When you need more substance than a cookie and less punch than a slice of pie - cupcakes are always there. The classic confection is a birthday party staple, the subject of several hit TV bake-offs, and the perfect pick-me-up for people who find themselves thinking, "I deserve to treat myself.
"What makes life so sweet?" begins a popular quote by Marie Williams Johnstone. "Cupcakes to eat and someone to love." We aren't qualified to give advice in the romance department, but we do know a thing or two about cupcakes, so the list below can definitely help make your life sweeter.
They're fluffy, frosted, and beautiful in all shapes and sizes. That's why we weeded through oodles of online reviews to find out which cupcake shops customers raved about the most and why. We also factored in menu variety, creativity, presentation, and social media engagement.
After crunching the numbers, we compiled a list of the very best cupcakes to grace bakeshops and cafes in the U-S-of-A. Without further ado, we give you the 101 best cupcakes in America for 2018.
Lauren Gordon and Taylor Rock contributed to this article.
Ava's Cupcakes, Rockaway, N.J.
This Jersey-born-and-bred cupcakery is led by the strong-spirited Michelle Spell, who began Ava's Cupcakes as a part-time gig to support her family of six. Shortly after she opened, she took home the first place spot on the Food Network's baking competition Cupcake Wars. While Ava's offers a plethora of cupcakes to choose from, Ava's Chocolate, a decadent chocolate cake topped with milk chocolate buttercream, is a must-try.
Awsome Sweets, Pawtucket, R.I.
It isn't every day you find a bakery that is so accommodating. Awsome Sweets makes fabulous event cupcakes catered to your every whim, and we aren't just talking about their many flavors. They even cater to your preferred size, offering mini, standard, and jumbo cupcakes.
Baked, New York City
While the variety of cupcakes rotates daily in-house, this "gentleman's bakery" (it is owned and operated by two very entrepreneurial fellows) does not disappoint when it comes to taste or presentation. The cupcakes are freshly made and consistently delicious. Try the Sweet and Salty so you can get the best of both worlds!
Baked & Wired/Yelp
Baked & Wired, Washington, D.C.
Baked & Wired, who playfully refer to themselves as "The Other Georgetown" because of their proximity to the iconic bakery, are known for their consistent delivery of from-scratch baked goods. While they do offer more than just "cakecups," this bakery's many flavors are reason enough to keep returning. We recommend trying the dirty chai cakecup, a vanilla cake blended with chai spices and topped with espresso buttercream frosting.
Baked & Wired/Yelp
Baked by Melissa, New York City
Inspired by the carefree rock 'n' roll culture of the '60s and '70s and the idea that people should be able to taste more flavors without a guilt trip, Baked by Melissa has skyrocketed to the height of New York City cupcake fame. The miniature cupcakes are adorably small but extremely well-designed. Just look at the new Cupcarone, a mini cupcake topped with a tiny macaron, if you need proof that amazing things can come in the littlest of packages. The best part is that you don't have to be a New York resident to enjoy these treats: They now ship nationwide!
Baked by Melissa
Big Sugar Bakeshop, Los Angeles
If you are looking to get a sweet, homey fix, visit the Big Sugar Bakeshop. Modeled after the notion that a bakery should be quaint and kitschy, Big Sugar Bakeshop has both permanent flavors and rotating specials. One of their daily options, the Double Coconut (a coconut cake with coconut cream cheese frosting), is reason enough to stop by this bakery regularly!
Big Sugar Bakeshop
Billy's Bakery, New York City
This simple bakery was founded in 2003 by two college friends who shared a passion for pastry. Their 1940s-styled stores - they have three locations - boast recipes from the same era; they are time-honored and tested baked goods. The banana Nutella cupcake elegantly blends classic and new flavors, while the carrot cupcake is a seasonal, classic favorite everyone will enjoy.
Bird Bakery, San Antonio
Bird Bakery is a chic little shop with desserts and décor that exude Southern charm. You might recognize its famous founders - Call My By Your Name actor Armie Hammer and his wife Elizabeth Chambers. Award-winning carrot, chocolate salted caramel, "luscious" lemon, fresh coconut, and strawberry are of many flavors found here, and all cupcake minis are packaged in cutesy egg cartons. Goods left over at the end of the night are graciously donated to local nonprofits and philanthropies - because everyone deserves a little sweetness in his or her life.
Blue Bird Bake Shop, Orlando
This sweet little bakery in the sunny state of Florida will put a smile on your face. The clean, crisp presentation and towers of icing practically speak for themselves. Stop by for a flavor of the day, which could include something super decadent like their chocolate peanut butter.
Blue Bird Bakeshop
Bredenbeck's Bakery, Philadelphia
Since 1889, Bredenbeck's Bakery in Philadelphia has been baking confections that delight and inspire local patrons. Their cupcakes are available only for special events, but their batter and quality are so delicious, our panelists had to see them on our list! Check out their unique designs for cupcakes that will complement any event you're hosting!
Butter Cake Shoppe, Los Feliz, Calif.
Butter Cake Shoppe founder Sasha Gustafson understands that to make a decadent dessert, you can't skimp on the ingredients. That's why she uses full-fat European-style butter in all her cakes - a rich, silky, creamy ingredient she grew to love during her time abroad in Paris. From plainly frosted cupcakes to top-notch themed varieties - Star Wars, zombie brain, and succulent plants, to name a few - everything here is just as delicious as it is gorgeous.
