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Taste Test: Sprinkles Vanilla Cupcake Mix

Last week I got my hands on a container of Sprinkles vanilla cupcake mix ($14). The LA-based bakery boosts a celebrity following and is famous for its rich cupcakes topped with swirled frosting and signature modern dot. Currently, there are six bakeries sprinkled throughout the Western United States, but thanks to Williams-Sonoma, you can experience the sweetness of Sprinkles in the comfort of your kitchen. The mix comes in seven flavors: chocolate, red velvet, vanilla, lemon, pumpkin, chocolate peppermint, and banana. To find out what I thought of the vanilla variation,

.

First off, the mix is expensive. It only makes 12 cupcakes and that doesn't include the cost of frosting ingredients. The addition of the signature modern dot is fun, but, be warned, when I opened the plastic container the dots shattered on my counter. By themselves, the dots don't taste very good either: they're chalky and bitter with no apparent taste. The recipe is straightforward and easy to follow.

The final cake is extremely dense with a strong vanilla flavor. Essentially, it tastes exactly like what it is — a gourmet cupcake made from a prepackaged mix.

The frosting was my favorite part: it's thick and creamy with a delightful flavor that's not overly sweet or too buttery.

Since I prefer to make baked goods from scratch, Sprinkles boxed mix will not become a staple in my pantry. If you prefer light, fluffy, moist cupcakes, opt for a different flavor or mix altogether. Has anyone else tried Sprinkles boxed cupcake mixes? What did you think of it?


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shalee55 shalee55 7 years
MAGNOLIA BAKERY HAS A COOKBOOK....AND THE BASIC CAKE WHICH I USE FOR BIRTHDAY CAKES AND CUPCAKES IS FANTASTIC, THICK ...DENSE....LUSH....YUMMY...A STAND MIXER IS BEST FOR THIS...SAVE YOUR MONEY BUY THE BOOK IT'S ONLY A LITTLE MORE AND YOU WILL ENJOY IT....YOU CAN ALSO FIND THIS BASIC RECIPE ONLINE AND PRINT IT OUT....IT'S WORTH THE TIME....AND BUTTER...
SaRaH-22 SaRaH-22 7 years
I LOVE LOVE LOVE Sprinkles cupcakes and have tried them all..but I can not make myself buy the mix because Im affraid that I would ruin it because I know nothing i did would make them as good as Newport Beach!
Soniabonya Soniabonya 7 years
I tried Sprinkles in the branch out in Palo Alto. :shrug: They're okay. Wasn't too impressed but I did enjoy them. Though I won't be making them a staple in my life. I'd rather bake from scratch.
bffbbf4fun bffbbf4fun 7 years
*my
bffbbf4fun bffbbf4fun 7 years
I've yet to try the real thing, but I have friends that are IN LOVE with them! Their enthusiasm has certainly sparked by interest in these little 'cakes (that, and my general gluttony regarding sweets). I'm definitely going to have do a comparison with the boxed version once I taste an "authentic" Sprinkles cupcake. As for the photos, I think they are excellent references! I don't have any fancy lighting or enhancements in my kitchen, so I find it really helpful to have Yum's pics for comparison if I need them. The pics reflect what a regular person like me should be seeing in their bowl at home. =)
EightOctopi EightOctopi 7 years
Thanks for the review... I'd been tempted to try these when I saw them in the Williams-Sonoma catalog, but they're too expensive! I'm glad I have a better idea now of what they're like (and I don't think I'll be running out to buy them).
aimeeb aimeeb 7 years
I prefer to make most everything from scratch.
maleea maleea 7 years
I made the red velvet ones a few years ago for my boyfriend for Valentine's day. I actually thought they were a bit dry. I thought I would try them out though because of all the hype Sprinkles gets. I'm not really a fan and think I will stick with Kara's cupcakes instead for my gourmet cupcake cravings. Now those are delicious!!
Segat1 Segat1 7 years
Surely mixes is cheating? Come on, make it from scratch! It takes no time and tastes MILES better, plus you know what you've put in the cake!
ELLEHUDSON ELLEHUDSON 7 years
looks like a nipple!
ElizabethRae ElizabethRae 7 years
I have to defend CaterpillarGirl. She's just being honest and I totally agree. I don't expect these to be super artistic, but the Sugar Network is a brand and a business. They could invest in a few cameras and do a quick photo tutorial with their staff and really increase the value. I get that budgets are tight and stuff, but that's all the more reason to make the site the best it can be. Better photos = better reader impressions = more readers = more advertising = more profit. Not being ugly, but there is room for improvement and I think CG should be able to state that without being attacked. On topic: Thanks for the review! I haven't tried Sprinkles yet but I really want to. Maybe I should just try the mix instead of getting addicted to the real thing!
RachLA RachLA 7 years
I'm in love with Sprinkles! My last office was by their Beverly Hills location, which was delicious and dangerous. But they are definitely overpriced... if I'm paying that much I don't want to have to make them!
Mel475 Mel475 7 years
Tks for the review - I had seen these and wondered about them. I might try them for a special occasion but they don't sound like a staple. Like others have said, there are other mixes and recipes for a lot less that are probably as good but it is fun to splurge every once in a while! xxstardust - that was the FIRST thing I thought of when I saw the pics! Glad I'm not the only one!!! :-)
babysugar babysugar 7 years
From a mom's perspective, I liked them. Making cupcakes from scratch isn't really an option for me but these looked and tasted gourmet. I'd totally use them for a party. Thanks for letting me have a taste yum!
opentypeA opentypeA 7 years
@xxstardust lol, I never thought of that before, but now that you mention it... !!!
pinky8486 pinky8486 7 years
I made the pumpkin ones with cream cheese frosting for thanksgiving...SO GOOD!! I didn't use the dots...i sprinkled some chopped pecans on top...14 dollars is a lot but its so worth it!! its worth it also if you don't have a lot of the ingredients like flour, leavening...
xxstardust xxstardust 7 years
I'm sure I could make equally delicious cupcakes from scratch for WAY less. sidenote: does anyone else think the 'signature dots' make them look like boob cupcakes? that was my first thought ..
spacebear spacebear 7 years
i tried sprinkles this weekend for the first time. i don't think a mix could do it justice - and if it could, i don't think i would want to know. i'd be making and eating cupcakes everyday! i think the pics on this site are wonderful. they are real pictures of food! i was very jealous of whoever got to take a bite of that cupcake just because of the great pic! keep up the GREAT work yum!
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 7 years
That is insanely expensive! I guess if someone is a total cupcake nut it might make a fun gift for them, but otherwise it's a major rip off.
mrsmiller mrsmiller 7 years
if someone's addicted to Sprinkles store bought cupcakes, this is a cheaper alternative. a friend got them for me several times, which I begged her not too. something doesn't feel right about a $5 cupcake.
ann418 ann418 7 years
I can't ever get those silicone cupcake things to work. I end up digging the cupcake out which results in a bunch of crumbs.
dew030783 dew030783 7 years
If you can't get to a Sprinkles and really want to make them, the mix can be worth it. You'll spend less money overall making a dozen of them on your own (including frosting) then buying a dozen cupcakes from them!
pharm_chick pharm_chick 7 years
im sure they taste great, but id rather get a $2 box of betty crocker and $2 frosting mix and make that instead lol... maybe ill just get an actual sprinkles cupcake if im ever out on the west coast...
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