Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Jun 16, 2004 12:45 PM

Best Cupcakes???

  • m

Need to find, in Manhattan, the best tasting & decorated cupcakes for a small wedding reception. Tried the ones at Polka Dot & definitely not impressed. Cake was tasteless & icing tasted waxy.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Two Little Red Hens is hands-down my favorite. I love their chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream frosting combo (the frosting is amazingly good). I think they are on the UES (I go to their Park Slope location, but I'm sure the cupcakes in Manhattan are the same). You'll likely hear a lot about other, more popular places (Magnolia, Cupcake Cafe, Billy's, etc.), but I think they all stink compared to Red Hens. Good luck!

    6 Replies
    1. re: JLB

      Thanks. I tried Polkadot, as I had mentioned, & Sugar Sweet Sunshine & they both fell totally flat. I tried, with a group of discerning cupcake eaters, the vanilla, chocolate, red velvet & lemon ones from Buttercup Bakery on 2nd Ave & they were great! Everything tasted, from the cake to the icing, as it should. Very fresh tasting as well. I would have moved onto Red Hens, BIlly's & Cupcake had Buttercup not been good. Thanks for the advice though! Give BUttercup a try if you haven't already.


      1. re: maitetxu

        Red Hen's cupcakes are by far better than Buttercup. They are not as sweet as Buttercup's and the cupcakes have a fine tender crumb. I find most cupcakes these days (Magnolia, Billy's, Crumbs (way too sweet)and Buttercup) to be coyingly sweet. I think Buttercup is virtually the same as Magnolia since they are from the same lineage of cupcake people.

        William Greenberg also has a fantastic cupcake.
        But if I had to rate the best cupcake in New York, that honor would have to go to Blue Smoke's devil's food cupcake and their espresso cupcake. You have to get them in a four pack to-go when you visit the restaurant. They can give you a little attitude if you just ask for the cupcakes, since Danny Meyers really wants you to sit down and eat overpriced BBQ, but their cupcakes blow Buttercup and Magnolia out of water!

        I read a few posts back about a bakery up in Scarsdale -- i think they are called Lulu's -- that has amazing cupcakes, but its a little too out of the way for cupcakes -- but they are HUGE (in fact too big) but they are super delicious.

        Don't stop at Buttercup - -there are WAY more delicious cupcakes out there!

        Stay away from Polka dot and Crumbs though -- I'd rather do Hostess!


        1. re: Cupcake Diva

          i'll probably get flamed for this, but babycakes is guiltless gastronomic greatness.

          1. re: Cupcake Diva

            funny you should mention Lulu's in Scarsdale. At the recommendation of another chowhound in search of the perfect German Choc Cake, we ended up schlepping there. It was well it for the cake, outrageously fantastic, but by the time we got there, they had already sold out of their famous one pound or half pound cupcakes (?? i forget) next time we will order them...

            couldnt agree with you more that the cupcakes at Smoke are the best. In fact they are REAL cupcakes. it amazes me how people in this great culinary jewel of a city set such low standards on CUPCAKES. cupcakes should have a nice, tender crumb to compliment the perfect frosting. it seems that most bakeries can't get BOTH parts right. Either the cake is to dry or dense, or (as in most cases) the frosting is too sweet. The only thing about Danny Meyer's cupcakes is that you have to buy the mixed variety, or at least the last time I was there you did.

            As far as magnolia, billy's, buttercup, crumbs...I would honestly prefer Duncan Hines if I'm gonna have something either too sweet or too dry!

          2. re: maitetxu

            i'm surprised sugar sweet sunshine disappointed you. i think the red velvet cupcakes are by far the best of all the places i've tasted....with the exception of that place mentioned by chowhound user "abs".

          3. re: JLB

            Try the Two Little Red Hens' blackout cupcake. Delicious and moist.

          4. The cupcakes at Blue Smoke are surprisingly delicious!
            The devils food cake has the most delicious frosting.... served with a glass of milk ... its delicious

            1. I don't know the name of this incredible cupcake place, but there is a place on Hudson, the block between Morton and one block north on the east side of the street and they have the absolute best cupcakes I've found yet. I had chocolate with white icing. moist flavorful cake but not too dense nor too oily. And the icing was indeed sweet, but was nore than just whipped sugar. a truly pleasurable experience. but should certainly be consumed with milk.

              1. The best cupcakes in New York City by far at Out of the Kitchen on Hudson St.

                1. okay folks - i've tried them all - you name them - i've been there ... every bakery claimed to have the best tasting cupcakes - BUT they have all been way too sweet, icing so thick you could hardly swallow it, cake itself dry as a menopause. BUT i keep coming back to the ONLY great moist not too sweet simple best tasting cupcake there is in manhattan --> it's at cafe beyond at the bed bath and beynd store on 6th ave/18th street. YEP, i know you think it sounds crazy but go and try it - cheaper than any of the other so-called great bakeries - and say i didn't say so! only 2 flavors: vanilla or chocolate and yum yum yum in my tummy!!!