Butter Lane, New York City
This bakeshop has all of the decadence the name implies. Not only can you take home amazing cupcakes, you can get a few recipes, too. Butter Lane will teach you how to make the cake and the frosting. You have to give them props for being so confident in their cakes that they give recipes away! Of course, it's probably easier to just eat a vanilla cupcake with raspberry frosting here and leave the baking to the professionals.
Buttercup Bake Shop, New York City
When Jennifer Appel branched out on her own to build Buttercup Bake Shop just four years after opening Magnolia Bakery in 1996, she set out to create old-fashioned American desserts with a fresh perspective. Her bakery has been frequented by plenty of celebrity sweet tooth patrons (like Martha Stewart) and delivers fresh cupcake flavors daily. Try her Devil Dog cupcake for starters: a chocolate cake with a touch of meringue frosting!
Buzz Bakeshop, Alexandria, Virginia
Over the years, Buzz Bakery has become known for its amazing cakes and cupcakes. Not only are they gorgeously executed, their signature flavors leave a lasting impression. We recommend trying out the Cookie Monster or the Buzz Signature for a cupcake that you won't soon forget.
Cake Life Bake Shop, Philadelphia
This Philly cupcake shop caught the eye of the cupcake nation when its bakers triumphantly won Cupcake Wars. While you can purchase the cupcake they concocted on the show, there are other flavors worth doing a double-take over. The chocolate dulce is a notable choice: It's comprised of a chocolate cake and filled with decadent dulce de leche, then topped with a finishing touch of dulce buttercream.
Caketini, Scottsdale, Ariz.
With at least 15 flavors available every day, Caketini promises cupcakes that are twice as big (and twice as tasty) as their cupcake competitors. We can say for sure that these cupcakes are some of the most beautiful we've seen: each one is frosted and swirled with subtle signature designs that makes it as much a treat for your eyes as it is for your taste buds. Try their by-request-only chocolate silk cupcake, a chocolate cake topped with buttercream and chocolate truffle drizzle.
CamiCakes, Jacksonville, Fla.
Whether these cupcakes are smothered in chocolate and peanut butter sauce or are simple yellow cakes topped with chocolate buttercream frosting, they're unanimously loved by anyone who makes a pilgrimage here.
Cliff Robinson Photography
CC's Cupcake Heaven, Fort Worth, Texas
At CC's Cupcake Heaven, you'll feel like a kid in a candy store. This Dallas shop has nearly 100 flavors on the menu! Some have quirky names including The Cracken, Lost My Marbles, and Cotton Headed Ninny Muggin - a nod to the 2003 Christmas comedy Elf. The seasonal offering features a sweet maple cake with chocolate chip cookie dough filling, maple buttercream "spaghetti," syrup, and M&M's.
City Sweets & Confections, New York City
While this couture cake art studio specializes in wedding cakes, their ridiculously gorgeous and delicious cupcakes are not to be overlooked. Creating an assortment of cake flavors from sweet (like the "Madagascar Vanilla Bean Butter") to savory (like the "Chinese 5 Spice" infused cupcake), this bakery delivers some of the tastiest cupcakes in the New York City area.
Cupcake Charlie's, Newport, R.I.
With its loveable mascot and carefree company motto ("Life's too short... Eat a cupcake."), Cupcake Charlie's delivers fresh, frosted cupcakes that will make your day. The Grammy's Carrot Cake and the Charlie's Chocolate Chip are both shining examples of what it means to be a cupcake. Make sure you pop by to check out the cupcake of the day, chosen from over 137 varieties, in addition to the decadent daily flavor specials.
Cupcake Cutie, Memphis, Tenn.
Say goodbye to picking unwanted toppings off your sweet treat. In addition to pre-made specialty flavors, Cupcake Cutie has a custom cupcake bar. After picking a base - butter, carrot cake, chocolate, lemon, red velvet, strawberry, or vanilla - customers can ice it with buttercream, caramel, chocolate, cream cheese, lemon, peanut butter, strawberry, or whipped frosting. There are over two dozen toppings to choose from, and you can also ask for edible glitter if you're feeling extra flashy.
Cupcake Jones, Portland, Ore.
Lisa Watson and Peter Shanky's attention to detail and extensive candy experience at Cupcake Jones shine through in their flavor profiles and gorgeous cupcake display. Their menu - including both hand-candied rose petal and carrot cupcakes - proves that quality is definitely better than quantity. If you want to be dazzled, try their Velvet Painting cupcake, a "red velvet cake filled with vanilla bean pastry cream, topped with cream cheese icing and a hand candied rose petal."
Cupcake Magician, Red Bank, N.J.
The folks at the Cupcake Magician may actually be baking wizards - their treats are bound to inspire and amaze! Promising to make any event magical, this cupcakery offers customers a ton of regularly flavored cupcakes (like the Peanut Butter Explosion) and popular "filled" cupcakes (like on filled with hot chocolate) for those craving an especially decadent treat.
Cupcake Royale, Seattle
Cupcake Royale was founded in 2003 and is speculated to have been the first cupcakery to open outside of New York City. Flavors including tiramisu, lavender, and lemon drop are made from scratch daily. The shop even offers artisan espresso pairings for a little boost of energy and a sugar kick. Vegan and gluten-free varieties are available upon request.
