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Cupcakes? [SEA]

I know about Cupcake Royale, but am curious if anyone has found other amazing cupcakes in or near Seattle. I like CR's cupcakes but I'm looking for something different: specifically, less frosting and a smoother, more dense frosting or icing. Maybe it's an East Coast thing, but I'm thinking something like a smooth, very dense non-fluffy chocolate icing or a thin layer of vanilla or other interesting icing. A little goes a long way if it's good, but too much feels heavy to me.

So, other good cupcakes in Seattle, particularly of this style? Please share if you know of them.


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  1. Certainly. Check out Marzi Tarts on 45th Street.

    1. Zeitgeist in Pioneer Square used to sell awesome cupcakes. They don't carry them anymore and noone seems to remember where they came from. I tried Cupcake Royale's thinking they might be a good replacement for them but they were like comparing Krispy Kreme to Top Pot doughnuts........

      1. Not sure if they are the same ones you like, but Zeitgeist had cupcakes in their case yesterday.

        1. I have it on excellent authority that we can anticipate a new cupcake shop on 14th and Pike (in the space where A. Buono Construction and Cabinet was for many years). There's also New York Cupcakes in Westlake (and Bellevue I think) but I was not blown away.

          3 Replies
          1. re: ssusu

            New info -- it actually will open in the Wallingford Center, and is called Trophy Cupcakes -- website www.trophycupcakes.com. I've only had these cupcakes at private functions, but if the retail product is even half as good, these cupcakes will be worth the trip to Wallingford.

            1. re: ssusu

              I just saw that last night! Thanks for the link.

              1. re: ssusu

                I second Trophy Cupcakes, we head to Wallingford about every other week for these.... not sure if you would like them though, alot of frosting, but oh so tasty. Plus they have great italian sodas.

            2. check out sugar rush baking company in west seattle. about 5 doors north of easy street records on the same side of the street. they have excellent cupcakes in 3 different sizes.
              everything i have tried there has been top notch. they also have a killer chocolate cream pie. you can thank me later.

              1. Macrina Bakery has an excellent chocolate ganache cupcake. It's like a flourless chocolate cake with ganache as frosting.

                Very Good

                1 Reply
                1. re: chadm

                  Gotta second Macrina's cupcakes. Their Mom's Chocolate Cupcake is fantastic, with perfect frosting. I never eat frosting on any cake, since it's usually too rich or sweet, but this stuff was perfect. They also had a little cake there that was chocolate, with maple buttercream and it was to die for.

                2. I investigated the Zeitgeist cupcake situation. According to someone working there, a woman used to make cupcakes specially for Zeitgeit and they were wonderful. Now they get their cupcakes from Cupcake Royale and they "pale in comparison," she said. She said the woman a bit flakey and smoked a lot of pot, and they were never sure that the cupcakes were going to arrive. There were rumors that this woman was going to start her own cupcake business, but it never materialized.

                  A loss for cupcake seekers, it seems.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: seattledebs

                    Thank you for researching this! I got a similar answer (we had someone, but now we don't) but without the juicy details!

                  2. Another talent lost to the wonders of pot.... ; )

                    I did a search this summer for a friend who was planning her wedding. Nothing I found came close to homemade.

                    1. I tried Macrina's today and thought they were pretty good. I had an almond cupcake with mocha frosting. Pluses: nice flavor on both cake and frosting, creative pairings of flavors (in this and the other cupcakes), not too much frosting, not too sweet cake, nice presentation (raspberry on top - and a good one, too). Cons: the cake wasn't as fresh tasting as I would have expected - a little dry, the icing tasted a little oily and could have been a little denser/firmer (but then again it was in direct sunlight when I ate it and may have melted a little).

                      Overall, best I've had so far.

                      1. this was years ago now and maybe i was caught up in the moment but i really enjoyed the cupcakes served at my bridal shower - they were from pasta & co and i think they only have chocolate and vanilla. i haven't had them since but i thought they were great at the time.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: jlbs

                          i agree with pasta & co. the cupcakes are good. i'm sure they still sell them. the frosting is a cream cheese frosting with almond extract. i haven't had them in years as well. but i do remember them fondly.

                        2. i've had nice cupcakes at the bakery on 15th on cap hill also at the bakery in madison valley next to all the best pet supply store (not essential) agree with everyone who thinks cupcake royale is overrated, no wait, dry & flavorless .. can't believe they are so popular. Cupcakes are an indulgence and a bad one is a waste of time. I make the coconut cupcakes from the barefoot countess very easy, yummy, no make that really yummy, i've had friends eat 3-4 without hesitation! definately puts royale to shame.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: oliveoyl

                            I fell for all the hype too and tried the CR cupcakes...yuck...dry, tastless...so significantly overrated!! They must have an excellent marketing team...too bad they don't have excellent cupcakes...I'm glad to hear someone else with the same opinion! I thought I was just being picky...

