Skip to content

Baked by Melissa

May 16, 2011

A cupcake shop that I’ve been told time and again to try is Baked by Melissa. With four Manhattan locations, all of which opened in the last two years or so, this place has really taken off. Melissa’s sells teeny tiny (I mean it) cupcakes at a dollar a piece. As cupcakes are a fairly high margin product to begin with, it’s no surprise that at these prices, this bakery has had success.


My roommate and I decided to splurge and get a dozen cupcakes for $10 (what a deal! not…). I’ve been to bakeries where some flavors rock while others disappoint so I always try to try multiple flavors wherever I go. Luckily, Melissa’s has a 11 flavors, so we got to try them all! And frankly, these little guys are so small, that even though we split a dozen cupcakes between the two of us, we probably consumed just as many calories as having one regularly-sized cupcake each!



Top Row

      • Cookie Dough: THE BEST ONE! It’s lucky that we got two of these, because they were seriously delish. The best part? An actual chunk of real cookie dough on top of the cake and another one inside!
      • Mint Chocolate Chip: Blegh! While I’m usually a fan of chocolate/mint combos, the frosting on this seriously tasted like toothpaste.
      • Chocolate Chip Pancake: This one was just okay. Neither of us could taste the pancake flavoring though, so we were kind of let down.
      • Cookies & Cream: Yummy! Just like a nibble of Oreo cake.



  • S’mores: Pretty good, though I wish there were more distinct marshmallow and graham cracker flavors.
  • Cinnamon: Awesome flavor. Why don’t more places offer cinnamon cupcakes? Would definitely get it again.
  • Peanut Butter & Jelly: Not terrible, but we had higher hopes for this guy. We both agreed too much PB and not enough J!
  • Peanut Butter Cup: A classic! It was good, but it’s also pretty hard to mess up a chocolate & PB combo.

Bottom Row

  • Another Cookie dough!
  • Strawberry: Whoa! This one was great, and I really wasn’t expecting it. The strawberry flavor is definitely there, yet it’s not grossly overwhelming. Chocolate drizzle on top was perfect!
  • Red Velvet: Not the best ever, but still pretty damn good.
  • Tie-Dye: Pretty good. I believe it was basic vanilla on vanilla with dyes and sprinkles.


Overall, the cupcakes were really good. Despite the fact that their size and price are pretty disappointing, the actual cake and frosting were great! I guess the small size allows the cakes to stay spongy and moist, which I loooove.


If you haven’t tried Melissa’s yet, definitely go for it. I’m not sure if I’ll go again though. Price aside, the cupcakes aren’t too unique or unbelievably scrumptious. If I ever decide to go on a portion-controlled cupcake diet (ha!), Baked by Melissa would probably be my go-to spot though. Bite-sized dessert!


Baked by Melissa

109 E. 42nd St. (btwn. Park & Lexington )

New York, NY 10017

(212) 842-0220

Free Cupcakes in NYC!

May 4, 2011

Hey ya’ll!

I think most NYC cupcake lovers are anxiously awaiting the opening of Sprinkles next Friday, May 13.

The LA-based cupcake shop (the Crumbs of the west coast!) will finally be opening in the Big Apple. With flavors like Chai Latte, Peanut Butter Chocolate (made with peanut butter CAKE!), and pumpkin, I am seriously going to be drooling for the next week and a half until I can get my hands on some.

To celebrate the grand opening, and help out droolers like me, Sprinkles is giving out FREE CUPCAKES across the city for the next week. Follow them on Twitter (@sprinklesmobile) to find out their location for the day and get yours! Only the first 500 people will get one, so get on it!

Best Red Velvet in NYC….CONFIRMED!!!

March 22, 2011

Remember the awesome Red Velvet cupcake I had at Two Little Red Hens?


I believe I declared them “the best I ever had!” And to this day, that remains true.

Well, tonight I headed down to the Union Square Barnes & Noble for a book signing that my FAVORITE FAVORITE celebrity Bethenny Frankel was doing. I seriously love this woman. She is just so real. (No longer a real housewife, though! She said tonight, “I was tired of seeing women rewarded for bad behavior.”) And funny! And snarky! Just, everything she does….is awesome.

Anyways, the evening involved a Q&A session before the signing. I think Beth talked a little too much in her introduction though, and there was hardly time for questions. Out of literally FIVE people who did get to ask though, one of them was MEEEEEE!

