Boston’s Best Cupcakes

Filed in Featured, Food & Dining, Headline by on May 12, 2009 1 Comment

boston_sweet_cupcakesThere’s something delightfully nostalgic about cupcakes. Sure, it’s essentially the same thing as a slab of cake topped with icing, but cupcakes hold the unique power to transport us back to those classroom birthday parties with individual cupcakes and gooey chocolate icing. Nowadays, upscale bakeries are giving the childhood favorite a grown-up twist with flavors like mint julep and red velvet.

The Boston Globe recently wrote about 8 places to get your cupcake fix. Here are five of my favorites:

1. Sweet: Stepping inside Sweet’s Back Bay location feels like stepping into Barbie’s retro beauty parlor. The pale pink wallpaper and the classic movies showing on the flat screen TV create a fun, vintage vibe. The cupcakes here are excellent, providing just the right balance between cake and icing. Vegan cupcakes are available on Mondays. Other flavors include organic karat, cappuccino, and red velvet. Also pick up a “pupcake” for your furry friends. I have not been to Sweet’s new location in Harvard Square, but I’m eager to try it.

2. Sugar: I’ve had Sugar’s cupcakes at events before, but this week marked my first pilgrimage to Sugar’s West Roxbury location. It’s a cozy, sunny space, and the rich buttercream icing is generously layered on each cupcake, almost overshadowing the cake portion. Flavors include chocolate covered strawberry, almond joy, keylime, and orange blossom.

3. Party Favors: This Brookline bakery and party store began selling cupcakes long before it became a trend. Their cupcakes come in several different sizes ranging from tea to regular to jumbo (the standard-sized cupcakes also have a squirt of frosting inside). Topped off with colorful swirls of icing, Party Favors’ cupcakes come in a rotating assortment of flavors.

4. Lulu’s: Nestled in the North End amidst canolis  and gelato stands,  Lulu’s has a quaint, retro vibe similar to Sweet (except Sweet has more modern touches, while Lulu’s feels authentically old school). Choose from delectable flavors like red velvet or chocolate with peanut buttercream frosting. All of their goodies come packaged in an wrapped in a vintage-looking pastry box.

5. Kick*ss Cupcakes: This Somerville sweet shop prides itself on fresh, natural ingredients and its creative approach to cupcakes. On the last Monday of each month, Kick*ss Cupcakes hosts a cocktail cupcake happy hour, which free tastings of mini cupcakes inspired by cocktails. They also offer cupcake towers and Cupcakes-A-Go-Go (basically a cupcake parfait). Flavors include the Green Monster (limited edition), the ginger peach bellini, and strawberry shortcake.

Now, about Johnny Cupcakes… Do not be fooled by the name or the bakery décor or the droves of people waiting to get in. This Newbury Street store does not actually sell cupcakes – or any baked goods for that matter, though they occasionally give out cupcakes with each purchase. It’s actually a hipster t-shirt shop, so don’t go in expecting chocolate cake. Still, it’s a fun, off-beat store, that might be worth a trip, too. Just be sure to stop at Sweet for a cupcake afterwards.

What cupcake spot should I try next? Where do you get your cupcake fix?

Flickr photo of Sweet courtesy of Rachel from Cupcakes Take the Cake

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About the Author ()

A contributing writer/blogger for, Susan Johnston lives and writes near Fenway Park. She loves exploring the city and has also contributed to The Boston Globe,, and many other places.

Comments (1)

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  1. Linda O Malley says:


    Well Disappointing now, I loved their cupcakes Debbie did an event for me. I went in yesterday looking for her and was told she no longer worked there. The Cupcakes are not hers to say the least (my daughter could have done a better job) Well Unless anyone knows where she went they lost my business

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