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Best Cupcakes in NYC?

n
Nikifern May 9, 2007 01:05 PM

I'm hosting a cup cake party for my girlfriends and am wondering what some favorite cup- cake bakeries in NYC are. Since NY and cupcakes can become a hot topic, and obviously everyone has their own favorite, I'm wondering what your thoughts are on this.
See, at the party, I'm going to buy cupcakes from about 8-10 of the 'best' places in the city. Then, I'm going to place them on numbered plates (and only I'll know what number corresponds to which bakery). Everyone will taste them, fill out a sheet, vote, and we'll see who comes out victorious!

  1. t
    tmousewins Mar 21, 2011 08:15 PM

    HANDS DOWN, TWO LITTLE RED HENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The brooklyn blackout use to be my favorite until I tried the "black and white cupcake"

    The black and white cupcake is HEAVEN! so simply....moist buttery chocolate and vanilla cake swirled with creamy chocolate and vanilla frosting on top! Nothing in the middle...just cake and frosting! So delicious

    Of course the brooklyn blackout is amazing, but very thick--as it is chocolate cake, chocolate pudding in the middle, and fuge frosting on top. Ive actually had the BBO as an actual cake before, and its even better than the cupcake because it has 3 layers of pudding in it!

    Why is 2 little red hens better than crumbs, magnolia, and buttercup>......because the cake is moister and fresh.....they have pudding or jam in the middle of the cupcakes that tastes like real pudding and jam, and the frosting is more buttery and not sicky sweet sugary....
    2 little red hens rocks!

    1. a
      AshleyR Jun 1, 2010 10:07 AM

      Crumbs is good, and the cupcakes are huge, but my new favorite is Cupcake Stop, you used to have to find the truck to get them but now they have an actual shop in the new Limelight Marketplace on 6th and 20th. These are amazing!!!!

      -----
      CupcakeStop
      47 W 20th St, New York, NY 10011

      1. m
        MandaLee Jun 1, 2010 06:14 AM

        You'll have to travel to Brooklyn but I've tried a lot of cupcakes in NYC and Brooklyn and Cupcake Land in Williamsburg (390 Metropolitan Ave Brooklyn, NY 11211-take L train to Lorimer) have some of the best cupcakes I've ever had. Mint Chocolate chip, red velvet are amazing and they always have specialty ones depending on the day of the week. Also, Sweet Mellissa's in Carrol Gardens (http://www.sweetmelissapatisserie.com/) have really good ones too. My favorite are the chocolate with peanut butter frosting.

        1. a
          atomusmaximus May 23, 2010 02:47 PM

          Chicalicious' cupcakes are also quite amazing.

          If you have a huge sweet tooth, this may be not be for you as their frosting is much less sweet than others. Cakes are very moist without being oily and their filling is perfectly creamy without being overwhelmingly sweet.

          I think it is a nice touch of japanese baking flare on staple all-american-dessert.

          9 Replies
          1. re: atomusmaximus
            c
            craig_g May 25, 2010 08:30 AM

            They're great, and I like that they're modestly sized.

            1. re: craig_g
              ellenost May 25, 2010 09:54 AM

              Another vote for Chikalicious (especially their red velvet and caramel premium cupcakes). My sister loves their s'mores and mocha cupcakes too.

            2. re: atomusmaximus
              Ike May 31, 2010 07:09 PM

              I'm a little surprised that this ancient thread was resurrected. Shouldn't most of these places have gone out of business by now? I expected the cupcake bubble to burst by now:
              http://www.slate.com/id/2227216

              1. re: Ike
                u
                uwsister May 31, 2010 08:24 PM

                Actually no, there are still many places selling cupcakes all over the city. My favorites are Two Little Red Hens, Chikalicious, Spot, Big Booty Bakery (red velvet only) and Butter Lane (French buttercream only.)

                For some reason, whenever there's a cupcake thread, someone always comes into the thread just to say something negative (it's a fad, whole cakes are better, etc.) I don't mean this to be a snark - just an observation since I don't see that happening to other food items.

                1. re: uwsister
                  k
                  kathryn May 31, 2010 09:12 PM

                  ...not to mention that we now have cupcake trucks. Two food trends in one! I expected CH to implode or something.

                  1. re: kathryn
                    daffyduck Jun 1, 2010 08:11 AM

                    the treats truck lady is a sweetheart. she has an oven in her truck so if you want fresh cupcakes right out of the oven you can call her to set up a time to pick up your custom order. i've never tried cupcakes from her but everything else i've had has been delicious.

