The number of cupcake shops in New York City has grown over the past decade, much to the pleasure of sweet-toothed New Yorkers, including me.
I made it my mission to scope out and rank the best cupcake shops in the Big Apple over the past year. Here are my top eight picks. Have a look and share your favorites in the comments below.
1. Cupcake Café
The cupcakes at Cupcake Café are simply beautiful. The blossoms atop these lovely treats set them apart from any other cupcake in the city. The dense cake and smooth buttercream icings that compose these cupcakes are most elegant and delightful.
Address: 545 9th Avenue (between 40th & 41st Streets)
Hours: Monday – Saturday, 8 a.m. – 7 p.m; Sunday, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
2. Two Little Red Hens
The Brooklyn Blackout cupcake at Two Little Red Hens is the best chocolate cupcake in town. Featuring rich chocolate cake, icing and filling, this cupcake will knock your socks off.
Two Little Red Hens cupcakes are also available at Dean & Deluca cafés around the city.
Address: 1652 2nd Avenue (at 86th Street)
Hours: Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
3. Butter Lane
Butter Lane features a number of fruity buttercream icings that I love, including raspberry, lemon and blueberry. Besides its scrumptious homemade cupcake offerings, the bakery also enables customers to compose their own cupcakes by choosing their cake and icing options.
Butter Lane has ramped up on community offerings since its opening in 2008. It offers cupcake baking classes, maintains an active social media presence on Twitter, Facebook, Yelp and Tumblr, and runs specials on Groupon, LivingSocial and Foursquare.
Address: 123 East Seventh Street (between 1st Avenue and Avenue A)
Hours: Sunday – Monday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Tuesday – Thursday, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Friday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.
4. Baked by Melissa
Baked by Melissa offers the best option for cupcake lovers on the go. Selling only mini cupcakes, the shop bakes up the best bite-sized cupcakes in the city. My personal favorites are peanut butter & jelly, peanut butter cup and cookie dough.
Address: 7 East 14th Street (between University Place and 5th Avenue)
Hours: Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. – 10 p.m.
5. Buttercup Bake Shop
While Buttercup Bake Shop focuses on making cakes, its cupcake selection is perfect for minimalists.
The shop was founded by original Magnolia Bakery co-owner Jennifer Appel in 1999, and it shows in the style of the cupcakes. The super sweet, pastel frostings with white or colored sprinkles look and taste like those at Magnolia, made famous for its appearance in an episode of “Sex and the City.” Skip Magnolia’s tourist-flooded line and head over to Buttercup for a sugar dose without the wait.
Address: 973 2nd Avenue (between 51st and 52nd Streets)
Hours: Monday – Wednesday, 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Thursday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
6. Billy’s Bakery
The setting at Billy’s Bakery transports visitors back to the 1950s, and its fidelity to simple flavors enhances the welcoming feeling the shop exudes. Try the banana cupcake, which is made with fresh bananas and buttermilk and iced with cream cheese frosting.
Address: 184 9th Avenue (between 21st & 22nd Streets)
Hours: Monday – Thursday, 8:30 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Friday – Saturday, 8:30 a.m. – 12 a.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. – 10 p.m.
7. Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery
Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery offers amazing cupcakes at amazing prices. In New York City, it’s rare to find a cupcake under $3, but somehow this shop manages to sell them at under $2. Try the pistachio and pumpkin cupcakes for an adventure you won’t find elsewhere.
Address: 126 Rivington Street (between Norfolk and Essex Streets)
Hours: Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
8. Cupcake Stop
Cupcake Stop was one of the first mobile cupcake trucks in the city and now operates a fleet of trucks in various neighborhoods.
Locations and times vary, as do menu offerings. I’m a fan of Cupcake Stop, because it is constantly reinventing its menu and surprising customers. Most adorably, it offers specialty cupcakes on holidays and during important historic events. For example, it celebrated marriage equality in New York by baking up and offering the cupcakes pictured above.
The company’s founder, Lev Ekster, is a big advocate of social media and uses Twitter and Facebook to update followers of the trucks’ locations, daily menus and specials.
Address: Locations vary, depending on the trucks’ whereabouts.
Hours: Times vary. Confirm using Twitter and Facebook or call (973)744-2400.
What are your favorite cupcake shops in New York City? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Erica Swallow, Sugar Daze, Sifu Renka, missmeng, M.V. Jantzen, Cupcakes Take The Cake
Erica Swallow is an associate editor at Mashable, working primarily on growing the site's supported content program and writing within its business and marketing vertical. Erica is an international speaker, New York transplant and lover of chocolate, wine, traveling, dancing and the color orange. Follow her latest musings on Twitter and Google+.