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Even though some critics claim the cupcake trend has already peaked, we’d argue that having a large number of cupcake shops and specialty bakeries pop up over the past couple years was hardly the worst thing that could happen. In fact, with the abundance of places to satisfy your mini-cake cravings, determining which ones are worth your time might just be more important than ever. That’s why we’ve rounded up 12 of the best places in the country for you to seek out the next time you find yourself in need of a cupcake.

Broward-Palm Beach

House of Sweets

Two pretty, perky girls as cute as ’50s pinups, Michelle Parparian and Amanda Watkins, have transformed a 1920s Florida cottage into a vintage clothing store with a cupcakery in the tiny rear kitchen — a kitchen known to turn out a thousand cupcakes at a pop for local events. But they’re…More >>

Chocolate with chocolate at House of Sweets.

Dallas

Tart Pastry Boutique

Each cupcake is a sugared jewel that’s so beautiful it’s almost a shame to take a bite. Until you do. And then you quickly have no problem gobbling down the rest. Try the vanilla stuffed cupcake with Key lime filling for $3.25 each (or a non-stuffed cupcake for $2.50). The 9-inch red velvet cake…More >>

Houston

CRAVE Cupcakes

Elizabeth Harrison and Peter Cooper may have gone Hollywood — the couple moved to L.A. to make films — but when it came time to open a bakery, they did it back home in H-Town. More >>

Los Angeles

Cake Monkey

Let others eat cupcakes. Lisa Olin and pastry chef Elizabeth Belkind of dessert-scene newcomer Cake Monkey are making scrumptious minicakes instead. These are multilayered, substantial, moist cake and creamy frosting-laden delights, big as a chubby toddler’s thigh, in flavors like…More >>

Cake Monkey’s creations aren’t just cupcakes, they’re mini-cakes.

Miami

Misha’s Cupcakes

Admittedly, Miami is a bit behind the cupcake craze that swept New York and Los Angeles, oh, six or seven years ago. The market was ripe for a clever cupcake entrepreneur to step forward and put the city on the miniature dessert map. That person was Misha Kuryla-Gomez, purveyor of Misha’s Cupcakes. More >>

Nashville

Cuppycakes Bakery & Confections

Is it the portion? The portability? The entrepreneurial entry point for women? Whatever the case, as with pet rocks in 1975, the Rubik’s cube in 1980 and the Cheetah Girls, like, yesterday, the time is now for the cupcake, which has moved like Michael Corleone on the layer cake and the sheet…More >>

New York

Out of the Kitchen!

We’re the wrong people to ask about cupcakes. Generally, we hate ’em. Spun off like snot from the dripping nose of Sex and the City, the fad started at Magnolia Bakery, which a friend of ours calls “Mongolia Bakery.” There, in multiple convection ovens and near-slavery conditions, oppressed…More >>

Orange County

French’s Cupcake Bakery

Dreaming of a chocolatey wonder wrapped around a whole, tart raspberry and topped with sinfully rich…More >>

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A Carrot Cake Cupcake from French’s Cupcake Bakery

Phoenix

Bertha’s Café

In a sea of trendy cupcake shops, Bertha’s Café rises modestly to the top. This casual and unassuming spot serves breakfast, lunch, and a variety of pastries, but the true-blue reason to go to Bertha’s is to sample the adorable mini red velvet cupcakes. At 75 cents apiece, they’re highly…More >>

San Francisco

Kara’s Cupcakes

Cupcakes have gotten all grown-up on us in the 21st century. Kara’s Cupcakes, which sources all of its ingredients (most of which are organic) locally, are quite beautiful, elegant, and affordable at $3 each. More >>

Seattle

Yellow Leaf Cupcake

I have to admit, I consumed my first Yellow Leaf Cupcake top-down, driving home from the Belltown shop that co-owners Michael Hein and Tony Portugal opened in May. And yes, even after the frosting was gone, the denuded cake was still worth eating: moist, flavorful, no mere platform for a rich…More >>

St. Louis

SweetArt

Cupcakes are good for you. OK, well, maybe not as good as a plateful of kale, but SweetArt uses no mixes, no trans fats and no high-fructose corn syrup, so you’ve got that going for you. And make no mistake: SweetArt’s ‘cakes taste every bit as sinful as their less-wholesome counterparts…More >>

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