Friday night I had dinner with my husband's family at the Cheesecake Factory at the Irvine Spectrum. On the way to the restaurant I spotted Sweet Lorraines and saw that it was open. I walked inside and was welcomed by the wonderful smell of fresh cupcakes. I confirmed that they would still be open in a few hours and was on my way. Dinner was great, and for the first time ever I passed on having cheesecake for dessert because I was anxious to try the new cupcake bakery.I first got notice of Sweet Lorraines about two weeks ago when a friend sent me a picture of the store's sign. They weren't open yet, so I think last week was their first week open. I was mildly surprised at the small assortment of flavors. They only had four: red velvet (of course), mocha, lemon, and vanilla. Second item of note, the cupcakes were not displayed very nicely. They were sitting on silver trays, in no particular arrangement, and it looked like crumbs were all over the trays. Third item, even though there were only four flavors, several of each flavor had a drizzle of chocolate or mocha on top, which made the flavors inconsistent sitting next to each other.
The store had minimal decorations. Strangely, the walls were blue and they had empty white picture frames on them just like Twenty Five Main in St. George, UT. When we asked about the decorations, the girl helping us said that the store had just opened so they were planning on decorating more.
Despite what the store looked like or how the cupcakes looked behind the glass, the most important test of all was how they tasted! Could Sweet Lorraines be the next Sprinkles? Sadly, no. I was very disappointed in my cupcake! I only bought one cupcake because Red Velvet was the only flavor that sounded appealing to me. My first bite...crunch! What? Another crunchy cupcake? The same thing happened at Twenty Five Main. The edge was hard and crunchy. I am not quite sure why this happens, but my guess is that the cupcake is slightly overcooked and had been sitting out too long. The frosting was so-so, definitely not good enough to save my half-eaten cupcake from being thrown away. I don't waste my calories on so-so cupcakes. I have other cupcakes calling for me to waste calories and money on. (Each cupcake was $3.25, quite a steep price for such a small, below-average cupcake.)
I want to give Sweet Lorraines a second chance. This was their first week open and they may not have all of the kinks worked out. My critique is not permanent yet, but I am in no hurry to go back.
NOTE: Sweet Lorraine's went out of business.