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Bakery Reaches Accord Over 'Irish Car-Bomb' Cupcakes

By Serena Solomon | March 16, 2013 9:18am

LOWER EAST SIDE — It wasn't long after Prohibition Bakery, "a boozy cupcakery," opened last August on Clinton Street that the name of its star cupcake, the "Irish Car-Bomb," started raising some eyebrows.

The bakery bases all its recipes on alcoholic cocktails like the Irish Car-Bomb — a shot of Irish whiskey mixed with Irish cream liqueur dropped into a pint of Guinness.

But the name also refers to a bloody period of violence between the Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland, often called "the Troubles."

After a long and scathing email from a woman in Nebraska, the Prohibition Bakery owners Leslie Feinberg and Brooke Siem decided to alter the cupcake name in September, dropping the national reference, but keeping the "Car-Bomb."

"We had already been discussing changing the name," said Feinberg, a former bartender who lived in Northern Ireland for 12 months.

Other customers and friends also commented on the name.

"I actually had a friend's British fiance tell me it was offensive," Feinberg said.

As St. Patrick's Day approached, the Prohibition Bakery had received dozens of orders for the cupcake, a taste explosion with its Guinness chocolate cake, whiskey chocolate ganache center and Bailey's Irish cream buttercream frosting.

Prohibition Bakery isn't the only store to get in hot water over the "Irish Car-Bomb" cupcake name. Kerwin's Cakes and Café in Oneida, N.Y. had to change the name of its cupcake twice, according to a recent article on Syracuse.com.

Like Prohibition Bakery, Kerwin's Cakes first went with "Irish Car-Bomb" before complaint letters and email began arriving, the website reported.

The store then changed the cupcake's name to "Drunken Irish" before getting another complaint letter from lawyers representing Destiny USA, the mall where Kerwin's Cakes is based, according to Syracuse.com.

The store finally settled on "Lucky Leprechaun" for its cupcake name, the site reported.