                    1. re: daffyduck
                      k
                      kathryn Jun 1, 2010 08:44 AM

                      I was talking about this truck:
                      http://www.cupcakestop.com/

                      1. re: kathryn
                        ellenost Jun 1, 2010 08:57 AM

                        Kathryn,

                        How are the cupcakes from this vendor?

                        1. re: ellenost
                          k
                          kathryn Jun 1, 2010 09:16 AM

                          Pretty good but not as good as, say, Butter Lane. I've only tried a handful of varieties but the ones I like were the more unusual ones (Oreo, peanut butter and chocolate, etc.)

                          -----
                          Butter Lane
                          123 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

            3. j
              JodiA May 23, 2010 02:06 PM

              I'm a big fan of Tribeca Treats. The Cheesecake cupcake is pretty fantastic!

              -----
              Tribeca Treats
              94 Reade St, New York, NY 10013

              1. e
                Eddie H. Apr 26, 2010 04:11 AM

                Two Little Red Hens on the Upper East Side gets my vote: http://www.culinary-studio.com/2010/0...

                Sugar Sweet Sunshine is also awesome.

                -----
                Two Little Red Hens
                1652 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028

                Sugar Sweet Sunshine
                126 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002

                1. e
                  eameyer Nov 19, 2009 06:21 AM

                  Butter Lane in the East Village (E. 7th Bet 1st and A). Had the chocolate cupcake with French Vanilla frosting. AMAZING. Kind of small and a little pricier ($3), but well worth it.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: eameyer
                    guttergourmet Apr 26, 2010 03:17 PM

                    Absolutely agree on Butter Lane and I've been to all of them.

                  2. scarlet starlet Nov 17, 2009 11:07 PM

                    www.raspberrybakeshop.com - custom made to order - REALLY high quality and amazing flavors.

                    1. j
                      jamesiha Nov 17, 2009 12:49 PM

                      This guy seems to think the best cupcakes in nyc are at Big Booty Bread Co. in Chelsea
                      http://www.iblogwhatieat.com/best-cup...

                      1. f
                        foodwhisperer Aug 11, 2007 11:30 PM

                        I do not know who has the best cupcakes, but i can tell you Magnolia's cupcakes are almost inedible. Why they line up is a mystery to me. Id sooner have Entennmann's cup cakes.

                        1. c
                          cupcakeparade Aug 1, 2007 06:51 PM

                          oh my god, i can't believe no one has mentioned tonnie's minis yet. i just fell upon the place today and was more than pleasantly surprised. i had a golden surprise cupcake with yellow cake outside and red velvet inside and cream cheese frosting, it was seriously orgasmic. the cake is SO moist and the frosting is delicious. prior to this, my holy grail was two little red hens--liked both their carrot cupcake and their black and white (not sure if this is same as the blackout, but it had chocolate and vanilla frosting swirled together on top). but seriously, i'm almost afraid to mention tonnie's b/c it seems to be flying off the radar. the cupcakes are on the small side but are only $1.75. ALSO, why has no one mentioned the cupcakes at bouley bakery? they only have them in late morning/early afternoon, but they're cheap (at last check $1.50) and delicious. i'm appalled that anyone likes magnolia or even worse, cupcake cafe. bleeeeggggh, in my opinion,

                          1. j
                            jpdoogers Aug 1, 2007 01:38 PM

                            I'd go with Crumbs too. I love that place. They have the best variety from all the places I've been too. Cupcake Cafe is pretty damn good too.

                            1. d
                              DJS Jul 30, 2007 12:53 PM

                              Sugar Sweet Sunshine, in my opinion, has yet to be topped. But they do have one serious oversight -- no coconut cupcakes! In fact, this seems to be a real problem around town. Wuzzup? It's a classic! We had to schlep to Brooklyn's Two Little Red Hens to get them for our wedding -- worth it, but surely Manhattan can start producing them, too.

                              Just to round out your party choices, Burgers & Cupcakes has some interesting choices. How about some fairy cupcakes, for example?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: DJS
                                s
                                shortstop Aug 1, 2007 07:19 PM

                                Recently had the coconut cupcakes from Make My Cake in Harlem and they were outstanding. I am a big fan of Sage's and Sugar Sweet Sunshine's vanilla/vanilla and I am not sure that these don't give them a serious run for their money. To me the cake part of a cupcake should be able to stand on its own, and these do, moist with just the right amount of sweetness. And the frosting was not overly sweet. (not to mention their cupcakes are on the larger side.) Their carrot cupcakes were delish as well.

