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?