The cutest cupcake shops in NYC

These five adorable cupcake shops are as sweet as they come

Personal-sized perfection is what cupcakes are all about. Baked up fluffy and light, frosted with flair, and often filled with ooey gooey goodness, cupcakes make folks smile, and who could blame them? Whether you're two or 102, the thrill of cupcakes never goes away. Thankfully, NYC is cupcake heaven, with plenty of shops to stop for your favorite bakery treat. And these five adorable cupcake shops are as sweet as they come.

Molly's Cupcakes

Via pinterest.com

Named one of the 10 Best Cupcake Bakeries in the Country by USA Today, and winner of Food Network's Cupcake Wars, Molly's Cupcakes evidently serves up some of the most delicious cupcakes around. The NYC location (there are others in Chicago and Iowa City) is baking up batch after batch of cupcake creativity, filled with flavor and fun. Some noteworthy cupcake confections include their Cookies-N-Cream, which is chocolate cake, cookies-n-cream filling, vanilla buttercream, and cookie topping; the Samoa, a vanilla cake, caramel filling, buttercream, toasted coconut, chocolate and caramel drizzle, and shortbread cookie cupcake creation; and "The Ron Bennington," made with chocolate cake, peanut butter filling, chocolate ganache, and crushed butterscotch topping. Vegan options are available, as are cookies, bars, pies, cheesecake, eclairs, cake pops, and brownies. A portion of Molly's Cupcakes proceeds goes towards donations to local schools, making every purchase even sweeter.

228 Bleeker Street, New York, NY

Sprinkles Cupcakes

Via foodgal.com

With three booming locations in NYC, Sprinkles Cupcakes is sprinkling its sweetness all over the Big Apple. Their outrageous cupcakes are made in regular and mini sizes, satisfying a major sweet tooth or just to hold you over 'till suppertime. Flavors like chocolate marshmallow, lemon coconut, red velvet, peanut butter chip, Cuban coffee, cinnamon sugar, and vanilla milk chocolate are craved by cupcake-lovers, and since some flavors are offered as gluten-free, sugar-free, or vegan, nearly anyone can enjoy the Sprinkles experience. They even make "pupcakes" a treat for Fido with a yogurt frosting. Ice cream and cookies are served up too, and their Cupcake ATM on Lexington Ave. "dispenses freshly-baked cupcakes and cookies 24/7." Talk about instant gratification!

225 Liberty Street, New York, NY

2 Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, NY

780 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY

Georgetown Cupcake

Via sassandthecityblog.com

Owned by sisters who have a flair for frosting, Georgetown Cupcake is a NYC hot spot… or better yet, sweet spot, for those who love cupcakes that are as pretty as they are pleasing to the palate. Along with the NYC location, there are five other Georgetown Cupcake shops across the U.S., so if you're not in Manhattan, indulge in L.A., Atlanta, Boston, D.C., or Bethesda, MD. Go for their Vanilla Birthday, a Madagascar vanilla cupcake with vanilla buttercream frosting and sprinkles; the red velvet with a vanilla cream cheese frosting and a red fondant heart; or Sunshine on Chocolate, bright yellow vanilla frosting on top of a Valrhona chocolate cupcake topped with a seasonal decoration. And that's only a taste of what Georgetown Cupcake is baking. Daily specials keep customers on their toes with limited offerings of carrot, salted caramel, mocha fudge, chocolate coconut, and lemon blossom cupcakes, to name a few. Vegans and those who follow a gluten-free diet are in luck with flavors like apple cinnamon and strawberry lava fudge. Attention to detail with exceptional decorating turns these edibles into works of art. But these are a case of "now you see 'em, now you don't" as they disappear into the eager mouths of Georgetown cupcake fans.

111 Mercer Street, New York, NY

Baked by Melissa

Via theseventhdistrict.com

With 14 locations throughout the city, Baked by Melissa is giving New Yorkers a bite (literally) of pure bliss. Their bite-sized desserts are pop-in-your-mouth magic, made with creative culinary care. Each tiny treat is topped with just the right amount of sweet frosting, making each cute cupcake perfectly balanced. But who could eat just one? Flavors include cookie dough, triple chocolate fudge, cannoli, mint cookie, sugar cookie, peanut butter and jelly, and a whole lot more. Along with Baked by Melissa's signature cupcakes, they also whip up mini cookies and macarons, with options for gluten-free and nut-free baked goods. For a special gift, Baked by Melissa creates beautiful boxes, samplers, and subscriptions for that friend who is crazy for cupcakes.

Click for locations

Magnolia Bakery

Via eatamadworld.wordpress.com

There are six Magnolia Bakery locations throughout the city, one in L.A. and another in Chicago, allowing lots of cupcake aficionados in on their delectable freshly baked goods. Known for their super-moist cakes and generosity with frosting application, Magnolia's cupcakes are beloved by customers who are always eager to return time and time again. German chocolate, red velvet, carrot, caramel, devil's food, truffle, and pistachio are all favorites, proving that simplicity is indeed, scrumptious. Crowds come for the cupcakes, but don't pass on Magnolia's morning muffins and scones, layer cakes, cheesecakes, pies, cookies, brownies, and their "Famous Banana Pudding." Since 1996, Magnolia has been a NYC gem, and with the bakery's ongoing popularity, expect to see a Magnolia near you for years to come.

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Oh, what goodness you'll gobble. NYC must stand for New York Cupcakes!

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Celebrate Endangered Species Day.

An endangered species is not a tragedy, because if a species is endangered, then they aren't yet extinct.

