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Good Cupcakes in NYC

Going to Magnolia last night reminded me that they are NOT my fave. As of now Kitchenette Uptown is at the top of my list but I want to branch out. Tips?

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  1. Buttercup has great cupcakes.

    1. tons of threads on the Manhattan board about this. Do a search.

      1. Amy's Bread has good everything...especially the yellow cake with chocolate frosting...exactly like my mom used to make!

        however, i'm a bit biased, as personally i think my own homemade cupcakes are the best ; ) !

        1 Reply
        1. re: myratana

          I wouldn't say Amy's has good everything. Amy's challah sucks. It's like stale brioche. But most of their other stuff is pretty good.

        2. If you like buttercream frosting, Cupcake Cafe is your place. Love them so much I had their cupcakes in place of a wedding cake.
          I recently had dessert Thai iced tea cupcakes and vietnamese coffee cupcakes that were really good...really moist cake and yummy frosting at Tigerland restaurant (one of my new fav places to eat).

          1. Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery on 126 Rivington St. is one of the best I've tasted.

            4 Replies
            1. re: chocokitty

              I find them sickly sweet, with no actual taste besides sugar. My faves are Two Little Red Hen's, Billy's, and Burgers & Cupcakes.

              1. re: Peter Cuce

                Originally I had the Sugar Sweet Sunshine over a year ago, it tasted fine. I don't know if they've changed the recipe recently.

                I actually had a TLRH Brooklyn Blackout Cupcake a few weeks ago. I must say, it's truly divine.


              2. re: chocokitty

                I agree about Sugar Sweet Sunshine. I also think cupcake cafe is gross. The frosting is way too thick, its like if you dont close the cap of the toothpaste, and it gets all thick and nasty... ::Sigh::

                1. re: BoerumHill

                  Sugar Sweet Sunshine makes a very good Red Velvet.

                  The frosting at Cupcake Cafe tastes like wax.

              3. If you want good cuppers without the eggs/dairy, try Babycakes (248 Broome --- they do frosting shots!), 'Snice (45 Eighth Ave) or Teany (90 Rivington).

                1. Throwing Crumbs into the mix. Several locations around the city, almost 3 or 4 times the size of a magnolia cupcake and all sorts of funky flavors.

                  I also second Sugar Sweet Sunshine and Buttercup. Billy's Bakery is worth a try too. Personally, i go to magnolia just for the banana pudding!

                    1. Two Little Red Hens (Brooklyn and Manhattan) has fabulous blackout chocolate cupcakes -- really rich and delicious.

                      1 Reply
                      1. There's a spot called Sage American Kitchen in Long Island City, Queens (one stop out of Manhattan on the N, R, W, E, or V) with FANTASTIC faux-Hostess treats, made in a very grown-up style. The ho-ho is a rich, moist choco cake filled with cream-cheese cream, and a great, silky, frosting. MMMM. They are affiliated with St. Bart's cafe in Manhattan, but I dunno if St. Bart's does the baked-goods thing.

                        12 Replies
                        1. re: slippek

                          i've also heard two little red hens is great . i agree with re to crumbs and buttercup. i'm sure there are better, though. there's a place just south of hell's kitchen....way, way, west. i can't remember the name. it looks like a dump but it isn't. just old-fashioned and very cool.

                          1. re: slippek

                            The Dean & Deluca on Madison &85th Street carries their cupcakes as well. The NY Times cupcake taste-off a while back gave Sage's cupcakes high praise.

                            The midtown Buttercup seems to be showing signs of slippage. Their cupcakes have been dry of late.

                            Two Little Red Hens Blackout cupcake is excellent, but their vanilla cupcakes aren't as good. Sugar Sweet Sunshine's are the best I've had recently. The cake part is incredibly moist and flavorful the frosting doesn't overpower.

                            Crumbs is nowhere on par with the City's best. Unique flavors and the cupcakes are huge, but they just don't taste good.

                              1. re: slippek

                                where is this Sage place, specifically? Thanks.

