A message from Monica: Welcome to the first column of many that will explore my love of this beautiful, culinary city. I’ll be sharing my favorite New York drinking and eating experiences with a focus on fun and great deals! There are plenty of places to learn about the latest $100 plus prix-fixe menus, but only here will you find the key to great times at a great price.
It’s the small things in life that often provide the greatest joy, and when it comes to happiness, desserts are my best friends.
Nothing makes me smile more than a cupcake. In light of the troubles at Crumbs Bakery last week, I decided to share my favorite spots where you can satisfy your cupcake craving.
Sprinkles (780 Lexington Ave. & 200 Vesey St.): The best thing to do at Sprinkles is order a frosting shot with your cupcake for $1.50. You’ll get a generous helping of frosting in a cup with or without sprinkles. I recommend the peanut butter chocolate and salty caramel cupcakes. For $3.75 you’ll be in cupcake heaven. Follow them on Twitter to find out the “secret word” on certain days to get a free cupcake.
Molly’s Bakery (228 Bleecker St.): At Molly’s you can choose your cake and frosting flavors and get a cupcake designed just for you for $2.25. Center filled cupcakes are $3.75 and include flavors crème brulee and blueberry cheesecake. These are cupcakes for adults bursting with fillings. And if you’re not perfectly content, go to their “sprinkle station” and dress up your treat as you see fit.
Cupcake Café (545 9th Ave.): These cupcakes are almost too pretty to eat. The butter cream frostings are sculpted into beautiful colorful flowers like works of art. The small is $3 and the large $6. They need to be refrigerated but it is best to let them sit out for an hour so the frosting is perfectly soft. My favorite is the mocha frosting.
Magnolia Bakery (4 NYC locations): I love the plain chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting ($3.25). It is my favorite “like mom used to make” cupcake in the city. Even if you aren't a banana fan, try the banana pudding ($3.50-$6.50). I have converted many people with this dessert. It’s amazing – trust me.
Monica DiNatale is a deals expert, food host and author of "365 Guide New York City," a treasure trove of restaurant deals and bar specials in New York. Monica has hosted segments for The New York Chocolate Show and Craft Beer Week Festivals. She dines out 8 days a week in search of the best deals in The Big Apple. "365 Guide New York City" is available in paperback and ebook.