101 Best Cupcakes in America

Did your favorite bakery or cupcakery make the list?
101 Best Cupcakes

Sweet Times

​Check out this year’s best cupcake in America!

Sweet Times

In July of 2014, Crumbs Bake Shop closed their doors, and the symbolic weight of that development was crushing for cupcake fans and bakery proprietors. “Here it was,” everyone thought. “The death of the cupcake is finally upon us.” With baked goods like the cronut taking over, it was an easy fate to accept. But then something magical happened.

In the beginning of 2015, entrepreneur Marcus Lemonis partnered with Dippin’ Dots owner Fischer Enterprises and pulled Crumbs Bake Shop out of bankruptcy. Suddenly, Crumbs became relevant again, and while they’ve expanded their sweets catalog, what patrons rejoiced over the most was the return of their oversized, extravagantly flavored cupcakes.  

101 Best Cupcakes in America

Perhaps that’s because this “trend” isn’t over — it’s just evolving.

“Cupcakes have been perfected over the past few years, so many cupcakeries are opening all over the country,” confirms chef Florian Bellanger, owner of Mad Mac NYC and esteemed judge on the Food Network hit series Cupcake Wars. “We have seen the niche markets of gluten-free and vegan cupcakes expand; the quality of cupcakes, both classic and specialty, has been improving over the past five years. Bakers tend to use cleaner, fresher, and tastier ingredients, the amount of food coloring has been reduced (except for red velvet cupcakes, unfortunately), and bakers have been smart enough to distance themselves from mass-market cupcakes found in local supermarkets.”"Bakers tend to use cleaner, fresher, and tastier ingredients..." - Florian Bellanger

So once again, we set out to find the cupcakeries and bakeries that keep this baking trend relevant. While Crumbs is not a contender for the list this year, since it is still too early to judge their progress, there are a ton of new additions to this year’s rankings. Last year, we compiled a list of over 150 locations and ranked them according to five different categories, assigning them a value of one through 20 (20 being the highest) and tabulating the highest-ranking cupcakes.

Menu variety was the first set of criteria we looked at, followed by presentation. Rankings were determined based upon consistency and artistic creativity. We looked at social media as well, tabulating the numbers of followers these bake shops have as an indication of how engaged they were with their communities — and vice versa. We then turned to online review sites to help us determine just how satisfied customers were with their cupcake experience. And the last factor was editorial discretion, which took the preceding criteria into consideration along with culinary value and variety.

Cupcake connoisseur Bellanger’s criteria for judging cupcakes are very similar:

“When judging on Cupcake Wars, I look first at the cake — its texture and fluffiness. The frosting has to be tasty and not too sweet. I have a preference for smooth buttercream or even whipped cream-based frosting. I like very much when a filling is present in the center of the cake — it’s not mandatory, but it’s preferable. Then comes the decoration and the look of the entire cupcake — after all, we eat first with the eyes. The cupcake has to be appealing, with the right color and texture. It shouldn’t be too big (like mass-market varieties) nor too small (I am not a fan of mini cupcakes, for example).” 

While we were pretty excited about last year’s ranking, we knew that there were so many more cupcakes to consider. So this year, we compiled a list of over 300 bakeries and cupcakeries that produce daily cupcakes or event cupcakes and placed our faith in the people. Although chef Bellanger did not participate in our survey, many food writers and emphatic cupcake enthusiasts weighed in on our list. While there are many returning cupcake champions, our panelists moved them around the “map” and even added a few new favorites.

So with the help of our esteemed colleagues, we present to you 2015’s 101 Best Cupcakes in America!

#101 Over the Rainbow Cupcakes, Palm Springs

Over the Rainbow Desserts

With more cupcakes then you can probably count, there is something for everyone at this inventive cupcakery. Pastry chef Roman Blas’ crazy, savory, and decadent flavors have garnered attention from major outlets like Food & Wine Magazine and the Food Network. With spot-on presentation and a variety that appeals to every cupcake lover, you’ll be Over the Rainbow if you visit this bakery.

#100 Midnight Sun Cakery, Anchorage

Instagram @ MidnightSunCakery

While the Midnight Sun Cakery focuses a lot of their energy on signature cakes and stunning wedding cakes, they certainly don’t forget the small things. Each month they feature a special sale on their unique flavors, giving patrons something special to look forward to.

Check out more cupcakes across the country!


This article was originally published on April 28, 2015.