                                1. re: Yaxpac

                                  it's in Long Island City, Queens, just near P.S.1. though Dean and Deluca carries the cupcakes. they are literally the size of softballs.

                                  1. re: chompchomp

                                    do you have an address in LIC. I live in Astoria so it would be easier for me to go there, than to go to D&D. Thanks!

                                    1. re: Yaxpac

                                      Sage American Restaurant
                                      26-21 Jackson Ave (Cross Street: 43rd Avenue)
                                      Long Island City, NY 11101
                                      (212) 838-2257

                                      1. re: chompchomp

                                        I just stopped by Sage today based on this thread. I was so excited to find out that Queens finally has bakery that people are willing to recommend. I bought a couple items. I love red velvet cupcakes and I hate to say that the red velvet cupcakes at sage just didn't cut it for me. I took a bite of the cupcake and at first, I thought it was ok, but the more I ate, I realized that the cake portion was really dry. I'm not sure if this is because I went at the end of the day and the cupcakes were sitting out. If it wasn't for the frosting, I would say, the cupcake would be unedible. I also had a brownie and I liked that-not too sweet.

                                        For red velvet cupcakes, my vote so far goes to Joyce's bakery in Brooklyn.

                                        1. re: bobodl

                                          didn't even know they made red velvet. soory to hear it wasn't good. you must try the "hostess" cupcake. really good.

                                          1. re: bobodl

                                            my vote for best red velvet in any form cake/cupcake is cake man raven in fort greene. he has tons of yummy old fashioned style cakes available too.

                                            1. re: bobodl

                                              I like the red velvet cupcakes at Prospect Perk better than Joyce, if you're in that proximity. I think they are a little more moist, and the frosting isn't quite as sweet. Its a really good balance.

                                            2. re: chompchomp

                                              I couldn't wait to try Sage after reading this thread. Sadly, I see they close at 4:00 on weekdays and are not open on weekends. I live in Sunnyside and work in Manhattan, so I guess I'm out of luck!

                                    2. I would go with Sage, Two Little Red Hens, and Yura and Company on the upper east side.

                                      1. Billy's and Crumbs, for sure. And Little Pie does have good ones.

                                        1. I'm gonna have to chime in and say Eleni's in Chelsea Market.

                                          1. Billy's. Crumbs are crap! The cake itself tastes cheap and artificial - their schtick is to stick tons of stuff in the frosting and filling to create 'theme' cupcakes: Snickers, Reeses, Peppermint.

                                            1. Hm. I really have to go against the grain on this one. I've tried cupcakes at most of the places mentioned in this post, and my go-to seems to be one of the least popular: Little Cupcake in Bay Ridge. It seems to get mixed reviews at best here, but I think their Red Velvet and Chocolate Cloud are absolute knockouts. Others are good (but not as good) too.
                                              Other opinions on this thread: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/24964...

                                              1. Crumbs is my hands down favorite cupcake. next is little pie company....magolia's cupcakes taste like my grandmothers cornbread with sweet butter on top and buttercups are just way to dry.

                                                1. I also like "burgers and cupcakes" cupcakes

                                                  1. We like Billy's, Amy's, Little Pie Company, Burgers & Cupcakes, and ONLY the mocha cupcake at Cupcake Café (the rest aren't so great). Crumbs is a gigantic disappointment, as is Buttercup. We used to really like Sugar Sweet Sunshine, but the quality has gotten really iffy there of late.


                                                    NYCnosh* http://nycnosh.com

                                                    1. I always see people mention Out of the Kitchen in the Village (I forget where - Hudson maybe?) in these discussions, but have never tried theirs. Anyone?

                                                      Williamsburg has its own Magnolia diaspora (like Buttercup, Sugar Sweet Sunshine, Billy's, etc.) place, on Metropoitan and Havemayer. I've liked their cupcakes.