                                Make My Cake:
                                121 St. Nicholas Ave. (116th St.)
                                2380 Adam C. Powell Blvd (139th St.)

                              2. reubensandperrier Jul 26, 2007 12:57 PM

                                The "Baked" bakery in Red Hook, Brooklyn is fantastic for cupcakes. Try their homemade marshmallows when you're there, too!

                                -----
                                Baked
                                359 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

                                1. a
                                  AriB Jul 26, 2007 12:38 PM

                                  I've tried a few of the cupcakes at Crumbs... the only one worth buying (imo) is the Carmel Apple cupcake. The rest were all dry while this one was moist and flavorful. In general, I think their cupcakes (the normal sized ones) are too large... perhaps making up for lack of flavor?

                                  Just tried Buttercup Bakeshop yesterday... the red velvet was delicious!

                                  1. guttergourmet Jul 26, 2007 10:55 AM

                                    Crumbs recently opened down the block-nothing great. Had a blackout cupcake at Two Little Red Hens (n.b. they changed their name) in Brooklyn last month after a DiFara run which was good but too much with the frosting. I prefer the blackout donut from Donut Plant. Cupcake Cafe is good but I'll defer to my daughter and stick with Magnolia. Has any one tried the red velvet ones from Daisy May's (preferably after a bowl o' red)?

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: guttergourmet
                                      r
                                      racer x Jul 26, 2007 04:52 PM

                                      Thanks for the tip. I really like their ribs but didn't know they have cupcakes there too. Will check em out next time I'm in the neighborhood.

                                      1. re: guttergourmet
                                        guttergourmet Aug 11, 2007 04:21 AM

                                        After further study, Guttergourmet's daughter says she likes Crumbs cupcakes. "It opened on 8th street near my house. I also love their black and white mini cookies which I also call "panda bears"."

                                      2. l
                                        LilKitchenDiva Jul 26, 2007 10:32 AM

                                        Alice's TeaCup on the Upper West Side (73rd, on the southwest side of the street, just off of Columbus).

                                        Nearby Buttercup Bakery on the nearby drag of West 72nd is good if you're a hurry. Overall, though, I find their cupcakes dry. Alice's are always moist, and they do traditional and creative flavors well. Such as traditional red velvet and a non-traditional chocolate cheescake cupcake.

                                        Nearby Crumbs is good enough, but the service is gruff. If I have time, I avoid Crumbs and Buttercup and go to Alice's.

                                        1. m
                                          maxine Jul 26, 2007 07:08 AM

                                          After sampling quite a few of the local cupcakes I am still searching for one that doesn't disappoint. The two that come closest I think are Sages (I get the venilla at Dean and Deluca). And I enjoyed the one I had at Paradise (everything there is good).

                                          But I am usually disappointed. I do not like Little Red Hens, Sugar Sweet Sunshine or Cup Cake Cafe for the same reasons. The frosting of all of them, probably the reasons they are so pretty, is just too buttery! Eck, it almost starts tasting like crisco.

                                          Billy's has good frosting, but the cake was too sweet. Everything is too sweet at Crumbs (though the mini cupcakes with the genache is ok in a pinch.

                                          I know I am in the minority, but I do like Magnolia.

                                          I am still searching though for a nice light flavorful cake with a sweet frosting that is not too sugary or too buttery (though I prefer the sugary). Anyone have ideas?

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: maxine
                                            r
                                            racer x Jul 26, 2007 04:51 PM

                                            You mean I need to try those places, too? I´ve already put on 3 pounds this past week!

                                            But joking aside, is Sage's a shop or some sort of brand. If it's a shop, where's it located?
                                            Is Paradise the Paradise Cafe on 8th in Chelsea?

                                            1. re: racer x
                                              m
                                              maxine Jul 27, 2007 12:55 PM

                                              I think Sage's is a bakery but I am not sure where they are located. I have seen their cupcakes at both Dean and Deluca and the News Bar on University. Paradise is a little take-out shop on 4th Ave and twelfth street. They sell sandwiches, prepared meals and baked goods, all are made there and everything is terrific.

                                              1. re: maxine
                                                i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream Aug 1, 2007 06:12 PM

                                                The actual place-- Sage American Kitchen-- is located in Long Island City. There have been some postings on the Outer Boroughs board about it. I think they mostly cater, but they do a brisk lunch business.

                                          2. r
                                            racer x Jul 25, 2007 08:14 PM

                                            I haven't been much of a fan of cupcakes since kindergarten - I usually prefer full-size cakes, but this post thead piqued my curiosity. Plus, I can't risk the caloric overdoses of eating whole cakes in one or two sittings like I used to.

