101 Best Cupcakes in America 2014
Yes, it is official. You have died and gone to Cupcake Heaven. This low-key Kosher bakery has roughly 25 to 30 cupcake flavors available at any given time, but has curated over 100 flavors in its time. In the mood for a minty cupcake? Try the “peppermint patty cupcake” that is topped with mint buttercream and chocolate ganache. Want some zesty chocolate? Sink your teeth into the “chocolate chip orange,” a chocolate chip cake topped with orange buttercream. Another cool feature they offer is a “cupcake in a jar” where these sweet treats become functional, tasty gifts!
Magpies Cakes offers over 20 classic, deluxe, and super deluxe flavors on a daily basis in a variety of sizes. Where it is “all butter, all the time,” these decadent cupcakes will satisfy the craziest of cravings. The “lemon raspberry” offers cupcake cravers a refreshing spring time treat while the tamer (but utterly sinful) German chocolate cupcake appeals to a cupcake lover who likes a touch of flair to their classic sweet treat.
Happy Cakes Bakeshop is the happy partnership between co-owners Sara Bencomo, Laura Reynolds, Lisa Herman, and Stacy Walker. This awesome foursome banded together with just the right amount of business, creativity, and of course, cupcake skill. Their confections like the “Nutella French toast cupcake” and their “Mexican chocolate” will surely put a smile on your face. While this tasty cupcake shop was high on our much shorter list last year, Happy Cakes Bakeshop’s drop has nothing to do with the quality of their cupcake — they are still just as tasty!
A Missoula landmark, Bernice's Bakery has been around since 1978. Their baking philosophy is centered on providing quality food at reasonable prices and striving to build community through friendly service and sustainable environmental practices. At least eight cupcake flavors are kept in rotation at all times, ranging from traditional “vanilla and chocolate,” to the more eclectic “pancakes and bacon.” Want a Montana cupcake adventure? Ask for the “chocolate cherry Coke.”
Drowning in a sea of delicious cake frostings, this iconic New York bakery’s claim to fame came from the four sassy ladies on Sex and the City. With a rotation of daily featured cupcakes, Magnolia fans cannot get enough of their unique flavors and incomprehensible amount of sweet frosting. Avoid the red velvet cupcakes (no cream cheese frosting unless you request it) but do try to get your hands on the “pistachio cake” with pistachio meringue buttercream or the “truffle cupcake,” a devil’s food cake and chocolate or white chocolate truffle filling covered with chocolate ganache. We can die happy now.
Whether you are looking for a bite-sized beauty or a full sized treat, SusieCakes believes in baking quality cupcakes for all taste buds. With simple flavors and a simple style, SusieCakes appeals to a cupcake lover’s basic desire for the taste of quality homemade confections that are hard to come by. You’ll be tempted with flavors like luscious lemon and chocolate mint that promise to be “frosting filled” for icing lovers out there.
Yes, this bakery is just as adorable as it sounds. A Kosher-certified, female-led bakery, the Polka Dot Bake Shop proudly makes batches of cupcakes from scratch. Adorned with their signatures icing swirl, these elegantly crafted confections pack a powerful flavor punch with their wide daily varieties. Our favorite easily has to be the “chocolate raspberry swirl.” This vanilla bean cupcake is swirled with raspberry coulis baked in and topped with chocolate buttercream, raspberry coulis drizzle, and finished with chocolate curls. While it is sadly not a daily flavor, their other treats like “peanut butter Oreo” and old-fashioned vanilla and chocolate are a nice consolation.
Polka Dot Bake Shop
Dear "chocolate brownie cheesecake cupcake," where have you been all our lives? This is hardly the most creative of pastry chef Roman Blas’s creations, which include spicy flavors like vanilla mango habanero and the wild “You're a Jerk...I know!” This chocolate cupcake is filled with beef jerky ganache, chocolate buttercream, and topped with beef jerky! His crazy, savory, and decadent flavors have garnered attention from major outlets like Food and Wine and Food Network. With a spot-on presentation style and a variety that appeals to every cupcake lover, you’ll literally be Over the Rainbow if you visit this bakery.
Over the Rainbow
A cupcakery that breaks down the anatomy of a cupcake so beautifully deserves to be on this list. Hello Cupcake is the super-sweet and super-delicious bakery that really knows how to bring life into their confections. They have options like the “princess cupcake,” which is a vanilla cake topped with strawberry pink buttercream, and the “heart of darkness,” a decadent cupcake for chocoholics only.
Seattle’s pioneer cupcakery and café really is like cupcake royalty. They proudly claim to be the first real cupcakery outside of New York City, and have lead the charge in creating subtle, perfected cupcakes that their customers love. Being innovative but not too outlandish with their favorites has allowed them to be appreciated for their true baking talents. You can see the classic quality in cupcakes like their “lime coconut cupcake” that consists of a coconut cake topped with a swirl of real lime buttercream and finished off with toasted coconut. Their inventive nature shows through on cupcakes like their “lavender cupcake” which has real lavender buds swirled into the sweet vanilla buttercream on top of a vanilla buttercake.
With cupcakes available in three sizes, this Kansas City cupcakery believes in serving sweets that are both delicious and beautiful. BabyCakes’ presentation is on point, using creative frostings and color combinations. This very real bakery dishes out a few playful jabs at their competition saying:
“We can proudly say we've never subjected our loyal customers to witness a tacky display of baking debauchery on Battle of the Cupcakes, Cupcake Mafia, Backwoods Cupcake Monsters, Deadliest Cupcakes, Real Cupcakes of New Jersey, Cupcake Dynasty or any of those other History or "Learning" channel shows.”
In short, the cupcakes can speak for themselves. The bakery has six consistent flavors year round and dabbles in an array of seasonal flavors like “eggnog cake” and “pumpkin cake” with cream cheese frosting.
