Having a great cupcake in L.A. is like a trek to the Hollywood sign or setting foot on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: it’s a right of passage. Here, we’ve narrowed down the plentiful list of contenders to our picks for the five best cupcakes in Los Angeles. Aren’t we being sweet for trying to help?
1 Vanilla Bake Shop - Most Innovative Selection
In life, there are those that like what's tried and true, and there are those that like a taste of adventure. Those who opt to live beyond the realm of chocolate, vanilla and red velvet are going to love the delights awaiting them at Vanilla Bake Shop thanks to its constantly rotating menu out-of-the-box flavors. Its cinnamon vanilla cake—cinnamon roll vanilla cake and cream cheese frosting—is a melt-in-your-mouth delight, while the chocolate raspberry—dark chocolate cake, dark chocolate ganache, raspberry center and fresh raspberry—is pure decadence. Other flavors you might find on the menu include fleur de sel, banana chocolate chip, key lime, and strawberries & cream.
512 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, California 90401 (310) 458-6644
2 Sprinkles - The Gold Standard
There are nine-count 'em-NINE Sprinkles Cupcakes locations in Southern California, but we chose to highlight its Beverly Hills location. One, it's in our 'hood. Two, they have a cupcake ATM. Three, why WOULDN'T we give a special mention to LA's most storied zip code? These perfect little cakes are baked fresh on site every day, are handcrafted from the finest ingredients and contain no preservatives, trans fat, or artificial flavors. Plus, there's truly something for everyone here. There's fan favorites like the black and white, carrot and peanut butter chocolate, and then you've got the amazing red velvet—which comes in sugar-free, vegan, and gluten-free as well. Plus, Sprinkles even carries something for your pup in the form of its doggie cupcakes. Sharing one of life's pleasures with man's (or woman's) best friend? We'd say that's pretty sweet indeed.
9635 S Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210 (310) 274-8765
3 Georgetown Cupcake - Best Vegan and Gluten-Free Options
Poor vegans typically have one option whenever they go, but not so in LA—and not so at Georgetown Cupcakes. Here you'll find at least two options—vegan apple cinnamon and vegan carrot—among offerings like bubblegum pink chocolate, chocolate mint fudge and toffee crunch. There's also many options for the gluten-free set here in the form of the decadent strawberry lava fudge, salted caramel and chocolate birthday cake, among others at this bakery from sisters Katherine Kallinis Berman and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne's of the hit series DC Cupcakes on TLC, and best-selling authors of The Cupcake Diaries and Sweet Celebrations.
143 S Robertson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048 (310) 271-2171
4 Duff's Cakemix - Best Confetti Cake
Ace of Cakes star Duff Goldman is known for the over-the-top and decadent creates he makes at Charm City Cakes, but, oddly enough, it's his most simple treat that brings us the most pleasure. We're huge fans of his traditional confetti cake, a delicious vanilla cupcake with rainbow sprinkles baked inside, frosted with light and fluffy vanilla frosting, and topped with a mini decorative sprinkled covered sugar cookie. Yum.
8302 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069 (323) 650-5555
5 ConfeXion Cupcakes - Best Newcomer
Pasadena's ConfeXion Cupcakes is a winner. That's a fact, as well as a matter of opinion—they ARE the winners of the Food Network's popular Cupcake Wars competition series. So what makes them so sweet? ConfeXion sets itself apart for its bold, unique flavors and artful designs. Here you'll find items like the Evil Twin—a jalapeno carrot cake, with sharp cheddar frosting (which was the winning cake of Cupcake Wars), Chocolate Bacon Caramel—a Valrhona chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, caramel drizzle, crispy bacon and fleur de sel, the Thanksgiving-esque Pilgrim's Feast—a sweet corn cake on a caramelized onion crust with cranberry goat cheese frosting and caramelized Ritz crackers—and the Patch 'o Pumpkin—a pumpkin spice cake on a gingersnap-pecan crust, filled with pumpkin mousse, frosted with mascarpone-vanilla cream and then adorned with a phyllo "haystack" and candy pumpkin. ConfeXion also serves up booze-filled cakes in honor of holidays like St. Patrick's Day and specialized items like the Churro Cake for Cinco de Mayo. The only thing to watch out for here: it's so difficult to make a choice!
11 W Dayton St, Pasadena, CA 91105 (626) 486-9977