                                            I've been waiting and waiting for the results of Nikifern's taste test party, and got to the point that I just had to do my own test this past week. (And yes, I do need some Prozac! ; ) )

                                            I made most trips late in the afternoon/early evening (in case the time of day affects the dryness factor). I always tried yellow cake with vanilla icing/frosting, when available, but also tried various other flavors at each place (but no chocolate). I should also point out that I prefer very sweet cake and frosting (never could understand how a cupcake could be described as "too sweet"!), and I generally don't like buttercream frosting.

                                            The results:

                                            (1) Buttercup Bake Shop (UES) vs Sugar Sweet Sunshine Cafe (LES)
                                            - my top rated places in this brief survey
                                            - both had moist (one of the most important factors), tasty cupcakes
                                            - loved the cream cheese-flavored frostings on the spice and pumpkin cupcakes; also liked SSS's pistachio (would have preferred a stronger pistachio flavor though) and Buttercup's red velvet (which I usually don't like at most places)
                                            - carryout service was fine at both (the clerks' advice to keep the cupcakes out of the refrigerator at Buttercup Cafe was charming, well at least on the first visit)
                                            - Buttercup has enough staff working that I never had to wait to be served more than just a minute
                                            - Buttercup's place seemed a little brighter and cleaner and is not too far from my neighborhood, so would probably head there if I had a hankering for cupcakes

                                            (2) Little Pie Company (W 43rd St)
                                            - in the past I've never been able to understand why this place attracted so many rave reviews - always very disappointed by the pies and cake in the past, so I really wasn't expecting much
                                            - turned out the yellow cake with vanilla icing and vanilla cream filling was surprisingly good (but wouldn't send me out of my way for a second take)

                                            (3) Amy's Bread (Hell's Kitchen)
                                            - a little dry; acceptable taste; not particularly memorable flavor; staff very friendly; would visit again if in the neighborhood
                                            - they get extra points for the most inventive approach to packing cupcakes: they pack them in upside down paper cups; on the other hand, this is arguably not the most eco-friendly way to pack food that will in most cases be eaten not too long after the purchase, especially given that there's a plastic lid top for the cupcake to sit on, so the extra wasted resources cancel out the positive convenience factor : (

                                            (4) Crumbs (UES)
                                            - rather dry cupcakes; acceptable but not particularly memorable flavor otherwise

                                            (5) Two Little Red Hens (UES)
                                            - very pretty cakes, lots of icing (maybe too much?); but the cakes were much too dry and the icing very dense and too buttercreamy for my taste
                                            - in particular, didn't care for the lemon cupcake - a bit too tart (not sweet enough to overcome the grimace) for me
                                            - friendly staff

                                            (6) Billy's (Chelsea)
                                            - these cupcakes were very dry and had a rather odd taste that I don't know how to put into words
                                            - I could eat another one if it was given to me, but wouldn't buy one
                                            - the place is bright and seems pretty clean
                                            - staff seemed helpful, but the line was too long; these are just cupcakes - you shouldn't have to wait 5 minutes on line to be served or to even be able to see what's in the display case!

                                            (7) Cupcake Cafe (W 40th St/Port Authority area)
                                            - the most beautiful cupcakes by far that I can ever remember seeing
                                            - but WAAAY too dry - blech! this was such a disappointment (fortunately, I had been somewhat prepared by having read other hounds' posts describing this)
                                            - and this place is really dark and nasty; unfinished-looking floors, it just looks unclean; I even bumped into and knocked over a rod that was lying up against a wall just outside the door as I was walking in (is some kind of remodeling underway or something?)

                                            (8) Babycakes (LES)
                                            - ah, maybe not quite fair to include this one because I didn't actually taste any
                                            - but I was not about to pay for a single cupcake what I had just paid for 2 very tasty cupcakes from Sugar Sweet Sunshine, which is a 2-minute walk a few blocks over
                                            - I'd be willing to give them a few bonus points for serving gluten-free cupcakes along with their other cupcakes though, assuming that they are edible
                                            - a very small, and not the cleanest looking place I'm afraid, although they do beat Cupcake Cafe in that regard

                                            (9) Magnolia's
                                            - ok, I admit I didn't include this one in this particular roundup; I tried their cupcakes years back and was underwhelmed (esp given the prices and the lines)

                                            One of the reasons I generally ignore cupcakes in bake shops is that I just cannot bring myself to pay so much money (typically in the ballpark of $2-3) for a single tiny cupcake, when for the cost of two of them, I could make a couple dozen cupcakes myself
                                            ... or, better still, head over to La Bergamote (are they still open?), Payard's, or (sigh) Fauchon for some really good and pretty pastries ... there's no way I could just whip up a Fauchon cake slice in a couple of hours. Besides, some of the cupcakes served at the places listed above tasted suspiciously similar to cupcakes I have had that I knew were from cakemix packages from the local supermarket (some of which I made myself).