The Jersey born and bred cupcakery is led by the strong-spirited Michelle Spell, who left home at the age of 16 to find her place in the world. After growing up in a North Jersey Italian-American home surrounded by culinary gurus and working her way up through kitchens, Spell began Ava’s Cupcakes as a part-time gig to support her family of six. Shortly after she opened, she took home the first place spot on the Food Network’s caking competition Cupcake Wars. But she doesn’t need the impressive back story to sell her cupcakes. Her creative flavors include “bananas Foster,” “cherry cheesecake,” and the simple but savory “salted chocolate caramel cupcakes.”
The cupcakes are as simple and natural as its ingredients. West Town Bakery & Diner boasts organic and flavorful cupcakes that really make a statement simply. While the presentation won’t blow you away, don’t be so hasty to judge a book by its cover. Customers love this local bakery and diner that offers an array of other pastries like flavorful cakeballs and seasonal sweets. But if it’s the cupcakes you are after, (as you well should be) order the “salted caramel cupcake,” a vanilla bean cupcake spiked with salt and caramel.
You know you have arrived when you have your own cupcake ATM. The national cupcakery may be all bells and whistles with their marketing strategies, but when it comes to their cupcakes, they are very straightforward. Simple flavors, simple frosting, and simple décor make their patrons line up around the block.
With this local Madison bakery, it is all about your personalized cupcake experience. You get to choose how much frosting your cupcakes are topped with and what the base frosting gets to be. While there are no set flavors and toppings like most of the competitors, they do have suggested flavor combinations like “chocolate cake dipped in chocolate ganache and topped with a peanut butter frosting” to help make your decision a little easier.
Lucy Lou’s Cupcakes
When owner Kyra Bussanich was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease at 20 years-old, it meant she had to switch to a gluten-free diet. Out of passion and necessity, Bussanich went on to create the gluten-free bakery Kyra’s Bakeshop, which happens to have some of the most decadent, surprisingly gluten-free cupcakes around. One bite into the “cranberry apple crisp cupcake,” a cranberry cake topped with apple cider spiced buttercream and cranberry coulis drizzle, and you’ll never be able to tell this cake was free of gluten.
This Brooklyn based bakeshop has all of the decadence the name implies. Confections like blueberry frosting topping a banana cake or a maple pecan on top of chocolate cake will instantly convince you of that. Happy to be in the New York City area? Not only can you take home amazing cupcakes, you can take home a few recipes. Butter Lane offers to not only teach you how to make the cake, but the frosting too. You have to give them props for being so confident in their cakes that they give recipes away!
Named after the owner’s perfect cupcake loving puppy, Angel Cups has everything a cupcake lover could want. Not only is their flavor menu packed with variety that intrigues the palette, they even have a sort of “flavor graveyard” from which they can resurrect upon request. Pre-order the “S’mores cupcake” if you drop by for a visit. It has real toasted marshmallow frosting. How could you not put in a special request for that?
As a landmark cupcake “emporium” in Chicago, Swirlz Cupcakes doesn’t disappoint. The variety, though slightly limited to competitors, packs a powerful punch with fresh, seasonal and gourmet flavors. The “orange, raspberry cheesecake” will transport you to summer while the “chocolate dipped peanut butter banana” will whisk you away to the rich fall food indulgences. These cupcakes are so widely loved, a line of the gluten-free and vegan gluten-free cupcakes are available at Whole Foods Market.
Adorned with a fancy wax paper protective liner and an impressive frosting presentation to boot, Sweet Somethings has been catering to its patrons for over a decade. Though stocked with pies, tarts, and other pastries, Sweet Somethings’ cupcakes continue to blow customers away. The menu is packed with sweet options that range from a “marble cupcake” with chocolate mousse filling to a light “toasted coconut” option.
Formerly known as Sift Cupcake + Dessert Bar, the newly dubbed Sift Dessert Bar is a high-end dessert shop brainchild born from Andrea Ballus. While searching for a premier, niche cupcakery for her wedding, Ballus couldn’t help but notice what a great opportunity the hole in the market presented. Since then, Sift was named champion of Cupcake Wars: Wedding Competition, their small niche bakery exploded into a top dessert purveyor. But the fact that they offer delicacies like whoopie cookies, ice cream sammys, and crispy cakes doesn’t downplay their excellent cupcake offerings. Their sweet, pastel shaded offerings with cute names like “All for the Cookie,” a chocolate cake with cookies and cream frosting, are worth the trip to wine country alone!
Sift Dessert Bar
After locals bustle in at 7 a.m. for their breakfast burritos, Mermaids Bakery gets down to cupcake business. Beginning at 9 a.m., the bakery offers four dozen cupcakes in various flavors (as well as a variety of cookies, muffins, mini pies, and macaroons) that will satiate any sweet tooth. We hope you can catch the “blue velvet cupcake,” an almond cake topped with aqua blue almond buttercream, sugar glitter. Pro tip? Check back early the following morning to nab the day-old cupcakes which go at a two-for-one price in case you missed your favorite cupcake the prior day!
Using the Amish country resources around them, this cupcake truck turned bakery can promise to deliver quality cupcakes on the street or in the shop. With eight daily flavors available, you are guaranteed a classic cupcake any day of the week. But if you are looking for a cupcake with pizazz, you can order any of their seasonal flavors which rotate monthly. In January, you can enjoy the seasonally appropriate “sparkling strawberry champagne” or in June, try the refreshing “lemon blueberry cupcake.” We love the simplistic design that alludes to a straightforward, flavorful cupcake.
Inspired by the joy that he saw filling the cupcakeries on a visit to New York City, founder Matt Fracker decided to bring the gourmet bakery of his own to Virginia. The cupcakes live up to their namesake and mission. With thick frosting piled on top of a soft cake and adorned with an adorable fondant heart, you’ll be licking your smiling lips after just one bite. If you happen to venture south to this cupcakery, try their “milk and cookies cupcake,” a chocolate chip cake, topped with cream cheese frosting and a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie.