101 Best Cupcakes in America 2015


101 Over the Rainbow Cupcakes, Palm Springs

100 Midnight Sun Cakery, Anchorage

99 Caketini, Scottsdale

98 Big Sugar Bakeshop, Los Angeles

97 Torrance Bakery, Torrance, Calif.

96 Big Fat Cupcake, Denver

95 Happy Cakes Bakeshop, Denver

94 Hokulani Bake Shop, Honolulu

93 Mix Cupcake Co., Reno, Nev.

92 Sift Dessert Bar, Napa Valley, Calif.

91 Robicelli's, New York City

90 Confexion Cupcakes + Cake, Pasadena, Calif.

89 The Sweet Boutique, Sugarland, Texas

88 CamiCakes Cupcakes, Jacksonville, Fla.

87 Treehouse Bakery, Phoenix

86 Sugar Mamas, Flagstaff, Ariz.

85 Bluebird Bakeshop, Orlando

84 Sweet Times, Miami

83 Sweetness Bakeshop & Cafe, Miami

82 AnnOlivias Cupcakes, Hernado, Miss.

81 Polka Dot Bake Shop, Charlotte, N.C.

80 Simply Cakes, Cary, N.C.

79 Cupcrazed Cakery, Fort Mill, S.C.

78 Frost Bake Shoppe, The Woodlands, Texas

77 Toot Sweet Cupcakes, Austin

76 Incredible Edibles Bakery, Virginia Beach, Va.

75 Sweet Confections, Barboursville, W.Va.

74 Muddy's Bake Shop, Memphis, Tenn.

73 Gigi’s Cupcakes, Nationwide

72 Just Cupcakes, Virginia Beach, Va.

71 Sweet Things Bakery, Nashville, Tenn.

70 Oak Mill Bakery, Chicago

69 Forever More Cupcakes, Chicago

68 West Town Bakery and Diner, Chicago

67 Sarah's Cake Shop, St. Louis

66 Sweet Indulgence, Providence, R.I.

65 Jones Bros. Cupcakes, Omaha, Neb.

64 The Cake Gallery, Omaha, Neb.

63 Moore Dessert Please, Dayton, Ohio

62 Oh My Cupcakes! Gourmet Cupcakery, Sioux Falls, SD

61 The Cake Lady Bakery, Sioux Falls, SD

60 Hello Cupcake, Washington, D.C.

59 The Icing on the Cake, Newton, Mass.

58 Treat Cupcake Bar, Needham, Mass.

57 East End Cupcakes, Portland, Maine

56 Papa Ganache, Matawan, NJ

55 Palermo Bakery, Ridgefield Park, NJ

54 Dessert Club ChikaLicious , New York City

53 City Sweets and Confections, New York City

52 Sugar Coated, Brooklyn

51 Bredenbeck's Bakery, Philadelphia

50 Twisted Sisters Cupcakes, Virginia Beach, Va.

49 Flavor Cupcakery, Bel Air and Cockeysville, Md.

48 Mama Cakes, Westfield, Mass.

47 Hardcore Sweet Cupcakes, Waterbury, Conn.

46 Baked & Wired, Washington, D.C.

45 The Flying Cupcake, Indianapolis, Ind.

44 Sprinkles, Los Angeles and Various Locations

43 Kara's Cupcakes, San Francisco

42 Freed's Bakery of Las Vegas, Las Vegas

41 Cupcake Jones, Portland, Ore.

40 Misha's Cupcakes, Miami

39 That One Cupcake Place, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

38 Buttercup Bakeshop, New York City

37 J Cakes, North Branford, CT

36 NoRA's Cupcake Company, Middletown, CT

35 The Cup, St. Louis

34 Frostings Bake Shop, Glen Allen, Va.

33 Cupcake Magician, Red Bank, N.J.

32 Jilly’s Cupcake Bar & Cafe, St. Louis

31 Atlanta Cupcake Factory, Atlanta

30 Fate Cakes, Columbus, Ohio

29 Cupcakes-A-Go-Go, Madison, Wis.

28 Magnolia Bakery, New York City

27 Lulu's Sweet Shoppe, Boston

26 Sweet Cupcakes, Boston

25 Let Them Eat Cake, Kennebunk, ME

24 Ava's Cupcakes, Rockaway, NJ

23 Baked by Melissa, New York City

22 Haute So Sweet, New York City

21 Kiss My Cake, New York City

20 Brown Betty Dessert Boutique, Philadelphia

19 Cake Life Bake Shop, Philadelphia

18 Pinkitzel Cupcakes & Candy, Oklahoma City, Okla.

17 Philly Cupcake: A Cupcakery Boutique, Philadelphia

16 Awsome Sweets, Pawtucket, R.I.

15 Cupcake Charlie's, Newport, R.I.

14 Irene's Cakes by Design, Ludlow, Vt.

13 My Little Cupcake, Burlington, Vt.

12 Dreamcakes Bakery, Birmingham, Ala.

11 Butter Lane, New York City

10 Buzz Bakery, Alexandria, Va.

9 Sweet Mandy B's, Chicago

8 Baked, New York City

7 Georgetown Cupcake, Washington, D.C.

6 Pink Cake Box, Denville, N.J.

5 Whipped Bakeshop, Philadelphia

4 Molly’s Cupcakes, Chicago

3 Red Velvet Cupcakery, Washington, D.C.

2 Buttermilk Bakeshop, Brooklyn

1 Billy's Bakery, New York City

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