Cupcakes on Kavanaugh, Little Rock, Ark.
The hot ticket item at this Little Rock shop is proudly inspired by the University of Arkansas' Razorback mascot. The Razorback Red Velvet is made with a red velvet devil's food cake base and cream cheese frosting, but one baker claims it's more vibrant and tastes clean, unique, and beautiful. Get your hands on this classic flavor and tons more, including Bahama Mama, Kahlua and Cream, and Margarita, for $3.25 each.
Cupcrazed Cakery, Fort Mill, S.C.
If genius can be disguised as madness, well, bring on the crazy! This incredible cupcakery embraces the sugared insanity and churns out unique and artful cupcakes in the process. They post their "crazy" cupcake flavors every day at 10 a.m. (recent selections include a caramel cupcake topped with bacon and a tiny pancake), but be sure to call ahead - they often sell out quickly!
Dreamcakes Bakery, Birmingham
Whether it is in the shop or on the truck, there are a plethora (15 or more flavors daily to be exact) of tasty options available at Dreamcakes Bakery. The thing about these delicious cakes is that they actually look like they were dreamed up during a magical tea party. With a billowing topper of fluffy frosting and a delicate design, these cupcakes are a work of art. If you can catch it, try the fluffernutter cupcake, a peanut butter cake with marshmallow meringue that's topped with a peanut butter cookie.
Fate Cakes, Columbus, Ohio
Built on the belief that Old World baking charm is something worth implementing daily, Fate Cakes has high standards regarding what makes a good cupcake. Just look at the way the chocolate sauce rolls down the mountain of frosting on that mocha latte cupcake!
Flavor Cupcakery, Bel Air and Cockeysville, Md.
Sometimes the most beautiful things in life come in the most surprising packages. While the cupcakes at Flavor are undoubtedly gorgeous, their no-frills, all-flavor attitude has landed them a loyal local base. Their triumphant win on season four of Cupcake Wars didn't hurt either. They surprise guests daily with a unique cupcake of the day, and offer tasty flavors patrons can count on, like mint Oreo and Boston cream.
Fluff Bake Bar, Houston
For those of you who don't like messy eats, Fluff Bake Bar's version of a cupcake is guaranteed to keep your fingers clean. Pastry chef Rebecca Masson - also known as the Sugar Fairy - created the "Cup|Cake," which incorporates layered cake slices in a cup. For $4.95, customers can indulge in Veruca Salt, Birthday Cake, Black Velvet, or Carrot Cake flavors in addition to one rotating seasonal variety.
Kristen Gilliam Photography
Freed's Bakery, Las Vegas
While this iconic bakery is known for their tasty and jaw-dropping wedding cakes, they are no strangers to the art of cupcake-making. Their line of classic flavors, like chocolate peanut butter and strawberries and cream, never disappoints. You'll fall in love with these sweet treats, with their dreamy, thick swirls of frosting on top.
Frost Bake Shoppe, The Woodlands, Texas
From-scratch, small-batch batters made throughout the day make for delicious and fresh cupcakes no matter what time you enter the Shoppe. And if variety is the spice of life, man, is this place livin' it up. While there are everyday basic flavors, each day of the week has a special menu that features cupcakes like snickerdoodle and Italian cream.
Frostings, Glen Allen, Va.
Inspired by the joy that he saw filling the cupcakeries on a visit to New York City, founder Matt Fracker decided to leave the world of teaching and bring a gourmet bakery of his own making to this Richmond suburb. The cupcakes live up to their name with their generous frostings, and Fracker's mission to deliver fresh cakes will make any sweet lover smile. With thick frosting piled on top of a soft cake and adorned with an adorable fondant heart, you'll be licking your smiling lips after just one bite!
Christine Meulemans Photography LLC
Georgetown Cupcake, Washington, D.C.
Their notoriety and loyal fan base speak volumes about the well-known Georgetown Cupcake. Katherine Kallinis Berman and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne, co-founders of the cupcakery, grace their offerings with an inward swirl of frosting that is both sleek and sexy - but above all, their cakes are consistently beautiful and delicious.
Gigi's Cupcakes, Nationwide
Gigi's Cupcakes is now producing some of the tastiest sweets you can find. Don't believe us? Try the triple chocolate torte. The rich, dark chocolate cake with a brownie texture is baked without flour and topped with chocolate ganache, sugared rose, and powdered sugar. Or indulge in a little White Midnight Magic: a dark chocolate cake with dark chocolate chips, topped with a white cream cheese frosting and chocolate chips. You're welcome.
Gold Mine Cupcakes, Golden, Colorado
The name says it all - this shop is a treasure. In addition to fun flavors including Cookies & Cream, Strawberry Rhubarb, and Maple Bacon, Gold Mine offers a plethora of boozy bites such as Mimosa, Piña Colada, and a totally unsuspecting Coors Beer flavor. Bakers will even make your four-legged friend a "pup-cake." Plus, there's free coffee and Wi-Fi in the shop. What's not to love?
Gold Mine Cupcakes/Yelp
Happy Cakes Bakeshop, Denver, Colo.
It's evident that Happy Cakes is committed to spreading joy through their baked goods. With options like their black and white cupcake - a chocolate and vanilla marbled cake topped with both chocolate and vanilla buttercream frosting - how could you not be happy?