Frostings Bake Shop
This chic cupcakery made our list for their stellar presentation and impressive flavor variety. Served in a literal boutique style cupcakery, this sweet shop will tantalize your taste buds with varieties like “amaretto sweet,” a vanilla cupcake topped with a swirl of almond buttercream, rolled in almond slivers and topped with a maraschino cherry. And while the owners are parents of three, they believe that cupcakes are for the grown-ups too which is why you can expect a very gourmet experience if you visit this Kansas City cupcakery.
Cupcake A La Mode, Kansas City, Mo.
For this Rhode Island bakery, it is all about the frosting. They exclusively use a Swiss meringue buttercream for their base. In the meringue-based buttercream, butter is “whipped into the sugary whisked meringue base,” which is more expensive and takes a bit longer. But their philosophy that the extra work is paying off, as they are a very celebrated bake shop in their community. Not only are the cupcakes stunning, they are rich flavor and style. Their “Boston cream cupcake,” a vanilla cupcake filled with Bavarian cream and topped with chocolate buttercream and chocolate syrup, serves as proof.
City Girl Cupcakes
Forget the soft pastel palette of your usual cupcakeries and be bold with Charm City Cupcakes. The menu ranges from the everyday, like red velvet and vanilla, to black-tie, such as limoncello chiffon and Jamaican rum. Charm City also has a breakfast cupcakes menu, including flavors like apple cinnamon spice and espresso. Feel free to drop by anytime.
Charm City Cupcakes
Sometimes you need a no-frills cupcake experience. Campbell’s Sweets Factory isn't known for the cupcakes (it is really known for the gourmet popcorn) but they sure are well loved for them! Though their presentation isn’t anything to write home about, their exceptional, on point flavors manage to be universal and signature at the same time. The “buckeye cupcake” is a perfect example: it is a simple peanut-butter cupcake topped with chocolate buttercream frosting and peanut butter drizzle.
Campbell’s Sweets Factory
If you are looking to get a homey, sweet fix, visit the Big Sugar Bakeshop. Modeled after the perfect notion that a bakery should be quaint and kitschy, Big Sugar Bakeshop has both permanent flavors and rotating ones. The staple daily cupcake highlight has to be the icebox, a chocolate cake with fresh whipped cream filling and chocolate ganache. The rotating flavors are worth waiting for, with offerings like “dulce de leche” — a vanilla cake with caramel buttercream available Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays.
Big Sugar Bakeshop
Alla Lala Cupcakes serves as Gillette, Wyoming’s only cupcakery. Wannabe cupcake owners of Gillette would be wise not to start competition. With an impressive menu of inventive flavor profiles, like “strawberry basil cake” and “Bellini flavored sweets,” competitors would have their work cut out for them!
Alla Lala Cupcakes
Run by husband and wife Nathan and Andrea Thompson, Abby Girl Sweets in Cincinnati, Ohio has excitingly opened up a new location to accommodate their growing success. Their daughter, for whom the cupcakery is named after, is the chief taste-tester and has a little cupcake dance to indicate her favorites. We would love to know to know what her dance was for the “Madagascar vanilla bean on banana cupcake.” We imagine it would be something like the truffle shuffle Chunk does in The Goonies.
Abby Girl Sweets
Selling over 500 freshly baked cupcakes a day, this family owned bakery has been making locals’ and tourists’ days a little sweeter since 2009. Their style is simple as they hope to wow with flavor and presentation. A straightforward flavor we’d think you’d enjoy is the “sunshine,” a flavorful yellow cake topped with homemade buttercream frosting and covered in yellow sprinkles.
White Mountain Cupcakery
This cupcakery is still impressively operating as an old fashioned general store. Don’t let the old-world charm and whimsical curiosities fool you. Their signature cupcakes are piled high with a distinctive tower of frosting and have unique flavor profiles that make them more modern than they probably care to admit! If you make a pilgrimage to this cupcake hotspot, try the “how about them apples” caramel apple cupcake topped with caramel buttercream frosting and “fundant.”
Union General Store
This boutique bakery’s history is the epitome of the American dream. The self-taught baker and cake designer Christine Nguyen began her now booming business as a simple hobby. But passion quickly turned into profit once people got a taste of some of her delicious confections. Though The Sweet Boutique is a purveyor of many sweets, their cupcakes are towering examples of how gourmet this humble-beginning-bakery is. One look (and bite) into the white “chocolate raspberry cupcake” and you’ll know what we mean.
The Sweet Boutique
Unfortunately, you cannot visit this bakery any longer, but the cupcakes are still so beloved that you can order them! Though other sweets are available, they are best known for their variety of cupcakes, which is why they ranked on our list! We urge you to order the “cherry bomb cupcake” if you get a chance. Made with rich vanilla cake, topped with cherry buttercream and chocolate ganache drizzle, one bite and you’ll be hit with an explosion of flavor. Another cool factor: they are both organic and vegan friendly!
The Divine Cupcake
Sweet Cupcakes hails from Beantown with a list of flavors that will leave you drooling at your computer screen. The red velvet cupcake has a “gentle hint” of Bensdorp Dutch cocoa, a classic, shocking red hue, and Sweet's delectable cream cheese frosting make for just one of the reasons Bostonians keep returning. Another reason is cupcake lovers can experience it with man’s best friend... Sweet Cupcakes even sells pup cakes for your pooch!
If Willy Wonka were real, he’d totally shop here. Scrumps, short for “scrumpdiddlyumptious,” challenges itself with new flavors each season that compliment both the time of year and their customers’ desires. If you’re in the mood for decadence, the “rocky top cupcake,” a dark chocolate cake with salted caramel icing topped with marshmallows, pecans, and a chocolate ganache drizzle will hit the spot. Looking for something a little less rich? A bite into the “banana cream pie cupcake,” a banana cake with banana pudding filling topped with vanilla buttercream icing will leave you simply satisfied.
The Oh My Cupcakes! Gourmet Cupcakery in South Dakota may not have much in the way of local competition, but it clearly does make a great confection. Run by “cupcake ninjas” Oh My Cupcakes! attention to detail is evident in all of their sweet offerings. The “dirt & worms cupcake,” an Oreo cupcake is frosted with chocolate buttercream, rolled in crushed Oreo cookies, and is topped with a fitting, gummy worm garnish.
