Editor’s Notes: This post was originally published on October 29, 2012; we’re republishing it for those of you looking for a monstrously delicious dessert this Halloween!
CONTRIBUTED BY KELLY GARCIA
This is one of those times where I really wish I knew how to take pictures. Not of my kids or a pretty sunset or anything like that, but of food. ‘Cause even with my crap photography skills, look at those daggum cupcakes people. Look at ’em! You know that whoever created these took pride in their work. This is the lady who created them, doing what she does, creating edible works of art. Her name is Yerang Kim.
Yerang Kim tells me the cupcake shop, Monster Cupcakes, has been open since last November, that her favorite cupcake flavor is red velvet (the one with the ghost on it) and that this year she will be a vampire for Halloween. She also tells me she went to baking school and…Well, that’s about as far as the conversation went since I speak five words of Korean. But she was very sweet.
I went with the kids to the shop and they were fascinated with EVERYTHING. As they should be! There were spooky decorations everywhere–cupcakes with fingers, eyeballs, ghosts and worms, a pirate woman, a gremlin that my daughter may or may not have broken (I think I fixed it), and a crazed Chucky at the register. I love a little atmosphere in a shop and while it is tiny (it seats two inside and two outside) this place definitely has it!
Monster Cupcakes isn’t far from Yongsan Garrison. In fact, you can walk right out the Kimchi Pot Gate, cross the street and it’s right up the road. Of course, I got lost looking for the Kimchi Pot Gate so decided to try my luck at driving. (Made the mistake of telling my kids we were getting cupcakes…We were committed!) Amazingly, I found it and there was even parking at the church across the street. I’m not sure it was legal parking but when I asked a policeman if it was okay, he told me to just put my phone number in the windshield…Well, okay then.
We got to the shop at about 11-ish (thus making my son late for preschool because, you know, cupcakes or preschool? You make the call.) Yerang Kim says all of the varieties are usually out by about noon so we saw most, but not all of what she had to offer. There were vanilla, tiramasu, mint, lemon, dark chocolate, red velvet, apple cinnamon, and blueberry cupcakes. My kids wanted the skeleton (vanilla) and cookie monster (mint) and I got the butterfly (blueberry) and the RIP (tiramisu).
Everyone has their own idea of cupcake perfection, but I thought these were very good. Particularly the vanilla and the tiramisu which had kind of a cream cheese icing. Admittedly, the mint wasn’t my fave I guess ’cause I want mint in a cookie not a cupcake, but my daughter devoured it! The pretty butterfly was nice and tasted like an iced blueberry muffin. All were all super fresh and moist and the icing was was light enough that you weren’t on sugar overload. Prices ranged from 4,000-5,000 won depending on the flavor.
Halloween isn’t officially until Wednesday so if you are feeling like you need an excuse to check this place out, well there you have one. You’re welcomed! If you’ve been here before, you got a favorite flavor you’d recommend?
Hours: 9:30AM-9:30/10PM I imagine it depends when the cupcakes run out. Also remember all the varieties aren’t out till about noon.
Payment: Won or credit card.
305-7 Itawon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/mons.cupcake/info
Walking, If you park at the Kimchi Pot Gate (the pedestrian gate down the road from the Navy Club). Take a right out of the gate and take the stairs down under the road so you can cross the street. Go back up the stairs on the other side walking back toward the Kimchi Pot Gate direction (away from Itaewon). When you get to the corner with Taste of Thailand restaurant, take a right. (The street is called Hoenamu-ro). Go up that street about a minute and you’ll find Monster Cupcakes on your left next to a cigar bar and across from a church. It’s probably 5-10min walk from gate.
By car, I’ve always driven there going out the Noksapyeong Gate. Hang a left out the gate, then take your first left. Make a right at the Taste of Thailand intersection on Hoenamu-ru….just before the Kimchi Pot Gate. Monster Cupcake will be on your left. Park where you can! (I parked in front of the church and a policeman ok’ed it. He just said to leave my phone # on the dash!)