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NYC's Buttercup Bake Shop

Finding the best red velvet cupcake in New York City is officially on my bucket list.

Did you know there are 152 bakeries (thank you, Yelp) with red velvet cupcakes in Manhattan alone? This is a serious conquest! Of the 152, I have been to a grand total of… three. I realized this while planning a cupcake crawl for a recent trip to the city, and unfortunately I made it to only one of supposedly three stops.

Here’s my baby list of red velvet haunts in NYC.

1. Magnolia Bakery

While it has a reputation for being overrated, I can’t cross it off my list. The shop is picture-perfect, fancier than most bakeries, and they color cupcakes in pretty pastels. Of course, this was also the store made famous by Sex and the City at the height of its popularity four years ago (which, rumor has it, started the cupcake craze anyway). Red Velvet at $3 a pop is a little pricier than usual but you get honest-to-goodness cake texture–dense and heavy–not like the silly airy ones that you get at the grocery store.

2. Big Booty Co.

So the name might throw you off but I gotta say, this quirky bake shop in Chelsea has been my favorite so far. Why I love it: the frosting on top is soft and creamy, not the stiff and sugary kind that barely tastes of cream cheese (my ultimate red velvet pet peeve). Plus, the cake is (dangerously) light and moist, which almost always has me reaching for a second one.

3. Buttercup Bake Shop

This quaint little shop on 2nd avenue is the most recent addition to my list and I walked out with a box of chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting, vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting, and two red velvet cupcakes. The verdict: the red velvet was good but not great, a little on the dry side and the frosting was too stiff and sugary for me (see pet peeve above), and not enough cream cheese as I had hoped. However, the vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting was DELICIOUS!

That’s all I’ve got so far. 3 down, 149 to go.

Stay tuned.

– Kris Alcantara

Today's Sugarhigh: Buttercup Bake Shop's Vanilla Cupcake with Chocolate Frosting
Score: High B+