Small Bite: Isabelle's Curly Cakes

THE ARRIVAL of Curly Cakes was announced long before it actually happened. Years before, in fact. It took so long that we wondered if the cupcake craze would long be over by the time it opened. Still, we couldn’t help but be intrigued; it’s the first eatery that Todd English has opened in Boston in years, and its namesake is English’s curly-haired teenage daughter, Isabelle, a partner in the business. Were we seeing the beginning of the next great English chef?

Perhaps. The cupcakes are quite good: substantial, moist, and richly flavored. They come in fun varieties like triple chocolate, Oreo, and chocolate peanut butter cup. And in true English fashion, they tend to have a lot going on at once — say, amaretti crumble and a white chocolate drizzle over a pumpkin cupcake filled with spiced pumpkin and finished with nutmeg–cream cheese frosting. The proportion of icing to cake is just right, too.

The frosting itself, however, is a matter of debate. It’s buttercream, but has the texture of a richer whipped cream. Some love it. But those of us who happen to prefer an icing with a little crunch from undissolved sugar (rather than a mousselike cloud) do not. One thing’s for certain, though: The red velvet, topped instead with cream cheese frosting, is a winner.  

81 Charles St., Boston, 617-720-2260, izzyscurlycakes.com.

  • rob

    I was able to pay a visit to this place a short while ago and was able to try a few mini cupcakes – the available selection of all kinds was very limited. The vanilla and the peanut butter cakes were delicate and moist, and I enjoyed the frostings – definitely prefer smooth to crunchy. A sugary sweet crunch frosting is just poorly made and not worth eating. However, the red velvet i had and the other ones there that day were almost black in color – and cake was mediocre at best – the classic, cream cheese frosting was the best part, but that isn’t saying much since all you have to do is cream together cream cheese and confectioners sugar. This place is not worth it, but if you are curious make sure you go early and get a sampling or your favorite mini cupcake.

  • rob

    I was able to pay a visit to this place a short while ago and was able to try a few mini cupcakes – the available selection of all kinds was very limited. The vanilla and the peanut butter cakes were delicate and moist, and I enjoyed the frostings – definitely prefer smooth to crunchy. A sugary sweet crunch frosting is just poorly made and not worth eating. However, the red velvet i had and the other ones there that day were almost black in color – and cake was mediocre at best – the classic, cream cheese frosting was the best part, but that isn’t saying much since all you have to do is cream together cream cheese and confectioners sugar. This place is not worth it, but if you are curious make sure you go early and get a sampling or your favorite mini cupcake.