                            1. re: oliveoyl

                              The barefoot contessa coconut ones are insanely good. They are my go-to recipe for bdays/housewarmings/showers etc.

                            2. I tried NY Cupcakes in Westlake Park last week. It was suprisingly bad. I tried their signature cupcake: NY Black & White. The frosting tasted just ok and the texture was gritty as if the sugar had not been creamed with the fat long enough. The cake itself was low on flavor with an ok texture.

                              Overall, not good for a cupcake-focused bakery.

                              Perhaps this location is working through the kinks in the process?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: chadm

                                I was eager to hear about NY Cupcakes as every time I was in that area, it seemed to be closed. I agree with those who think CR is overrated too! I haven't been to the bakery next to the pet store on Madison...I always thought it was a "by appointment only" wedding cake bakery. As for my favorite cupcake, I love the cupcakes at this cupcake shop in Vancouver on Denman St., a few blocks from the water. (can't miss it...its all pink, usually line out the door and the smells are so wonderful). Perfect crumb size (at least the way I like it) and buttercream frosting.

                              2. I finally tried the chocolate ganache cupcake from Macrina today. It was, indeed, excellent. Incredibly rich, as I like them. They also had a ginger spice and devil's food variety but the ganache was more than enough. Presentation on all the above was lovely- they all had some kind of fresh fruit on top (raspberry, star anise, pomegranate seeds).

                                1. Bella Dolce on Madison and MLK has an outstanding red velvet cupcake. Columbia City Bakery also has a great cupcake, square and ultra moist with a dense buttercream frosting.

                                  1. funny how so many of us feel like we must be crabby-picky that we don't like cupcake royale ... it's purely a place for the stroller set & it's sad to think all those kids are having that be their first cupcake experience.

                                    1. Just had a cupcake from the Dahlia Bakery (chocolate with white frosting) and found it most tasty.

                                      1. The cupcakes at Trophy Cupcakes in Wallingford are excellent (however they do have a lot of frosting). They are far superior to the cakes produced at Cupcake Royale - in quality and variety. Cupcake Royale could learn a few lessons from Trophy.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: tarzan69

                                          Brought a few of the Trophy Cupcakes home last weekend and they went over phenomenally well with the friends I had over for dinner. Definitely recommend the Peanut Butter & Jelly- it's a throw back to a childhood- favorite taste that should absolutely be tried. Too, the Chai Cardamom was wonderful!

                                          1. re: tarzan69

                                            I agree wholeheartedly. As my wife put it, Cupcake Royale is like duncan hines with an extra egg, something that you could make at home. Trophy is sublime each and every time, raising the bar in the world of cupcakes.

                                          2. From time to time, Irwin's Coffee Shop, at N 40th and Bagley N, has cupcakes. I've never eaten them, because I always get sidetracked by the Blueberry Muffins or the Marionberry Scones. You will see the baking happening right there in the kitchen. If the cupcakes are half as moist and delicioius as the muffins, you are in for a treat.

                                            1. Just tried Trophy Cupcakes, and I love them. Definitely better than Sugar Rush in West Seattle. Also, EATS Market cafe at the West Seattle Farmers Market sells cupcakes at their booth that are awesome.

                                              3 Replies
                                                1. re: de_soie

                                                  Oh, I had one of those EATS Market cupcakes at the West Seattle farmers' market and it was supurb! I think it was the best I've had in Seattle. If I remember right, it was moist with just enough icing. I rarely make it to that market, so I haven't had one since, but was very pleased.

                                                  1. re: seattledebs

                                                    hey guys EATS sells their outstanding cupcakes at their cafe (hence the name Eats Market Cafe) - over in Westwood Village in West Seattle - they have this awesome tower of cupcakes every time I go there - definitely the BEST cupcakes in town and you can get them everyday but mon when they unfortunately close - I've tried them all and they are always moist and delicious - chocolate fudge, carrot, red velvet, all with perfect icing - mmmm...

                                                2. Another vote for Trophy. I've forgotten who Cupcake Royale are after tasting Trophy.

                                                  I read a little blurb in Seattle Metro magazine that Chef Marie Hines from Tilth has formed a little Trophy habit herself.