NOSH: Cupcakes from Left to Right

By April Bella, Managing Editor
[The Summer Issue 2013 Pt.2]


I consider myself a bit of a cupcake connoisseur having been to many bakeries and tasted countless cupcakes coast to coast. Many are over glorified for reasons I cannot decipher while only a few rise to the top.  Below are two that fall to the bottom along with the three on the top of my list.


Sprinkles, Nationwide  –  The first of two that stand out as over glorified. These cupcakes require 5 team members in an assembly line to purchase just one cupcake. The staff and atmosphere are so snobby I feel like they should be paying me just to be in their presence.  Over priced product for the quality and experience.


Kara’s Cupcakes, Northern, CA –  The curbside delivery is a great touch and if you require “local, sustainable and organic producers” then check them out but personally at the end of the day, I just want a tasty cupcake like no other. Kara’s cupcakes are fresh but to me they miss the mark for that oomph!  If you are planning to indulge than indulge!   If you are with me, then check out my top 3 spots from left coast to right coast in search of the tastiest confections.



#3 – Sweet E’s, Los Angeles, CA –  Just the right size Sweet E’s mini cupcakes are fresh and tasty in several flavors. This brilliant mini idea suggests the opportunity to eat multiple flavors without feeling guilty. Two flavors tie for favorites the Blue Velvet topped with a blueberry when in season and Snikerdoodle which tastes just like the cookie by the same name.


Blue Velvet - Sweet E'sSnickerdoodle - Sweet E's


#2Baked by Melissa, NYC, New York & Paramus, NJ –  All of Melissa’s treats are bite size like a muffin top with a little bit below and most have a treat inside. My favorite cupcake is the Peanut Butter & Jelly: classic yellow cake filled with grape jelly and topped with peanut butter icing. Be sure to try the In Chocolate selections that are dipped in chocolate! What?!


Baked by Melissa

Coffee Caramel Dipped in Chocolate - MelissaPB & J - Melissa


#1Icing on the Cake, Los Gatos, CA –  This place is by the far the best bakery I have encountered. The selection is beyond comparison and if cupcakes aren’t your thing they have countless other confections including the Harvest Moon cookie. If you are a fan of pumpkin, this cookie tastes better than a slice of warm pumpkin pie with fresh whipped cream. It is soft and decadent and melts in your mouth leaving you salivating for more. Although they are best known for their Banana cupcake, be sure to try the Swirly Cake which is a tastier spin on the classic Hostess cupcake. My favorite cupcake hands down is the Pink Lady: golden vanilla cake filled with raspberry jam, generously iced with a mound of berry buttercream frosting adorned with flaked, sweetened coconut. Like I always say…. go big or go home!

1 (2)Icing on the cake 2

Icing on the cake 3Icing on the cake 4


* In a pinch – Starbucks, Nationwide:

If you have a hard time finding a good cupcake in your town Starbucks will do in a pinch. They sell 3 different cupcakes that unfortunately are only available seasonally. My favorite is the Vanilla Buttercream with actual vanilla bean in the frosting and topped with raw sugar. Catch them when they are fresh otherwise don’t bother.  Starbucks also offers several flavors of cake pops that are just the right size. The Salted Caramel Cake Pop is heavenly.

Starbucks Vanilla Bean CupcakeStarbucks Salted Caramel Cake Pops


I would love to hear which your favorites are: