The dainty looking mini cake decorated with sprinkles and buttercream has become an integral part of our guilty pleasures and Me- Time. What started off as an American dessert trend in New York has the world in a rage almost two decades later. Cupcakes symbolise our love for pleasure, art, beauty and the romance of individuality. Today these miniature cakes in a butter paper cup are a canvas for the imaginative baker to lure the patrons in a crammed market of bakeries. Many bakeries struggle to rise above the banal version of a cupcake whereas the ones listed below are distinct in their region and have sustained years of competition.
Magnolia Bakery, New York
To be in New York in the summer strolling down the fifth avenue in leisure is the stuff of dreams for many even today. For those who are newly out in the world this is your stomping ground for fun, hardwork and tasting iconic food. Being iconic in an already crowded and spoilt for a choice city is not for the faint-hearted. One such example is Magnolia Bakery. When I visited this bakery in West Village, I couldn’t believe it was here the cupcake rose to iconic fame thanks to the spotlight by Sarah Jessica Parker’s Sex and The City. Today multiple of its shops have sprung up across Manhattan, but the charm of standing in a line to get in the bakery and order your box of cupcakes from the leafy Bleeker Street is an experience you shouldn’t miss. Their most popular cupcakes are the classics – Vanilla, Chocolate and from the specialty selection are red velvet. Coconut cupcake and Flourless cupcake are quite the treats you mustn’t miss. I was here during the Fourth of July weekend and couldn’t resist one with patriotic sprinkles. What I really appreciate about Magnolia is the size of their cupcake, I call it the ‘you only live once’ size. The cake is moist and like a cloud of fluff when you dig into it. The icing is their crown and with the many flavors available by far they make the best coconut cupcake I have had. The test of a good icing on a cupcake is a Vanilla flavor. If you can’t rock a vanilla cupcake you haven’t even begun in this over-popularised business. Magnolia nails it to the ground with their Vanilla cupcake. Iconic like the city of its origin, Magnolia stands tall as the birthplace of the cupcake phenomenon. For menu and details on location and orders visit https://www.magnoliabakery.com/
Sweet Bakery, Boston
Sweet Bakery in Boston is known for its pretty mini cakes as much as the candy floss pink couch it boasts of among Instagram generation. Their cupcake has been touted as the best cupcake in bean town so I had to head over and find out for myself. For a city not known for being a food capital the Greater Boston Area sure has enough and plenty of bakeries giving any foodie town a stiff competition. Boston is a pleasant surprise to anyone who visits it for the first time – its not robust yet is packed with many historical spots and relics, moments in time from the birth and foundation of the United States of America are entrenched and embedded in every street and corner of this great city I call home. During one of my many trips to Back Bay in Boston, I visited Sweet Bakery near the Commonwealth Avenue. I ordered Chocolate Raspberry and Snickerdoodle Cupcake for my tasting (of course there was that option of eating a Patriots cupcake if you are a fan visiting Boston). Chocolate Raspberry was a flavor I hadn’t tried as yet and found it quite wonderful as a first timer. The cake was fluffy and moist within however I would have preferred a slightly bigger cupcake. The icing on the cupcake was rich and flavorful and combined well with the cake. The icing on the snickerdoodle cupcake was much richer and smoother than the chocolate raspberry but both these cupcakes were worth the visit. Surely Sweet Bakery makes our world sweeter here in Boston.
For menu and details on location and orders visit https://sweetcupcakes.com/
Georgetown Cupcake, DC
The name says it all, they are from Georgetown in Washington DC. DC may be a city known for its politics, historical monuments and museums but you’d be surprised what a wonderful city it is for a foodie. Georgetown, in particular, being a college town is a charming part of the city with artsy cafes, bars, and architecture. Close to the Georgetown Waterfront Park in DC is the labor of love called Georgetown Cupcake. Celebrating their 10th year in 2018, Georgetown Cupcake smears its rich buttercream frosting on cupcakes in New York City, Boston, Bethesda, Los Angeles, Atlanta and ships all over the United States.One of my draws to this feel-good wonderland of icing sugar was the pink rose cupcake, lava fudge cupcake but as always I have to have my coconut vanilla cupcake. The pink rose cupcake is a special during the month of February to celebrate romance and love in the air all month long. It is a Madagascar bourbon vanilla cake with baby pink roses as frosting. The lava fudge cake is a Valrhona chocolate cupcake with rich fudge core at its center and vanilla frosting. My all-time favorite Coconut cupcake is a classic with vanilla cream cheese frosting and shredded coconut on the top. Well, for lack of a better word I was immediately transported to some kind of heaven with every bite of the pink rose and coconut cupcake. Not only were the cupcakes of a good size but the moist core with its fluffy bouncy body melted almost instantly with the frosting in my mouth. It was one of those moments when you pause and tell yourself not all is wrong with the world around you. Take a moment while you are here, it’s your time to enjoy the goodness in the form of a cupcake. For menu and details on location and orders visit https://www.georgetowncupcake.com/Menu.aspx
Peggy Porschen Cakes, London
If you’ve never been to London, this particular Instagram spot is one of the many reasons you should visit. Especially if you visit during spring or summer time if the exterior decor doesn’t get you in what will? Perhaps the cupcake which is by far the best cupcake in the world both visually and texture and taste should convince you to step in and find it challenging to leave. Cupcake may well be an American phenomenon of our generation, but the thing is the English are masters of the whimsical ritual called afternoon tea and they incorporated the cupcake fabulously in the tradition. First of all its located in the posh and desirably beautiful neighborhood of Belgravia in London which is in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. I stayed in the neighborhood of Kensington while in London and wandered around Chelsea and Notting Hill only to be more in love with it. If you are a Jane Austen fan like me, you’ll know what I mean by being slightly biased towards a picturesque borough in a bustling and not- always-tidy city of London. Peggy Porschen Parlour has a eat-in menu as well as ships any cake or bake orders to Central London only. As for me, I prefer to sit outside and enjoy the work of baking art by this team with a pot of their Afternoon blend tea. I recommend the banoffee cupcake and the Vanilla Salted Caramel but if you are visiting during February they have a new line of cupcakes – Fluttering Hearts and Strawberry Champagne. You don’t need any food blogger’s word for it to know its worth the visit. For menu and details on location and orders visit https://www.peggyporschen.com/parlour-menu