Buttercup Bake Shop’s Wickedly Delicious Cupcakes

I know that the cupcake craze has come and gone. I know that it’s much cooler now to be into gelato or homemade pies or single origin chocolate bars with cacao nibs and organic coconut.

But when have I ever claimed to be cool?


Buttercup Bake Shop has some of my favorite cupcakes in the city. It’s one of the few places for which I will travel to the east side – crosstown is not my favorite way to travel, but it’s worth it for these classic American sweets like banana pudding, chocolate cake, and brownies. It’s run by one of the women who started Magnolia Bakery, but unlike Magnolia, this place hasn’t jumped the shark by opening shops all over the city (sorry, Magnoilia, but only the original location seems to cut the mustard.)

The shop is long and narrow, with only a few small tables and stools at a counter. Be prepared to take your cupcakes home or fight for a seat on a Sunday afternoon, but during the week you can almost always find an empty chair.

The pastry case is full of the kind of treats you would want at Grandma’s house – rainbow frosted cupcakes, towering layer cakes, puddings, trifles…the list of classic goodies goes on and on.

The hummingbird cake is moist and cinnamon-y, with juicy pineapple and tangy cream cheese frosting. The chocolate cupcakes are rich and sweet, like the best milk chocolate bar on the planet. The rice krispy treats are at least 3 inches high and the banana pudding is nothing less than classic – creamy and sweet. But when you come here, this is what you get:

Vanilla Cupcake with Vanilla Frosting

The best vanilla cupcake in town – I’ll say it. The cake is fine crumbed and moist but not falling apart – it holds up well and has a clean, vanilla-y scent. It’s more buttery than sweet so that it acts as a backbone for the frosting.

That frosting. It’s the Samson to my Delilah…it WILL be my undoing. 

It’s so sugary that it makes those little hard sugar cracks when you firs bite into it. Underneath it’s thin, hard sugar topping, it is sweet and light within, like whipped butter. It isn’t greasy and it isn’t applied sparingly. This is really the most outrageous frosting…ever. I could eat a gallon of it,and if they offered it by shot glasses, I would eat it all on its own. It really is sweet, so if you aren’t in the mood for a little sugar coma, this isn’t the treat for you. The vanilla on vanilla is just the best thing in the shop, and possibly on the entire east side.

Oh, and THIS is how you eat a cupcake. I saw it on Buzzfeed, so I know it’s how the cool kids do it.

Though we all know that I’m still not cool. 


  1. Ttrockwood says:

    They actually do sell just the icing- either a small “shot” or a larger paper cup. Get the coconut pecan one. And the slice of hummingbird cake is somehow even better (!!!) than the cupcake version. If you are ever there on a day they have banana bread dont miss it! Without a doubt best bakery for just like mom’s only better baked goods


  1. […] gut bomb. And the lemon egg-ceptional is easily the best dessert in Midtown East – sorry, Buttercup, you have been replaced. It’s a lemony, light mousse inside a creamy white chocolate shell, […]