Any good Bethenny stalker fan knows that this girl loves her red velvet cake. She practically threw a fit when she found out her favorite bakery on the UES wouldn’t be able to make her wedding cake. I’ve been trying to figure out the unnamed bakery for almost a year now, and after trying TLRH, I definitely thought it might be the one. So I asked!


And it was! She claims that she must be their best customer because she goes so frequently. Uh, I kind of doubt that because this woman is a total Skinnygirl, even smaller than she looks on TV. But who knows!?!

Either way, it has been confirmed. Head to Two Little Red Hens to get the best red velvet cake in New York!


EDIT: Apparently this article, posted three days ago in the NYT, beat me to the punch. Still glad I asked though!

Cowgirl’s Baking

March 15, 2011

So, the non-cupcake loving, but still blog-supportive boyfriend came for a visit down from Boston this weekend. Fun ensued. Central Park, Broadway show, cupcakes, the usual!

We had plans on Sunday to head down to the East Village for lunch, and figured we’d check out a cupcake place in the neighborhood. DUH! Through Yelp, we found Cowgirl’s Baking.


Unbeknownst to us, this place was brand-spankin’ new and had just opened earlier last week! I seriously knew nothing about the bakery before (aside from the most important menu item!), and I kind of liked going in without any prejudgements from things I might have heard or read. Cowgirl’s is a vegan bakery with other fun, non-bakery items like burritos and sandwiches. In addition to cupcakes though, they had lots of other baked goods that I honestly wish I could have tried, like a PB&J bar and vegan doughnuts! Also, the interior is so fresh, clean, and white! It felt like springtime in there!


After discussions of all things good like cupcakes and blogs with the guy working (whose name I TOTALLY wish I had asked, he was so nice!) and happy customer Olivia (hey girl!), we got to picking.


Like many other small shops, Cowgirl’s has a large cupcake menu that rotates daily. (According to their website though, daily flavors are updated via twitter, so definitely check that out.) They had the basic vanilla and chocolate, but I picked out my favorite flavor combo ever of chocolate and peanut butter!


The boyfriend picked one out that I think was called something like Chocolate Doughnut (?). I actually don’t remember at all though, and I can’t seem to find a fitting description of it on their website, so maybe it was just a specialty cupcake of the day? Anywho, it was a chocolate cake base with creamy chocolate frosting and some chopped walnuts on top.


We tried his first (by the way, I could NOT tell it was vegan) and we both really liked it! The chocolate cake was very rich, more so dark chocolatey than milk, and it had actual chocolate chips mixed into the batter. So fun! The frosting was awesome and super creamy. In fact, I just can’t believe there is no milk or butter in it. I need vegan recipes!


A few hours later I dug into the chocolate peanut butter cupcake with my roommate and was blown away! I expected something pretty similar to the first cake, but this one seemed denser and more moist. I think I remember being told that they bake the cupcakes through the day, so maybe the first flavor we tried had been sitting out a bit longer, because the second one seemed to be a teeny bit fresher. They were awesomely delicious though and I really should stop nitpicking! Both cupcakes were really crumbly, but in a good way.


Overall, I would say I’d definitely love to go back to Cowgirl’s Baking sometime before I leave New York. They were so friendly and seemed to have lots of unique flavors and treats to try. Cupcakes were $3 each and I imagine other bakery items would be fairly priced as well. The shop is TINY and the seating situation is two stools and a window seat, but I’d say grab your cupcakes to go and head on up the street to Tompkins Square Park for a day in the springtime sun!

Cowgirl’s Baking

259 E. 10th St. (btwn. 1st  & Ave. A)

New York, NY 10009

(646) 449-0469

Buttercup Bake Shop

March 11, 2011


Hi all! I really do wish I could update this blog more often, but too many cupcakes = a tight waistband. On Monday I decided I was going to try and eat healthier and by Wednesday I was dining on these beauts:


Reasoning that I needed to do a new blog post, I went to Buttercup Bake Shop and got some cupcakes to share with friends! At $2.25 a pop, we got three different kinds!

From left to right: the Hummingbird ( bananas, pineapple, pecans, and cream cheese frosting), Buttercup Golden (the original–yellow cupcake with vanilla buttercream frosting), and Red Velvet (yellow cupcake with a hint of cocoa, dyed a deep beautiful red, frosted with cream cheese frosting).


