Sunday, 26 September 2010

Pretty vacant


Today I finally made it to Cox, Cookies and Cake after previously turning up on their "opening day" to find it full of builders after they didn't bother to announce it was no longer opening as expected.

I wish I hadn't bothered.


Manny and I trekked through Soho in the pissing rain, avoiding umbrellas and the wheely trollies of tourists to get there. When we arrived I was quite impressed with the look of the shop - neon sign outside (complete with flashing Cox..oh how risque), black glittery walls, black pretty much everything and a pink neon sign "designed"* by Tracey Emin saying "I keep haunting you".


Anyway to the cupcakes. I won't comment on the cookies as I didn't see any at all when we were there - just cupcakes. There were none of their advertised bars either - I had hoped to try a nanimo bar but there were none to be seen. Perhaps that was for the best.


The cakes all looked quite nice but there wasn't much on offer, about 3 of their classic cupcakes, with featuring the usual suspects like vanilla, lemon, chocolate and some of their specialities featuring the skulls, the marilyn and the bling. Which are basically the classics fancied up at nearly double the price.

I had intended to just buy one cake after hearing nothing but bad reviews on the cake but Manny couldn't resist a brown titty cake so we ended up buying two. I chose a black skull cupcake. Two cakes came to the grand total of £8. Yes you read that right, two normal sized cupcakes were just short of a tenner.

Were they worth it?

In a word, NO.



My skull cupcake is advertised as being.. triple Valrhona chocolate cake with goth black frosting and a dark chocolate jewelled skull. I am not exaggerating when I say there was not a hint of chocolate in either the cupcake base, or cupcake frosting. None. Nada. Zilch. If we want to get Scottish about it, f**k all. As well as being utterly flavourless, the base was as dry Gandhi's flip flop. Completely devoid of moisture. The frosting, again, tasted of absolutely nothing. Not a hint of chocolate. None. The only flavour was food colouring but I'd wager money that the frosting had never seen any Valrhona chocolate. In fact Valrhona should be suing for using their name under false pretences. I'm assuming the triple came from the chunk of something unidentified in the middle of the cake -which may have been chocolate - I gave up trying after the second tasteless bite. Life is too short to waste on a bad cupcake.

a right tit - what I felt after paying a fortune for an inedible cake!

Manny's boob had slightly more flavour, with the merest hint of chocolate but was still as dry as a nun's gusset. I've made chocolate cupcakes that retained their moisture for four days so god only knows when these were put together. (I refuse to say baked - baking involves love and care -something these cakes had not seen!)


I cannot believe I've waited this long to try the baking of Eric Lanlard and this is it? I also can't believe he allows his name to be used with such atrocities to baking. A dry, tasteless waste of money. I can compare it to only one other cupcake experience - trying chocolate cupcakes from Aldi - these tasted pretty much the same. If I'm honest the Aldi ones were probably slightly less dry, and cost about £1 for four. So yes I paid the most money ever for a cupcake and it was the worst I've had. Go figure.

This place is definitely a case of style over substance which is a pity as it looks quite cool, is something different from the usual cupcake cafe and the staff were really nice. One thing I did adore was the staff aprons - very S&M with leather and studs - and the girl who served us was chatty and friendly. If only the cakes were as pleasant as her.

My recommendation - avoid unless you want disappointment. If you're in Soho and want a cupcake Hummingbird is about 4 mins walk away and everything is fresh and full of flavour! Cox, Cookies and Cake join Buttercup in my cupcakeries to avoid.

*I'm possibly not the best person to comment on modern "art" but how much design goes into a neon sign? Surely its just choosing a font, a colour and a phrase that means naff all?

22 comments:

missielizzie said...

Wow! Certainly your endorsement is not as glowing as the signage. Great to read an honest review. Thanks - one to avoid for sure!

edith said...

