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Cupcake Crack! (aka, the BEST CUPCAKES IN NEW YORK CITY!! Seriously.)

  • Apr 3, 2009
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To say I "like" cupcakes would be an understatement of enormous proportion.  I don't like them.  I LOVE them.  I'm obsessed with them.  I want to marry them and have cupcake babies ... okay.  Well.  Maybe not that.  But everything short of it.

As a certified cupcake aficionado, I've felt that is is my duty to taste test every cupcake on the island of Manhattan (as well as LA, Chicago and San Francisco, but that's another review).  Along the way I've tried Crumbs, Cupcake Cafe, Buttercup Bakery, Burger & Cupcakes, and Magnolia Bakery of Sex & the City fame (of course).

None of them come close to Sugar Sweet Sunshine, an adorable little nugget of a cafe on Rivington, in the middle of the Lower East Side.  The space itself - a homey, charming, pink walled cocoon - is as warm and sweet and yummy as the actual cupcakes, which is saying something, because they are Cupcake Crack.  (Um, that's a good thing.)

So what makes these cupcakes the Best in the Land?  As I see it, there are two essential components of a world class cupcake: the cake part, and the frosting part.  First, let's address the cake part: specifically, what can go wrong?  The cake can be dry.  It can be tasteless.  It can be hard.  It can be not sugary enough (aka "bread-like").  Listen, if I wanted bread, I would eat a roll.  I want moist sugar!  Sugar Sweet Sunshine's cupcakes are all moist sugar.  Moist, moist, moist sugar.

Okay, now let's address the frosting portion.  Personally, I am not a fan of the frosting that tastes more like whipped cream (Cupcake Cafe, I'm talking to you).  Frosting should taste like frosting, damnit, and Sugar Sweet Sunshine doesn't disappoint in this arena, either.  It is perfect.  In fact, if they sold Frosting Shots, I would most likely turn into a frosting drunk.  It's probably a good thing they don't.

Overall, if you're one of those people who sometimes insists that "the dessert is too sweet" (it's dessert!  IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE SWEET) these are not the cupcakes for you.  But if you have a serious, unmitigated sweet tooth, these cupcakes are pure happy fairy dust.

BTW, I highly recommend the red velvet.  They will change your life.

They're open Monday-Thursday, 8am-10pm, Friday 8am-11pm, Saturday 10am-11pm and Sunday 10am-7pm, and they won't yell at you if you sit for hours drinking coffee and snarfing 'cakes.  I know because I've done it.

Also?  If you're a guy and you've screwed up massively, I highly recommend sending your girl half a dozen Sugar Sweet Sunshine cupcakes, with a little "Forgive Me" note (yes, they deliver).  Much, much more creative than flowers.  Plus, you can capitalize on the benevolence of her sugar high.  Score.
Sugar Sweet Sunshine Cupcakes! My Birthday Cupcakes from Sugar Sweet Sunshine

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April 09, 2009
I LOVE CUPCAKES, TOO!!!  Sugar Sweet Sunshine's cuppies sound delicious!

Have you ever had Cups and Cakes in San Francisco?  Best cupcakes I've ever had and I'll have to write a review about them soon.  Their red velvets are to die for.  The cake is moist and not too sweet, and the cream cheese frosting is very cream cheesy.  Just perfect.  It's too bad that they don't have a store front though, and only deliver.  Do you have any recommendations for SF cupcake places, Miss Certified Cupcake Afficionado?

I totally agree with your last piece of advice, by the way ;)
April 03, 2009
Have you ever tried the chocolate cupcake at Whole Foods? It is to die for! Real dark chocolate... Also one of few I can have since it has no dairy ingredients.
April 03, 2009
Great review... love it. My mouth is watering. Hitting it next time in NYC for sure. One question: I personally think that most of the "high end" cupcakeries i've tried (Magnolia and Sprinkles here in LA) have the cake to frosting ratio leaning too heavily toward the frosting... how does SSS stack up there? I'd love to get @LingEatsCake's take too as by her member name suggests, she seems to have some mad credentials in this space.
April 03, 2009
I think SSS does it right as far as frosting proportion. They don't slather it on like suntan lotion, so it's a pretty reasonable amount. Then again, I'm a bit bias, as I think a little extra frosting never hurt anyone. Now I'm tempted to do some serious damage to Love at First Bite.
April 03, 2009
The reason I like SSS so much is because their cake is fluffy instead of dense, and their frosting is more buttery as opposed to stiff'n'sugary (like at Magnolia). Another cupcake place you'd love is Chicago's Sweet Mandy B's (which I personally prefer, mostly out of nostalgia).
About the reviewer
Julia Allison ()
Ranked #297
Hi. I'm Julia. I am, as I say in my bio, personally & professionally, a handful. Also? Rambunctious, indefatigable, sometimes a little over enthusiastic. But I mean well.I've been a columnist at Time … more
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Sugar Sweet Sunshine
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  • Desserts & Bakeries
  • 126 Rivington StNew York 10002
  • (Btwn Essex & Norfolk St)
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  • Phone: (212) 995-1960
  • Fax:(212) 995-1962
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