Guess what? Boys love cupcakes too!


That would be Brian and Joe. Cupcake tasting buddies, blog enthusiasts, and generally pretty cool guys. We split each cupcake three ways and tasted together. First up was the Buttercup Golden. I think we all enjoyed it, but agreed that there really wasn’t much special about it. I mean, basically anyone can make yellow cake with vanilla frosting from a Pillsbury box….right? Next was the Red Velvet. I personally wasn’t a huge fan (I mean, after 2LRH, nothing really compares), but B said this was his fave. I thought the cake was too crumbly and did not have much substance to stand up to rich and yummy cream cheese frosting! It turns out that we saved the best for last, though:


The Hummingbird wins! We all agreed that the cake was like really moist, really delicious banana bread. I don’t think anybody really noticed the pineapple (? seriously I don’t recall this), but the banana and walnuts were oh-so-good. Topped with sweet cream cheese frosting, this cupcake seriously rocked. I’d say if you go to Buttercup, where most dessert items are pretty standard, go for one of the more out-of-the-ordinary flavors like this one! (P.S. Buttercup also has an Upper West Side location, with different specialty flavors like PB&J!!!)

Something else I really liked about the cupcakes here? They are actually appropriately sized! Like, as if I made them at home. Not the mega-monster cakes you can get from Crumbs. Old-fashioned, traditional cupcakes. In general, Buttercup is a pretty standard American bakery with classic desserts. Nothing too crazy here.

I don’t know if I should be saying this, but those of you who have tried Magnolia Bakery…these two places are REALLY similar and reminded me a lot of each other. Right down to the pastel-colored frostings and not-so-common banana pudding as a menu item. From my experience, I honestly think Magnolia is WAY overhyped. Magnolia offers decent cupcakes, but they aren’t quite as OMG! as people make them out to be (and seriously, Carrie Bradshaw may be fabulous, but she doesn’t quite strike me as a cupcake connoisseur). Buttercup Bake Shop is essentially the same (and actually was started by one of the original owners of Magnolia…). Both make for great places for a quick treat, but I wouldn’t say they are worth a trek across town. If you are in the neighborhood though, in search of a classic bakery that won’t break the bank (or belt buckle!) then I would definitely advise you to head to Buttercup!


Buttercup Bake Shop

973 2nd Ave. (btwn. 51st & 52nd)

New York, NY 10022

(212) 350-4144

Cake & Shake

February 28, 2011

After hitting up Shake Shack for the BEST BURGER in New York this afternoon, I knew it was cupcake time. (By the way, we hit up the UES location and got through the line in less than five minutes! And got a place to sit.)

After wandering around and apartment shopping (pointing at random Park Ave. beauties and declaring, “I want that one!”) in the east 80’s, we ended up at the Met! Not for art, but for cupcakes!016

I love all of the street food vendors in New York, but I’ll be honest- I never actually stop at any. Until today! Gourmet and organic cupcakes, anyone? Welcome to Cake & Shake! An adorable little food truck that offers lovely cupcakes and original shakes!


I browsed Cake & Shake’s website before going, and I was totally overwhelmed by all of the original flavor combinations they offered! 20 different types of cupcakes and even SAVORY cupcakes! Can I get a WHAT!?! I’d try the Sunrise—>cornbread cake stuffed with chicken, chilis, and cheese. They had really delicious-sounding shakes as well like Salted Caramel and Madagascar Vanilla. I’d love to come back for those! The prices were pretty fair, too. $3/cupcake and $5/shake. Other drinks (coffee, hot chocolate, bottled water) were $2.

Something that kind of sucked was that even though they have all of these different options, they aren’t ALL available every day. This actually worked out pretty well for me because picking out a flavor with 20 different options is nearly impossible. Heck, I had trouble deciding on two of the four offered today!


I decided though, and got ‘em to go! Bye bye Met! (Even though you are on my bucket list, and I WILL go before I leave New York).

