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Georgetown Cupcake
Photograph: Courtesy Georgetown Cupcakes/Dayna Smith

The 12 best cupcakes in NYC

Looking for the best cupcakes in NYC? Head to these bakeries to try one of our favorite frosting-crowned beauties.

Written by
Lauren Rothman
&
Time Out contributors
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Over the past decade, the popularity of cupcakes has waxed and waned, flaring up a bit when a new bakery opens and dipping when über trendy desserts like the Cronut hit the scene at NYC's donut shops or when macarons were deemed “the new cupcake.” But whether they’re on-trend or not, we’ll always crave the satisfaction supplied by a moist, single-serving cake topped with a flourish of decadent icing. When that craving hits, we head to one of these sweet spots for the best cupcakes in NYC.

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Try the best cupcakes in NYC

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  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • West Village

Don’t be fooled by the name of this three-location, two-decade-strong bakery; it’s not just the bread that’s good here. Exhibit A? Amy’s rich devil’s food cupcake, topped with a swirl of smooth, super-chocolatey frosting and Crayola-bright sprinkles—these mini cakes make us feel like a kid again.

  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Williamsburg

This quaint Williamsburg shop charms sweet-tooths with a wall of bulk candies in old-fashioned glass jars and a tempting cupcake selection in cheery flavors such as cookie dough, mint-and-chocolate grasshopper, and the Everything, whose frosting cap is stuffed with candies and pretzels. Our favorite is the simple but moist and nutty pistachio-on-pistachio, in a cool shade of pastel green.

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  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • West Village

The cupcake scene has gotten a lot more crowded since Magnolia’s Sex and the City-spurred ascent to superstardom in the ’90s, but this Bleecker Street favorite still holds its own. Combining the shop’s two most popular—and decadent—desserts, the banana pudding cupcake can only be ordered ahead, but it's easily the bakery’s best. A light vanilla cake filled with banana curd and topped with banana cream and a crunchy vanilla wafer, it’s a slamdunk.

  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Ridgewood

This hidden-away Ridgewood gem is one of the city’s best-kept cupcake secrets. Offering a mix of classic (red velvet, lemon curd) and trendy (salted caramel, cookies ‘n’ cream) flavors, its most enticing cupcake is the coconut cream, a moist vanilla cake piped with plenty of rich vanilla frosting and finished with a generous shower of sweet flaked coconut.

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  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Midtown East

Opened by one of Magnolia Bakery’s founding partners, this adorably old-fashioned bakery courses with cupcake knowledge. Its bright, festive cupcakes channel childhood nostalgia, in mostly-classic flavors like double vanilla, double chocolate and lemon. Our favorite is the slightly more of-the-times salted caramel, a dulce de leche cake swirled with caramel buttercream and crunchy flakes of sea salt.

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