Sprinkle’s 24-hr Cupcake ATM- 03.09.12
Cupcakes are wonderful. While they have perhaps become a little over exposed in the last few years, they are certainly still a tasty treat. There are so many different kinds, different cakes, different frostings… it seems like there is one for every mood. Sprinkles has upped the ante by providing cupcakes for when you are feeling anti-social, hungry at 3am, nostalgic for automats, or for when you just want dessert handed to you from a robot with its own twitter handle. Their new Cupcake ATM has certainly captured the imagination of the Internet, Los Angeles, and now me. I too have succumbed to the siren’s call of that winning combination of fat, sugar, and machine. The Sprinkles Cupcake ATM even has its own twitter - @CupcakeATM and facebook. Take a peek at our cupcake adventure on the next page!
Currently there is only one Cupcake ATM, which acts as a sort of automated portal into Sprinkles’ Beverly Hills location on Santa Monica Boulevard, but they have plans to expand to New York City. The response to this first one has been phenomenal and another opportunity for me to marvel at the bizarre Los Angeles obsession of waiting in long lines for things. The cupcake ATM is a rock star. It has paparazzi. In my brief time with it I witnessed more pictures snapped than cupcakes eaten.
The machine, dreamed up by Sprinkle’s Founder Candace Nelson, can be stocked with up to 600 cupcakes at a time, which may be just enough to last it through the night. Doggie cupcakes are also available for those late night walks. Soon there will be baking mixes and even apparel if should you find yourself out in Beverly Hills at 3am in need of a T-shirt.
Soon an awning will shield the screen and cupcake cravers from the glare, but the squinting did not seem to reduce anyone’s enthusiasm. The cupcakes are stocked fresh from the other side of the wall in the store. The machine dispenses them one by one and there is a sort of theater to it. A camera provides your cupcake’s point of view on its brief odyssey from the shelf to your eagerly awaiting hands.
The Cupcake ATM is really more of a vending machine, though I am intrigued by the notion of withdrawing a little sugar from my bank.
There is a giddy pleasure from watching the process unfold, not entirely unlike the pneumatic tubes at the bank when I was little. This and the novelty of the thing explain why there were people waiting 30 deep on the street, while you could walk right up to the counter and order inside.
The cupcakes themselves, each in their own little box, are what you’ve come to expect from Sprinkles, a pioneer in specialized cupcake bakeries.
They feature a moist cake, great frosting to cake ratios, and a keen eye towards presentation. The carrot cake has a nice warming spice to it and the chocolate marshmallow brought both glee and favorable comparisons to Ho Ho’s from my little panel of tasters.
They were all very excited to try the vaunted “ATM Cupcakes” and while I can’t prove it… I remain suspicious that the robot delivery enhances the experience.
Los Angeles certainly seems to think so.
Here’s a video of it in action!