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sugar sweet sunshine bakery and other cupcake ramblings..

  • j

so whats the big deal about all these cupcake places? last year i tried magnolia bakery when i was here on holiday. the cupcakes were down right awful! dry as can be...

today i walked by 'sugar sweet sunshine' in the lower east side. there was a huge line of young hipsters waiting to get cupcakes and coffee. so i bought a pumpkin, coconut, and red velvet to bring home. these cupcakes were at least moist...but completely lacked in flavor. the only good thing i can say about them was the frosting on the pumpkin cupcake. the other two frostings were awful and all three cupcakes were completely devoid of any flavor.

so why do these places have lines of people buying these things?

Link: http://www.sugarsweetsunshine.com/

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  1. It's a great question you ask, junglekitte. I wish I knew the answer. I will say this though: people's taste in cupcakes seems to vary pretty wildly. There are at least a few spots that have their devotees and detractors in just about equal proportion. SSS seems to fare pretty well, on the whole (and I will say that you could have done a lot worse). But people still go back, even if they're not huge fans of the cupcakes.

    I was hoping for a big gingerbread fad, but I'm still waiting on it.


    Link: http://nycnosh.com

    2 Replies
    1. re: Nosher

      ooohhhh! i love gingerbread and never know where to buy it...what's your favorite?

      1. re: ida

        Ida - Two Little Red Hens has an unbelievable Gingerbread. Highly recommended.

    2. My Sugar Sweet Sunshine was a horrible experience: An obnoxious staffer served me awful hot chocolate and a mediocre cupcake that I ate cramped into their awkward space that uncomfortably seats maybe 10 people.


      1. Funny, I've had far better experiences at Sugar Sweet Sunshine. Tasty pistachio and chocolate cupcakes; a good apple crisp. I've ordered birthday cakes from there several times (expensive, but great it. My wife practically demands them.) The owners are very, well, very sweet.

        Can't disagree about the seating. When you can get a seat, it's a good place to hang, nice scene. I've met some pretty interesting folks there. When you can't...well, you can't. Is it worth waiting in a line out the door??? Well, practically nothing is, but I see people all over town in line for some bar, club or restaurant, so what do I know??

        1 Reply
        1. re: xavier

          Funny how your experience with SSS is the exact opposite from mine.
          The cakes and cupcakes are ok, but nothing to drool over - I never buy from SSS because I crave their stuff but only for convenience. As for the service, is absolutely terrible, rarely have I encoutered such snotty atitude.
          But going back to the cupcakes - I suggest a blindfold taste of their cupcakes. I'm not sure you'll be able to tell the pistachio from the yellow cake etc. Chocolate (cocoa) may be the only flavor that comes through, but other than that...
          Sorry, just my opinion.

        2. c

          Kitchenette is opening a bakery on amsterdam and 78th ending the drought of dry cupcakes. The choc w/ cream and the chocolate with peanutbuuter frosting are my favsssss.I also wish that cupcake cafes cupcakes tasted as good as they looked,

          4 Replies
          1. re: cupcakeFANatic

            I agree with you about the Cupcake Cafe! I was so excited to try it with my kids (in combination with a trip to Books of Wonder), and was SO disappointed. The cupcakes were very heavy, dry and/or stale. Tasted like they were made days before. WTF?!?

            Oh well, the bookstore was wonderful anyway.

            1. re: parkslopemama

              Cupcake Cafe uses shortening in their frosting instead of butter, hence the lack of flavor.

              1. re: EmilyG

                yup. their frosting is one of the more disgusting things that i've tasted in recent memory.

            2. re: cupcakeFANatic

              When is Kitchenette opening on the UWS? Has it opened yet?

            3. I like the subtle taste of sugar sweet sunshine's pistachio cupcakes

              1 Reply
              1. My favorite things at SSS aren't the cupcakes. The yellow cake with yellow frosting is great, and the coconut cream cake (or whatever their coconut cake is) is diabetes-inducing sugar heaven. Pumpkin trifle is also awesome.

                Link: http://flickr.com/photos/roboppy/3999...

                Image: http://static.flickr.com/27/39991983_...

                3 Replies
                1. re: Robyn

                  I'll agree with this and Big O's related comment; the layer cakes are much, much better than the cupcakes at SSS.


                  Link: http://nycnosh.com

                  1. re: Nosher

                    the yellow cakes and trifle are outstanding, and so is the piggy pudding.

                  2. re: Robyn

                    The pumpkin trifle is unbelievable! It's layers of pumpkin-spice cake and whipped cream all mixed together in a cup! How could that be bad???

                  3. After walking around a bit on Saturday and having a nice little lunch at Loreley, I hoofed it over to Suger Sweet Sunshine, got a big-ass piece of the coconut cake (and a cup of coffee) and plopped myself down at the table up against the window (a seat which I've been able to get every single time I've ever been to SSS).

                    I love killing an hour there that way -- slowly putting down the cake and watching the crowd pass by the window.

                    The pumpking cake (I believe with cream cheese frosting) is also really good. Lemon is the only cupcake flavor that I've enjoyed.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: big o

                      that cream cheese frosting was delicious...

                    2. Tried Sugar Sweet Sunshine and some place in the UWS this week for cupcakes. Without going into detail, we have yet to find a good or great cupcake in NYC. There, we said it!

                      1. ok i did it! i took a walk over to rivington after being away for the last year and tried another cup cake place. im a fan but i dont usually go out of my way for one....
                        I've been reading a lot on chowhound lately get caught up! i kept seeing SSS
                        so i tried it out. OMG- is by far the best cupcake place in the city of course IMHO.
                        I gobbled down one pumpkin cupcake with creamcheese frosting and one lemon cake with buttercreme frosting! ok i felt a little sick afterwards but it was worth it!

                        1. try Billy's Bakery on 9th Ave & 22nd St. the cupcakes are very good - but the carrot cake and chocolate cake are even better.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: iforman2001

                            i've been!
                            i love the refrigerator cake and the bananna cake etc!

                          2. The pistachio cupcake is the only one that isnt overly cloying, the frosting is pretty mellow. Surprisingly the coconut cream pie is not as horrifically sweet as one would expect. And if you want to go all out - piggy pudding, hands down.

                            I think it is a matter of preference as to what kind of cupcake you like ,and they run the gamut here so if you're experienced, you can find something that is good for everyone. The counter help is another story. 9/10 you get someone nice. But every few visits, you get a person who just can't be bothered, and I've literally had plastic bags thrown at me when I've asked for them on rainy days. You're making cupcakes...not saving the world. Get over yourselves!

                            1. Buttercup Bakery has amazing cupcakes. Their cakes look yummy too.