Dessert - FOOD - "The Delicious"

Easy Guide to the Best NYC Cupcakes

May 8, 2009

Coming from Chicago, I’ve never seen a cupcake culture quite like I’ve discovered in New York. Everyone loves them and, at least within my circle of friends, always arguing about the better cupcake place. Maybe Sex and the City and their placement of Magnolia Bakery (in the scene where Carrie is telling Miranda about her crush while indulging in their vanilla cupcake) spurred the trend, but one thing’s for sure – I ain’t complainin’.

Of course, I caught onto this, and without further ado, this is my totally biased guide to the best cupcakes in NYC (and some not-so-great ones), but feel free to share your own thoughts and tips!

MUST TRY
SUGAR SWEET SUNSHINE, 126 Rivington St., btw Essex & Norfolk, LES
My ultimate favorite cupcake joint. Tasty, soft cupcakes with a light, sugary frosting that’s not overdone. I love the Pistachio flavored ones! Their yellow ‘Sunshine’ cupcakes and red velvet are great SSS creations too, and if banana pudding is your thing, they have some to die for. Cupcakes are $1.50 each.

My pistachio cupcake from Sugar Sweet Sunshine.yum.

My pistachio cupcake from Sugar Sweet Sunshine.yum.

BILLY’S BAKERY, 184 9th Ave., at 21st St., Chelsea
Compareable to SSS above, but the cupcakes are a tad bigger and a little more frosting if you like that! Cupcakes are $2.25 each.

CHIKALICIOUS, 204 E. 10th St., at 2nd Ave., East Village
They say they have “French presentation with Japanese tasting portions” which is basically what you get. The dessert bar is usually packed, so try stopping by the dessert cafe to just pick your cupcake up and go. Cupcakes are light and flavorful, and if you’re a coffee-lover, try their mocha cupcake with coffee frosting filling (so good!). I don’t even normally prefer caramel, but the caramel-filling is also way too good to pass up! Cupcakes are $1.60 for regular, and $2.25 with fillings.

FIRST RUNNER UP
BUTTERCUP BAKE SHOP, 141 West 72nd St., btw Columbus & Amsterdam Ave., UWS and 973 2nd Avenue, UES
Only because I think four “Must-Try’s” would put you in a permanent sugar-high situation, and these cupcakes are good but I they are super, almost too, sweet. Cupcakes are $1.95 each.

FOR THE HEALTH FREAKS
BABY CAKES, 248 Broome St., btw Orchard & Ludlow St., LES
It’s a “healthy” vegan bakery, with wheat-, gluten-, and egg-free baked goodies. Haven’t tried it myself but friends have said you sacrifice a little on taste for a guilt-free treat.

OVERRATED
MAGNOLIA BAKERY, 401 Bleecker St., at 11th St., West Village; and 200 Columbus Ave., at 69th St., UWS
I know, I know, after that whole clip up above, you would think I actually cared for these cupcakes, but I was severely underwhelmed when I went there for the first time. I waited in line with the other SATC-junkies and was not a happy camper after taking my first bite and thinking it tasted sort of..average. Then again, I’ve only tried it once (and never again), but I still think you can skip — unless you think it sounds cool to say you ate a cupcake at Magnolia in New York City. Cupcakes start at $2.50.

INTERESTING BUT JUST OK
CRUMBS, 43 West 42nd St., btw 5th and 6th Ave., Midtown (several more locations on their website!)
These cupcakes are definitely pretty, with a lot of options for toppings. I was expecting a little more though when I tried it — the inside doesn’t match the topping flavor (what? you don’t want an oreo cupcake when it clearly has oreo frosting??), and dare I say, it tasted kind of like the cupcakes you get at the grocery store. Cupcakes are $3.75 each. (A little pricey too, no?)

BUTTER LANE, 123 East 7th St., btw 1st and Avenue A, East Village
Never had, but they say their focus is on pure ingredients (real vanilla, real cocoa, etc). My friend liked the banana cupcake, but said options were very limited. Cupcakes are $2.75 each.

FOR THE ADVENTUROUS
BATCH
, 150B West 10th St., at Waverly Pl., LES
On the other end of the spectrum is Batch, with a LOT of random flavor offerings (can you say, carrot salted caramel?) and a little tower of frosting on each one. They even have a bacon cupcake…if you’re the curious type. Cupcakes start at $2.95 each.

MINI DELIGHTS
FOOD FIGHT
, 112 Macdougal St., nr Minetta Ln., West Village
This place actually has mini burgers and mini cupcakes, but I was able to try the latter one evening when they were giving away free samples. I recommend trying the red velvet! So good. Cupcakes are $3.95 for 3.

Do you have any more suggestions on yummy cupcake places in NYC or your own city?

x
Shy

6 thoughts on “Easy Guide to the Best NYC Cupcakes

  1. Sarah

    I wholeheartedly support Sugar Sweet Sunshine for NYC Cupcake Domination. It’s really the best around. Everything else is way overhyped.

  2. shyema Post author

    Me too! It tops my list…9 times out of 10, I’ll stop by and buy a cupcake when I’m in the area.

  3. sadia

    I wish i lived in NY :(…

    but here are some cute LA ones!!

    Sprinkles
    http://www.sprinkles.com/
    – It’s insanely rich and really sweet…they’re pricey too…I believe they’re making their way to NY though!

    Vanilla
    http://www.vanillabakeshop.com/
    – My VP and my boss could not stop raving about this place… I had to try for myself..omg shyema, next time you come, I’m taking you here!!!

    Sweet Lady Jane

    http://www.sweetladyjane.com/

    So Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen apparently have a line of chocolate peanut butter cupcakes at this joint…

    which makes me sad that you don’t live here…cuz we could go sample all the cupcakes in the world!!!

  4. Cilver Coleman

    Chocolate cupcakes are a quintessential part of every diet, or at least they should be. When I decided to stay vegan, I knew there were certain things I could never live without, and chocolate cupcakes is on the top of that list. Vegan baked goods get a bad rap. This is because many vegan treats try to be healthy on top of cruelty-free. This means cutting out fat, sugar, and, let’s face it, taste, along with all the animal products. This is totally unnecessary. I don’t eat baked goods to get fiber and protein. I eat them for fun! I promise that these cupcakes are both compassionate, and delicious. There have been so many accomplishments in developing vegan friendly foods, that there is no reason to sacrifice flavor anymore. So the next time you’re making chocolate cupcakes, give these a try. You won’t be disappointed!
    Cilver Coleman

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