Sometimes you really want cake, but know that you'll hate yourself forever if you eat a whole cake. So wouldn't it be wonderful if there was some sort of miniature cake that you is made just for you?
Oh wait! That would be a cupcake.
Cupcakes have taken over the pastry scene over the last few years, and it seems as if the trend has become a rather permanent fixture in the culinary world.
Who would want a huge cake that they'd have to cut and preserve in order to enjoy when one could simply take off the paper lining and enjoy? It's less mess and less hassle.
Plus, you don't feel as guilty when you eat two (or three) cupcakes in one day rather than two (or three) slices of cake. They may be the same size, but cake just seems so... excessive.
Here are some of our favorite cupcake shops (in no particular order) in NYC.
1. Conti's Pastry Shoppe (786 Morris Park Avenue - the Bronx)
If you're in the Bronx and don't get a cupcake from Conti's Pastry Shoppe, you're doing yourself a disservice. While you're at it, grab a cannoli... or 6. You won't leave here wanting for sweets.
Their cupcakes are made from scratch every day. For people who really hate cupcakes (yep, they're out there) these cupcakes are moist, flavorful, and everything you could desire in a miniature cake without losing the integrity of the cake itself.
We're obsessed with their Snickers and Oreo flavors, but realize that you cannot leave here without one of each. There's even a little bit of a Snickers bar on top of each Snickers cupcake. Sugar rush anyone?
2. Sweet Revenge (62 Carmine Street)
What's better than a cupcake with a big old glass of milk to wash it down? A gourmet cupcake paired with a deliciously alcoholic beverage to give you a slight buzz and sugar rush.
We're obsessed with their "Dirty" cupcake, which is a Valrhona chocolate cake with a dark chocolate truffle. It's paired with a Sweet Smaak Rose Moscato from South Africa. You'll never be able to eat a regular cupcake with just a boring glass of milk again.
3. Two Little Red Hens (1652 2nd Avenue)
Everyone has heard of Two Little Red Hens' red velvet cupcakes. If you haven't, you've definitely been living under a rock, and you need to educate yourself.
But the real star of the cupcake family at Two Little Red Hens is the "Brooklyn Blackout" cupcake, with chocolate cake, and chocolate pudding fudge frosting. What's so special? It's filled in the middle with more chocolate. A true chocoholics dream.
We're also obsessed with the marble cupcake. It's a swirled cupcake with chocolate fudge and swiss vanilla buttercream. Simple, yet incredibly delicious.
4. Sprinkles Cupcakes (780 Lexington Avenue)
Sprinkles' cupcakes are sweet, decadent, and everything any sweet tooth could ever desire in a cupcake. But what about the sweet tooth that just wants more.
How about a "Sprinkles sandwich?" Don't know what that is? Well, it's one of the best culinary creations since sliced bread... or sliced cupcakes, rather. Sprinkles' ice cream is sandwiched between two cupcake tops, because everyone knows that cupcake tops are the best part.
Have you ever had marshmallow frosting? No? You're missing out. Try the chocolate marshmallow cupcake as the "bread" of your sandwich with rocky road ice cream. Insanely delicious.
5. Butter Lane (123 East 7th Street)
Sea Salt Chocolate Icing on a Banana Cupcake. That's all we should have to say to you. Why are you still sitting at your computer? Go get yourself a little piece of heaven on earth! These cupcakes are ridiculously moist, tender, and flavorful, without being too sweet. Essentially, perfect.
If you don't think you could ever eat something so delicious without knowing how to replicate these cupcakes at home, sign up for Butter Lane's "Cupcake 101" baking class to pick up pointers on how to make exceptional cupcakes for your friends and family...
Or just for yourself because they're too good to share.
6. Prohibition Bakery (9 Clinton Street)
It's impossible for us to talk about cupcakes without referring to yet another alcoholic cupcake shop. However, this one bakes the alcohol directly INTO the cupcakes and icings. Cupcakes and booze, a girl's best friend... or at least ours'.
Try the Car Bomb cupcake. It's made with whiskey, Bailey's, stout, and chocolate. Hello, beautiful! If car bombs really aren't your thing, how about a Hot Buttered Rum cupcake with rum, brown butter, hot buttered rum, and cinnamon?
7. Buttercup Bake Shop (various locations)
When you're creating new cupcake flavors, the sky is the limit, though you're bound to have a few failures. Fortunately for us, we can't seem to find a flavor at Buttercup Bake Shop that we're not fans of.
We love their "Hummingbird" cupcake, with banana pineapple cake, cream cheese icing and chopped pecans. Not your thing? Try the "Lady Baltimore," with almond cake, whipped meringue frosting, coconut flakes, and a maraschino cherry. Fancy and flavorful.
8. Sugar Sweet Sunshine (126 Rivington Street)
When a cupcake shop offers cupcakes with flavors like "Goodie Goodie," "Holla Back Girl," "Sunshine," and "Bob," you know we're going to be fans. But what makes us superfans? When we bite into any one of their insanely delicious cupcakes.
Sugar Sweet Sunshine's pistachio cake is one of our absolute favorites. Don't be turned off by the slight green tint to the cupcakes... you're in for a treat. If you really don't like pistachios, try the "Goodie Goodie," with chocolate cake and whipped peanut butter buttercream.
Check out 8 Best Creperies in NYC.[Feature Image Courtesy Instagram]