Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Top 5 Cupcake Bakeries in the U.S.

So as I am sitting here drinking my coffee, I am wondering who the best cupcake shops are in the country.  I have been to one of these famous boutiques and at the time I didn't realize why they were so popular until now. I went into Baked of Charleston, SC while there with my Husband for our Anniversary. I was craving a cup of coffee with a mint chocolate chip cupcake, so I got the Grasshopper!  On a Saturday, the line was out the door and it took me a good 15 min. to get through it. So the even bigger question. Was my cupcake good? Yes it was pretty good. My only complaint--it needed more toppings. I guess I am so huge on that, because when I am making these divine cakes I'm always conscious about how many goodies I can add to the top to really make it ALL come together.  I just wish they would have put a lot more chocolate chips on than they did. In fact there might have only been a couple just for a garnish from what I remember.  Would I go back--Yes, only because I like to try and compare and see what I can do BETTER than other cupcakeries, now that I am in the business. 
I would love nothing more than to see my name ~eye love cupcakes~ by Jamie
in the Top 5 someday. Now, I just have to wait patiently for that right time to come so I can open up my own cupcake shop in one of these great cities of the U.S.... San Fran or Charleston maybe?

Baked  Baked was founded by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito who came from the world of advertising---Matt was a producer while Renato was a graphic designer. Their thoughts were never too far from cake and coffee, and slowly (even unbeknown to them) the idea for Baked was born.

Lewis wanted to open a bakery that celebrated American desserts beyond the cupcake, while Poliafito had always been hankering to open a neighborhood cafe, so together they scoured New York City for the perfect location. They found a small, storefront church in the largely industrialized and gritty section of Brooklyn, and together with Rafi Avramovitz, set about building their inspiration. Finally, after many long delays, they opened Baked in 2005 on the shores of Red Hook, Brooklyn with just a few ovens, some mixers, and an espresso machine.

While Baked is also well-known for its cookies, biscotti, homemade marshmallows, bars, tarts, pies and brownies, its cakes are also mouth-watering delights. They are old-fashioned with a twist of innovation. Cake varieties include classic coconut, tart lemon layer, green tea, grasshopper, caramel apple, Coca-Cola Bundt, chocolate malted, dark chocolate layer with vanilla icing, double-dark all chocolate and sweet-and-salty, just to name a few.

Crumbs Bake Shop  Crumbs is famous for its Signature size cupcakes. At each of its bake shops, it offers more than 50 varieties baked fresh daily and a new cupcake of the week every Monday. Crumbs also offers a variety of delicious cakes, from Red Velvet to Vanilla Cake and Chocolate.
Made with the finest ingredients, Crumbs' cupcakes remind us that the best things in life are simple. Crumbs offers a selection in three different sizes: Classic, Signature and Taste size cupcakes. "Classic" cupcakes are the largest variety and are sold individually. The medium sized cupcakes, "Signature", are sold individually in stores, and can be ordered online in increments of six. Customers can create their own individual six packs or choose a pre-selected assortment. The smallest size, the "Taste" size cupcakes are offered by the dozen in single flavors and pre-selected favorite assortments.

Currently, Crumbs has locations in California, Connecticut and New Jersey.

Magnolia Bakery  In an episode of Sex and the City, "Carrie" and "Miranda", the characters portrayed by Sarah Jessica Parker and Cynthia Nixon, sat on a bench eating Magnolia Bakery's pink frosted cupcakes, as they discussed Carrie's love life. Magnolia Bakery hasn't been the same ever since. The neighborhood bakery located in a residential section of the West Village of Manhattan, is now a New York institution. Tourists from all over the world go to the Magnolia Bakery, often waiting in a long line that winds its way around the block.
There's a reason why Magnolia Bakery has had staying power. Its baked goods, especially its cakes and cupcakes, are home made and absolutely delicious.
Open since 1996, the bakery is often credited with starting the modern day cupcake craze with its signature pastel-colored buttercream-frosted versions. Magnolia Bakery specializes in classic Americana baked goods including red velvet cake, icebox cake and banana pudding. Magnolia prides itself on tradition and quality and strives to satisfy loyal patrons while maintaining the integrity of the brand.

Sprinkles  Sprinkles is a favorite of Hollywood stars from Tyra Banks, Russell Crowe and Paris Hilton to Katie Holmes, Oprah Winfrey and Teri Hatcher, all of who proclaim love for the sumptuous treats. "I love Sprinkles Cupcakes," says Banks. "I am addicted to them." Ryan Seacrest is a fan, too. "These are not just cupcakes, they're a lifestyle," he says. Barbra Streisand once sent a box of Sprinkle's cupcakes to Oprah Winfrey. Oprah enjoyed them so much she ordered enough to share with her entire studio audience. Sprinkles is also known for its star topped variety served at Oscar parties.

Sprinkles evokes the memory of European bakeries flooded with the smell of baked goods and awash in natural light, with a modern touch. Its cupcakes are baked in small batches throughout the day, so that they will be as fresh as possible for Sprinkles' devoted customers. The cupcakes are handcrafted from the finest ingredients, including sweet cream butter, bittersweet Belgian chocolate, pure Madagascar Bourbon vanilla, fresh bananas and carrots, real strawberries and natural citrus zests.

Its original store is two blocks west of Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, but today, Sprinkles has six additional locations in Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Newport Beach, Scottsdale and Palo Alto. More locations will be opening soon in Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Denver, Kansas City, London, Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Paris, Philadelphia, San Diego, Seattle, Tokyo and Washington, D.C.

SusieCakes  The Los Angeles, Ca.-based company was launched in 2006 by Susan Sarich. The inspiration behind the company's founding was Sarich's childhood in Chicago. Each day, she used to arrive home from school to a warm kitchen filled with the smell of baking and treats fresh from the oven. Her two grandmothers, who were also neighbors, loved to bake, from frosted sugar cookies to Whoopie pies and chocolate layer cakes.
To this day, Sarich is captivated by what those desserts symbolized. "Baked goods are hallmarks of happiness," says Sarich. "Whether we're celebrating a holiday or a specific event, we want them to be as unique as the day." It was a combination of Sarich's sweet tooth and nostalgia for the homemade desserts of her childhood that led her to open SusieCakes.

SusieCakes' cupcakes are known for their "frosting filling." Flavors include chocolate chocolate, luscious lemon, strawberry, peanut butter, fluffy coconut, and vanilla with pastel-blue vanilla frosting. The most popular cupcake is SusieCakes' Southern Red Velvet.

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