Happy Cakes Bakeshop
Hardcore Sweet Cupcakes, Waterbury, Conn.
With a passion for sweets and rockabilly style, Hardcore Sweet Cupcakes is nothing short of show-stopping. Combining artistic and musical influences, this cupcakery is full of wacky names and challenging concoctions. One of our favorites has to be the Chicken 'n' Waffles, a buttermilk waffle white cake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting topped with crispy fried chicken and waffle bits, then drizzled with maple syrup.
Hokulani Bake Shop, Honolulu
Getting a cupcake at Hokulani Bake Shop is like getting a slice of heaven in paradise. You'll feel totally spoiled! Inspired by the island it inhabits, this bakeshop makes fresh, natural, and delicious cupcakes for everyone to enjoy. If you really want to get into the Hawaiian spirit, try their Paradise Coconut Cupcake: It's filled with toasted coconut flakes and topped with their signature buttercream frosting.
Courtesy of Hokulani Bake Shop
Incredible Edibles Bakery & North End Catering, Virginia Beach
If you're looking for event cupcakes that are as beautiful as they are delicious, Incredible Edibles Bakery can definitely whip up something to your fancy. Their cupcakes come in an array of interesting flavors - like orange Creamsicle with Bavarian cream - and the bakery is more than willing to experiment with cupcake flavor combinations to make your event unique and extra tasty.
Irene's Cakes by Design, Ludlow, Vt.
The bakers at Irene's Cakes by Design are exemplary at crafting cakes into signature works of art. Their cupcakes receive this master-level touch as well. Have an event coming up? This bakery will create a cupcake bar that is full of flavor and style, each cupcake making its own unique mark on your celebration.
J Cakes, North Branford, Conn.
In a world where cupcakes are loaded with towering amounts of sugary frosting, it is refreshing to see a cupcake excel with a simple swirl of flavorful icing. However, these have more to offer than expert icing, with an ooey-gooey mousse flavoring that consistently surprises and delights guests. Try out flavors like the cannoli cupcake: a vanilla cake base filled with cannoli cream, topped with French vanilla buttercream, and adorned with cannoli shell pieces.
Jilly's Cupcake Bar & Café, St. Louis, Miss.
If you've got a big appetite for cupcakes, you've come to the right place, friend. These gourmet cupcakes weigh nearly half a pound each - hefty enough to stand on their own against the likes of brunch. Try their pink velvet cupcake, topped with cream cheese, caramel buttercream, and a crunchy pecan praline, for a unique and flavorful cupcake experience.
Photo Modified: Flickr/ Joel Olives/ CC 4.0
JoZettie's Cupcakes, Montgomery, Ala.
Mrs. Ida started baking over 30 years ago at a chain cafeteria in Montgomery. But because she had no prior experience, she was afraid of losing her job. So she temporarily moved away to perfect her craft. Shortly after her return, she saw a "for rent" sign in the window of a vacant building - and JoZettie's was born. Now, Mrs. Ida takes inspiration from her mother's and grandmother's puddings, cakes, and pies to create jumbo cupcakes. There are three dozen flavors on the menu, and each one costs $2.98.
Jones Bros., Omaha, Neb.
The idea for this dessert restaurant was conceived during an informal family discussion around the kitchen table. Jones Bros. is proudly run by mother and father Jerry and Elizabeth and theirs sons, brothers Brad and Bill. Stop by for beautifully frosted and artfully decorated cupcakes in flavors like chocolate raspberry, strawberries and cream, and Sweet & Salty.
Photo Modified: Flickr/ Matt Johnson/ CC 4.0
Just Cupcakes, Virginia Beach
These gourmet cupcakes are elegant enough for any sweets lover with refined tastes. The bakers at Just Cupcakes are uniquely crafty, and their cupcakes feature a ton of sweet little extras, like decorative candies and specialty fillings.
Kara's Cupcakes, San Francisco
When Kara Haspel Ling left her job as an advertising sales executive to enroll in pastry school, no one knew she'd turn out to be the founder of a West Coast icon. Her consistently beautiful signature domes of frosting sit on top of artisanal cupcakes you'll likely never forget. With over a dozen signature flavors, it is tough to choose which one to try first! We say go for the flourless chocolate cake, a fudgy cupcake sprinkled with confectioners' sugar.
Photo Modified: Flickr/ Rachel Kramer Bussel/ CC 4.0
Lulu's Sweet Shoppe, Boston
This Boston bake shop is known for its from-scratch batters and hefty plumes of frosting. This cupcakery has dozens and dozens of flavors, but the signature cupcake, the Lulu, is especially notable: It's a delicious batter cake with a cream-filled center. Other flavors range from the tart and tasty lemon curd to the super-sweet brownie sundae.
Lyla Jones Bake Shop, Raleigh, N.C.
Everything at this shop is picture perfect. If you pop in to take a peek at the freshly baked flavors, you might actually become mesmerized by the craftsmanship. The bakers at Lyla Jones Bake Shop believe presentation is just as important as taste, and they don't disappoint. Customers will always find core flavors on the menu here, plus rotating options like Almond Delight, Marshmallow Vanilla, and Pumpkin Pie.
