9635 South Santa Monica Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA, 90210
310 274 8765
Unlike my usual reviews this is not for a fine Los Angeles restaurant, a fun filled Hollywood event or an exciting new Mixology bar. It is in fact a review about a bakery that serves “little pieces of Heaven” 24 hours a day, in the heart of Beverly Hills. I am talking, of course, about the delicious Sprinkles Cupcakes.
I have been coming to this location (the original) since the first month I moved to Los Angeles, and the irony is that I don’t actually like cupcakes normally. I’m serious, cake in general is not my favorite dessert because it is often either too spongey or too dry for my tastes, and the style of frosting isn’t the same in the States as the butter icing I like in the UK. I am true to my ‘fussy’ name when it comes to cupcakes. So how did I end up at Sprinkles? Well, 4 years ago I saw an episode of ‘Girls of the Playboy Mansion’ in which Hugh Hefner’s girlfriend (now ex) Bridget went there and got a cute little box of cupcakes for a party, as well as mini ones for her dogs.
So in true tourist fashion, when I first move to Los Angeles it was one of the places I went to have my photo taken at. I didn’t think i’d like it much but when I took my first bite I couldn’t believe what I tasted. Sprinkles cupcakes are ALWAYS soft, moist and fluffy cakes with the most incredibly sweet but creamy style frostings. I became an instant fan, so much so that when I lived in the South Bay I would still drive the 35mins+ drive to Beverly Hills just to get my favorite (Vanilla Milk Chocolate) and drive back home. They really are that good.
Word to the wise, if you don’t like sugary treats so much then this may not be your thing. The one complaint (that you’ll never hear from me) that i’ve ever heard of these cupcakes is that the frostings are too sweet, but I think they are just right and there are some other flavors like the Red Velvet with a less sugary cream cheese icing.
Sprinkles Cupcakes Company was founded by Candace Nelson and her husband in 2002. After visiting ‘Magnolia Bakery’ in New York they decided they could do better and decided to open their own cupcake bakery in Beverly Hills. Candace is said to have stated;
“It was time for cupcakes to stop being the back up dancer to cakes”.
After endorsements from celebrities like Paris Hilton, Tyra Banks and Barbra Streisand (one of their first customers) Oprah Winfrey got hold of a box and requested 300 more for her “Breakfast with Oprah” show in Chicago. The next day sales went up 50% and have continued to have a stream of constant customers ever since. The thing about this place, in my opinion, is that many people go there because of the press it gets, but almost everyone returns because of the product. When the quality is there, people will come!
The bakery building itself is sleek and minimalistic in design, painted a simple chocolate brown with a neon pink ‘icing font’ Sprinkles sign in the far corner. The packaging is also simple and elegant and anyone who knows them would recognize the jagged edges of a Sprinkles sticker anywhere. The brand now has 10 locations throughout the United States, with plans to open in 15 more cities including London and Tokyo. The Nelsons also started a traveling “Sprinklesmobile”, a Mercedes Sprinter van that i’ve seen driving around. They sell a line of cupcake mixes, t-shirts and other merchandise with their logo on at their stores.
New to the Beverly Hills location just this past week is the cupcake ATM. Wait, what was that? Yes, you heard me right. They added an ‘Automated Teller Machine’ that shoots out cupcakes instead of money.
I couldn’t leave on my last visit without a purchase from the new ATM. I thought I would document the occasion step by step for all those interested. It’s pretty straight forward. After waiting in line (and there will be a line) you get to a bubble gum pink machine that reads ’24hour Sprinkles’. A fun and girly song about Sprinkles cupcakes is playing, then you touch the screen and are given a list of your cupcake choices.
- Scroll through the choices of cupcakes available at the machine
- Click on the cupcake of choice. (I went for the Irish Chocolate seeing as it’s nearly St.Patricks Day.)
- Read the detailed description of cupcake you’ve chosen
- Confirm selection
- Pay with a debit or credit card
- Watch a live video feed of a suction arm collecting your chosen flavor
- Collect your beautifully boxed cupcake from the tray
- Enjoy it’s deliciousness!
They bake and fill the machine all day then an extra 600 is added to stock up through the night time. Funnily enough my friend in the UK was shocked when I told her this and said “600? They can’t possibly expect to sell that many in a night”, from the looks of things so far 600 cupcakes may not be enough.
I was going to go the other night at 1am until I saw a tweet by blogger Caroline on Crack
saying “wtf? This late? I wonder when there won’t be a line. @Sprinkles ATM has a line around the block! Insane.”
It doesn’t surprise me that much. There is almost always a line outside the Sprinkles bakery itself, partly due to the small size of the building but mainly because of the sheer number of customers. I am told people are coming by at 3am after the bars close to get a sweet fix before they head home. That’s actually sort of how this idea started too. The owner would crave cupcakes in the middle of the night (not drunk though, she was in fact pregnant!) and would be upset that the store was closed. She decided there should be an option to get them at all hours. Proved to be a genius move because now the ATM is in operation it is clear that it is going to be a success.
The flavor option availability changes daily, although classics like Vanilla Milk Chocolate, Red Velvet and Black & White are always being made. They also try out new and seasonal flavors all the time and with St.Patricks day around the corner they created an ‘Irish Chocolate’ which is what I got on this trip. It tasted like it had a subtle Whiskey flavor in the frosting as well as vanilla notes throughout the cake. There are too many options in rotation for me to review, although I think I have nearly tried every one of them. The choices are in the picture at the bottom of this post and they put a little sticker next to those that are available that day. Check out their Facebook for daily deals too.
I am going to talk quickly about my favorite flavor here the The Vanilla Milk Chocolate. This is the one I get by the box load for my birthday and parties, it is by far my favorite although the boyfriend finds this flavor to be on the sweeter side. It comes with the option of sprinkles of no sprinkles. I always say do the sprinkles, but each to their own.
Vanilla Milk Chocolate– Madagascar bourbon vanilla cake with fudge milk chocolate frosting
The cake has a hint of vanilla to it and is soft and moist. The chocolate frosting is like no other i’ve found in the States. Sweet, creamy and fudgy. Pure chocolate decadence. It is just a perfect little cupcake and saves well too. These cupcakes don’t taste terrible the next day, my boyfriend actually prefers them a day old. So there you have it. Sprinkles Cupcakes are so far the best i’ve found in the World. In fact, my writing of this review has given me the bright idea to head back there right now and get one! If you’re in the area…I suggest you do the same.