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: racer x
                                              a_and_w Aug 1, 2007 01:04 PM

                                              I'm with you 100% re Cupcake Cafe. But what type did you try at Two Little Red Hens? It's hard for me to imagine anyone describing the Brooklyn Blackout as "too dry".

                                              1. re: racer x
                                                e
                                                elizabeththinks Aug 1, 2007 01:45 PM

                                                Thanks for sharing! You hit on a lot of places i was wondering about, and shared my views on the places you've been. I agree LPC is a surprise hit! Now I will definitely be checking out your top two.

                                                1. re: racer x
                                                  r
                                                  racer x Aug 1, 2007 02:49 PM

                                                  SAGE'S cupcakes are THE BEST cupcakes in Manhattan.
                                                  Thanks for that tip from Maxine!
                                                  Got them at the Dean & DeLuca on University near NYU (didn't find them at the UES location).

                                                  Moist cake and soft, creamy icing. The vanilla icing on the yellow cake was spectacular, tasting strongly of fresh cream. The carrot cake with cream cheese icing was also delicious (and I usually don't get very excited about carrot cake). They cost a fortune at almost $4 each, but they are worth it (at least when you consider the general cost of cupcakes and Big Mac's in NYC).

                                                  I also tried Amy's Teacup (UES) - good cupcakes, better than Crumbs.

                                                  1. re: racer x
                                                    jenniebnyc Aug 1, 2007 04:06 PM

                                                    I love Sage's cupcakes. I wish they were easier to find. The hostess type cupcake they make is delish.

                                                    1. re: jenniebnyc
                                                      i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream Aug 1, 2007 06:07 PM

                                                      I love Sage too. They are much cheaper at their LIC home location. I have tried their red velvet (actually not very red and the cake has been dry on occasion), lemon coconut (yum), Hostess style as jenniebnyc mentioned (my favorite), I can't remember what else. They also make a pink Hostess "snowball," which I mentioned on another thread. Sage's savory food is awesome too-- I want them to cater my life.

                                                2. guttergourmet May 12, 2007 05:40 AM

                                                  My favorite cupcake place is Magnolia Bakery. It's near Bleecker Street. I think their cupcakes are very good and you get to watch them frost the cupcakes. My favorite color is pink and white. My mom (Mrs. GG) says that they're too sugary for me but i don't care.
                                                  Guttergourmet's 8 year old daughter.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: guttergourmet
                                                    megaepicure May 13, 2007 11:15 AM

                                                    Coming back to amend my vote. I had my first cupcake from Amy's and they are DIVINE. My new favorite for sure.

                                                    1. re: megaepicure
                                                      s
                                                      sunshine23 May 14, 2007 03:20 PM

                                                      Buttercup East or West Side. I find the staff to be more welcoming on the West Side.

                                                  2. s
                                                    sent May 11, 2007 07:59 PM

                                                    Here's another vote for Red Velvet from Butter Cup Bake Shop. My fave, although I find the slice of red velvet cake so much more satisfying than the cupcake.

                                                    1. a
                                                      abr269 May 11, 2007 07:45 PM

                                                      lemon cupcakes from sugar sweet sunshine!

                                                      i strongly dislike cupcakes from babycakes, though i do like the vegan cupcakes from Atlas.

                                                      1. w
                                                        Will4Food May 11, 2007 01:58 PM

                                                        Amy's Bread on 9th Ave. or Bleeker---moist and tall, these cupcakes put all others to shame. And love the way they pack them.

                                                        1. n
                                                          nychowgirl May 11, 2007 10:02 AM

                                                          Sugar Sweet Sunshine makes my faves, though Buttercup is a close second (...and it's closer to my apt!)

                                                          1. ballulah May 11, 2007 07:57 AM

                                                            Cupcakes are so divisive! I love Cupcake Cafe (walnut cupcake with maple icing), Two Little Red Hens (Brooklyn Blackout) and Billy's (red velvet with cream cheese icing - they make another with buttercream with seems like sacrilege to me). When I finally got around to trying Magnolia's I was seriously bummed, I didn't think it was good at all.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: ballulah
                                                              a_and_w May 11, 2007 10:11 AM

                                                              Is the cream cheese icing a special? I could swear Billy's usually does their red velvet with buttecream. Frankly, I'd prefer cream cheese!

