The best cupcake in downtown Manhattan is…

This adventure started as an afternoon Easter walk around downtown Manhattan. We were alone in NYC for Easter 2012, and I wanted Andy to try a cupcake at my favorite new bakery in Manhattan. We set out with no major plans except to enjoy the sunshine and eat one cupcake. As we wandered, I realized how many cupcake bakeries exist in downtown Manhattan and my curiosity got the best of me. We shared 3 cupcakes that afternoon, and shared 5 more the next day!

bakery manhattan

 

It took many days (2) and many extra calories (4,000?) to bring to you… the best cupcake in downtown Manhattan! Disclosure: This is Andy and I’s humble opinion, very technically based on these 5 factors: icing (being the mot important), cake moistness, flavor, bakery ambiance, and price.

How we decided what cupcake to order: We asked each bakery, “What is your best selling cupcake flavor?” We figured this would give us the best option that bakery had to offer, thus trying the best of each bakery.

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Neighborhood: SoHo
Cupcake eaten: Flavor of the month: Cherry Blossom  (I choose this flavor because we had not started the official test and I just wanted to try it.)
Icing: cream cheese based, amazingly thick and cream cheesy.
Cake Moistness: Perfection
Overall flavor: The cupcake was devoured in less than 90 seconds.
Bakery ambiance: Only 3 tables, all taken, had to stand to eat our cupcake. Good thing it was absolutely delicious and took now time to eat up. Lots of flavor combos complete with a tiny fondant adornment.
Price: $2.99 a cupcake
Neighborhood: West Village
Most popular cupcake: Cake Batter
Icing: light and fluffy, more like whip cream
Cake moistness: The middle was filled with cake batter. Pretty darn tasty, and certainly moist.
Overall flavor: Nice combo, but probably not my first choice of flavors.
Bakery ambiance: Lots of tables and a bar to sit at, unique cup cake combos, games on the shelves, and free sprinkles and water available for all of your cupcake needs.

Price:$3.75 a cupcake

bakery manhattan

 

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Magnolia Bakery

bakery manhattan
Neighborhood: West Village
Most popular cupcake: Red Velvet
Icing: OK at best.
Cake moistness: Moist-ish
Overall flavor: I’m not sure if it was the line or the build up… but we were not super impressed.
Bakery ambiance: No inside seating, gigantic line, no crazy cupcake combos, rushed and crowded inside, cute onesie on sale for $18 that said, “Fresh Baked”

Price:$3.50 a cupcakeThe crazy line at Magnolia:

bakery manhattan

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Billy’s Bakery

bakery manhattan
Neighborhood: Tribeca
Most popular cupcake: Carrot Cake
Icing: Cream cheesey and yummy
Cake moistness: The cupcake was super moist and it had coconut in the cake which we like.
Overall flavor: Two thumbs up.
Bakery ambiance: Quaint, cute, quiet block in Tribeca with plenty of seating
Price: $3.00 a cupcake + $1.00 per cupcake for a box. (Anybody else think that is crazy?) They will give a little bag for free.

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Tribeca Treats

bakery manhattan
Neighborhood: Tribeca
Most popular cupcake: Red Velvet
Icing: Cream cheese icing was good. Not out of this world, but yummy.
Cake moistness: Decent
Overall flavor: One thumb up.
Bakery ambiance: No tables. Lots of cute cards and cake accessories for sale. The lady described Red Velvet as a combination of chocolate and vanilla cake, who knew?
Price: $2.00 a cupcake (a tad smaller than the other 4 cupcakes)

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Baked by Melissa

bakery manhattan
Neighborhood: SoHo
Most popular cupcake:There all bite size, so we tried 3: flavor of the month (peanut butter puff), Cookies and Cream, and Tye Dye
Icing: I love the icing to cake ratio. It’s the perfect bite!
Cake moistness: A tiny bit dry, but the icing to cake ratio is perfection and moistens up the cake.
Overall flavor: Lots of Interesting combos, a flavor for everyone. I love the peanut butter puff. Peanut butter and jelly cup cake anyone?
Bakery ambiance: A little hole in the wall, literally. It’s easy to miss. The girls that work there are sweet and friendly.
Price:$3.00 for 3 mini cupcakes
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And the winner is… Georgetown Cupcakes! Hands down. That thing was amazing. We’ll be back for sure.The price, ambiance, cake, and especially that icing were freakin’ awesome.
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Second place goes to Made by Melissa. They are a little expensive for their size… but you get to try 3 unique flavors and we love that cake to icing ratio!

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3rd place is a tie between Billy’s Bakery, Molly’s Cupcake, and Tribeca Treats. It’s hard when you base the test on 5 factors. Flavor alone it would go: Molly, Billy, Tribeca. Funny enough, that is also how the price went from high to low. Molly’s is the most expensive cupcake, but Molly’s is also best ambiance and biggest cupcake.Tribeca was by far the least expensive cupcake and yummy.
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6th place goes to Magnolia’s. I think the hype and line got to me. Plus it was a medium sized cupcake and the second most expensive. I’ve heard their banana pudding is amazing. Maybe we’ll venture back one day and try that.
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We are hoping to continue this venture next time we are in the city. According to Yelp, there are 54 cupcake bakeries in downtown Manhattan. We’ve got a few more bakeries to try! Have you ever done a cupcake tour in your city or any other? What and where is the best cupcake you’ve ever had? Do you have a favorite cupcake in NYC? Please share…

Comments

  1. Haven't been to all those places, but Georgetown is my favorite of all the cupcakes I've tried, too! And you've got to try Magnolia's Banana Pudding…it is amazing! And I'm not even a big banana person!

  2. Awww sounds like a fun day!! Whop doesnt love cupcakes?? :)

  3. Thanks for this! I;m heading to the big apple next month, and now I know where to get my cupcake fix in Manhattan! We might even venture out to Carlo's bakery (I'm a huge sucker for the show!)

  4. Wow love the cup cakes they look yummy sadly as I live in UK too far to travel.
    My friend has made cupcakes like Easter Spring Sheep and Frogs on a pond you should see her blog
    or visit mine at
    http://dawntheconstantcrafter.blogspot.com/

  5. Sweet Revenge in the West Village on Carmine St. it's a small place but cool. Their specialty is pairing beer with cupcakes (hello?!) We had red velvet with raspberry lambic. It was one bitchin cupcake.

    Another sweet spot to try in nyc, momofuku milk bar. Cereal milk, that's all I am going to say. I really think that's all I NEED to say.

    Also try Stand, amazing milk shakes and Levain Bakery for awesome cookies.

    We dont live in nyc, though, I wish we did some times

  6. Thanks for the tip. I will definitely try sweet revenge! What a great cupcake store name :) and Andy LOVES cereal… so that's on the list too. thanks!

  7. Totally agree with you on g’twn cupcake. My fav as well. Although the chocolate/chocolate at Billy’s blows doors on g’twn. And the banana is fantastic! So Billy’s is my #2.

    • Jamie Dorobek says:

      Billy’s has some super fun flavor combos and the ambiance is great! I’ll have to give the chocolate/chocolate a try!

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