We visited a few weeks ago (just after it opened) and have to say that our cupcakes - a lemon and a fancy one - were very yummy and moist. We were impressed but not so much by the price. Will def not pay £4 again for a cupcake.

Jen said...

I totally agree. We had some of these cakes delivered to our office as a promo, and YUCK. I've had Betty Crocker cake mix that tasted more authentic than these. If you're going to open a cupcakery, at least TRY and make them taste like they were baked from scratch.

Cupcake Kelly said...

I wasn't very impressed either! I went about 2 or 3 weeks ago and all the cakes were squished in the case! So unprofessional for the price. Mine didn't taste too bad but no where near worth the £4.

Made With Pink said...

How dissapointing! I hate when you have really high expectations of a cupcake or anything baked for that matter only to be let down. To be honest, I don't even think those cupcakes look very nice. I totally agree about avoiding Buttercup - I have no idea have they have 3 locations!

Abbie said...

How utterly rubbish! £4 is a ridiculous price for a mediocre cupcake... even for a damn good one it's pretty steep!

The Caked Crusader said...

Nice to read an honest review - I've read a lot about how wonderful this place is but all written by media types who probably just looked at, rather than ate, the cakes.

the princess said...

ah, thanks for the review. will make sure to go and take pictures but not actually buy anything. i will play the part of annoying tourist.

Gothicat said...

What about the 'Cox' ?

Manny said...

Normally I'm a sucker for anything chocolate but these were rubbish. The only part of Anne's skull cake that tasted of chocolate, or indeed of anything, was the skull. The cake was dry and flavourless. My chocolate boob was slightly moister and slightly more flavoursome but only just - give me Mr Kiplings anyday! I can't believe I paid £8 for them either - what a boob I am!

Katie said...

Oh dear - your review made me laugh at the lack of chocolate flavour. I'm amazed they are charging so much for cake that's so awful!

Belle said...

Nobody can resist the brown tit cake and I wish I had saved my £4. I treated two of my friends and myself to 5 cakes, nearly died when the price came to £20. Awful, awful.

Suzanne said...

Hi sorry, I meant to say the cupcakes at hummingbird amazing. Thanks for the top. Suzanne xx

I heart cupcakes said...

Hi Suzanne - Hummingbird do very nice cupcakes. Just about to blog about our latest one from there!

I heart cupcakes said...

Hi Suzanne - Hummingbird do very nice cupcakes. Just about to blog about our latest one from there!

Ice Maiden said...

'as dry as a nun's gusset' *chortle* - I love your reviews!! If you are ever in Somerset come and try my cupcakes. Even if you savage them at least i'll get a laugh out of it :)

I heart cupcakes said...

Ice Maiden - thanks :) Just looking at your site - LOVE the frog and cupcakes!

Sarah, Maison Cupcake said...

I walked past this place a few weeks ago and meant to ask you if you'd tried it. I thought the whole concept was well tacky and it's doomed to failure regardless how good the cake is. As it happens it sounds like the cake is rubbish too but I am so shocked to hear that Eric Lanlard has anything to do with this place?!

I heart cupcakes said...

Sarah, I get the concept they were going with, but it's just a little off putting in my opinion, I don't think it'll pull people in.

As for the cake - honestly I have rarely tasted anything so dry and unpleasant. As for Eric I must go to Cake Boy and test his other cakes to compare, but he's busy bigging this place up and its just AWFUL!

Sasporella said...

£4.00 for a cupcake!!! I always wondered what they were like from there but as i live too far away, i wouldn't get the chance to go. By the sounds of your review i may have had a lucky escape.It is so refreshing to read an honest review for a change....love your blog.

I heart cupcakes said...

Sasporella - I know and a cupcake that ended up in the bin too!
Thanks, glad you enjoyed it, I try to be as honest as possible!

Craft Fairy said...

Wow, that bad. I know that poor cake is disappointing, but it was made so much worst by being so expensive. A place to avoid at all costs. I bought cakes at Ottolenghi last week and they were fantastic.