Oh My Cupcakes! Gourmet Cupcakery
NoRA Cupcake Company proudly boasts over 100 cupcake flavors on their full menu, and promises their sweets will blow you away. You can’t call them “classic” as they strive to push the envelope with modern baking strategies and flavors that are beautifully decorated and uniquely filled. We are most intrigued by their cocktail-inspired line of cupcakes that harken to flavors found behind the bar. The “bourbon apple crumble cupcake” features a butterscotch chip cake, Jack Daniels simmered apples, vanilla buttercream, butterscotch drizzle and crumb topping that is fabulous for a more developed palette. While mom and dad are enjoying that, little ones (ok and adults too) will love the blueberry lemonade cakes, a lemon cake with blueberries, blueberry buttercream, topped with candied lemon zest
Every day truly is sweet at Mon Petit Cupcake (My Little Cupcake) as its tagline suggests. Born from a sincere passion for creativity and sweets, Mon Petit gives customers an interesting flavor profile to choose from and serves as delicious eye candy as well! The “hot chocolate cupcake” gives spicy lovers something to nosh on, as it’s double dark chocolate cake has a hint of chili pepper flakes peppered throughout.
Mon Petit Cupcake
Baked in small batches from scratch daily, you can truly customize your cupcake experience at Molly’s Cupcakes. Simply pick a cake flavor, choose a frosting and then make it yourself with an array of tasty toppings. They’ll bake it right in front of your eyes and are happy to accommodate even the wildest of cravings. Try one of their center filled cupcakes for a truly tasty experience.
You know to go to Hawaii for the sun, surf, and the sand, but did you know a trip to Honolulu will land you at an exquisite cupcakery? Though on the plainer side of design, this cupcakery boasts 27 rotational flavors that they can truly stand behind. Baked in small batches totally from scratch, their options have unexpected mass appeal with their very personal flavor profiles. Try the “dobash” — “a take on the local classic, made with chocolate cake and topped with a chocolate pudding frosting, finished off with a cherry.”
Let Them Eat Cupcakes
You may just want to kiss the chef and not the cake once you get a look at the sweet options. There are 15 flavors are available to choose from, and new flavors created daily by executive chef Maryann Santoro. The icing base is a Swiss meringue buttercream and every single one of the cupcakes has a signature filling which can feature caramels, ganaches, buttercreams, and jams.
Kiss My Cake
Sometimes when it comes to cupcakes, you have to think quality over quantity. This modern bakery is a fully functional sweet shop with a ton of pastry offerings, but only has five staple cupcake flavors and two rotating daily special flavors available. Just Cakin’ It's presentation is consistent and solid in each of its sweet treats. Based on customers rave reviews, we think you’ll love the “salted caramel” and “Madagascar vanilla.”
Just Cakin’ It
The owners of East End Cupcakes know that to keep customers happy, they have to keep it fresh. With an array of impressive flavors, you can customize your cupcake to your liking with dozens of cake and buttercream bases to choose from. Though the bakery wants you to get as adventurous with your cupcakes as you want to, they do have a few solid flavor combinations to suggest. First, try the “pear cake with honey buttercream” for a unique flavor experience and turn to the “chocolate cupcake with peanut butter frosting” if you are looking for a more comforting, familiar cupcake.
East End Cupcakes
Built on the work of four generations of bakers, this cupcakery has industry know-how and inventiveness on their side featuring both traditional and more unique flavors ranging from” cookies n’ cream” to “oatmeal cream pie.” The rum infused “pineapple piña colada cupcake” is a life-changing coconut cake, iced with coconut rum buttercream for a delicious confection you’ll be hard pressed to find elsewhere. Plus, their presentation is practically flawless with a healthy balance between cake and frostings.
Cupcakes on Kavanaugh
This quaint bakery in the sunny state of Florida will put a smile on your face. The clean, crisp presentation and towering topping of icing practically speaks for itself. While there are a fair amount of flavors, the one that piqued our interest was the “Neapolitan.” The layered chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla cupcake iced with strawberry buttercream literally has us salivating in our seats. However, the hottest go-to cupcake is their red velvet, which they sell out of frequently!
A boy, a girl, and a cupcake dream is a recipe for love and prosperity as much as it is for a delicious product. This bakery is run by a husband and wife team that seriously has a thing for cupcakes almost as much as they do each other! Drizzled and prepped to look like a cupcake right out of a dream, they offer a variety of adorably named cupcakes that steal your breath away. Our favorite easily has to be the “Hemingway’s Eden” — a Key lime cupcake topped with Key lime buttercream.
These sweets literally outshine their competition. The glitter dusted cupcakes may be a signature gimmick, but they are backed up by a killer array of flavor profiles and solid testimonials from happy patrons. A husband and wife team turned their home-based company into a full-fledged bakery with roots planted in pure passion and talent. “Pecan pie,” “turtle rock,” and “chocolate covered strawberry” are just some of the options available to glamorous cupcake lovers.
A restaurant, bakery, and lounge, this really is the all-American sweet dream come true. While the cupcakes took a smidge of a back seat to their boozy and ice cream options, there are daily flavors available that still wow their patrons. Try and catch them on a day “animal cracker flavored cupcakes” are served, or try a variety with their mini-cupcake flights!
First of all, you are going to be hard-pressed to find a more adorable cupcake. They have major design prowess and the flavors to make them even more beautiful! Their expertise expands far beyond cupcakes (specifically into artisanal breads and breakfast pastries) but the cupcakes are where the true joy lies. “Italian cream,” an Italian-style coconut cupcake topped with an Italian cream cheese will make you swoon. The “divine cupcake,” a chocolate cupcake with a creamy marshmallow center adorned with French chocolate frosting will convince you that you’ve died and gone to heaven.