Lyla Jones Bake Shop/Yelp
Magnolia Bakery, New York City
This iconic New York bakery's biggest claim to fame came when the four sassy ladies on Sex and the City ate their delicious treats. While the banana pudding is to die for, fans are still in love with their cupcakes. With a rotating line-up of featured cupcakes, Magnolia ensures its fans plenty of unique flavors and incomprehensible amounts of sweet frosting. If you can catch it, try the peanut butter cake with a gooey semi-sweet ganache filling. It is topped with a peanut butter-cream cheese frosting.
Mama Cakes, Westfield, Mass.
How can you argue with a slogan like "Cupcakes make everything better?" We couldn't agree more! This family-owned and -operated cupcakery offers patrons an overwhelmingly delicious-looking number of cupcakes to try. While they rotate between 16 to 19 flavors a day, the list of made-to-order flavors is seemingly endless. If you can, try to catch the blueberry pancake cupcakes for a delicious excuse to start your day off with a sweet, or totally treat yourself with one of their special flavors like the Cinnamonster.
Midnight Sun Cakery, Anchorage
While the Midnight Sun Cakery focuses a lot of their energy on signature cakes and stunning wedding cakes, they certainly don't forget the small things. Each month they feature a special sale on their unique flavors, giving patrons something special to look forward to.
The Midnight Sun Cakery/Yelp
Misha's Cupcakes, Miami
From its inception, Misha's Cupcakes was designed for family. The owner began this delicious cupcakery as a way to spend time with her newborn daughter (and to make a few extra bucks). A successful business blossomed a few years later, and now it's one of the finest cupcake joints in Miami. Be sure to check the site for the current flavors, as they change with the seasons!
Mix Bakeshop, Reno, Nev.
A mouthwatering swirl of frosting, a few delicate adornments, and a moist cake are all essentials to a delicious cupcake. Mix Cupcake Co. offers patrons all that and more. With over 16 killer flavors, this cupcakery can cater any party and make your event a success. Try the Raspberry Beret and Dippity Do-Da for cupcakes whimsical in both name and flavor.
Mix Cupcake Co.
Molly's Cupcakes, Chicago
Molly's Cupcakes in Chicago has sweets that really pack a flavorful punch. To customize your own, simply pick a cake flavor, choose a frosting, and then make it yourself with an array of tasty toppings. They'll bake it right in front of your eyes and are happy to accommodate even the wildest of cravings. Try one of their center-filled cupcakes for a truly tasty experience.
Photo Modified: Flickr/ vxla/ CC 4.0
Muddy's Bake Shop, Memphis
This good old Southern bakery does sweets just right, and their cupcakes are living proof. From mini to regular-sized, these cupcakes are light, airy, and topped with just the right amount of frosting. With over 25 flavors available, they're sure to delight everyone!
My Little Cupcake, Burlington, Vt.
Trust us: Despite the fact that these sweets are baked in miniature, there is nothing "little" about these cupcakes. These cups of heaven are piled high with frosting and, when the cupcake calls for it, smothered in it. The flavor is big-time as well, with a wide variety of options sure to appeal to everyone.
My Little Cupcake
NoRA Cupcake Company, Middletown, Conn,
NoRA Cupcake Company boasts over 100 cupcake flavors on their full menu, and promises that its sweets will blow you away. While the company's cocktail-inspired line of cupcakes plays off of flavors found behind the bar, there are plenty of family-friendly cake options to enjoy! Something from the C&C menu (cookies and candy-inspired) or their savory cupcakes may just tickle your fancy.
NoRA Cupcake Company
Oak Mill Bakery, Chicago
Need to impress hungry guests? Order up a set of these event cupcakes and your friends and family will leave satisfied. Oak Mill Bakery makes gorgeous themed cupcakes that are actually delicious. Check out their frequently requested rainbow cupcakes, described as "jumbo cupcakes with light blue buttercream frosting designed to look like clouds, fondant rainbows, and butterflies, with silver edible beads on top."
Oh My Cupcakes!, Sioux Falls, S.D.
The Oh My Cupcakes! Gourmet Cupcakery, run by self-styled "cupcake ninjas," has plenty of cupcakes worth gasping over. Their cupcake called Mr. Grumpypants will cure any bad day. It's "filled with fudge Oreo cookies and infused with whipped chocolate mousse, then topped with chocolate cream cheese frosting and a crushed fudge Oreo cookie garnish."
Oh My Cupcakes!
Over the Rainbow Cupcakes and Desserts, Palm Springs, Calif.
With more cupcakes then you can probably count, there is something for everyone at this inventive cupcakery. Pastry chef Roman Blas' crazy, savory, and decadent flavors have garnered attention from major outlets like Food & Wine Magazine and the Food Network. With spot-on presentation and a variety that appeals to every cupcake lover, you'll be Over the Rainbow if you visit this bakery.
Over the Rainbow
Palermo's Bakery, Ridgefield Park, N.J.
There is no denying that Palermo's Bakery has incredible design skills. This fresh and delicious bakery produces incredible-looking cupcakes that taste equally delicious. Try the unique banana Oreo cupcake, which is made with vanilla cake, whipped cream, Oreo crumbs, and a banana slice on top!