                                                              1. re: a_and_w
                                                                ballulah May 11, 2007 11:40 AM

                                                                I'm not sure. I popped by there recently and asked for a red velvet cupcake, and the guy behind the counter asked what kind of icing I wanted. I looked at him like he had two heads. When I asked for cream cheese he had to go to the secondary counter and retrieve one from a little cake stand. Red velvet without cream cheese icing is just wrong! Their cream cheese icing was actually very good, very fluffy.

                                                                1. re: ballulah
                                                                  b
                                                                  brendastarlet May 11, 2007 11:44 AM

                                                                  That is definitely the right frosting for red velvet cupcakes. It's supposed to be cream cheese, the same kind you would put on carrot cake. I actually like the cupcakes at the 43rd Street/9th Avenue branch of the Little Pie Company.

                                                            2. n
                                                              NYCnowLA May 11, 2007 07:31 AM

                                                              My fav is Suger Sweet Sunshine, but for a different style of cupcake (no buttercream) try Out of the Kitchen - 456 Hudson.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: NYCnowLA
                                                                megaepicure May 11, 2007 07:37 AM

                                                                I love Sugar Sweet Sunshine too. They are also so, so nice there. I love the lemon. Yum.

                                                              2. r
                                                                rjm May 10, 2007 06:47 PM

                                                                Greenberg's - Madison

                                                                1. j
                                                                  jills May 10, 2007 05:52 PM

                                                                  CRUMBS!!!

                                                                  1. e
                                                                    emgoodman May 10, 2007 02:19 PM

                                                                    I think the two best cupcakes in Manhattan are the Red Velvet from Buttercup and the Black & White from Amy's. I have never been a fan of Cupcake Cafe and Crumbs I think is just decent. Just make sure the ones you get from Buttercup are hot off the presses -- they sometimes let their sit too long.

                                                                    1. a
                                                                      artisticpixie May 10, 2007 12:44 PM

                                                                      I prefer Buttercup Bakery's cupcakes. Magnolia's icings taste too much like powdered sugar icing mixed with food coloring while Buttercups adds butter so it makes it taste better and their Red Velvet cupcakes and banana pudding are the best!

                                                                      1. k
                                                                        Kelli G May 10, 2007 12:40 PM

                                                                        Don't forget about Kyotofu! Their chocolate souffle cupcakes won Best Cupcake from New York Magazine a couple of months ago. They are delicious - light and chocolately, but still quite rich. No icing though, which I actually prefer.

                                                                        1. e
                                                                          Elyssa May 10, 2007 11:39 AM

                                                                          What a wonderful idea!?!? That sounds like a reaccuring dream I have. :) I personally love Magnolias but I've only sampled a few other places since I live in DC.

                                                                          I would LOVE if someone opened up a cupcake bakery similar Magnolias in DC. It would make a killing I just know it.

                                                                          1. m
                                                                            maxine May 10, 2007 10:29 AM

                                                                            Niki,

                                                                            please report back the results of your cup cake party! It sounds great.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: maxine
                                                                              k
                                                                              Kwonton May 10, 2007 10:50 AM

                                                                              I think I might do a cupcake party too! That's a great idea.

                                                                              My favorites are Sugar Sweet Sunshine in the LES (i love the pumpkin and the red velvet), Babycakes and Cheeks (Williamsburg). Many of you may think "Babycakes???" It's a vegan bakery, yes. But they had quite possibly the best cupcake I have ever tasted. It may have been b/c I had it on my birthday in the midst of lots of excitement and drinks but I remember being blown away. Anyway, Cheeks, is an adorable little shop with really great cake and cupcakes.
                                                                              Magnolia's frosting is like eating sweetened butter. Ick. Crumbs is pretty good, I love the rasberry filled. Cupcake Cafe is a winner because they're so pretty but they're not the best taste-wise.

                                                                              1. re: maxine
                                                                                n
                                                                                Nikifern May 11, 2007 05:40 PM

                                                                                Will do...I think it'll be a very good time. And I'm really interested in the end result of the voting- not like it would really prove anything, it'll just be fun to see who likes which bakery best.

