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Where to go for moist cupcakes?

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Now that Tonnie's Minis (which was my go to) has closed, where to go for moist cupcakes? I know Two Little Red Hens. Blackhound's are still too dry for me. Hate Magnolia. Not impressed with Crumbs, and yet strangely willing to make an exception for Cupcake Cafe (at least for the chocolate mocha.)

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  1. Two Little Red Hens

    11 Replies
    1. re: gutsofsteel

      Chikalicious!!

      1. re: fatema

        I love the cupcakes at Chikalicious! (IMHO, even better than Two Little Red Hens which is around the corner from my apartment).

        1. re: ellenost

          Maybe I just caught them on an off-night, but the cupcakes I had at Chikalicious (Smores and I can't remember the other-maybe red velvet?) were dry and not good at ALL. Which ones would you recommend there? I'm willing to give it one more try because so many people seem to like it.

          Also, I forgot to mention that Sweet Revenge really is delicious. Got a chocolate peanut butter cupcake to-go and it was AWESOME! Super moist and super flavorful.

          1. re: Jess321

            I love (really love) the premium caramel cupcakes (has caramel filling inside) and the red velvet cupcakes (no filling). Pretty much after every time I go to Momofuku Ko (which is every two months), I stop by Chikalicious for these 2 cupcakes. They taste great even the next day (if I'm too full from Ko).

            1. re: Jess321

              I actually don't really like Chikalicious's Smores cupcakes. I also found it to be on the dry side for some reason. But the other ones are great. My favorites are the mocha, caramel and triple chocolate. I've also liked the red velvet there, but preferred the red velvet at Two Little Red Hens.

              For the OP, in addition to a few of the cupcakes listed here, I also think Mitchel London has very moist cake. I'm only a fan of the red velvet and chocolate ganache/chocolate-peanut butter topping because I think the other icings are too sugary.

              Surprisingly, I've had a couple of decent cupcakes at Crumbs. But that has been the minority as most of the ones I've tried were pretty dry. Perhaps the freshness thing has a lot to do with it. Maybe I got really lucky with the two moist ones I've eaten.

              1. re: Jess321

                I'm not a big fan of their Smores either, but absolutely adore the triple chocolate one. I like the caramel and mocha too.

                1. re: Jess321

                  This was my experience (I had the exact same two flavors.) I've actually been underwhelmed by most of the Chikalicious desserts that I've had (but they are still better than Momofuku Milk.)

            2. re: gutsofsteel

              +1 on the hens

              1. re: thew

                +2 on the Hens. The Brooklyn Blackout is moist, puddingy goodness.

                1. re: a_and_w

                  Dissent on the Hens (please, don't throw any hard objects). Fresh is no longer enough-either the taste is too subtle for my un-educated palate, or simply not substantial enough to be as life altering as everyone on this website says they are.

                  1. re: addictedtolunch

                    oh wtf no way! *throws rock.
                    i've only tried their mini cupcakes once but i had each flavor in one sitting lol
                    but i've also had a bad pumpkin pie slice from them.
                    ive only been there twice but liked most of the things ive tried. i would say give thme another shot. (at least try the mini cupcakes)

            3. I agree about Crumbs. Why is this place so popular? To me, what they sell are not even cupcakes...they are just too complicated to be cupcakes. They don't even bake the product at the shops...I believe they are shipped from a kitchen in Long Island.

              2 Replies
              1. re: ttoommyy

                crumbs CAKE is actually moist, but it taste like dunkin hines, so why bother spennding the $$ for something you can make at home...I think babba booey and artie lange made crumbs popular...magnolia has to be the worst cupcake i have ever eaten and i really dont get why they dont work on the recipe..Super dense and dry as all hell. Their banana pudding is awesome though. Buttercup is a little better than magnolia, but its a hit or miss with that place...