Papa Ganache, Matawan, New Jersey
A vegan cupcake that tastes incredible? We love a good cruelty-free baked good! You won't believe their delicious chocolate pink cherry cupcake, made with a chocolate cupcake and topped with "tinted pink very vanilla vegan buttercream, pink sugar, and capped with a pretty pink cherry."
Pink Cake Box, Denville, N.J.
Pink Cake Box is a critically acclaimed bakery that features sweets ranging from the tiniest of cupcakes to a towering wedding cake structure. Pink Cake Box will take your breath away with sculptural masterpieces and cakes so moist and delicious that you won't even care how beautiful they are. Flavors include hazelnut Frangelico, pink Champagne cake, spiced pumpkin, and dozens more. Try this amazing bakeshop for a specialty experience you'd be hard-pressed to find anywhere else across the nation.
Pink Cake Box
Pink Elephant Cupcakes, St. Clair Shores, Michigan
A bright pink shop with a bright door and a bright pink awning, Pink Elephant is the best (and most in-character) cupcake shop in the Detroit area. These cupcakes are big and moist, with just the right amount of frosting, and the staff is friendly and helpful. The cupcakes also come in a wide variety of creative flavors, like peanut butter and jelly, chocolate coconut, lemon curd-filled, tiramisu, salted caramel, banana pudding, Champagne, and Oreo. (The top seller, however, is the flagship Pink Elephant, vanilla cake topped with pink buttercream.) There are also plenty of seasonal varieties available, like peach cobbler in summer and gingerbread in the winter. Make sure you get there early before the best flavors run out, and if you can plan ahead, make sure you order some mini-cupcakes.
Pink Elephant Cupcakes
Pinkitzel, Oklahoma City
An intricate swirling structure of frosting atop a moist, freshly baked cupcake from The Pinkitzel Cupcakes & Candy is guaranteed to please. This bakery not only makes some of the most gourmet cupcakes around, it also sells over 100 varieties of loose candy, making it the ultimate sweet house in Oklahoma City. As for the cupcakes, indulge in the Birthday Surprise, which is a vanilla cake with a pink almond buttercream and pastel sprinkles, for a treat that will make you feel like every day is your special day.
Photo Modified: Flickr/ lamantin/ CC 4.0
Q's Cakes and Sweets Boutique, Albuquerque, N.M.
Queneesha "Q" Meyers' love for baking hatched after recreating a chocolate chip cookie recipe she found on a bag of flour when she was just 11 years old. Now, the pastry chef and U.S. Air Force veteran pours her heart and soul into every custom-made dessert made within the confines of her Albuquerque shop. There are tons of flavors on the menu, but make sure you try the red velvet!
Q's Cakes and Sweets Boutique/Yelp
Queen City Cupcakes, Manchester, N.H.
Queen City only sells cupcakes fit for a, well, a queen. That's why they're all jumbo-sized. The daily menu is always changing, but guests can special order any of over six dozen craft flavors including banana cream pie, Boston cream, fluffernutter, Irish coffee, pumpkin maple, and strawberry cheesecake. The most unique treat is undoubtedly the 5 Layer Cupcake - a graham cracker base with vanilla buttercream frosting topped with coconut, butterscotch chunks, and chocolate drizzle.
Red Velvet Cupcakery, Washington, D.C.
Red Velvet Cupcakery has been delighting guests and patrons with elegant and understated cupcakes since 2008. Hungry customers will enjoy a variety of selections that not only surprise, like the peanut butter cup, but tantalize, like the white and black velvet cake options.
Sarah's Cake Shop, St. Louis, Miss.
Sarah's Cake Shop offers a variety of basic and specialty cupcakes on rotation, topped with a basic buttercream swirl (that can be flavored). If you're looking for a classic cake, try the shop's mini Twix cupcake, a "caramel cake baked on shortbread cookie crumb, filled with caramel, topped with chocolate frosting, dipped in ganache, and sprinkled with shortbread crumbs."
Sarah's Cake Shop
Sift Dessert Bar, Napa, Calif.
Sift Dessert Bar is a high-end sweet shop that offers delicacies like whoopie cookies, ice cream sammys, and crispy cakes. But that doesn't undermine the excellent cupcake offerings. Try their sweet, pastel-shaded offerings, with cute names like the red velvet Ooh La La and the punny sprinkled cupcake Sprinkle Me Pink.
Simply Cakes, Cary, N.C.
Simply put, Simply Cakes is simply amazing. Its made-from-scratch methods produce cupcakes that are pure quality in taste and appearance; you'll be able to tell after just one bite. And for your first bite, we recommend sinking your teeth into a Raspberry Pop!, a yellow cupcake filled with raspberry mousse and topped with raspberry buttercream.
Sara Coffin Photography
Smallcakes Cupcakery and Creamery, Nationwide
Smallcakes Cupcakery and Creamery has over 200 locations in the U.S. and Dubai. You may have seen the brand featured on Food Network's Cupcake Wars or ABC's hit talk show The View. Take a bite out of the Lemon Drop. It features lemon-filled vanilla cake topped with lemon buttercream and a dollop of tangy lemon. What we're trying to say is: When life gives you lemons, eat a cupcake.
Smallcakes Cupcakery and Creamery
You know you have arrived when you have your own cupcake ATM.
The national cupcakery may be all bells and whistles with their marketing strategies, but when it comes to their cupcakes, they are very straightforward. Simple flavors, simple frosting, and simple décor make their patrons line up around the block.
