There are many wonderful cupcake bakeries in New York City but if you want to have a truly decadent cupcake, you have to know the best of the best. The three giants that will be reviewed below will prepare you for choosing the best cupcake experience depending on the event or the craving.
Magnolia Bakery is the staple of the cupcake world, Crumbs Bakery is expanding and getting creative with their cupcake flavors and Sweet Revenge is a one of a kind, rebel cupcake shop that delivers mouthwatering cupcakes.
You have committed a true crime if you say you love cupcakes and you have never been to Magnolia Bakery, the most famous cupcake place in the world. Some people do not fancy Magnolia Bakery cupcakes and their dispute is usually "they are too sweet." What they truly mean is "I want to be different and like something else, I don't want to be like the rest of the masses." But when something is good, it is only stupid not to acknowledge it.
Magnolia Bakery makes delicious cupcakes and nobody can make a replica of them. They are sweeter than sweet, so having one is usually more than enough before the sugar rush kicks in. If you have been cupcake deprived, I suggest going for two and let your senses take over.
Pro's: Cupcake size is medium, so having one as a treat is totally okay. You will not feel like a slob eating a bunch of sugar and flour. Frosting is beyond sweet and delicious, batter is soft and yummy.
Con's: Too popular, lines can be too long, some people are bored of Magnolia Bakery fever so if you bring this as a treat, they might not appreciate it. Make sure you check with guests and all other cupcake recipients in case they are anti-Magnolia Bakery.
When: Magnolia Bakery cupcakes are wonderful if you want to treat yourself to something decadent, or if you want to bring a dozen or more to a party or a get together. They will appreciate your effort since it comes from a reliable, well known cupcake place.
I am not a big fan of Crumbs cupcakes, but I have to mention them since they have several bakeries throughout the city and the variety of their cupcakes is insane. There are big cupcakes and small cupcakes, which makes it easy to buy and share, without feeling like someone took all the good stuff from your cupcake.
A few of their flavors change depending on which holiday is coming up. For the 4th of July they have Star Spangled, and for Patrick's Day they had a Bailey Cream cupcake. The large cupcakes usually have some filling inside and are about 600 calories. Go for a smaller cupcake if you do not want the love handles.
Pro's: Lots of flavors and very accessible. You are bound to find a location within a 5-10 mile radius.
Con's: The big cupcakes pack on a lot of fat, so beware. They are not always moist and decadent. They look and feel like they came from a cupcake factory. They are considered the poor man's Magnolia.
When: A large cupcake works well for a birthday treat. Put a candle on top and you are good to go.
This is a true favorite of mine, and having tasted two of their cupcakes, I have to say they are incredibly moist and look and feel homemade. Sweet Revenge is not just a cupcake bakery. It serves wine and beer along with a cupcake.
Their menu has already done the hard work for you: for each cupcake flavor, you are given the best choice of alcohol. They have 5 solid cupcake flavors that they have every day and about 20 flavors which they rotate on a daily basis. This keeps you coming for more; in fact you can come here every day and you will be treated royally. The owner, Marlo Scott, is usually behind the bar. She is friendly and charming and you can even ask her a question or two about how she got started and how she ended up on television.
Pro's: Incredibly well made and tasty cupcakes, great flavors and very satisfying with a glass of wine or beer.
Con's: Just one location, on Carmine Street, and the place is small. Not all the flavors on the menu are available.
When: Great for a date, for a treat with friends, or to impress your tourist friends and family. It's a wonderful place to unwind after dinner, or have a snack. The vibe is sexy and edgy.
These are my top 3 choices for cupcakes in New York City. There are countless bakeries to explore so I will be back with another write-up for some newer ones. In the meantime, go to Magnolia for a classic no-fail taste, Crumbs for variety, and Sweet Revenge for an affair that involves sugar and alcohol. Enjoy and enter cupcake heaven!
The cupcakes from Crumbs are massive. I got one and split it with a friend and the both of us couldn't even finish it, even though we got chocolate and really loved the cupcake. It's rich -- get a large one and you can split it with two others.
By L.R. - senior writer Friday, 20th of May @ 11:01 pm