                1. re: smokeandapancake

                  I agree. The cupcakes i've had at Crumbs are moist but the frosting is so ridiculously sweet it hurts to eat it. I think their frosting to cake ratio is off too, making it really difficult to eat. Or maybe it's cause the cupcake is so friggin big, it's like superman cupcake on steroids, kind of reminds me of Levain's cookies without the wow taste factor.
                  I've only had two monster cupcakes but I think their mini ones are a lot better than their regular ones but not too great because of the frosting. A tip I found for eating Crumb's cupcakes (small or big) is to take a fork and get some of the frosting off. I find the frosting is just really overwhelming, it's like all I taste sometimes.
                  I haven't made the mistake of trying magnolia thanks to chowhound =] and from the cupcakes I've tried in manhattan my favorite has been Two Little Red Hens. In particular their ginger cupcakes, but I think they only sell those seasonally.

              2. Sweet Revenge! The best cupcake I have ever had. Very moist and delicious.

                1. In case you live near Tonnie's and still want Two Little Red Hen's but don't want to trek to the UES, I recently figured out they sell them at Dean & Deluca in SoHo (only a minimal upcharge, like fifty cents). I was a fan of Tonnie's as well and am sad they're gone. I actually went into Citarella off of 6th ave a few days ago (not sure of the cross street but I wanna say it's like 8th ish?) and had an amazing red velvet there! I'm not a fan of Magnolia or Crumbs either and I actually laughed out loud when I saw the line around the block of Magnolia one day last week. My thoughts are that those are all new customers and they've never tasted how dry and gross their cupcakes really are.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: Jess321

                    But Magnolia was on Sex and the City! It must be good! :-)

                    1. re: gutsofsteel

                      Haha. I really wanted to warn the tourists, but I seriously doubt they'd listen to anything negative about that place. Even after all of the negative reviews I'd read, I never wanted to go there myself but decided to try it just once to make sure I had reason to bash it (I knew they wouldn't be good but I have problems talking smack if I don't have personal experience to back it up)--and I wish I could have my $4 and a few hundred calories back! I couldn't even finish the red velvet...and I LOVE red velvet anything! Oh well. More for the tourists.

                      1. re: Jess321

                        I had a vanilla cupcake there and thought it was amazing and very moist. Billy's Bakery also has really good cupcakes. Magnolia may be touristy but that doesn't make a place bad. It simply means that tourists go there because it's well known. It really is great.

                        1. re: dezineliz

                          magnolia isn't bad because it's touristy. it's mediocre because of the cupcakes

                          1. re: thew

                            Exactly!

                          2. re: dezineliz

                            Always forget about Billy's (not in my hood)....but cupcakes are fantastic there. My go-to cupcake recipe to bake is their vanilla vanilla cupcakes---which ALWAYS gets rave reviews!

                            1. re: dezineliz

                              Ughh, Magnolia's is beyond bad. Not because it is popular to trash it, not because it is touristy. It is just plain bad because it is bad. Too sweet, with bad chemical aftertaste.

                              Their quality plummeted after their popularity sky rocketed. I enjoyed their cakes when they first opened, not anymore.

                      2. I had a great dark choc. cupcake at the Connecticut Muffin in Fort Greene, Brooklyn...
                        need to check for other locations, as there are some...
                        DELISH !! So fresh and moist, and the frosting was so smooth !

                        1. Among all the various places mentioned here – can we please just take Crumbs out of the equation? They are like Entenmann’s without the packaging. Between the artificial colors and goodness knows what flavorings, there is nothing remotely handcrafted or artisinal about them and it’s really unfair to demean these other establishments by, even momentarily, making such comparisons.

                          1. The Chocolate Room in Brooklyn is by far the best -- locs on 5th ave and on Court St. I actually had their cupcakes as my wedding cake. Eleni's in Chelsea Market and 'snice (West Village and Park Slope) are also really good, but they do suffer from the dryness problem.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: jtacobell

                              if you're willing to go soy I adore the cupcakes at Kyotofu in Hell's Kitchen. They have both classic and Japanese flavors.

                              1. re: eeee

                                Yes! I love Kyotofu's cupcakes. They're definitely moist. Big Booty Bakery in Chelsea has very moist (and delicious, IMO) red velvet cupcakes as well. I still need to try Michael London's cupcakes.