Toot Sweet Cupcakes
The Sweet Lobby launched with their sensational cupcakes but has since expanded to Parisian macarons — which now are offered as cupcake toppings. Each cupcake is baked daily, topped with decadent, yet light frostings. But the apple of the Daily Meal’s eye on their menu has to be the cocktail cupcakes. Check out the “pecan bourbon,” a “pecan-caramel cake with layers of real American Bourbon from the inside out! Our signature caramel cake, studded with pecans, infused with Bourbon, and filled with Bourbon caramel.” It is topped with Bourbon buttercream and candied pecans.
The Sweet Lobby
Though The Cupcake Cottage recently changed hands from one husband and wife team to another, the same fabulous, quaint cupcakes are baked daily. This small family operation spends the wee hours of the morning baking cupcakes on their flavor rotated schedules until 10 A.M. and they keep the doors open only until the last cupcake is sold. Lucky for them, this happens rather quickly each day! The small but successful cupcakery made its way into our top-50 because of its delicious presentation, its consistent reviews, and impressive flavor catalog. You can enjoy cupcakes like “almond poppy seed,” “chai,” or “Key lime,” all with four different types of frostings to make your cupcake experience uniquely yours!
The Cupcake Cottage
If you’re looking for fancy flowers and beautiful butterfly toppers, you’ve come to the wrong place. Sweet Daddy’s Cupcakes is all about the flavor. The promise is no matter what cupcake you choose, be it the “maple bacon,” the “German chocolate,” or the “strawberry lemonade,” you’ll sink your teeth into a real cupcake. Forget the tooth-achingly sweet sugar crystals you’re used too, Sweet Daddy’s believes natural ingredients (and buttercream frosting) are the way to the best cupcakes in town!
Sweet Daddy’s Cupcakes
Forget Christmas, meet us in St. Louis for cupcakes! Well, that is if we are headed to Sarah’s Cake Shop. Topped with a basic buttercream swirl (that can be flavored) Sarah’s Cake Shop offers a variety of basic and specialty cupcakes on rotation. If you’re looking for a classic cake, try the shop’s version of a Hostess “snack cake:” A rich chocolate cake filled with sweet decorators frosting, topped with vanilla buttercream, and dipped in chocolate ganache. And if you happen to be in the mood for something extra special, try the “strawberry tuxedo” — strawberry cake filled with ganache and topped with white chocolate buttercream.
Sarah’s Cake Shop
With Robicelli’s, it is isn’t hard to see what makes them an excellent cupcakery. One look at those glimmering cupcakes and we know you’ll be smitten for those sweets. Led by the savvy and sassy Allison Robicelli, this mega-mom, chef, and business owner knows how to keep customers happy and on their toes. With a rotating menu of interesting flavors that they update their customers on via Tumblr, Robicelli’s roving cupcakes are legendary. While they have too many flavors to count and there is no way of guaranteeing you will get the opportunity to try it, we are particularly intrigued by the “pecan potato chip,” a potato chip cake topped with vanilla buttercream, pecans, potato chips, and salted butterscotch.
Trust us, despite the fact that these sweets are baked mini, there is nothing “little” about these cupcakes. These little cups of heaven are piled high in frosting and when the cupcake calls for it, smothered in frosting. The flavor is big-time as well, with a wide variety that appeals to everyone. If you’re looking for something completely unique, try the “margarita cupcake,” a lime and triple sec cake with lime and tequila buttercream.
My Little Cupcake
One look at Miss Julia’s Bake Shop cupcakes and you’ll instantly fall in love. With each of the cupcakes (and boy there are a ton of them), the husband and wife team that owns this cupcakery consistently produce flawless presentation and flavor. Adding to the charm, these folks have a ton of family and community pride, and it shows through flavors like the “Brookfield princess,” an old fashioned vanilla cake frosted with pastel pink vanilla buttercream. It is even topped with a pink sugar crown
Miss Julia’s Bake Shop
In tandem with true southern charm, owner Cheryl Durham brought the passion and know-how for cupcakes to her Lolly Cakes shop by way of her grandmother, Honey. Spending countless hours in her kitchen, Durham crafted and honed a skill that her patrons have come to love. Her cupcakes are cute and her flavor catalog is serious, a stand out for us being the “Nutty Nuttaurelia,” a chocolate cupcake with chopped hazelnuts and a Nutella buttercream frosting.
Imagine a root beer float cupcake so authentic it has its own straw. That is the level of attention the Jones Bros. Cupcakes give to each and every cupcake that comes out of the oven. Like all great ideas, the business was born around the family kitchen table when they decided to bring their passion to life. With a flavor catalog that has some stationary cupcake flavors like the “red velvet” or the “black and white,” it is completely acceptable to gorge on a classic cupcake with gourmet flair. Oh, and that “root beer float?” It consists of chocolate root beer cake with vanilla bean icing, root beer ganache drizzle and a chocolate straw.
Without formal culinary training, owner Annette Starbuck emerged as the winner of Cupcake Wars: Kentucky Derby episode. Her cupcakes are beautifully created, with pillows of frosting fluffy enough to nap on. Try any of the classic flavors or mix it up with a “luxe” cupcake like the “choco-coconut cupcake,” a chocolate cake with cream cheese rolled coconut.
After her brother waited in line for two hours for a red velvet cupcake at an unnamed cupcakery in New York City, Gigi was inspired to open her own cupcake shop in Nashville. It wasn’t just the potential client base that inspired her, it was the compliments (“yours and mom’s cupcakes are better”) that her brother shared with her that made her take the leap. She hasn’t looked back since. And why would she? Gigi’s Cupcakes is now producing some of the tastiest sweets you can find. Don’t believe us? Try the” triple chocolate torte.” The rich, dark chocolate cake with a brownie texture is baked without flour and topped with a chocolate ganache rose and powdered sugar. You’re welcome.
Katherine Kallinis Berman and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne are co-founders of the hit D.C. cupcakery known as Georgetown Cupcake. Their cupcakes feature an inward swirl of frosting that is both sleek and sexy. A must-try flavor is the baby pink: A baby pink-tinted traditional sweet vanilla buttercream frosting on a “Madagascar Bourbon vanilla” or “Valrhona chocolate cupcake” topped with a fondant flower.
