First Look: Sprinkles Cupcakes, Buckhead


Cupcakes: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sundays. Ice cream: noon-11 p.m. Sundays-Wednesdays; noon-midnight Thursdays-Saturdays.

Cupcakes, $3.75/each-$42/dozen; cookies, $3/each-$33/dozen; ice cream, $2-$9.75; drinks, $2-$3.50.

3393 Peachtree Road, Atlanta. 404-846-1599,

Candace Nelson, the pastry chef who opened Sprinkles Cupcakes in Beverly Hills in 2005, helped create the cupcake bakery craze that generated Food Network’s hit show “Cupcake Wars,” with Nelson as a permanent judge. Now Nelson is bringing her brand of cupcake chic to Atlanta, with her newest store at Lenox Square, which also features a cupcake ATM.

The look: Like other Sprinkles locations from Los Angeles to New York City, the pop art design is a festive mix of bright colors and geometric shapes that evoke the fun image of the product. The L-shaped space allows entry from the sidewalk or inside the mall. A Hollywood-like walk of fame leads to the cupcake order counter. Around the corner, there's a circular ice cream counter and a spare seating area with hassocks shaped like cupcakes with trademark colored dots and jagged tables shaped like cupcake papers.

The scene: Foodies who long ago declared cupcakes passe might have been surprised, then made claustrophobic by the crowd that packed the place on a recent Friday afternoon. Ladies who lunch and shop, gaggles of giddy teenage girls, and the occasional sheepish-looking dude joined together in search of a high-end sugar rush.

The food: Nelson touts the premium ingredients, such as sweet cream butter, bittersweet Belgian chocolate, Madagascar Bourbon vanilla, and fresh fruits, that go into cupcake flavors ($3.75/each-$42/dozen) like red velvet, raspberry chocolate chip and salty caramel. Ice cream flavors ($3.75/scoop) range from Valrhona dark chocolate and Morello cherry vanilla to peanut butter cup and Cap'n Crunch. Ice cream treats include cupcake sundaes ($3.50-$9.75), shakes and floats ($8-$8.50), and cookie and cupcake ice cream sandwiches ($6.75-$8.75).

The drinks: Beverages available from the cupcake counter include soft drinks, still or sparkling water, organic milk, apple juice, coffee and tea ($2), plus Belgian drinking chocolate ($3.50). At the ice cream counter, you'll find cappuccino, latte and an espresso shot spiked with a small scoop of ice cream ($3.50).

The extras: The Sprinkles ATM functions like a cross between a cash machine and vintage automat window. Swipe your card, follow ordering instructions on the touch screen, and a door opens to reveal your cupcakes packed in brown boxes.