Before I moved to Nebraska, a student told me about a cupcake place, Jones Brothers, in Omaha which she had seen on Cupcake Wars. So, when a couple of weeks ago I went in to Omaha for a job interview, I figured I deserved a treat.
During the interview, I mentioned that I planned on going by Jones Brothers afterwards. Although one of my interviewers responded with enthusiasm, the other said she was more of a Cupcake Island fan.
Thus began the Omaha Cupcake Showdown.
Truth is, I liked them both but for different reasons. Although the two interviewers had very definitive feelings and loyalties, after trying three from each I was undecided. Ultimately, here's my evaluation of each.
Jones Bros is more of an overall package. A very trendy style cafe, they offer food, desserts (homemade marshmallows, cookies, etc), wine, yogurt, and coffee. So, you can go, hang out, and eat a wide range of sassy foods. To give you a stronger sense of the place, it was voted an Omaha "Hot Spot" just shortly after it opened.
As cupcakes go, there is a great range; they take bolder risks with flavors. I tried the "Salty and Sweet," "Caramel Apple," and "Strawberries and Cream." All where really moist and decadent tasting. The "Caramel Apple" towered with frosting and pieces of apple cooked inside, making it almost muffin like. The best was the "Strawberries and Cream" which had real strawberries. Overall, it was just the right amount of sweet and fluffy.
Cupcake Island, in comparison, is a simpler affair. It is located in a less trendy strip mall, and is more a traditional bakery. Instead of spreading themselves over many food arenas, they focus on cakes and cupcakes.
The three I tried was the "Pink Champagne," "Chocolate Covered Cherry," and the "PB Cup." In comparison, I think the cake was a little denser (although still moist), but the frosting was more satisfying. Jones Bros has a slight aftertaste that Cupcake Island didn't have.
Cupcake Island had my least and most favorite between both cupcakeries. My least favorite was the "Pink Champagne." It was light, but had no real definitive flavor. The best was the "PB Cup." The cupcake was a chocolate cupcake with a rich peanut butter center and cream cheese frosting--all three things that I'd want in a cupcake.
The Bottom Line:
- The final ranking was 1.) PB Cup; 2.) Chocolate Covered Cherry; 3.) Strawberries and Cream; 4.) Salty and Sweet; 5.) Caramel Apple; and 6.) Pink Champagne.
- For creative cupcakes--Jones Bros.
- For sweet and decadent--Cupcake Island
- For trends and atmosphere--Jones Bros.
- For classic bakery--Cupcake Island
- Best Frosting--Cupcake Island
- Best Cake--Jones Bros.