                                                      1. I agree that Magnolia is not a fav anymore. I have been to Sage American Kitchen in LIC several times, and I have yet to have a bad experience. I really like the "Hostess" style cupcakes, but the red velvets are really to die for. I am a red velvet fanatic and I have never found them to be dry. That is really saying something too, because I think that they are preservative free.

                                                        1. definitely try BABYCAKES on 248 broome street for their spelt vanilla cupcakes which are my fav. ...sugar, wheat & gluten free! my other all time fav are the thai tea & vietnamese coffee cupcakes at TIGERLAND on 85 ave a. a true hidden spot, but worth the trip ~ soooo YUMMY!

                                                          1. Try Baked in Red Hook and Atlantic Railyards in Boerum Hill Brooklyn for HUGE ones. Also, I love the banana cake and red velvet cupcakes from Billy's. I agree that cupcake cafe's frosting tastes like plastic.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: kam0424

                                                              Tempo Presto on 5th avenue in Brooklyn makes the loveliest cupcakes.

                                                              Light, not overly sweet frosting, with perfectly light, moist vanilla, chocolate or red devil cupcakes.

                                                              The chocolate with peanut butter frosting is my favorite.

                                                            2. Hawthorne Valley Farm cupcakes. Union Sq on Weds. Fri,. and Sat. for a treat made with locally, equitably, and sustainably cultivated ingredients. Or babycakes for something both DEE-LISH but easy on the digestive tract (go out of your way for this one, people).

                                                              Other vegan ccakes of note:

                                                              (forget the name) 18th st off 8 th ave (north side of the street) is a catering/luncheon place that closes at 6. they do a vegan chocolate ccake, which is good.

                                                              s'nice on 8th ave at or around w 4th do vegan ccakes, which are not as good.

                                                              vegan ccakes can be had across town at whole earth bakery (st. marks @ ave A), as well. you may be pleasantly suprised, so long as you check your expectations at the door.

                                                              1. My 2 cents: I've tried Two Little Red Hens about five times, after many assurances that it was great, and have never been happy with my cupcakes or cakes there, Brooklyn Blackout included. I was also disappointed with Baked. My favorite by far is the cliche, red velvet from Cakeman Raven (though I haven't had them in a year).

                                                                1. Billy's is pretty similar to Magnolia - if you're looking for somethign different, this might not be the best choice.

                                                                  1. Magnolia is disgusting. I always laugh out loud when I see a line around the corner out the door of that place. Poor fools who can't see past their blinders.

                                                                    My vote goes to Crumbs, which has a fluffier cupcake than any other I've tried... and I know they might be adding some weird stuff in there to make it that way, but heck, so be it.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: bluishgnome

                                                                      This week as I passed Magnolia and saw no line I caved in and tried a couple. Words cannot express how wrong it is that people are being ripped off there. The cupcakes are better almost everywhere else, including probably a few prisons.

                                                                      1. re: addictedtolunch

                                                                        You live and you learn. ;) Better to have tried it without waiting than to have had to wait 20-30 minutes on a tourist infested line.

                                                                        Do try Sweet Sugar Sunshine on 126 Rivington St @ Essex St in the LES. It was recommended on this board and I thought the cupcakes were perfect.

                                                                    2. My preference would be for Downtown Atlantic in Boerum Hill (Atlantic between Hoyt and Bond). I've tried them a number of times and haven't been disappointed.

                                                                      I guess people have realized Magnolia is overrated. It seems like it's only tourists there now. I admit I always liked their banana pudding. I wouldn't go back even if the cupcakes were great - consistenly rude service means they don't get my business.

                                                                      1. The red velvet at Bubby's in tribeca was so good it made me cry. WTF is with Magnolia? I bought some for my kid and her roommate at NYU and they were inedible. The best part about them were the cute retro halloween plastic decorations. We like Crumbs in a pinch. Little Pie Co is always dependable.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: gaylenwaydelich

                                                                          Crumbs cupcakes are delicious. As are the ones from Magnolia Bakery but best wait till there is no line.