                                I've had very dry cupcakes at Buttercup, Pinisi, Crumbs, and Sugar Sweet Sunshine. I would avoid those.

                                1. re: eeee

                                  The moistest cupcakes I've ever had-I've even kept one for a day at home and the inside still stays as moist as ever. And, it doesn't taste like soy for anyone concerned about that-you don't have to be vegan to enjoy them (I'm most definitely not).
                                  As echoed on this board-Magnolia and Crumbs, eh.
                                  SSS-I have had a good pumpkin spice and red velvet in the past, but theirs can be dry and also sometimes quite bland.
                                  Amy's Bread has a nice double-chocolate cupcake muffin thing with cream cheese filling; I found it quite moist even at the very end of the day (HK location)

                                  1. re: orthorunner

                                    Oh yes, I've had some good and moist cupcakes from Amy's Bread as well, especially red velvet and chocolate. The only cupcake that was moist from SSS was strawberry creamcheese and I've had pretty much every flavor they have. I don't get people who despise Magnolia and love SSS -- the cupcakes aren't that different, and for a reason.

                                    1. re: uwsister

                                      I had tried Magnolias and Sugar sweet sunshine yesterday. I tossed the two from Magnolia $5.50 for 2. Way to sweet frosting and dry cake. I then proceeded to SSS and was happier with those but that is not saying too much. The frosting was not as sweet and chalky and the cake not as dry but again not amazing. But having tried both within hours of eachother there is a noticeable difference. My mouth went into sugar shock from Magnolias and had to toss while I was able to enjoy SSS.

                                      1. re: askeenan

                                        I do think SSS cupcakes are marginally better than Magnolia, but like you said, that's not saying much. There are much better cupcakes to be had in the city. $1.50 price tag is tempting though so I do end up getting their strawberry creamcheese cupcake once in a while. But I find their cupcakes dry in general and their chocolate frosting is terrible.

                                        1. re: uwsister

                                          SSS: The pumpkin is pretty delicious and we forgot a 6 pack for a week in the refrigerator and they were still good. I totally agree that their chocolate fronting is inedible.

                              2. Two Little Red Hens for Red Velvet and the Brooklyn Blackout.

                                1. Two Little Red Hens for sure! (86th/2nd). You won't be disappointed and you wont get cupcakes from any other bakery after having theirs!!

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: apple342

                                    Tried a super tasty moist cupcake at Spot Dessert Bar recently and I imagine their other cupcakes would be similar!

                                    1. re: urbanp

                                      i tried the green tea and vietnamese coffee cupcake from Spot, although the cupcakes weren't dry I didn't think the flavors were tasty. The frosting for the vietnamese coffee was a bit too strong for me and the green tea's frosting was also a bit too strong. Not sure if it was just the frosting but they both tasted a little bit funky to me

                                      1. re: daffyduck

                                        Just tried the same two cupcakes (green tea chocolate and Vietnamese coffee) at Spot the other day and thought they were both excellent. The cake wasn't especially moist but not dry either and I personally loved the green tea and Vietnamese coffee frosting, thought all the flavors combined very well.

                                        1. re: uwsister

                                          i tried a lemon yuzu? flavored and a chocolate\raspberry cupcake recently at spot and thought they were excellent.

                                    2. re: apple342

                                      Another vote for TLRH. Also, Alice's Tea Cup makes a surprisingly delicious cupcake.

                                      www.thelunchbelle.com

                                      1. re: apple342

                                        Agreed

                                        1. re: apple342

                                          I actually was there yesterday...shared the Brooklyn Blackout and Boston Cream. Brooklyn Blackout was amazing...Boston Cream was very dry and hardly had any filling.

                                        2. Had delicious cupcakes from Sugar Sweet Sunshine (on Rivington and they deliver) and about to order again for a party.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: serious

                                            Sugar Sweet Sunshine's Lemon cupcakes are about the best I've ever had. The rest of their cakes seem good, but nothing special. Bucking the trend, I've had some very good, very fresh cupcakes at Magnolia.

