)
Whole Foods (Merchant’s Walk) / 1311 Johnson Ferry Road NE Marietta, GA / http://wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/merchantswalk
1. Price: $3.49. That’s pricey, no doubt about it. But, it’s jumbo-sized and prime for sharing. Also, some are filled so you get a lot for your money.
2. Room temperature: No, their specialty cupcakes (jumbo-sized and character cupcakes) are kept in a cold case. They do however have room temperature, pre-packaged “Two Bite” cupcakes ready and willing whenever you are.
3. Size: JUMBO ! This may be Numero Uno in the jumbo cupcake category. Well, except for Big Papi over at Trader Joe’s.
4. Cake to Frosting Ratio (<—new category!): While I stress the jumbo size, I must say this ratio is still commendable. I probably had just a wee bit of frosting left unaccompanied. But that’s okay with me – if it’s good frosting, I’ll take my frosting straight up (still waiting the day to try a frosting shot…)!
5. Vegan or gluten-free options: Single ($2.99) and packs of 4 ($7.99) gluten-free cupcakes are on-hand. The day of my visit, these were of the “blondie chocolate chip” variety. Not sure if this flavor is standard or rotates. If you find out, let me know!
6. To-go packaging: Interesting little plastic cup with lid. You know the things they put a McDonald’s sundae in? It’s kind of like that, but upside down. It definitely prevents the cupcake from toppling over and messing up the cupcake’s “do”, which can really bum me out. But extracting the cupcake still got kinda messy. It’d be awesome if they’d employ the same technique of Edibles Incredible, where they put a long skinny strip of parchment paper underneath and along the sides of the cupcake so you can then pull up on the ends of the strip to lift it out.
7. Milk for sale?: Oh yes, there’s so much milk for sale! And every other delicious beverage you can imagine! You know, now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure Whole Foods doesn’t sell Coke and Pepsi products. So if those were the tasty beverages you were imagining – I’m sorry!
8. Other treats for non-cupcake enthusiasts you may have in tow: Oh yes, so many treats! You can make a night out out of Whole Foods (remember when I mentioned that grocery stores do it for me? Crazy, but true!) But seriously, you can go and load up a plate full of yummy variety from their hot bar and salad bar, get some freshly squeezed juice with a splash of wheatgrass, then pick out your well-deserved (since you drank wheatgrass) jumbo cupcake! Oh yeah, and then you can get some groceries, nice-smelling soap, and a pair of Tom’s shoes if you fancy. Whole Foods = my idea of a fun date.
9. Ambiance: The Merchant’s Walk Whole Foods to is just about a month old, so every thing is still shiny and new. Most of the Whole Foods I’ve been to, though, have a pleasant ambiance – breezy and hip. Plus, there’s indoor and outdoor seating that says “hey neighbor, why don’t you stop and stay awhile!”.
10. Service: Excellent! I wasn’t left waiting, they let me take pictures and ask random questions as well as pace back and forth in front of their counter. And then the baker came out and provided me with all sorts of helpful information, too. Happy customer right here.
11. Three words to describe the Whole Foods Bakery experience:
1) Invigorating 2) Neighborly 3) Licking-my-plate-delicious
To sum it all up, I really loved that Cookie Dough cupcake. And really want to find a spot for it on the Top 10. It’s just getting so hard now with all the amazing cupcakes that have come before it and captured my heart & taste buds. Give me a little more time to think it through and I’ll find a righteous spot for it!