It takes a lot of finesse to pull off a delicious cupcake. After all, it should taste as appetizing as it looks and at Frost Cupcake Factory, you get the best of both worlds. Each cupcake is swirled with an appropriate amount of frosting which is done according to flavor and occasion. And just because Frost can adorn your cupcake with a delicate rose or adorable fondant honeybee, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t focusing on flavor. You can enjoy one of their staple daily cupcakes like “rose velvet” or “sugar cookies,” or you can try to catch a specialty cupcake like “butterscotch kisses” or the “oh my bacon!”
Frost Cupcake Factory
This cupcakery may be a New England franchise, but that doesn’t mean the cupcakes aren’t quality! With their loveable mascot and their company motto (Life’s too short...Eat a cupcake) Cupcake Charlie’s delivers fresh, frosted cupcakes that will make your day. The “orange dreamsicle” and the “chocolate raspberry surprise” are both shining examples of what it means to be a cupcake. Make sure you pop by to check out the cupcake of the day, which they choose from over 137 flavor possibilities in addition to the decadent flavors they serve daily.
Well, it doesn’t get any more straightforward than that: a cupcakery that simply sells delicious cupcakes and says so with its name. As a winner of Cupcake Wars, this small Minneapolis bakery has blown up into a local must-try, and can give patrons a large variety of sweets to choose from, even gluten-free and vegan options! How could you not love a U.S. Navy serviceman turned pastry chef that makes cupcakes called the “Michelle Obama” and the “Alton Brown?”
We don’t think Confections could have said it any better:
“Cupcakes are the perfect portion and each unique cupcake equals about half a slice of cake (guilt free). They are portable & require no fork, yet big enough to be an indulgence. The best part is you never have to share a cupcake!”
But the worst part about a cupcake at Confections? Having just one might not be enough! In sizes ranging from mini to jumbo, each cupcake is topped with a rich layer of creamy frosting and elegantly decorated. The flavor profiles vary according to the sizes but some of our favorites are the standard cupcakes like the “snickerdoodle cupcake,” a cinnamon sugar cake with vanilla buttercream that is sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and topped with a snickerdoodle cookie.
If you want something done right, you gotta’ do it yourself. At least that is what Erica Elia thought when she baked the cupcakes for her own wedding. When her guests told her that they were good enough to sell, she listened! Today, Classy Girl Cupcakes sells cupcakes every which way you can imagine. In the mood for a push pop cupcake? Check! How about an ooey gooey cupcake truffle or bomb? Check! And while they do have classic cupcakes in specialty flavors, we are particularly intrigued by the cupcakewiches, which house flavored buttercream between the top and bottom slices of a cupcake. While she only has five on the menu, we recommend you try the “cookies & cream cupcakewich,” a Ghirardelli chocolate cupcake encasing Oreo buttercream and rolled in crushed Oreos.
Classy Girl Cupcakes
You can always taste the difference when something is a homemade treat and it doesn’t get any more authentically homemade than The Cupcake Collection. Baked from the family kitchen, these gourmet cupcakes are a classic treat that is shipped. However, you can find the cupcakes on the cupcake bus, an old yellow school bus converted into a rolling cupcakery. With a three-tier cupcake classification system, you choose from classic, premium, and specialty cupcakes depending on your craving. We recommend trying one from each! A classic sweet potato cupcake, a premium strawberry cheesecake or a specialty Italian wedding cake cupcake ought to satisfy any sweet hunger pangs.
The Cupcake Collection
The perfect cupcake means something a little bit different to everyone. So why not completely personalize the cupcake experience? At Sweet Treats Cupcake Bar & Bakery, you can choose from classic cake bases like vanilla and red velvet, flavored buttercreams, and an array of toppings to make your cupcake as gourmet as you’d like them.
Sweet Treats Cupcake Bar & Bakery
Owner Christiana Grammer went from finance to frosting when she opened Suite 106 Cupcakery. The two-time Cupcake Wars champion learned to bake from her mother and combines those childhood lessons with gourmet, organic, all-natural ingredients and artisan techniques to create these award-winning cupcakes. Try Christy’s winning “southern red velvet cupcake,” a French light cocoa cake topped with Madagascar vanilla bean cream cheese frosting.
Twenty-plus cupcake flavors grace the shelves of the Sugar Bliss Cake Boutique. With blooming plumes of frosting, these gorgeous cupcakes are more like an experience than just a dessert treat. Flavors to try would be the “chocolate peppermint,” a dark chocolate cake with chocolate peppermint buttercream or the “banana,” a banana cake with vanilla buttercream topped with a banana chip. There are even breakfast cupcakes and macarons available for those who want to take home a little something extra sweet for later.
Sugar Bliss Cake Boutique
Simply Sweet Cupcake Boutique offers four menus a year, rotating through each season. The Daily Meal loves to see a cupcake shop taking advantage of the season, and Simply Sweet has definitely accomplished that. If you're looking for a savory option, “maple bacon” is sure to hit the sweet spot. Just be sure you work a little sweet into your experience and try a “strawberry-n-cream” cupcake.
Simply Sweet Cupcake Boutique
Pure Cupcakes of California are stocked full of fresh, natural ingredients that bring out the best in its products. With a practically perfect cupcake to frosting ratio, these delicious sweets are a gourmet treat for anyone. In the quest to deliver the perfect cupcake, Pure Cupcakes comes rather close with flavors that are diverse and delicious. Pop by and try the “caramel & cashews sweet vanilla bean cake” with caramel buttercream, caramel drizzle, and chopped cashews.
So what is it about the Polka Dot Cupcakery that makes it such a great bakeshop? Is it the adorable way they decorate their sweets? Is it the fact that they offer cupcakes in adorable mason jars? Or maybe it is simply that they offer an impressive array of choices that include delectable options like the “triple berry,” a vanilla cupcake blended with strawberries, raspberries & blueberries topped with vanilla buttercream and fresh berries.