                                                                              2. a
                                                                                Arlen May 10, 2007 10:15 AM

                                                                                I am a cupcake junkie and a big fan of Sugar Sweet Sunshine's cupcakes. However, I don't care for their chocolate frosting--it's almond flavored. I would only order the Sunshine, the Black & White, Pumpkin and Lemon. IMO, Magnolia's cupcakes are just okay; Little Pie Co.'s are moist, but the frosting has an artificial taste; Cupcake Cafe's always disappoint me.

                                                                                But by far, the best cupcake I've had in Manhattan is from Amy's Bread. I get them at her Hell's Kitchen location and they rock! My favorite is the devil's food with white (sometimes a color) frosting. Moist, rich and delicious.

                                                                                1. b
                                                                                  BW212 May 10, 2007 08:27 AM

                                                                                  To me, Magnolia's are like the Emperor's New Cupcakes. They don't taste that great and the staff there is horrible.

                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: BW212
                                                                                    f
                                                                                    feedmybelly May 10, 2007 08:47 AM

                                                                                    BILLY's - Red Devil is the bomb...Don't bother with cupcake cafe unless you need something really pretty for mother's day...Ditto on two red hens black out
                                                                                    Is FLUFF still around?... may not have cupcakes but a killer twinkie and hoho even pretty pink snowballs.... if the place has survived the cupcake craze...it's a must go in Hells Kitch.. Gee I miss NYC.

                                                                                    1. re: feedmybelly
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                                                                                      bosox May 10, 2007 09:34 AM

                                                                                      my vote is for buttercup bakery on 52nd/2nd. my favorite cupcakes by far, as well as the favorite cupcake place for everyone in my office, too. speaking of cupcakes...maybe i'll grab a few on my way home from work tonight...

                                                                                    2. re: BW212
                                                                                      jinet12 May 10, 2007 05:49 PM

                                                                                      Think you might appreciate Magnolia's more when Sprinkes Cupcakes opens in Manhattan...They're $3.25/cupcake and not as good....

                                                                                    3. jinet12 May 10, 2007 08:11 AM

                                                                                      Magnolia's of course! Alas, not a popular view, but still my favorite...Especially love the vanilla buttercream icing....Take someone with you if you want more than a dozen, because that is as much as they will let you buy at one time....

                                                                                      1. NAtiveNewYorker May 9, 2007 01:39 PM

                                                                                        BB Sandwich Bar on West 3rd bewteen MacDougal and 6th Avenue. One of the best in the city (along with Sugar Sweet Sunshine). Yes. It's strange that they are co-located with a cheesesteak shop, but they follow two golden rules of cupcakes:

                                                                                        1. Make them small enough to flash cook and not overcook (like Cupcake Cafe does)
                                                                                        2. Serve them at room temperature

                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: NAtiveNewYorker
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                                                                                          hamstrman May 9, 2007 04:10 PM

                                                                                          Anyone know of great cupcakes that DON'T have buttercream frosting? I'm not fond of it.

                                                                                          1. re: hamstrman
                                                                                            a_and_w May 10, 2007 08:48 AM

                                                                                            I believe Two Little Red Hens and maybe Little Pie Co. do cupcakes without buttercream.

                                                                                          2. re: NAtiveNewYorker
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                                                                                            captkenjeroo May 12, 2007 03:25 PM

                                                                                            Gotta agree with this. I went to BB Sandwich a few weeks ago since I hadn't been in quite some time. Noticed that this tiny place now shares their location with a cupcake purveyor. Was skeptical about the quality of the cupcakes, but after eyeing them for awhile, got a red velvet cupcake. Did not regret my decision and will definitely be stopping by again for a few cupcakes (and sandwiches.)

                                                                                          3. n
                                                                                            nikky May 9, 2007 01:23 PM

                                                                                            Relatively new place in the west village - Bourbon St. The red velvet cupcakes were fantastic!

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: nikky
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                                                                                              jdream May 10, 2007 08:54 AM

                                                                                              I agree- their Red Velvet in general is amazing.

                                                                                              Also, I'd add cupcakes from Amy's.

                                                                                              1. re: nikky
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                                                                                                addictedtolunch May 10, 2007 05:16 PM

                                                                                                Had it, fine but not the best, IMHO. Diff' strokes. Tasted a bit like they baked it with a view towards extending shelf life in case it was still there at the end of the day. But a meal in itself fer shur.

                                                                                              2. b
                                                                                                Briek May 9, 2007 01:14 PM

                                                                                                I actually had a cupcake from the Cupcake Cafe this past weekend. While the chocolate with vanilla buttercream were really dry - the vanilla with mocha buttercream were absolutely delicious. I would definitely order that flavor again; however, the inconsistency between the two batches is a little troublesome.

