HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >


Cupcakes that don't taste like a stick of butter

I just had cupcakes from Crumb recently and thought they were very good. They stray a bit from the cupcake purists idea of good cupcakes maybe, but they did solve a common problem with store bought cupcakes. Most places use a buttercream frosting and go WAY over on the butter. I usually feel like I am eating a muffin with some flavored butter on it, rather than a cupcake with a tasty, sugary topping. For this very reason, I do not like many of the cupcakes from the more popular places. Please don't tell me to go to Magnolia or Cupcake Cafe - they are exactly what I am looking to avoid. As a matter of fact, I think Cupcake Cafe's cupcakes are disgusting. I had a film of butterfat in my mouth for a half hour after eating them. So, where else to go?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Sugar Sweet Sunshine. Get the pistachio. Awesome. You could also try Babycakes, which is vegan. That should help you avoid the butter.

    5 Replies
    1. re: malibu

      Second the Sugar Sweet Sunshine rec., also recently tried the cupcakes from Sweet Revenge on Carmine - moist cake, light and not overly sweet frosting, the peanut butter and carrot cake cupcakes are quite good.

      1. re: malibu

        I will try the pistachio if you think they are awesome - but I need to say - that I tried their basic vanilla cupcake and thought it was below mediocre. Icing was gritty. : /

        1. re: Ms.Munchie

          I like the cake itself but hate the icing on there, I always take most of it off.

          1. re: Ms.Munchie

            oh that doesn't sound good. maybe you got an off one. hope you like pistachio. i wish i had one now. i also like their red velvets.

            1. re: malibu

              I am obsessed with cupcakes - so if I am close to SSSB I will pop in and get the pistachio. I thought the whole cupcake was tasteless sad to say - but always willing to give it another chance. Attached is me munching on cc at SSSB. : )

        2. Amy's -- their cupcakes have a sweet frosting that is not chemically tasting (Magnolia and its offspring) or too buttery (Cupcake Cafe), and the cake has very good flavor, not too sweet and has a good moist texture. I confess that I often still choose Cupcake Cafe when I am buying cupcakes to impress (visually).

          1. ChikaLicious Dessert Club hands down. They're small (and some would say expensive for the size) but they're worth every penny. I'd rather buy and eat a couple of those for the same price of a Crumb cupcake, no question about it - they're a total pleasure.

            pic here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/loladear...

            1 Reply
            1. re: RedVelvet

              Chikalicious ones are my favorite, the buttercream is very light, not American buttercream which I hate, too overly sweet. I love the triple chocolate one.

            2. I'd check out Batch on W. 10th Street in the W. Village for the Chocolate Dragon cupcake, Two Little Red Hens on the Upper East Side for the Lemon Pucker cupcake or Big Booty Bread Co. in Chelsea for the Red Velvet cupcake.

              2 Replies
              1. re: billyboy

                Batch has closed. For me, the cupcakes will be missed, but the attitude won't. My favorites are the aforementioned pistachio at SSS and the namesake at Sweet Revenge.

                1. re: billyeats

                  Batch is actually relocating to Chelsea some time this summer.

              2. I strongly agree with you about the buttercream topping. I'm from Europe and most cupcakes over there either have a hard frosting top or a slightly soft iced top. This might be underwhelming to Americans but it allows you to taste and enjoy the texture of the underlying cake which is overwhelmed in most of the magnolia cafe type versions. A mouthful of cloying buttery over sweetened icing does not make for a good cupcake.

                1. Okay, so I went cupcake tasting after making this post. The results:

                  1. Chikalicious dessert club: I tried the red velvet and the smores cupcakes. The red velvet was excellent. However, the cake was a touch dry, which should not be the case with red velvet. The frosting was excellent, classic and tasty. The smores cupcake was not good. The cupcake was completely dry, but the marshmallow topping was very good.

                  2. Two Little Red Hens... red velvet cupcake. Possibly the best I had. Perfect cake, perfect frosting. I'm a big fan... even better than chikilicious's version.

                  3. Crumb... I went and tried three cupcakes just because there are so many poor reviews and I had to be sure. The plain cupcake with chocolat frosting was just okay. The cake was good, the frosting just so-so. I also tried the Oreo and chocolate chip cookie dough cucakes. Those were both excellent, but VERY sweet. These are not exactly cupcakes though in the traditional sense, given so many fillings and other ingredients. That said, the actual cake was very very good and these made fantastic desserts if you knew what to expect.

                  4. Buttercup bake shop - this is one I have been to several times in the past. The plain cupcake with chocolate frosting has always been my favorite. It was good, but suffers from a little too much butter in the buttercream. That said, the cake is moist and flaky and very enjoyable. I spooned half the frosting off the top and that was about the right mix of butter flavor. If they would just use less butter and more sugar in their frosting, I think they could dramatically improve the cupcake.

                  In a nutshell, I think I have found satisfaction for two things: First, a great red velvet cupcake (TLRH and Chiki). Second, a great dessert that looks like a cupcake (Crumb). What I still have not found is an awesome, plain old cupcake with chocolate frosting. I will try the suggestions below and report back. Any other suggestions, fire away please.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Farfalle

                    Mis Natalie did an excellent review of many of the city's best cupcakes a little while back:

                    It seems like you might like to try William Greenberg (near the bottom of the above page). You can see that they have a thin and sweet frosting on their "regular" cupcakes which is very different from the buttercream they use on the rest, which seems like more typical buttercream. I have not tried their cupcakes, but would like to based on Mis Natalie's excellent review.

                    1. re: Farfalle

                      Do try ChikaLicious triple chocolate one.

                    2. I also think ChikaLicious and Sweet Revenge are tops.