Cupcakes, cupcakes and more cupcakes! How did this trend all begin? Who ever started the phenomenon, two words for you… Thank you! How can anyone resist sweet frosting to their soft inside, everyone adores a delicious cupcake. This love for cupcakes is why we have searched high and low for the top ten cupcake shops in Los Angeles. It was a tough choice but someone had to do it and that someone was M. Yvette from CitySearch . You may not agree with the selection, but either way, we are sure you will enjoy taste-testing these sweet delights.
#10 Vanilla Bake Shop, Santa Monica
Customer review: The tiny shop itself is like a dreamily frosted little cake–pale pink butter cream walls, white icing trim, chandeliers and sparkling glass pastry cases. Leisurely Santa Monica locals sip espresso and nibble baby cupcakes while others bustle out with gorgeously boxed treats. The most popular daily cupcake flavor is red velvet, though 20 rotating daily specials feature key lime and mint chocolate. Icebox desserts like tiramisu and Southern banana pudding come in charming “shots.” Elegant cakes include spicy carrot, espresso milk and passion fruit.
#9 Buttercake Bakery, West Hollywood
Customer review: Forget bawdy decorations and loud color palettes that scream for attention: This pale margarine yellow Sunset Plaza bakery is unassumingly sweet. And it seems to prefer letting its baked goods speak for themselves. Lush and lovingly frosted layer cakes, like their signature vanilla butter cake, come in three want-to-eat-it-all sizes from 5″ round on up to 12″ round. Homemade bars and cookies–chocolate espresso, ginger spice and peanut butter–make the aromatic shop an excellent place to drop in for a snack, but the bakery’s undeniable draw is their winsome collection of cupcakes and mini cupcakes. At $2.25 and $.75 respectively, they’re a favorite of on-the-go sweets fanatics. Flavors, like those of their cakes, range anywhere from the expected yellow vanilla to the decadent cream cheese slathered red velvet. Who can resist?
#8 SusieCakes, Los Angeles
Customer review: Owner Susan Sarich, a Chicago native with a knack for nostalgia, conjures up all the flavors and aromas of grandma’s kitchen in this Westside sugar haven. With a pressed tin ceiling and custom cake pan lights over head, the comfy-chic interior is sprinkled with 1950′s birthday photos and framed recipes by Susan’s own grandmother. The vintage cookie jars are empty, but the pastry case is brimming with decadent dessert like iced molasses snap cookies, strawberry-chiffon layer cake and creamy banana pudding.
#7 Crumbs Bakeshop Malibu, Malibu
Customer review: Following the success of its first West Coast outpost in Beverly Hills, this beachside (by way of Manhattan) cupcakery is adding a whole lotta sugar to the surf and sun scene. Rows of baseball-sized cupcakes mounded with frosting beckon from the glass display case and marble counter. A few that folks can’t seem to get enough of are the nostalgic Hostess (a “better than the original” chocolate cake covered in chocolate ganache icing with the original squiggle on top), the rich Red Velvet (topped with red velvet crumbs and rimmed with white sprinkles) and Cotton Candy, a heavenly vanilla cake frosted in pink cotton candy-flavored cream cheese that’s rolled in cotton candy crunch.
#6 Magnolia Bakery, Los Angeles
Customer review: This long-awaited import from New York City (the original location is credited with starting the current cupcake craze) has finally arrived in LA, bringing with it dozens of crave-worthy desserts for sweets lovers. The airy, art deco-inspired bakery offers decadent options ranging from classic cake flavors to ice-box pies like Blueberry Jamboree to cookies, mini cheesecake, brownies and bars–basically, everything to satisfy even the sweetest tooth. The cupcakes get a lot of acclaim, but the delicious banana cream pudding made with fresh banana slices and vanilla wafers is a real standout. Stop in early for coffee and a muffin, or late-night after dinner for a sweet end to the evening.
#5 Joan’s on Third, Los Angeles
Customer review: After years as a beloved, bustling boite, this marketplace cafe combination has doubled in size. Sunny white walls surround tiled floors and gleaming steel shelves; cozy tables dot the interior and sidewalk patio. Celebs and locals crowd a buzzing deli counter for Mediterranean-inspired sandwiches like brie and ham, and tarragon chicken, in addition to items like salmon cakes and snap peas. There are also over 100 domestic and imported cheeses, charcuterie, olives, pastas and other specialty items. The popular house bakery features cupcakes, chocolates and more.
#4 Auntie Em’s Kitchen, Los Angeles
Customer review: Colorful and kid friendly (there’s plenty of paper and crayons at each table), this Eagle Rock diner is a family favorite. At lunchtime, the front takeout counter is jamming with a bustling neighborhood crowd. On weekends it can get a little crazy as folks flood in for open-faced breakfast sandwiches, huge salads, soups and pastas. Popular items include a fat BLT with avocado and sprouts, piled-high Cobb salad, orzo pasta with kalamata olives, and lamb shepherd’s pie. But it’s not just the savory staples that keep the crowds coming–people from all over drive miles for the bakery’s famous red velvet and coconut cupcakes.
#3 Frosted Cupcakery, Long Beach
Customer review: This place always hits my sweet spot. I especially like to go here for special occasions; mainly birthdays. There are many shops that have hopped on the overpriced cupcake bandwagon, but this one this one has not disappointed me. I haven’t had a bad cupcake yet. They offer a variety of flavors, mini cupcakes and worth the $2.95. Plus they are the only cupcake place I know that has ICE CREAM CUPCAKES!
#2 Mrs Beasley’s Bakery, Encino
Customer review: Their baskets of little mini cakes and muffins are a wonderful way to thank someone for pet-sitting or doing a special favor. the lemon cake is my favorite, but the bar type cookies as well as the poppy seed or deep chocolate mini muffins deserve special mention. Reasonably priced too!
#1 Yummy Cupcakes, Burbank
Customer review: Fro-yo might be the latest sweet trend sweeping L.A., but cupcake mania is far from over. Burbank’s gourmet bakery is devoted solely to this sugary icon’s existence. Edging Magnolia’s antiques strip, the tiny storefront gleams with a long glass case displaying trays of elegant, fanciful frosted delights made from scratch and fresh daily. Among the 30 selections, popular favorites are red velvet and Hawaiian coconut; mavericks prefer unique “cocktail” flavors like margarita, mojito and cosmopolitan.
So tell us, who has the best cupcakes in your neighborhood? Please share your favorite with us below.