Last month on a last minute dinner out with my family, I was sitting at Red Robin when my husband freaked out and pointed to the table top display at our table.
Cupcakes!!!! Red Robin now serves cupcakes! I think I about sh*t my pants too when I saw this. I almost couldn’t believe my eyes. Seriously? They jumped on THAT bandwagon? Cupcakes? At Red Robin? So… I asked my server how long they had been serving them and she said only about 3 weeks. No wonder why I hadn’t heard about them from any of my favorite cupcake blogs yet!
So… dinner is done and OF COURSE I’m ordering these cupcakes. “One of each.” I tell my server. Now, from the picture on the table top display, I’m not really expecting much from these cupcakes. They’re simple in design but, I’m hoping their flavor is amazing!
They arrive at our table and the first thing I notice is the shiny color of the frosting…. something tells me this isn’t buttercream. I also notice they look very moist, almost wet… which tells me they might actually be cold.
I was right. They were cold. While talking to the waitress about them, she mentioned that they come to her frozen. Really? You’re serving me FROZEN cupcakes? Alright… well, that aside, I decide to taste them.
First up is the vanilla on vanilla. It’s a vanilla cupcake, filled with a vanilla creme and topped with vanilla frosting.
First reaction. Gross. It tastes like tires. It was NOT GOOD. It had ZERO vanilla flavor. My 10 year old daughter wouldn’t even finish it. Moving on.
Next we tried the chocolate on chocolate. A chocolate cupcake filled with chocolate cream topped with chocolate frosting. Ok so this cupcake, not too bad. It’s definitely got good chocolate flavor… no hint of tire in this one. It’s not the best chocolate cupcake I’ve ever had… but it wasn’t horrible. If you were really in the mood for chocolate cake and you didn’t want to order the monster piece of cake they serve at Red Robin… this might be a nice alternative.
Finally we have the Freckled Lemonade cupcake. It’s a lemon cupcake filled with strawberry topped with strawberry frosting. To my surprise… this cupcake was VERY YUMMY!! It tasted just like their strawberry lemonade drink they serve. It was moist and the filling was really quite good! I actually took more than one bite of this one!! Now… I’m not saying I’d pay money for them and order them again… but if someone else at my table did, I wouldn’t say no to a bite!!!
I called the manager of the local Red Robin I went to and asked about the cupcakes. He said they ordered them from a company in Denver who makes them specifically for Red Robin. I asked about getting them frozen and he reiterated what our waitress had said, that yes, they come to them frozen but are made fresh at the factory in Denver.
My initial reaction to Red Robin having cupcakes was, “Uh, really? Seriously? They jumped on THAT bandwagon? Isn’t it a little late to be joining that parade?” And to be honest… I’m pretty sure I’m dead on with that assumption. Red Robin is way late getting on this trend and they have fallen short. If you’re going to add cupcakes to your menu and you are a huge, established restaurant… you better produce amazing cupcakes. These cupcakes are not amazing. They are boring and forgettable. And to be honest, I forgot to write this blog… because I actually tasted these cupcakes back in December.
The frosting was definitely a shortening based frosting. It tasted like it had a ton of Crisco in it with a grainy like texture. I felt like I was eating pure fat and lard when I put it in my mouth. The cake was hit or miss. The vanilla was dry, cold and still partly frozen but the chocolate and lemon were moist and had fairly good flavor. The fillings were ehhh, just so-so with the strawberry being the best of the three if I had to choose. The embellishment dot on the top instantly reminded me of the dot on the cupcakes at Sprinkles, which they are famous for… not too creative on the part of Red Robin.
If I were in charge of cupcakes at Red Robin, I might have tried to pair my restaurants with local cupcake shops to produce their line of cupcakes… thus producing a fresh, locally made product. Not a mass produced, frozen and cold, tastes like tire cupcake like I got. Red Robin needs to do a bit more research, take some time into planning these cupcakes… they could be a great addition to the menu. Not something they just slapped together for the sake of hopping on the cupcake bandwagon.
My final thoughts on the Red Robin cupcakes: Forgettable. Don’t waste your money.