It's a cupcake kind of day

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by mponto

khou.com

Posted on November 16, 2009 at 2:12 PM

Getting my chocolate fix at Crave Cupcakes.Chocolate, vanilla and strawberry...oh my!

The hardest part about going to CRAVE Cupcakes is choosing which flavor you want. Of course, this could be the reason why people go back time and time again...and why the five month old Uptown Park bakery has become a popular place for Houstonians with a craving for sweets.

"It's a good corner to be in," said Brad Dorsey, one of the three partners for CRAVE Cupcakes. "We felt Houston was the right place to be, and so far, our customers agree."

I had to agree with Dorsey. I've been to the place twice in less than a week (all in the name of research - I swear), and both times, it was packed with people looking for a little sweet indulgence.

THE SECRET TO CRAVE'S GREAT TASTE
Crave is located at 1151-06 Uptown Park Blvd in Houston.You'll be happy to hear that CRAVE is owned by three Texans, which could one of the reasons for their success -- as I'm learning that when Texans do something, they do it big and they do it right.

But one of the real reasons their cupcakes are so addictive has to do with the company's philosophy.

"We like to keep things simple. There are only a few ingredients in the recipes. There are no preservatives and no artificial colors or flavors," said Dorsey.

In fact, the pink colored icing on their strawberry cupcakes is actually made from real strawberries - which explains why it tastes so good. But then again, everything at CRAVE tastes incredible...and here's why:

"We source the finest quality ingredients including American artisan butter, Texas milk products, Belgium chocolate and even Madagascar vanilla," said Dorsey.

Lauren is one of the bakers at CRAVE Cupcakes.So which flavor is the customers' favorite? According to Dorsey, the strawberry cupcake is pretty popular, followed by the Red Velvet. But the CRAVE customer doesn't just stop at the basics.

"A lot of our untraditional flavors have been doing well, such as the cinnamon cupcake and the cranberry and orange flavor. The apple cupcake is also doing well," said Dorsey. "We've had to increase our batter batches just to keep up with the demand."

SPECIAL HOLIDAY CRAVINGS
You know how they say "good things come in small packages?" Well, this is especially true at CRAVE cupcakes. That's because for a limited time, they're going to offer special cupcake flavors inspired by the holidays.

Sara is majoring in Hotel Restaurant Management at the University of Houston."Starting on November 10, we're going to have a pumpkin cupcake with cinnamon cream cheese icing," said Dorsey.

But wait, there's more. On December 1, CRAVE will introduce a gingerbread cupcake with cream cheese icing and a little gingerbread man on top, along with a yummy eggnog cupcake with nutmeg frosting.

I don't know about you, but the holidays just got a little bit sweeter.

GOOD FOR THE TUMMY AND GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
So while I was doing a little taste-testing, I learned a couple of more things about the bakery. Did you know that their forks are made from cornstarch and their plates are made from sugarcane? I didn't know that either.

So many yummy cupcakes....which one should I eat?But I should have guessed. Every detail in the place has been carefully thought out -- from the sleek and sophisticated decor, right down to the environmentally friendly cutlery.

"We try to source things locally whenever possible," said Brad. "Our coffee comes from a local roaster, and our bottled water comes from a spring in Jasper County."

Dorsey also said that they ground and brew their coffee by cup so the customer gets the freshest tasting coffee possible each and every time.

SORRY...THEY'RE ONLY IN HOUSTON -- FOR NOW
I have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is CRAVE Cupcakes only has one location and it's at Uptown Park at 1151-06 Uptown Park Blvd. The good news is that if their business keeps growing, they may consider expanding to other places next year.

"We are only five months old, so we want to make sure that we can be consistent before branching out," said Dorsey.

In the meantime, if you live in the Houston area and don't want to drive all that way, they do deliver.

More food reviews from KHOU's new girl:
Voice at Hotel Icon
Gravitas on Taft
Sambuca in downtown Houston
Max's Wine Dive
The Quest for Sweet Tea

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