First up today was the Tropicalia. Tahitian vanilla cupcake with pineapple mousse and salted caramel frosting. I loved the frosting, but honestly had to scrape some off because it was so rich! I can’t think of how to describe the cake, except that it was really cake-y. Not airy and light, but actual, substantial cake. I looooved it and I swear the pineapple mousse contained actual chunks of pineapple WHICH WAS AWESOME. I could have eaten this cupcake sans frosting and still been satisfied, but I’m glad it was there because these flavors really worked together!025

I followed this up a few hours later with the Whozeewhatsit. Milk chocolate cake, caramel mousse, and nougat frosting. Wowza! Loved this one! The cake was moist, yet crumbly with just the right amount of chocolate flavor and the frosting and nougat sweeeeeet. I seriously have no complaints! Awesome cupcake!028

Overall, I really liked Cake & Shake. I wish they had an actual storefront, though! Or more locations. Near my apartment. And offered more flavors each day. I guess it’s all about the novelty, though! Appreciate Cake & Shake for what it is….gourmet street food!

Cake & Shake

82nd St. and 5th Ave. in front of Metropolitan Museum of Art

New York, NY 10028

(718) 383-0046

Amy’s Bread

February 22, 2011

Favorite part of cupcake blogging: eating cupcakes

Least favorite part (tie): trekking all over the city to find said cupcakes –and- actually blogging afterwards


The other week I was feeling hungry for a cupcake (nothing out of the ordinary there), but the weather was not too pleasant, so I knew I’d have to be stopping somewhere close to my apartment. After some searching, my friend Mike and I decided to hit up Amy’s Bread in Hell’s Kitchen (for the record, they also have locations in Chelsea and Greenwich Village).


So quaint! (And sanitary.)


Variety-wise, they only had a few different types of cupcakes. We were totally bummed that they were out of red velvet for the night and even considered getting a slice of their delicious-looking red velvet cake. In the end though, we decided on two different cupcakes.


First up was the Simply Yellow Cupcake with Pink Icing. ‘Cause yellow and pink are my favorite flavors! Haha….really, though. This was a good cupcake. Pretty moist cake (especially considering we ventured out at about 9 PM and it had probably been baked and sitting there since morning) and sweet, but not too sugary icing. Everything a cupcake should be!


We also got a Devil’s Food Cupcake with Chocolate Silk Frosting. I enjoyed this one as well, but I don’t think I’d get it again because I’m not really big on the Devil’s Food. And I need chocolate fudge frosting. NEEEED. Silk just doesn’t cut it for me.


And because he’s such a great friend, I shared with Mike. I mean, he DID walk all the way there with me and patiently waited while I took about 564 pictures for the blog. Thanks Mike!


The cupcakes are $2.50 each, and I’d say they are priced pretty fairly. Something to realize though…Amy’s is a full-service bakery. This is not a specialty cupcake shop. They have tons of different bread loaves, rolls, scones, muffins, cookies, cakes, café sandwiches, and apparently really good hot chocolate. I’ve also purchased some bread from Amy’s on a different occasion (cinnamon-raisin Challah for French toast! Best ever!) and in both of my experiences I’ve asked the staff for help in my decision-making process. THEY ARE SO FREAKING NICE IN THERE! I mean, I don’t ask for my cupcakes with a side of friendly, but boy is it yummier when it’s served! Go Amy’s!


Amy’s Bread

672 9th Ave. (btwn. 46th & 47th)

New York, NY 10036

(212) 977-2282

Cupcake Café

February 3, 2011

So, I’m really excited to blog keep blogging about cupcakes, and ideally would like to average more than one post a month, but I’m also really lazy. Believe me, it’s not that I’m not eating cupcakes, it’s just that I haven’t bothered blogging about them. Super lame, I know, but that’s how I do it (or don’t do it).

So a few days ago 4:00 rolled around and I decided I didn’t want to go to the gym after work. SHOCKER! Instead I decided to take a “business trip” on my walk home to do some blog “research.” I started searching “clients” on yelp immediately. (I also had to skip the gym tonight because I needed to set a “meeting” to write this post. Take that, gym!)

I ended up right outside of Port Authority at the Cupcake Café. I was surprised to walk in and see that this place was way more café than cupcake. I was thoroughly impressed by the cake pictures on their website (they did one for Ne-Yo, who is a famous person, as I was recently informed) and expected a cute and dainty little bakery. 003

The café was actually super eclectic, filled with lots of random artsy, thrifty, old-fashioned kinds of things. Actually I totally don’t know how to describe it, but it definitely had a cool-kids vibe and when I started snappin’ pix the owner was like, “uh, is this your first time here?” Also it was really dark in there so my flash probably scared and woke all of the laid-back coffeehouse guys and gals.002