Sugar Coated Bakery, Brooklyn
From dessert tables to birthday parties, Sugar Coated's cupcakes have consistently flawless presentations. Their artistry is almost unparalleled, and they offer an array of styles that will work for anyone's special day from ornate butterflies to mini birdcages. Try ordering mocha buttercream cupcakes or a fresh fruit-filled cupcake for a really signature taste.
Courtesy of Sugar Coated
Sugar Mamas, Flagstaff, Ariz.
No gimmicks, no hoopla. This tasty bakery has fun just by making quality accessible cupcakes. The menu flavors are all familiar treats we've comforted and rewarded ourselves with for decades, and their commitment to quality over quantity is admirable.
Sugar Rush Cupcakery, Boise, Idaho
Don't crash! If you need a midday Sugar Rush, look no further. This Boise bakery has so many interesting and unique flavors. One customer favorite dubbed Tiger Tail features raspberry-filled coconut cake topped with raspberry buttercream and coconut shreds. Don't sleep on the Tomato Soup cupcake, though. It's elegantly spiced and iced with cream cheese buttercream frosting. Don't knock it until you try it!
Sweet Bakery, Boston
Boston's Sweet Bakery offers a list of cupcake flavors that seems to keep growing. Looking for something light but decadent? Their classic Boston cream pie flavor is a sweet chiffon cake filled with homemade pastry cream. It is topped with chocolate ganache and a frosting "cherry."
Photo Modified: Flickr/ Rachel Kramer Bussel/ CC 4.0
Sweet Indulgence, Providence, R.I.
Go ahead, treat yourself. And if you do, try to do so at the Sweet Indulgence cake shop. The cupcakes hardly need an introduction. Literally one look and you'll feel your will crumbling. The best advice we have is to try not to eat your computer screen as you browse from home.
Sweet Mandy B's, Chicago
Available in mini, standard, or jumbo size, Mandy B's sweets will delight and satisfy any craving a patron may have. Try the banana chocolate chip for a unique flavor, or go ahead and treat yourself to a filled cupcake with a creamy, delicious center.
Sweet Retreat's regular and mini cupcake flavors change daily, but if it's in stock, definitely try the Strawberry Balsamic. Its moist base is filled with a lovely strawberry balsamic jam, and it's topped with mascarpone, a strawberry, and a gentle balsamic drizzle. Get your hands on a S'mores cupcake, too! We hear there are virtually no mosquitos in cupcakeries, as opposed to around the campfire.
Sweet Things Bakery, Nashville
Want something truly sweet? Try a cupcake from Sweet Things Bakery - you will not be disappointed. While the shop, of course, has flavors like vanilla and chocolate, they also challenge their patrons' palates with flavors like lavender and honey.
Courtesy of Sweet Things Bakery
Sweetness Bakeshop & Café, Miami
This incredible bakery has shops scattered all throughout Miami, and there are understated yet over-the-top delicious cupcakes to be had at each one. With generous dollops of frosting plopped in the center of their moist cupcakes, this bakery delights all of their visitors. Adventurous folks will love the rotating menu, full of options like French toast, a "maple cinnamon cake topped with maple buttercream and cinnamon toast crunch streusel."
Swirlz Cupcakes, Chicago
Swirlz has nearly countless flavors to choose from, but many are only available on certain days of the week. That just means you have to visit more than once! Here's what you should get this week: white chocolate raspberry cheesecake on Monday, chocolate caramel toffee on Tuesday, vanilla honey cream cheese on Wednesday, chocolate peanut butter crunch on Thursday, banana cream pie on Friday, and on Saturday opt for spumoni, a pistachio cream-filled almond cake with crunchy couverture and cherry butter cream.
That One Cupcake Place, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
That One Cupcake Place is anything but an ordinary cupcakery. Since they opened, they have created over 56 flavors to add to the equally diverse and delicious menu. Their sweet orange berry cupcake, made with a sweet orange cake and strawberry cream cheese frosting, will transport you to a refreshing spring day, while the more adventurous cupcake enthusiast will enjoy the bubblegum cupcake, a bubblegum-flavored cake with bubblegum-flavored buttercream.
That one Cupcake Place
The Cake Gallery, Omaha, Neb.
Trademarked as "ULTRAmoist"cakes, these little bites are a total treat. The Cake Gallery has mastered the cake-to-frosting ratio on each of their cupcakes, and provides patrons with uniquely enticing flavors. Try the banana split (which looks like an actual bowl of ice cream), "a banana cake filled with strawberry and a dollop of pineapple, iced in whip, dipped in chocolate, and topped with nuts and a cherry."
The Cake Gallery
The Cake Lady, Sioux Falls, S.D.
If you're hankering for a sweet, this is the place to go. This bakery does a touch of everything, but their cupcakes are certainly a standout. They offer fresh-batch cupcakes in a rotating catalog of flavors daily, and they even create artisanal event cupcakes to make your momentous occasion a little sweeter.
The Cake Lady/Yelp
The Cup, St. Louis, Miss.
The Cup cupcakes boast just the right amount of frosting to be delicious and decadent without overdoing it. These cupcakes come in a variety of styles ranging from sweet to savory. For example, the Cuppa Coffee cupcake is a unique sour cream cake base topped with cinnamon streusel and a sugar glaze drizzle.