Polka Dot Cupcakery
A mouthwatering swirl of frosting, a few delicate adornments, and a moist cake are all essentials to a delicious cupcake. Mix Cupcake Co. offers patrons all of that and more. With over 16 killer flavors, this cupcakery can cater any party and make your event a success. Try enjoying a “monkey business cupcake,” a delicious banana cake with cream cheese frosting, drizzled in butterscotch sauce, and topped with a salted pretzel.
Mix Cupcake Co.
From its inception, Misha’s Cupcakes were designed for family. As a way for the owner to spend time with her newborn daughter (and to make a few extra bucks) she began this delicious cupcakery. A successful business blossomed a few years later and now one of the finest cupcake joints in Miami can be found. Take a bite out of guava with cream cheese cupcake for a completely unique experience and you’ll be convinced.
In 2010, Duncan Hines Red Carpet Cupcake Challenge presented now owner of Lil’ Bit of Heaven Cupcakes with the inspiration that would begin the rest of her life. After submitting an original photo and recipe, Teri did not win the contest, but she did garner enough fans of the recipe to inspire her to open up her cupcakery. With almost 100 cupcake flavors to choose from, you can guarantee something delicious is available. The “chocolate dipped strawberry,” the “Oreo cheese cake” and the “bumbleberry” are just a few examples of what is in store if you happen to visit this delicious spot.
Lil’ Bite of Heaven Cupcakes
As winners of Cupcake Wars ninth season, it was evident that Kastle’s Kreations were a cut above the rest. What solidified it wasn’t the fact that they won, but the fact that their ability to invent a cupcake so savory and sweet that it continued to wow patrons any time they ordered it. Not only is this cupcake (and all of the others) supremely gorgeous, it’s inventive ingredients complement each other in a complex way that is hard to achieve otherwise. The cupcake in question: the “lemon rosemary salmon cupcake.” This delicious confection pays homage to their Alaska roots with a “buttermilk cake mixed with lemon zest, rosemary, and smoked salmon that is filled with a lemon mascarpone smoked salmon filling, topped with a cream cheese and chive frosting, and garnished with rolled up smoked salmon, lemon zest and a rosemary sprig.”
When Kara Haspel Ling left her job as an advertising sales executive to enroll in pastry school, no one knew she'd turn out to be the founder of a West Coast icon. From baking with local organic ingredients to using compostable boxes and utensils, her bakeries are all green-friendly so you can feel good about saving the environment while enjoying a sweet snack. Their consistently beautiful signature dome of frosting sits on top of an artisanal cupcake you’ll likely never forget.
Whether it is in the shop or on the truck, there are a plethora of tasty options available at Dreamcakes Bakery. The thing about these delicious cakes is that they actually look like they were dreamt up from a magical tea party. With a billowing topper of fluffy frosting and a delicate design, these cupcakes are a work of art. Just bite into the “Maid Marian,” a white cake with a raspberry buttercream and elegantly topped with white chocolate curls and a raspberries and cream Hershey kiss.
A funky cafe in Madison, Wis., Cupcakes-A-Go-Go offers a full selection of coffee, espresso and, of course, cupcakes. With a variety of cupcake toppings — from glazes to ganaches, mascarpone frosting piled high, or even homemade meringues and marshmallow, each cupcake has the potential to be a delicious and unique cake. We are particularly intrigued by the likes of the “white chocolate cranberry” and the “peanut butter overdrive.”
Lisa Watson and Peter Shanky’s attention to detail and extensive candy experience at Cupcake Jones shines through their flavor profiles. Their menu — including both a hand-candied rose petal and carrot — proves that quality is definitely better than quantity. You’ll be smitten with “the pearl,” a white velvet cupcake filled with vanilla bean pastry cream.
These bite sized cupcakes pack a powerful punch. Inspired by the care-free rock 'n roll culture of the 60s and 70s and the idea that people should be able to taste more flavors without a guilt trip, Baked by Melissa has skyrocketed to the height of New York City cupcake fame. The miniature cupcakes are adorably small but extremely well designed. Just look at the “mint chocolate chip” with it’s perfect dollop of mint frosting and mini chocolate chip accessories!
Baked by Melissa
Artist Zoë Lukas remembers always loving combining the world of food and art, and Whipped Bakeshop may be her greatest masterpiece yet. Focusing on fresh, impactful flavors, Whipped Bakeshop may not have a wildly large flavor catalog set up but they can artfully create and customize any cupcake order. Don’t believe us? Take one bite into the “chocolate truffle cupcake” described as “moist chocolate cupcakes topped with Belgian chocolate meringue, buttercream icing, and filled with house-made truffle cream. Add to that poured ganache, and you've got yourself a real treat.”
When you drive around in a pink cupcake truck bearing delicious gifts of gourmet cupcakes, the world will hardly think of you as “twisted.” Though the sisterly team behind Twisted Sisters Cupcakes may think they are a little twisted for doing so (and are darn proud of it), there is no denying that when this truck rolls into town people get excited. And can you blame them? The “Grammies chocolate cream pie” chocolate cupcake with a chocolate pudding middle and frosted with vanilla Swiss is enough to make anyone smile.
Twisted Sisters Cupcakes
With a striking, signature pastel color palette, The Flying Cupcake will fly away with your heart after enjoying just one nibble. Each cupcake is delectably labeled with creative names such as “The Bees Knees” (light honey pear cupcake scented with ginger and topped with honey buttercream), “Straw-Berry Manilow” (strawberry cake with milk chocolate sour cream icing topped with stars and musical notes), and “Bart Simpson” (chocolate cupcake topped with peanut butter cream cheese frosting and rolled in real Butterfinger candies).
The Flying Cupcake
In the fascinating tale of a young foster child who learned to bake her foster mother’s family cupcake recipe, That One Cupcake Place was born. Since she discovered the tattered recipe, she has created dozens more flavors to add to the equally diverse and delicious menu. “Apple darling cupcakes,” which are a light cinnamon and apple cake with apple cream cheese buttercream, will delight the senses as much as the precious cupcake made of pink vanilla cake and light pink vanilla buttercream will dazzle the eyes.
