Dainty delicacies: 4 new spots to cop a cupcake in New York

Mahalo New York Bakery | Photo: Lori L./Yelp

No treat is so tempting as a charming cupcake--and if you're in the mood to enjoy them in New York City, we've found a lineup of places that will excite your appetite. Here are the newest bake shops to check out the next time your sweet tooth is clamoring for some cupcakes.

Make My Cake


795 Columbus Ave. (at 98th St.), Upper West Side
Photo: Kelly E./Yelp

Longtime Harlem-based neighborhood institution Make My Cake offers cupcakes along with its cakes, cookies, cheesecakes, pies and pastries. The location at Columbus Ave. and 98th St. is the third for the popular local bakery.

Cupcake choices include the red velvet with cream cheese frosting, the butter, strawberry and coconut, and the double chocolate delight. Non-cupcake options range from key lime pie to mini cheesecakes to cinnamon rolls.

In addition to its retail storefront, Make My Cake creates special celebratory cakes for weddings and other events. (You can check out the full menu here.)

Make My Cake's current Yelp rating of five stars out of three reviews indicates positive attention from users.

"Love this locally owned bakery! The folks here are super friendly and it's clear everything is homemade," wrote Yelper Kelly E., who was the first to review Make My Cake on April 8. "I'm a lover of red velvet and was heartbroken that they were out the day I showed up, but I got over the heartbreak and ordered a vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting and found myself appeased."

Yelper Ana G. wrote, "Simple storefront with homestyle baked goods like you wish you could make. We got an unbelievably good banana pudding and a very very good carrot cake."

Make My Cake is open from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekends.

Mahalo New York Bakery - East Village


443 East Ninth St. (at Avenue A), East Village
Photo: Linda C./Yelp

Mahalo Bakery is a Glendale-based sweets shop, operated by a married couple who were inspired by a trip to Hawaii to create their signature line of tropical-flavored cupcakes, cakes, pastries and ice cream, as was previously reported.

Cupcake lovers can expect to see unusual cupcake flavors like hibiscus and cardamom infused with rose milk; coconut topped with coconut cream cheese frosting; and pineapple jam and pineapple guava.

Mahalo also bakes custom, full-size specialty cakes, and offers non-cupcake desserts such as mango and passion fruit whipped cheesecake, caramel and hazelnut cake balls dipped in dark chocolate, and the "Honeymoon" shaved ice with pineapple, passion fruit, caramel ice cream and condensed milk. (You can check out the full menu here.)

Mahalo's current Yelp rating of 4.5 stars out of 13 reviews indicates positive attention from users.

"Mahalo Bakery seriously has the best cupcakes - all of them are super moist and just melt in your mouth," wrote Yelper Arlene Y., who reviewed the bakery on April 28. "When I tried the ube coconut cupcake it reminded me of a tres leches cake because it was drenched in milk and super moist."

And Yelper Vicky H. agreed, "This was one of the yummiest cupcakes I've ever had! ... The cupcake reminds me of a tres leches with two layers, as the bottom half is a milky but intact cake with a solid top and perfectly sweet complementing frosting. ... For 3 bucks it's a total steal in this cupcake-saturated city."

Janus C. said, "Came here to pick up some cupcakes for some friends to try and everyone was so impressed! Our favorites were the taro coconut and pineapple coconut. Good amount of flavor, not too sugary and frosting perfectly complemented the cake!"

Mahalo New York Bakery is open from 12:30-3:30 p.m. and 4-8 p.m. on Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on Sunday. (It's closed on Monday.)

Buttercup Bake Shop


200 Broadway, Store 1020 (in Fulton Center), Financial District
Photo: Tiffany I./Yelp

Buttercup Bake Shop is a long-running cupcake-focused bakery founded by Jennifer Appel, also co-founder of the famed Magnolia Bakery - the original epicenter of the cupcake craze. The local favorite is now open at a third location in the Financial District.

Buttercup offers 23 varieties of cupcakes, including the Hummingbird, with bananas, pineapple, pecans, and cream cheese frosting; the buko pandan, with vanilla infused coconut frosting; and the apple pie a la mode, consisting of a caramelized apple cinnamon streusel cake topped with vanilla buttercream.

Customers searching for other options will find cheesecakes, coffee cakes, pies, and bars. (You can take a look at the full menu here.)

The newest Buttercup outpost's current rating of three stars out of six reviews on Yelp indicates the shop is finding its way, but it's still early days.

Yelper Monica D., who was one of the first users to visit buttercup bake shop on March 23, wrote, "Great tasting cupcake, very fresh tasting (at 7 p.m.) and moist. Perfect size, but just a bit too much frosting."

"The cupcakes here are as delicious as they are beautiful," Tiffany I. said. "Super fresh and flavorful with buttercream that's perfectly sweet - not cloyingly sweet, which is a common problem with buttercream that's not done right. The Ube cupcake is amazing; it has a unique and light flavor and it's impressive purple color is also a feast for the eyes!"

Buttercup bake shop is open from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. on weekdays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. on Sunday.

Baked by Melissa


206 East 86th St. (between East Ninth St. and Avenue A), Yorkville
Photo: Marianne W./Yelp

Baked by Melissa is a New York-based bakery specializing in its signature bite-sized cupcakes. The location at 206 East 86th St. is its fourteenth in the New York area.

The colorful tie-dye bites come in flavors like rainbow fudge, cotton candy and peanut butter and jelly. At the 86th St. location, boxes and flavor combinations come pre-packaged rather than mix-and-match. Baked by Melissa also sells macarons, and has gluten-free and nut-free options.

Yelp users are generally positive about Baked by Melissa, which currently holds four stars out of six reviews on the site.

"Baked by Melissa is a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Granted, this store looks more like a pop-up vs. a permanent addition," Jaimee A. noted. "The cupcakes are prepackaged; in the other locations you can pick and choose your cupcakes. The quality is consistent and the staff is very friendly. "

Yelper Mike C. wrote, "Like the other locations all over the city ... they have the same great addictive mini cupcakes, here sold in packages of different sizes, from a small pack of 6 to the pretty, Instagram-ready sheets of 25."

Baked by Melissa is open from 8 a.m.-10 p.m. on Monday-Saturday and 9 a.m.-8 p.m. on Sunday.
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