Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Quest for the Best: Two Little Red Hens Review

Location: 1652 2nd Avenue, NY, NY

Website: Two Little Red Hens

Price: Cupcakes are $2.50-$3.95 each

Atmosphere: Grandma’s kitchen. The place is tiny, but with the presence of tchotchke-lined wooden shelves and various gingham coverings, there’s a very homey feel to it. There are a few small tables if you want to enjoy your snack on location.

My Review: The main thing the cupcakes at Two Little Red Hens have going for them is that they’re bigger than the ones you get at most other bakeries (except for Crumbs, whose cupcakes are enormous). I gave the red velvet cupcake and their famous Brooklyn blackout cupcake a try, and while both were definitely tasty, there wasn’t anything overly special about either of them. The red velvet was tasty, with the cake being moist and the cream cheese frosting creamy and not overly sour, like cream cheese frosting can often be. Definitely nothing to complain about, but I’m not sure I’d go out of my way to get this cupcake again, especially when the red velvet offered at both Billy’s Bakery and Buttercup is better.

The Brooklyn blackout was a bit of a disappointment since I had read some online reviews raving about this particular cupcake. It consists of chocolate, filled with chocolate, topped with chocolate, doused in chocolate, served with chocolate on the side (or at least that’s how it seemed). It’s chocolate cake with a chocolate filling that has both the consistency and taste of runny chocolate pudding. Something a bit more solid and creamier, like a ganache, would have been so much better. The whole thing is topped with chocolate frosting that tasted like the canned Duncan Hines kind. And while Duncan Hines makes tasty frosting, I expect something a bit more when shelling out over $3 for a single cupcake.

Bottom Line: Nothing really to crow about at Two Little Red Hens. The cake is moist, which is an improvement over what some other bakeries offer (ahem, Magnolia), but the frosting is sort of generic and unremarkable. And the frosting is the whole point of the cupcake; the cake is mainly just a receptacle to get the frosting into your gaping maw. If you’re in the area and have a sugar craving, it’s not a bad place to stop in, but there are certainly better options available in the city.


  1. I had no idea they were a chain. Well, sort of a chain: there's one near me, but they changed their name - from what I've heard, the two partners had a falling out. I've been meaning to check them out (for going on four years now...ahem); maybe the good Brooklyn Blackout is in Brooklyn.

  2. I didn't know they had multiple locations, either. The Brooklyn blackout isn't bad by any means (how bad can a totally chocolate indulgence be?), it's just not as spectacular as it could be.