That One Cupcake Place
Baked fresh daily, Sweet Times can make your cupcakes come to life with their inventive flavors and cupcake displays that will be the talk of your next soiree. While there are fabulous cake sculpting skills on display, the menu can speak for itself. Whether you are in the mood for something fun and funky like the “nutty buddy” or classically delicious like the “vanilla, vanilla,” we are sure when you visit this bakery you’ll have a sweet time (see what we did there?)! Oh, and don’t forget to order a gourmet coffee to wash it down with!
Taking a leap of faith to start your own business is always a risk, but doing so during a scary recession is another. Being able to thrive in such less than idyllic conditions... well that is a gift in and of itself. Philly Cupcake is an example of exactly how generous a gift like that could be. With a seemingly endless list of flavors, this cupcakery has a knack for not only a great tasting product but a fabulous looking one too. For a unique flavor experience try the “sweet potato pecan cupcake.”
Philly Cupcake: A Cupcakery Boutique, Philadelphia
Sometimes the most beautiful things in life come in the most surprising packages. While the cupcakes at Flavor are undoubtedly gorgeous, their no-frills, all-flavor attitude has landed them a killer shop and a loyal local base. Just try the “French toast cupcake” or the “pineapple upside down cake” and you’ll see exactly what we mean!
Lindsey Parks Photography
Cupcakes are magical by nature, a confectionary gift created from the depths of a need for something sweet. As a result of one of these sweet ventures, the Cupcake Magician was born. Promising to make any event magical, this cupcakery offers customers a ton of regularly flavored cupcakes like the “black and white milkshake” or one of the popular “filled” cupcakes like raspberry cream.
Breaking into the top 10 is tough with this much competition, but The Cup thrived, particularly in the area of design and presentation when it came to these cupcakes. With the just right amount of frosting to be delicious and decadent without overstepping, these cupcakes come in a variety of styles ranging from sweet to savory. For example, the “caramel turtle cupcake” is something everyone can love while the “peach cobbler cupcake” will appeal to someone completely different in a different way.
Go ahead, treat yourself. And if you do, try to do so at the Sweet Indulgence cake shop. The cupcakes hardly need an introduction. Literally one look and suddenly you’ll feel your will crumbling. The best advice we have is try not to eat your computer screen if you’re looking from home. Our favorite has to be the “death by chocolate,” a chocolate cake heavily infused with chocolate fudge and chips to make it even more desirable.
Heidi Hope Photography
These gourmet cupcakes weigh nearly half a pound each, hefty enough to stand on their own against the likes of brunch. The devil is in the details, and Jilly's got plenty of them, from a real miniature slice of pecan pie garnishing their “so fly pecan pie cupcake,” to filling “apple pie à la mode cupcakes” with baked cinnamon apples. Need another reason to walk in? The “French silk cupcake” — a chocolate cake filled with chocolate mousse, topped with chocolate buttercream, large chocolate curls, and dusted with powdered sugar — is just calling your name.
A small artisan bakery dedicated to small batch baking, their philosophy is centered on interesting and unique flavor profiles, evident in offerings like “sweet potato cake” with Kentucky Bourbon cream cheese frosting. Their must-try cupcake is a sugar cookie cake with browned butter, rosemary, and pine nut frosting. Bottom line: when someone goes to enough effort to create a frosting with browned butter, and serves it to you with a fresh rosemary garnish, you take it.
Drool session: commence. Built on the belief that old world baking charm is something worth implementing daily, Fate Cakes has high standards regarding what makes a good cupcake. These cupcakes are in our top-five because not only do they have an extensive collection of flavors, they are drop dead gorgeous as well. Just look at the way the chocolate sauce rolls down the mountain of frosting on the “mocha latte cupcake.”
Gourmet cupcakes, truly gourmet cupcakes that is, are enjoyed in a way an average cupcake isn’t. These cupcakes satiate a certain hunger, they have a high calling. CamiCakes can answer that calling in any of their gourmet flavors. Whether the cupcake is smothered in chocolate and peanut butter sauce or a simple yellow cake topped with chocolate buttercream frosting, these cupcakes are unanimously loved by anyone who makes a pilgrimage there. While the cupcakes are out of this world, be sure you stick around for their new creamery. Because after all, what is a cupcake without a little ice cream?
Cliff Robinson Photography
A true family affair, this award-winning cupcakery turned their hobby into a full-time passion. One Sweet Slice can artfully serve your corporate affair as elegantly as they could your wedding. In the true spirit of DIY, you can personalize your cupcake experience to match your mood. As for flavors, chocolate chunk and raspberry lemonade would be an excellent way to start working through this delicious bakery menu.
One Sweet Slice
An intricate swirling structure of frosting sits atop a moist, freshly baked cupcake in such a way it feels like you’re staring at the sun when you gaze upon it. Ok, maybe we are romanticizing it just a tad, but these cupcakes are out of this world. The Pinkitzel Cupcakes & Candy has not only some of the most gourmet cupcakes around, they have over 100 loose candy options making it the ultimate sweet house in Oklahoma City. As for the cupcakes, indulge in the “Napoleon,” “a chocolate cake topped with a swirl of strawberry buttercream then a swirl of vanilla buttercream and a cherry sour.”
When it comes to making a gorgeous cake, you simply cannot beat Pink Cake Box. This critically acclaimed bakery was birthed from the brainchild of Anne Heap who is an accomplished baker. From the tiniest of cupcakes to a towering wedding cake structure, Pink Cake Box can consistently take your breath away with their sculpting ability. But underneath the layers of gorgeous fondant is a cake so moist and delicious, you don’t even care how beautiful it is. Flavors include “hazelnut frangelico,” “pink champagne cake,” “spiced pumpkin,” and dozens more. Try this amazing bakeshop for a specialty experience you’ll be hard-pressed to find elsewhere across the nation.
Pink Cake Box