                                                                                                Other picks - my family loves the red velvet from Buttercup and regularly requests that I bring them home.

                                                                                                10 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Briek
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                                                                                                  Nikifern May 9, 2007 01:23 PM

                                                                                                  I'm thinking of using
                                                                                                  -Magnolia (so I can prove some of the ladies wrong, that they're not the best)
                                                                                                  -Billy's
                                                                                                  -Buttercup
                                                                                                  -Crumbs (thanks to your suggestions)
                                                                                                  -Sugar Sweet Sunshine
                                                                                                  -Cup Cake Cafe
                                                                                                  -Oh, and I'm gonna throw in my own, too- just for fun!

                                                                                                  1. re: Nikifern
                                                                                                    Nosher May 9, 2007 02:38 PM

                                                                                                    Of course, it's horses for courses, and everyone has his/her own taste, but I have to disagree on Crumbs. They're seriously terrible cupcakes: dense and wet, with a texture much more like a muffin than a cupcake--we wrote about them in late February.

                                                                                                    I'd vote for Billy's, SSS, and the mocha from Cupcake Café (but only that flavor). Also, don't neglect Little Pie Company's cupcakes--they're excellent, and if forced to choose among all of my favorites, I'd go with the Little Pie cupcake 8 times out of 10.

                                                                                                    Nosher

                                                                                                    NYCnosh* http://nycnosh.com

                                                                                                    1. re: Nosher
                                                                                                      jenniebnyc May 9, 2007 04:13 PM

                                                                                                      Agree. CRUMBS is terrible.

                                                                                                      I would add Two Little Red Hens to the list and SAGE and Eleni's.

                                                                                                      1. re: jenniebnyc
                                                                                                        a_and_w May 9, 2007 04:45 PM

                                                                                                        Second Two Little Red Hens (love that Brooklyn Blackout cupcake) and strongly disagree with the Cupcake Cafe rec. The latter's cupcakes are hard as a rock with frosting that tastes chemical to me...

                                                                                                        1. re: a_and_w
                                                                                                          Nosher May 10, 2007 08:14 AM

                                                                                                          Well, as I mentioned, I'd only eat a mocha cupcake from Cupcake Café.

                                                                                                          It's hard for me to get past the doughnuts and crumb cake anyhow.

                                                                                                          Nosher

                                                                                                          NYCnosh* http://nycnosh.com

                                                                                                          1. re: Nosher
                                                                                                            a_and_w May 10, 2007 08:45 AM

                                                                                                            Good call re Cupcake Cafe's doughnuts, which few people mention. One thing I've noticed: they're fresher if not powdered with sugar. I think they do this to older doughnuts to make them more appealing for sale.

                                                                                                        2. re: jenniebnyc
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                                                                                                          newbienyc May 10, 2007 06:37 PM

                                                                                                          Third Two Little Red Hens!

                                                                                                          1. re: jenniebnyc
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                                                                                                            Leebird Jul 26, 2007 05:59 AM

                                                                                                            Two Little Red Hens is a must! I served their cupcakes at my husband's birthday party and guests were scrambling for seconds and thirds.

                                                                                                            1. re: Leebird
                                                                                                              MMRuth Jul 26, 2007 06:03 AM

                                                                                                              I keep meaning to post about my scientific (ha) visit to Two Little Red Hens - I got one each of coconut, the chocolate (I'm guessing the black out cake) and the red velvet and did a tasting. Loved the coconut, the chocolate was good but almost too chocolatey for me, and I thought the red velvet was "eh" - not so interesting - and threw it out.

                                                                                                          2. re: Nosher
                                                                                                            BackyardChef May 10, 2007 08:07 AM

                                                                                                            I just had some truly terrible cupcakes from Little Pie Company in Grand Central.
                                                                                                            Nosher, I generally trust your opinion and the person that bought them for me swore that it was an aberration, but they just tasted 'off' (almost a rancid oily flavor) and were dry w/ a sloppy, sweet flavorless icing. I will give them another shot though, based on your suggestion and that of my wife....

                                                                                                      2. ssf36 May 9, 2007 01:12 PM

                                                                                                        I'd nominate Crumbs also. Great variety, though they never seem to have quite enough filling (as if there were such a thing).
                                                                                                        Haven't been to Cupcake Cafe in a long time but they were quite tasty as well.

                                                                                                        1. d
                                                                                                          desertruger May 9, 2007 01:09 PM

                                                                                                          Crumbs on 42nd btwn 5th & 6th. Better than Buttercup Bakery and Magnolia!

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