The Flying Cupcake, Indianapolis
With a striking signature pastel color palette, The Flying Cupcake will fly away with your heart after just one nibble. The cupcakes are delectably labeled with creative names that will entice you to keep trying more! Try the "It's Not a HoHo," a chocolate cupcake filled with vanilla cream and covered in chocolate ganache.
The Flying Cupcake Bakery/Yelp
The Icing on the Cake, Newton, Mass.
While this bakery does not offer an astounding array of flavors for their event cupcakes, they do know how to make a classically beautiful dessert. These little bites of heaven are artfully crafted to accentuate an event. You won't believe some of the stunning things they have done with these cupcakes. While their flavor profiles are rather basic, they can be made gourmet with filling additions like whipped white chocolate mousse and special hazelnut buttercream.
The Sweet Boutique, Sugar Land, Texas
This boutique bakery's history is the epitome of the American dream. The self-taught baker and cake designer Christine Nguyen began her now-booming business as a hobby, but passion quickly turned into profit once people got a taste of her delicious confections. Though The Sweet Boutique is a purveyor of many sweets, their cupcakes are towering examples of how gourmet this humble-beginnings bakery is. Their Nutella cupcake is filled with ooey-gooey Nutella and topped with Nutella cream frosting.
The Sweet Boutique
Toot Sweet Cupcakes, Austin
This bakery exhibits unmatched design prowess and the flavors to make their cakes even more beautiful to taste than to look at. Their expertise expands far beyond cupcakes (try their artisanal breads and breakfast pastries), but the cupcakes are where the true joy lies. The Lemon Lust cupcake, made with fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, and lemon curd, topped with lemon buttercream, is the perfect way to celebrate spring.
Photo Modified: Flickr/ Rachel Kramer Bussel/ CC 4.0
Torrance Bakery, Torrance, Calif.
Since 1984, this bakery has been serving the people of Torrance and vicinity with quality pastries, wedding cakes, and, of course, cupcakes. While this bakery only has a little over 15 cupcake options (hey, they're baking a lot of other things, too) their selections are solid and consistent every time. Try the chocolate blossom or maple bacon cupcakes for a delicious gourmet cupcake experience.
Treat Cupcake Bar, Needham, Mass.
The best part about Treat Cupcake Bar? They make every day worthy of a gourmet cupcake. Sprinkle Me Silly, one of their so-called "everyday" cupcakes, is made with a confetti cake and buttercream frosting and topped with sprinkles. One of their more decadent cupcakes, which only makes an appearance seasonally, has to be the raspberry white chocolate, a golden cake with a layer of white chocolate, all topped with raspberry buttercream frosting. Whatever you crave, this cupcakery will deliver you a cupcake that fulfills its promises on looks and taste.
Treat Cupcake Bar/Yelp
Treehouse Bakery, Phoenix
A vegan bakery that makes you forget about the fact that it is vegan is a winner in our book. Their animal-product-free treats are extremely tasty, and their cupcakes are no different. You have to call ahead or stop by early to catch the cupcake flavors for the day, but we promise the preparation is worth it.
Tsp Baking, Las Vegas
A teaspoon is the smallest cooking measurement of the bunch, so it only makes sense that Tsp exclusively bakes mini cupcakes. If you like to have a good time, try the Party Animal. It's made of confetti cake topped with vanilla sprinkles frosting and a fun Circus Animal cookie topper. Also, Tsp has a mystery flavor and if you can guess it in-store, it's free! There has never been a better time to test your luck.
Twisted Sisters Cupcakes & Sugar Shack Café, Virginia Beach
When you drive around in a pink cupcake truck bearing delicious gifts of gourmet cupcakes, the world will hardly think of you as "twisted." In fact, people get excited when the sisterly team behind Twisted Sisters Cupcakes rolls into town. And can you blame them? The sisters recently brought back a crowd-pleasing key lime pie cupcake, but make sure you catch it while you can! This mobile truck changes its menu almost as often as it changes locations.
Two Little Red Hens, New York City
Two Little Red Hens is a beloved Gotham City bakery with both mini and large cupcakes. Apart from the obvious classics - yellow or chocolate, red velvet, carrot, and marble - the menu boasts seasonal favorites such as lemon gingerbread, "filled," and "chilled 'n' filled" varieties like Boston Cream, Eggnog Bavarian, and Brooklyn Blackout. One mini costs $1.75 and one large costs $3, which is pretty inexpensive considering New York City prices.
West Town Bakery & Diner, Chicago
West Town Bakery & Diner boasts flavorful organic cupcakes that make a simple statement. While the presentation won't blow you away, don't be so hasty to judge a book by its cover. Customers love this local bakery and diner that offers an array of other pastries, like flavorful cake balls and seasonal sweets. But if it's the cupcakes you are after (as you well should be), order the Chocolate Chocolate Cupcake, a doubly decadent cupcake that promises to delight.
Whipped Bakeshop, Philadelphia
Whipped Bakeshop focuses on fresh, impactful flavors, and can artfully customize any cupcake order. Take a bite into their Vanilla Buttermilk - it has a light, melt-in-your-mouth texture that perfectly complements any of their illustrious frosting flavors. We hope you saved room for more, because cake is nothing without ice cream and we have the scoop on the world's 50 best parlors.
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