The Top 3 Cupcake Shops in NYC

I love cupcakes so much that a couple years back, my coworkers started calling me Cupcake. It stuck (I allowed it…) and now I proudly refer to myself as “Cupcake” when I think that it is appropriate. Aside from my love of cupcakes as a creation, I have a very particular taste that few cupcakeries satisfy. The cake has to be moist. The icing has to be butter-cream. This article comes from a place of deep admiration for the shops that do justice to my nickname. Note that I could never put them in order! These three are, in my opinion, the top 3 best cupcake shops in New York City, and in no particular order.

CUPCAKE CAFE: To be fair, this place is a cake shop, so cake is what they do. They make cakes of different sizes all day. The cakes are gorgeous, topped with melty, colorful butter-cream flowers. The image above was taken recently- Cupcake Cafe holiday cakes. The cake is moist but firm. The frosting is the most honest butter-cream I have ever known, and I am convinced that they basically just get it shipped down into their kitchen from the heavens. Coffee is self-serve and the assorted milk containers (organic, whole, soy, half and half, lactose free…) are kept in an ice-box. Located across from the infamous Port Authority bus terminal in Hell’s Kitchen, this place is an unexpectedly cozy hideaway filled with beyond delicious confections that live up to our shared name (once again, to be fair). 545 9th Avenue, NYC 10018

SWEET REVENGE: How sweet is revenge? I’m a peaceful type, so I would say… not, but Sweet Revenge, located in Manhattan’s West Village, connotes sweetness upon arrival. Take a look at the cupcake list, and you will see flavor combinations straight out of fairy-tales. The cafe is small, rustic, and has a sizable bar community. It is open late. And the cupcakes, O, the cupcakes. They are bigger than the cupcakes at Cupcake Cafe and the cake is a joy to behold: moist, dense, and exotic, as they use the super potent Mexican vanilla bean in most mixes. They do, indeed, have a butter-cream frosting that will make you drool (I have done this). The flavors are seasonal and not at all overdone. For example, there is a rosewater butter-cream with pistachio cake that I have yet to (over)indulge in. I hear the menu of actual food is fantastic, but I have not gone beyond cupcakes. Stick to coffee- lattes are done beautifully, but the chai is underwhelming. 62 Carmine Street, NYC 10014

ALICE’S TEACUP: Really, there is no end to the loveliness of Alice’s Tea Cup. I think that, because the tasty goodness is so widespread, certain things are overlooked, and the cupcakes do deserve their time in the light. I’ll say it like this: the cupcakes at Alice’s are full of bangin’ yumminess. Butter-cream icing = check. Not-too-sweet and fork-firm cake, also check. The flavors are fascinating. There was a vanilla-lavender cupcake with Earl grey butter-cream that knocked my socks off this past summer, but I have not seen it since. The banana cupcake is so good, it should always be in the case alongside the chocolate and vanilla. The traditional flavors are good, but do not have the same icing, as they opt for a sweeter topping…one that, unlike the butter-cream, I do not feel compelled to take a spoon to. 102 West 73 Street, NYC 10023

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