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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.

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  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.

      Link: http://www.buttercupbakeshop.com

      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!!!

                  1. Ciao for Now in East Village has wonderful chocolate cupcakes, intensely chocolate but not too sweet. Appealing to both adults and kids. Don't know why this place doesn't get more notice. Better than Magnolia and Billy's. No question.

                    1. I don't like cake at all, really, but I am a big fan of Sugar Sweet Sunshine's red velvet and pumpkin spice cupcakes.

                      1. I have never been a frosting person, but hands down Cupcake Cafe has the best cupcakes and frosting. The frosting is so buttery and smooth, not sugary and hard like magnolia/buttercup/billy's. I've been to all of those.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: fittoeat

                          Totally seconding Cupcake Cafe-- plus their flower designs are beautiful!

                          1. re: Aurorasbored

                            Chiming in with a third vote for Cupcake Cafe. I love the maple walnut cupcake with maple frosting. And no one can match them for sheer gorgeous-ness.

                        2. Sugar Sweet Sunshine is SUCH a disappointment. They don't have any plain chocolate frosting! They only have a chocolate-almond frosting that tastes like a butter and a drop of frangipane. *sigh*

                          1. I like the filled cupcakes from Little Pie Company, especially the chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and "creme" filling. Their chocolate cakes in general (yellow or chocolate cake with chocolate frosting), are underrated in my opinion.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: SunnysideUp

                              i think you're absolutely right...i had always bought pies there but just recently started trying their cakes and cupcakes and i was really pleasantly surprised. their icing is fablous...not too sweet and with real flavor and the cupcakes are the perfect size with creamy tasty filling and just the right amount of icing on top.

                              1. re: ida

                                I am glad you agree. Their cakes are often overlooked, but probably too plain looking for a wedding reception. They make a new fresh orange cake (not sure if it's cream cheese or buttercream icing) that would be perfect for a shower or wedding. Someone would just have to add their own edible grade fresh flowers or even a simple monogrammed disk of white or dark chocolate.

                                This is for future receptions. I realize the original post was from two years ago.

                                1. re: jayal

                                  Cupcake Cafe's cupcakes are definitely the prettiest ones out there. There is a lot of opinion on how they taste, however.

                              2. Black Hound Bakery on Second Ave., between 10th and 11th, doesn't do cupcakes but they make cupcake-size miniature cakes on silver cardboard rounds. They may be pricey for a reception at around $5 but they're very attractive and come in many varieties and really look like small round cakes. Their website is mail order order only, with higher online prices and a limited selection, so you will need to visit the shop.

                                This is for future receptions. I realize the original post was from two years ago.

                                1. I think the cupcakes at Baked (Red Hook - sold at Blue Apron in Park Slope, not sure where else) are equisite. The frosting is outstanding, cake has been moist (at least what I've tried - and that's from Blue Apron!).

                                  I'll defend Sugar Sweet Sunshine's pumpkin & red velvet, I think they're far superior to the other Magnolia, Buttercup, Billy's, etc crowd.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: LSteffel

                                    I second the vote for Baked. Very good, moist cake, and tasty frosting. Simple but elegant appearance.

                                    Cupcake cafe has great cake, beautifully decorated cupcakes, but the icing tastes like the food coloring.

                                  2. Buttercup Bake Shop on 2nd or 1st ave in the 50's Hands down the best!
                                    Great cake, Great frostings and unbelievable presentation

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Garyo

                                      i like their cupcakes too .....although my vote is for SAGE in LIC. what makes buttercup's presentation unbelievable to you? to me, just a cupcake with frosting on top...sometimes crumbs or sprinkles?

                                    2. Elaine's (sp?) in Chelsea Market. Awesome icing, awesome cake!

                                      2 Replies
                                        1. re: jenniebnyc

                                          Thanks! My daughter wants us to make cupcakes from Elenis our weekly guilty pleasure.