Xoco Cupcake Taste Test: Does it Make the Grade?

Peanut butter cupcake at Xoco.

I returned to Xoco last week with fellow foodie @urbanmatt and was pleased to find peanut butter cupcakes available for dessert. I couldn’t resist ordering one to top off our meal because I wondered if Rick Bayless’ contribution to the national cupcake craze would match up to other cupcake delights throughout the city.  I also applaud any chef who is man enough to give cupcakes a try, not because they’re hip, but because truly good specialty cupcakes are hard to make.

Does Bayless’ make the grade? Yes and no.  His peanut butter frosting is wonderful — light, airy, and not the least bit grainy. But unfortunately, the cake itself was way overcooked. It had a chocolate ganache center, but that didn’t make up for the cake’s outer edges being almost crispy. It stuck to wrapping when I peeled it back, and the part that didn’t was a tad dry.

Go with ice cream or hot chocolate at Xoco for dessert. They won’t disappoint.  And neither will Bayless’ standard specialties. Who says you can’t have guacamole for dessert?

449 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60654

Xoco guac

Who says guacamole is a starter? It's good for dessert too!

  1. Biba Sihota left a comment on March 8, 2010 at 9:56 am

    That picture is making me hungry

    Actually very very hungry

  2. bitxdeadweight left a comment on March 8, 2010 at 10:02 am

    I used to do quite a bit of kitchen work … long story short, when something gets overcooked, it still goes out if it’s sell-able. I’d chalk it up to a fluke.

  3. chicagobites left a comment on March 8, 2010 at 10:38 am

    That makes sense. I suppose you have to make the most of everything made. But what about quality control? Is it a balance of priorities? –Bridget

  4. Heather @ chik n' pastry left a comment on March 10, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    oh man – i never had the xoco cupcake. the hot chocolate and all of their sandwiches are to die for (well, at least the three i’ve had so far….). I suppose i wouldn’t expect the cupcakes to be the best cupcake i’ve ever had, but i agree with ‘bitxdeadweight’ in that it was probably a fluke. my boy rick doesn’t strike me as a “overcooked cupcake server”… are we are tight. just kidding, of course 😉

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