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

                                          2. Overall, maybe this is a fruitless quest, period? I'm thinking quality control for small businesses who are cranking out TONS of cupcakes every day is difficult -- ovens have hot/cold spots, the ones on the edges of the pans bake faster, etc. You can't prove a negative (if I say a place doesn't have dry cupcakes, someone will inevitably post that they had a dry one, right?).

                                            BTW, I do like Sage American Kitchen's, though, which you can find at Dean & Deluca, and I also like Butter Lane, which I'm not sure anybody has mentioned.

                                            7 Replies
                                            1. re: kathryn

                                              Yes, I was just thinking about Butter Lane. They use high quality ingredients but the cupcakes are expensive - $3 each. I do live nearby and have enjoyed their cupcakes multiple times.

                                              1. re: kathryn

                                                Forgot about Butter Lane, I also like their cupcakes, especially with French buttercream.

                                                1. re: uwsister

                                                  I also live near Butter Lane and will stop in if I'm walking past and feel like getting a cupcake, but I actually find their cupcakes too buttery! To many people, that would be a recommendation.

                                                2. re: kathryn

                                                  I don't understand the obsession with cupcakes. I would have to agree that this seems to be a more fruitless quest than many other foodstuffs. It's much easier to get a moist slice of cake and it is a better value.

                                                  1. re: Pookipichu

                                                    Pooki,

                                                    Cupcakes = best dessert hand food
                                                    Cake = delicious plate + fork food

                                                    I agree it's easier to get moist cake and that it's a better value though.

                                                  2. re: kathryn

                                                    i was just about to ask if anyone recommends Butter Lane - i saw Ted Allen raving about them on the Food Network recently.

                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                      VERY buttery, to a fault in my opinion. They're pretty good - worth going to if you're close by and have the desire, but not worth a special trip. I probably posted more or less the same opinion elsewhere in this thread, but I'm too lazy to look through it now. :-)

                                                  3. Went to Kyotofu and had the yuzu cupcake and the chocolate cupcake. Both were quite good and moist, but kinda reminded me more of muffins - don't know if it was the lack of frosting or what. I also sampled the rose softserve which is made with soymilk, and that was phenomenal and light. Quite unlike most softserve. I am quite the fan of Two Little Red Hens, so I guess I'll just have to get up there more.

                                                    @Kathryn - agree w/ you on the difficulty of quality control and difference of opinion, but at some point the mass of opinion begins to stack up. Also NYC being the foodie town that it is, places often don't get a second chance cos there's too much good food in the city that if people have a bad experience they will generally just write off the restaurant/bakery entirely. Especially in a bad economy where you have to make your dollars count.

                                                    1. Yeah, Magnolia is horrible. I got all excited from the hype but ended up incredibly disappointed with a dry, hard cupcake with chalky frosting. Eek.

                                                      I live near a neighborhood bakery called The Local Store. It doesn't really specialize in cupcakes but the carrot cupcake with cream cheese icing is freaking awesome. The cupcake is made with whole grain and it's actually pretty small compared to the giant cupcakes you find at Crumbs, but I don't need that intense sugar rush or complicated flavor combinations.

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: bornsweet88

                                                        I think you should check out Billy's. There located around 9th ave and in the 20's, maybe 24th st. really good cupcakes.

                                                        1. re: wonka

                                                          I second Billy's Bakery. They're actually closer to 21st st on 9th St .They're whole cakes are great too.

                                                          www.inbundles.com

                                                          1. re: CantStopEating

                                                            The Billy's in Tribeca (near the former Knitting Factory space) puts out some really good cupcakes too. I'd say a little better than the flagship location if moistness is a criteria.

                                                        2. re: bornsweet88

                                                          This thread is funny for me to read. I just got back from NYC - at the urging of a friend of a friend who lives in NJ and works in Times Square, we went to Magnolia Bakery for a cupcake. It was dismal -- "dry, hard cupcake with chalky frosting" is right. The only thing it had going for it is that it was near our hotel. I hadn't read up on Magnolia on Chowhound before going as cupcakes weren't really on my radar. If I had, I could have saved myself a crappy cupcake experience! I had really wanted to go to the Hens or ChikaLicious for sweets, but that didn't work out logistically. Next time...

                                                          -----
                                                          ChikaLicious
                                                          203 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003

                                                          Magnolia Bakery
                                                          1240 6th Ave, New York, NY 10036

                                                        3. Just curious - has anyone tried the cupcakes from Butch Bakery? Featured in the New York Times, but they only deliver - no store front yet according to the website.

                                                          http://www.butchbakery.com/index.php

                                                          "Where Butch meets Buttercream" LOL!

                                                          1. no ones mentioned this but i think u can request things be made at the Treats Truck. I've only tried their pumpkin cake and cookies but they were delish. I remember while I was there the guy in front of me requested she make hamantaschen and she was fine with that and asked him when he could pick it up tomorrow. I think she has an oven in her truck so maybe if u ever want cupcakes really freshly baked you can tell her what u want and she can bake them for u right before u pick them up

                                                            1. After reading all the rave reviews of Two Little Red Hens, I made a special trip and got four of their cupcakes to sample: chocolate, vanilla, red velvet , and marble/swirl. Yes, they beat Magnolia and Crumbs hands down, but I still think Sugar Sweet Sunshine is the best moist cupcake Manhattan has to offer. Plus they deliver (via messenger), even to Midtown. Billy's Bakery is also top notch. I might be willing to go back to Two Little Red Hens to try the Brooklyn Blackout if that's their specialty, but I wasn't blown away by the other four flavors and wouldn't go out of my way again as long as SSS is in business.

                                                              1. I enjoy Billy's, I think it's 10ave,..I find the chocolate cake really moist, as well as the carrot and banana.....the yellow cake can be dry at times.

                                                                1. I have yet to find a bakery in New York that makes a chocolate frosting I crave, but Amy's Bread's is pretty good and their devil's food cake cupcake is one of the best I've had. I prefer them with white or pink frosting over chocolate.

                                                                  I would like to add One Girl Cookie on Dean Street in Brooklyn (is that Cobble Hill?) to your list. I think theirs are some of the best cupcakes I've had. I don't usually like red velvet because some places frost these with an overly buttery buttercream, but OGC's are delicious with a perfect cream cheese frosting. I think Baked in Red Hook makes great ones too!

                                                                  Here's a great NY Mag article reviewing their top 15: http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2009/04...

                                                                  1. Best two cupcakes in town: Pistachio at Sugar Sweet Sunshine & the namesake peanut butter with chocolate ganache at Sweet Revenge.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: billyeats

                                                                      OK, I have a new favorite cupcake - the chocolate lavender from Kumquat. They sell at the Brooklyn Flea.

                                                                    2. What do people think of:
                                                                      1. Baked
                                                                      2. Sweet Melissa

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: alixabeth

                                                                        Loved BAKED and always forget about that one! Also, their cookbook is fantastic. Have not been to Sweet Melissa's, although heard good things.

                                                                        1. re: alixabeth

                                                                          Sweet Melissa = way overpriced, and not good at all, in my book.

                                                                        2. Tonnie's Minis hasn't closed, it's just moved uptown to Lenox Ave. between 123rd and 124th: http://www.tonniesminis.com/

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: Joe Food

                                                                            Thanks for the find. Sadly I have yet to haul my butt up to eat at Charles' Fried Chicken so I don't know that I'll be getting to the new Tonnie's anytime soon. I guess it's back to the drawing board for me.

                                                                            On another note, I don't know how NYMag rated Chikalicious cupcakes tops. They are way too dry for me. And sort of sickly sweet. I wasn't impressed by the smores or the salted caramel there.

                                                                          2. Not a cupcake place of course, but Blue Smoke at lunch time has great cupcakes.

                                                                            -----
                                                                            Blue Smoke
                                                                            116 East 27th Street, New York, NY 10016