Sadly, there are millions of endangered species across the world, all facing threats that mostly stem from human activities. Still, it's not too late. Take a gander at these majestic animals, and then donate to a wildlife fund or environmental activism group of your choice.


Of course, nature doesn't need saving—humans do—and climate change and environmental destruction are threats to humans as well as animals, but if you need a reminder of the beauty and fragility of the natural world, check out these extraordinary species.



SPONSORED

Do Non-Melatonin Sleep Aids Really Work?

Objective makes a chocolate square.

I Can't Sleep.

I truly cannot remember the last time I had a good night's rest. Even before the stay-at-home orders, I was just a little ball of nerves.

But lately, it's been awful. I toss and turn, it's always too hot or even too cold, sometimes I make myself tea and read for a bit, but when I'm still up at 1 a.m., I reach for my phone and then I'm up until 3. My sister and I have a weekly call, and our small talk about our exhaustion turned into an hour long conversation about sleep.

I Thought I'd Tried Everything. Even Melatonin.

My sister asked why I hadn't gone for the old staple, melatonin and I reminded her about the time we traveled abroad, and it gave me the weirdest nightmares (the horrible kind where you wake up in your dream and you're still in a dream). Chamomile tea didn't work, nothing worked.

She said she had a friend who swore by something I definitely hadn't heard of.

They Were NOT Pills, Teas or Anything I'd Seen Before.

A company called Objective makes Fast Asleep, a sleep solution delivered as chocolatey treats. They're created with saffron and GABA. If going to sleep was as easy as eating a piece of these chocolatey, minty delights every night, I'd be sold.

What Exactly Was In It?

Cocoa contains caffeine, so I didn't know how this would help me sleep. After talking with my sister, I went online and saw that the calming, sleep-supporting ingredients cancel out any of the very little caffeine content.

Saffron, the spice, is apparently known to help with staying asleep, and their GABA is a fermented version of the neurotransmitter that's known to help you relax and fall asleep faster. In a study, 100% of customers saw improvement in their sleep quality thanks to saffron. One hundred percent!

Do I Try It?

A bag of 30 pieces was only $40, and they had a money-back guarantee.

They're keto-friendly and only 30 calories a piece, so not too decadent before bedtime.

They were chocolatey-minty, which is my favorite flavor, so I was sold. I ordered a bag to try.

The First Night, I Wasn't Impressed.

I took one piece (super yummy!) - 30-60 minutes before bedtime is recommended - but when I climbed in, I didn't notice a difference. I was worried I'd wasted my money.

However, once I fell asleep, I stayed asleep until my alarm went off, which hasn't always been the case for me.

I checked the site again, and noticed that many people didn't notice a real difference until the third or fourth night - it builds up in your system over time, so I decided to keep an open mind the rest of the week.

The Second Night Was Completely Different

Without doing anything differently from the first night, my second night was amazing. I felt calm and sleepy as I was getting ready for bed, and once I hit the pillow, I was out the whole night.

It had to be these sweet treats. The next day, I even felt more balanced and relaxed - Fast Asleep helps boost serotonin levels and reduce cortisol (the stress hormone), and I definitely noticed a difference in my overall mood and alertness.

I Already Ordered More.

Just In Case! There's nothing habit-forming about this product, so it's completely safe to take every night, and I honestly always want to keep it in the house. I'd also love to offer it to anyone staying over in the guest room, whenever we have guests again.

Now that I'm getting a healthy 8 hours of sleep every night, I feel more equipped during the day to tackle the things I need to do and deal with some of my daytime stressors. I finally had the energy to clean the kitchen, which had been bothering me so much for the past few weeks.

With Objective's Fast Asleep, I get real sleep and balance my levels, so I don't have to feel tired during my waking hours. Sleep in the form of chocolate squares sounds so weird, but oh my goodness, do they work.

Our partners at Objective Wellness are currently offering a 25% discount if you use the coupon code STAYHOME. Check them out here!

Food & Drink

The Best Apps for Craft Beer Delivery

Try beers from all over the world–from your phone.

With breweries and distilleries out of business for the foreseeable future, your favorite beer may feel particularly out of reach this time of year, especially with the weather changing. But don't let quarantine suck all the fun out of summer. Luckily, thanks to technology, a lot of craft beer is now deliverable straight to your door step. Here are a few of the best apps to help make sure you stay up to date on the latest trendy brews.

Tavour

Tavour

Simplistic and elegant, Tavour allows users to easily fill up a box of beer over a period of time before shipping. The app offers more than 650 different breweries both local and national and is perfect for those who like to experiment. It's easy to use, and their menu rotates regularly so you and your beer never grow stale.

TapRM

TapRM

TapRM offers a wide range of both craft beers and hard seltzers. While based almost exclusively in New York City, the app offers fast, same day delivery from some of the best beer brands in the world. They also provide a unique selection of beers to help you find your new favorite. All you need to do is download the app and place your order!

Drizly

Offering a stark variety of craft beer, Drizly allows its users to mix and match 12-packs, sixers or by the bottle. Their guarantee is that they can have whatever you order delivered to your house in less than an hour. You can even schedule your delivery for a specific time, with each delivery taking around 20-40 minutes.

Saucey

Saucey takes delivery very seriously. When you order with them they guarantee that they'll deliver in 30-minutes or less, or they guarantee two day shipping. Also, beer aside, their entire liquor cabinet is also up for grabs. From tequila and whiksey, to vodka and wine, nothing is off the table for Saucey.

Beer Menus

BeerMenus

For those who enjoy strictly local beers, BeerMenus features a tap list from local bars and a broader stock list from your neighborhood beer store. With that, you can make sure to create a list of your favorite beers in your neighborhood, so that when they're in stock you can be ready to go.