New York City Side Dishes Travel

Cupcake Hopping

We went bar bakery hopping to celebrate the end of my cleanse (yes, probably not the smartest thing/point of a cleanse/what you should do after a cleanse – but whatever).  Fatima and I trolled along the upper east side of Manhattan and stopped at some of our favorite cupcake shops to try some favorites and new ones.

Screen Shot 2013-03-17 at 8.29.54 PM

Last year, I stopped by Buttercup Bake Shop on 2nd Ave (between 51st & 52nd) to pick up a cake for a coworker and I fell in love with this place.  For the first stop, we tried two cupcake flavors; a flavor we generally love – Red Velvet – and their month’s specialty – Pistachio.  The Red Velvet lived up to our expectations; a moist cupcake topped with a creamy, cream cheese frosting – we highly recommend.  As for the Pistachio, we liked it, we didn’t love it.  It was delicious, moist, great frosting, but the Pistachio wasn’t there.  It tasted more like a vanilla cupcake topped with some pistachio crumbs.  We were expecting a little more Pistachio “punch” than we got.

Photo Mar 08, 5 55 14 PM (1) Photo Mar 08, 5 55 09 PM (1)

For the second place, I really wanted a Magnolia hummingbird cupcake – one of my favorites.  Last year, I baked a hummingbird cake for my dad’s 50th birthday – delicious!  Fatima wanted to try a caramel cupcake – it looked good as well.  This Magnolia is right inside Bloomingdales and it’s very tiny.  There wasn’t any space to sit and enjoy, so we hiked up the block to Starbucks to try out their new Hazelnut Macchiato – yum – and grab a seat.  The hummingbird lived up to its expectations.  I love magnolia’s frosting.  I have a high tolerance for sweet things – I can practically eat a can of frosting at any given moment – so their frosting, as sweet as it is, is perfect for me.  The caramel cupcake was a disappointment.  Make a vanilla cupcake, a horrible whipped frosting, and drizzle caramel over the top – that’s basically what it was.  Fatima was expecting it to have more caramel.  The frosting threw us off.  It had the consistency of whipped cream with a hint of caramel.  I think we were expecting a snickers caramel flavor.  Whipped, light frosting is not for us, but maybe for some other patrons out there.

Photo Mar 08, 6 41 33 PM (1) Photo Mar 08, 6 40 33 PM (1)

With 4 cupcakes down (2 each), we knew we had to split one at the last place.  We’ve never been to Sprinkles.  We thought we should try it, and get something with chocolate – to stay safe.  Sprinkles is near Magnolia on Lexington between 60th and 61st.  A tiny inside, this place packed a lovely bakery/cupcake smell.  If heaven has a scent it would be this.  There were many chocolate cupcakes left, but only one had sprinkles.  We thought it would be best to get the cupcake with sprinkles from the cupcake shop named “Sprinkles.”  Although we were fourth in line, we were able to grab the last vanilla cupcake with milk chocolate frosting, topped with chocolate sprinkles.  The cupcake was great, although we’re split on the frosting – Fatima found it to be way too sweet, and I found it to be just right.  There’s a great balance of frosting vs. cupcake.  Sprinkles the biggest cupcake of the places we visited, hence more frosting.  It was a great last cupcake to end the night.

Photo Mar 08, 7 05 10 PM (1)

In no way was this post sponsored.  We urge you to get out and try different bakeries in your area.  We’d love to hear what cool, fun, and delicious cupcakes you’re eating!  Any great gluten free bakeries near you??