The day has finally arrived for Sprinkles Ice Cream aficionados in Dallas: the Beverly Hills-based ice cream boutique has a location at Preston Center. Today at noon, the bright, spotless red-and-white space next to the Sprinkles Cupcakes and Cupcake ATM opened for business.
There was plenty of buzz surrounding the space marked for the expansion announced last year, and local residents were already walking up to the plate glass door to peek inside at the smiling white-clad workers arranging ice cream toppings, red velvet waffle cones and sugar-dusted brownies along the circular glass and Corian counter. The Dallas Sprinkles Ice Cream is the first location outside California, just as the Sprinkles Cupcakes was the first cupcake bakery outside California. In honor of the special occasion, founder Candace Nelson is on hand to help out with the opening.
Taking a break from the opening day setup, Candace took a few moments to speak with us about the ice cream and other items available for sale. Also clad in a white Sprinkles Ice Cream shirt and brimming with all the entrepreneurial excitement of a new opening, her bright, creative spirit was immediately apparent after brief introductions and some shop talk about local environmental variations and their effect on baking time and product shelf life. Sprinkles Cupcakes has long been known for the use of high quality ingredients, so we spent a few moments geeking out over what goes into the ice cream, cookies, and brownies. Milk and cream from a certified organic dairy in Marin County, California is slow churned to provide the denser, traditional ice cream typically found in “scoop shops”. Chocolate for the ice cream and baked goods also comes from the Bay Area, with San Francisco-based Organic Fair Trade chocolatier TCHO at the head of that tendril of the supply chain.
A question about the selection of Dallas as a Sprinkles Ice Cream location and other cities for future expansion brought another burst of enthusiasm. “Dallas was where we opened the first Sprinkles Cupcakes outside of California, so it was only natural that the first Sprinkles Ice Cream be here too.” Press releases indicated Sprinkles was already shipping more ice cream to Texas than any other state. She went on to talk about upcoming plans for opening Sprinkles Ice Cream locations in New York, as well as Atlanta and Las Vegas—locations that don’t already have Sprinkles Cupcakes but where there are plans to introduce both concepts at once at the same location.
Always ready to hear a good “food story” we asked if there were any moments of inspiration that gave birth to Sprinkles Ice Cream flavors. “You know, I always wanted to reinvent desserts in a new way – like for example our Red Velvet cupcake – they were always too sweet, too much red food coloring, so we boosted the cocoa and added cream cheese frosting. We did the same thing with our Rocky Road. The marshmallows always tended to freeze into hard little rocks, so we took the marshmallow fluff from our Chocolate Marshmallow Cupcake and added it to our Rocky Road. It doesn’t freeze and creates this nice silky ribbon in the ice cream. We also tried a lot of things with our Red Velvet Ice Cream and we ended up adding a whole Red Velvet Cupcake to a sweet cream base. For a while we thought, ‘does it really work with chunks of frozen cream cheese frosting in the ice cream?’” Customers would seem to vote yes—Red Velvet is the most popular flavor sold in-store and also the most-shipped flavor to Texas.
Moving on to discuss cookies and brownies and other baked goods at Sprinkles Ice Cream, Candace explained the concept for those products really came together at the same time as the ice cream. The cookies and other baked goods are used in ice cream sandwiches and sundaes. “It’s very customizeable, and I love to see all the combinations people come up with—things you would never imagine would go together and it turns out great. If you think about it, a sundae really is the greatest sensory experience—you’ve got the cold, creamy ice cream, the hot chocolate topping, the salty crunch of the nuts—you’re really getting all the textures and flavors in a single dessert. And with Sprinkles Cupcakes and Sprinkles Ice Cream all here at the same location there’s something for everyone—the whole family can get exactly what they want, whether it’s a cupcake, ice cream, or a cookie.”
Sampling the two biggest sellers, the Red Velvet Ice Cream and the Salted Oatmeal Cornflake, it’s easy to see why Sprinkles Ice Cream already has so many devotees in Texas. The ice cream is simply divine decadence, and the frozen bits of cream cheese frosting don’t hurt a bit. The cookies are a peacemaker between those on both sides of the crunchy/chewy debate with a satisfyingly crusty exterior that gives way to a moist, mealy middle.
The Takeaway: We’re inclined to agree with Candace—from ice cream to cupcakes to ice cream sandwiches made with cupcake top or cookies, brownies, and sundaes, everybody can find something to love at Sprinkles Ice Cream in Dallas. Candace will be at the location to greet fans from 3-5 P.M. today. 8413 Preston Center Plaza. Sunday – Wednesday 12-11. Thursday-Saturday 12-12. 214-363-4050. www.sprinklesicecream.com