The owner (who wasn’t much fun) told me they opened up shop in 1988 (!), but then “real estate happened” and they had to change locations by one block. Does one block really make a difference in Midtown Manhattan? By the way, they have another store on 18th Street, but I don’t see myself venturing down there anytime soon.007

The cupcakes themselves were also kind of……interesting. I stuck with basic chocolate & vanilla because they only had like, two other flavors and they sucked. The cake part was sort of dry, but not in a stale way. It was almost like the consistency of a corn muffin. Actually, spot on with the consistency. And the frosting wasn’t very sweet. It kind of tasted like straight butter. I actually scraped some of it off because it tasted funky, then I realized that the cake alone was too dry to handle, so I gave up. Yes, I GAVE UP ON CUPCAKES. (Only a few bites!)005

I will say though, that the designs are pretty! All they had when I went in was flowers, and that kind of seems to be their main thing. These got a little smudgy on my walk home in the FREEZING RAIN, but I think they still make for some good eye candy. You know, if you’re one of those weirdos who only likes to look at cupcakes. There were two different sizes too, and I went with the smaller ones which ran me $2.50 each. P.S. It’s cash only!006

So overall, I wasn’t too impressed by Cupcake Café. Not a very friendly shop and not very yummy cakes. I mean it’s all personal preference, but this is my blog and I didn’t like it so I’m gonna say it! But if you’re a fan then just cross your arms, pout, stomp off, and go to Cupcake Café to scarf down a dry one. I mean, if it’s been around for over 20 years, SOMEONE must like it. (But please come back and keep reading!)

Cupcake Café

545 9th Ave.

New York, NY 10018

(212) 465-1530

Two Little Red Hens: an American bakery

January 12, 2011

The day after the storm! Well, I’ll use that term loosely. What happened to those 12-16 inches Manhattan was expecting? Because when I woke up and looked out the window this morning, it was bright and sunny, and the roads were clear. Hmph!

Either way, my roommate and I both had the day off and decided to take advantage of our free time by going on our first OFFICIAL Cupcakes & the City adventure! Our destination today was Two Little Red Hens on the Upper East Side.


I read about this place online before investigating it myself. The bakery offers cakes, cookies, and other sweet, delicious-looking things…..


but I was obviously there for the cupcakes!


(But if you want a gorgeous floral cake, TLRH seems to be the place. Check these out!)


Talk about food art!

Reviews I read before going guided me to their Red Velvet  and their unique “Brooklyn Blackout” cupcakes.


Though I know this is only my first blog post, I’ll say it. This is the BEST RED VELVET CUPCAKE I HAVE EVER HAD. Yep, yep. Delicious moist cake, with just a hint of cocoa-y flavor. Incredibly rich cream cheese frosting that wasn’t overly sweet, but instead was tart and creamy. Like, best EVER you guys. And I’m not even a huge red velvet fan, but WOWZA. This place is changing my mind about favorite flavors. With one cupcake! Okay, I think I got my point across.008

The Brooklyn Blackout cupcake is a chocolate cake, with fudge frosting, and a chocolate pudding filling. The cake and frosting rocked, because I’m a chocolate-loving kind of girl. Then again, it’s pretty hard to mess up chocolate. Not going to lie though, the pudding kind of grossed me out. Am I just a total weirdo, or does pudding have no place in a cupcake?! Eh, it was just a texture thing and I’ve got issues.

The red velvet cupcake will run you $2.75, which I think is a pretty fair price in the world of New York cupcakes! The red velvet also came in a mini size, which was cute, but not nearly as mouth watering as the mama cake. The Brooklyn Blackout was the same size as my red velvet but cost $4.00! Uh, okay, see ya later paycheck! Not really sure what’s up with the price differential between flavors. I will say though, that the cupcakes are TLRH are bigger than most (a smidgen smaller than a Crumbs cupcake), so if you’re a mindful eater you’ll share them with friends, possibly over a few sittings. If that’s something you like to do….

Most other cupcake flavors at TLRH seemed pretty generic, but clearly the quality is good, so if I ever go back, I might try one. Or I might just get red velvet again. Then again, this is New York City and there are 39567239234762.5 eating establishments, so shame on me if I ever go back to the same place!

Oh also, my roommate got a cookie and said it was pretty dry, and insists that we (the non-bakers) make better ones out of Nestle Tollhouse premixed dough, so go figure.

Two Little Red Hens

1652 2nd Ave.

New York, NY 10028

(212) 452-0476