Published: February 2009VALENTINE'S DAY SPECIAL
Sweet! 25 Cupcakeries We Love
Photo: Cupcakes
Cupid's arrow gets a little help with offerings from the Atlanta Cupcake Factory.
Text by Amy Alipio
Photo by Thomas Fahey

This Valentine's Day, cupcakes are the new heart-shaped box of chocolates. Nothing against heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, we love them too, but cupcakes tell that special someone you're a 21st-century, game-changing kind of sweetheart. The gourmet cupcake trend really took off back in the late '90s when HBO's Sex and the City series name-checked New York's Magnolia Bakery. And so far, the cupcake trend only seems to be spreading. Cupcake aficionados tend to be passionate sorts, arguing whether the icing should be a thin layer or piled high, the cake palm-sized or one-bite. But we say, what's to fight about? Cupcake is love in flour and icing. Here's a select list of top cupcakeries around the U.S.


Cake Fetish Cupcakes
Most unusual flavor: Half-Baked (chocolate chip vanilla cake, vanilla buttercream icing, and a cookie dough center). Price: $2


The Atlanta Cupcake Factory
Most unusual flavor: Orange Ganache (orange cake with an orange-infused dark chocolate ganache frosting topped with a mandarin orange slice). Price: $2.50-3


Charm City Cupcakes
Most unusual flavor: Ouzo Peach. Price: $1-2.50


Love at First Bite
Most unusual flavor: Matcha Green Tea. Price: $2.75-2.95


Most unusual flavor: Cookies 'n Cream (dark chocolate cake with Oreo buttercream icing topped with an Oreo cookie). Price: $2.75

Sugar Bakeshop
Most unusual flavor: Pineapple Upside-Down. Price: $2-2.50


Molly's Cupcakes
Most unusual flavor: The Ron Bennington (chocolate cake, peanut butter-butterscotch filling, chocolate ganache frosting, crushed butterscotch topping). Price: $1-3.75

Las Vegas

The Cupcakery
Most unusual flavor: Good Morning, Cupcake! (yellow cake with cinnamon swirl topped with a sweet glaze). Price: $2.75


Cupcakes Nouveau
Most unusual flavor: Monkey Muffin (cinnamon and brown sugar coated pull-apart bread, topped with an almond glaze in a muffin-sized cup). Price: $1-3

New York City

Buttercup Bake Shop
Most unusual flavor: Lady Baltimore (almond-flavored white cake filled with coconut, candied cherries, cookie crumbs, and almonds; frosted with meringue and topped with coconut, cookie crumble, and cherry halves). Price: $1.95-2.25

Cupcake Café
Most unusual flavor: Bohemian (walnut cake with maple buttercream). Price: $2.50-3.50

Dessert Club, ChikaLicious
Most unusual flavor: S'mores. Price: $1.60-2.25

Magnolia Bakery
Most unusual flavor: Hummingbird (a Southern cake of bananas, pineapple, and pecans with cream cheese frosting topped with toasted pecans). Price: $2.50-3

Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery
Most unusual flavor: Pistachio Cake with "The Moose" (a meringue-like buttercream icing that's "not too sweet"). Price: $1.50


Brown Betty Petite
Most unusual flavor: Aunt Eva Says (pineapple pound cake with cream cheese frosting). Price: $3


CoCo's Cupcake Café
Most unusual flavor: Lawrenceville, a Pittsburgh neighborhood cupcake (chocolate cake infused with the Church Brew Works' orange stout with a chocolate ganache frosting). Price: $2.50

Dozen Bake Shop
Most unusual flavor: Cherry Coke (Coca Cola cake with cherry buttercream frosting). Price: $2.50

Portland, Oregon

Cupcake Jones
Most unusual flavor: Peanut Butter 'n Jelly (white cake filled with homemade berry jam, topped with peanut butter icing, berry drizzle, and chopped peanuts). Price: $1.50-3.25

Saint Cupcake
Most unusual flavor: Turtle (chocolate cake topped with caramel, a drizzle of hot fudge, and a pecan). Price: $1.25-2.50

San Francisco

Kara's Cupcakes
Most unusual flavor: Fleur De Sel (chocolate cupcake with caramel filling, ganache frosting and fleur de sel). Price: $3.25

That Takes the Cake
Most unusual flavor: Samoa (double chocolate devil's food cake with caramel filling and caramel cream cheese frosting topped with toasted coconut). Price: $2.95-3.25

Santa Barbara

Crushcakes Cupcakery
Most unusual flavor: Fresh Lime Margarita (lime cake with lime margarita frosting). Price: $3


Cupcake Royale
Most unusual flavor: Lavender (lavender buds swirled into vanilla cake and vanilla buttercream frosting). Price: $2.50

Trophy Cupcakes and Party
Most unusual flavor: Chai Cardamom (chai-spiced butter cake with cardamom buttercream). Price: $2.99-3.50

Washington, D.C.

Georgetown Cupcake
Most unusual flavor: Key Lime (key lime cake with key lime frosting topped with candied lime). Price: $2.75

Hello Cupcake
Most unusual flavor: Tiramisu (espresso cake with mascarpone frosting). Price: $3

Red Velvet Cupcakery
Most unusual flavor: Peanut Butter Cup (chocolate chocolate-chip cake with salted peanut butter frosting). Price: $3.25

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