Between a recent trip to Boston and my birthday yesterday, I have had my fair share of treats lately and have tried to lay off the baking. So I thought it would be a good time to share my favorite cupcake spots in New York City (just in case you ever find yourself there with a cupcake craving). Last year, my friend and I decided to create our own cupcake tour to sample some of the top spots the city has to offer. As you may be aware, New York City seems to have a cupcake shop on almost every corner. Since we only had one day and knew we would quickly reach our cupcake limit, we conquered the difficult task of narrowing down our options. After a lot of very fun research, we were eventually able to choose the top seven bakeries that we wanted to visit. Since the day was completely about eating, we decided to map out the best route, throw on our sneakers and walk as much of the day as we could. Luckily, we were successful, minus a five minute cab ride across town.
Our day started at Little Cupcake Bakeshop in SOHO. This bakery was definitely the cutest one we visited. The adorable corner storefront screamed cupcakes and the inside was full of cute little tables to enjoy a cupcake and a cup of coffee. We tried a classic vanilla/chocolate cupcake and a carrot cake cupcake with cream cheese frosting. The cupcakes were good, but a little dry and definitely not our favorites of the day.
Our next stop was Butter Lane on the lower east side. This bakery is a tiny hole in the wall with no seating, but the cupcakes were great. We got two classic vanilla and chocolate cupcakes along with a raspberry chocolate cupcake. The cake was perfectly fluffy and moist and the chocolate frosting was to die for. I actually took a class here last month and got to take home a couple of their recipes, which I will definitely share at some point.
From Butter Lane, we went to Billy’s Bakery in Chelsea. I believe there are a couple other locations in the city. They are known for their banana nutella cupcake and it definitely lived up to the hype. This is a great bakery, but these cupcakes just didn’t make the top of our list.
Next, we traveled to Cupcake Cafe in midtown West. This bakery had the most beautiful cupcakes by far, but unfortunately the taste did not match. Each cupcake was decorated with an intricate rose, but the cake itself was very dry and somewhat tasteless.
Our next stop was supposed to be one of my all-time favorites, Buttercup Bakeshop, but after getting there we unfortunately realized it had been shut down. Their website indicates they are now open, but I haven’t been back there to check for sure. If you go there, try the red velvet cupcakes. They are the best! Since we couldn’t just knock a bakery off of our list, we decided to replace it with Baked by Melissa. This is the popular storefront in the city that makes extremely miniature cupcakes (like one bite a piece). I don’t have a picture of these, but we didn’t love them. They are a fun treat when you want something very small, but I personally prefer getting a larger cupcake if I am going to eat one.
From there we went to Magnolia Bakery. Even though we had both been there countless times before, we figured a cupcake tour in NYC wouldn’t be complete without this timeless classic. We had a vanilla/chocolate and a vanilla/vanilla cupcake. Their cake is fluffy and moist and I absolutely love their frosting. In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with Magnolia. I am obsessed with the sprinkles filled mason jars in the store. These need to exist in my kitchen ASAP.
The final stop turned out to be my favorite of the entire day. Two Little Red Hens on the upper east side was incredible. I haven’t been back since and every time I am in the city I am dying to go back there. They sell all of their flavors in regular and miniature sized versions and since this was our last stop of the day, we decided to go all out and sample a large variety. We tried carrot, classic yellow fudge, marble, chocolate peanut butter and red velvet. They were all absolutely amazing, but the chocolate peanut butter was probably my top favorite along with the yellow cake with fudge frosting. I seriously dream about the fudge frosting. I am very picky about chocolate frosting and theirs was perfection.
Since we didn’t really eat an entire cupcake at any one place, we managed to not feel sick to our stomachs. We filled out a fun handcrafted score sheet as we went along, so we could remember which places/flavors we liked best. This day was beyond fun and definitely one of my favorite activities of all time. It obviously took a lot of healthy eating and extra running to make up for it, but it was so worth it! Before we went home, we took a picture of all of our loot. People were definitely giving us weird looks, but it was funny to see how much we had accumulated throughout the day.
*I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.