Living in New Jersey, I have access to all of the great cupcakeries in NYC, but choosing which one to visit on a day trip is a rather daunting prospect. I'm rather curious about Crumbs, especially as I hear they have a s'mores cupcake, but don't want to make the wrong decision. What to do?
Buttercream Daydreamer in Belmar
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Dear Buttercream Daydreamer,
When I think New York, I think bright lights, big city, and huge cupcake presence. When I lived in New York as a college student, there were two main choices: Magnolia Bakery in Greenwich Village (largely credited with kick-starting the cupcake trend) and the Cupcake Cafe in Hell's Kitchen (which has since relocated down the street; I preferred the old location). At that time, I have to confess that while I liked both, my affections leaned slightly toward Cupcake Cafe, which offered up cupcakes with extremely buttery and not extremely sweet frosting. They were a bit more of an acquired taste, but I probably could have eaten my weight in them.
These days, it seems like there are more and more amazing cupcake bakeries every time I have gone back. While I don't feel as if I am qualified to weigh in on the best, I am going to suggest that you check out this very throrough roundup of "The Best Cupcakes in New York City" on Serious Eats.
To cross-reference this post, I went ahead and did some research on some of the ones that offer s'mores flavors. From the "12 best bakeries list", I have put an asterisk next to the shops which offer a s'mores cupcake flavor specifically listed on their menu (however, be sure to call for availability).
Finally, my thoughts on Crumbs. I have been there a few times. My experience: the first time I visited I had a cupcake that was a fairly dry affair which had initially turned me off toward them, but after several positive reviews, I gave them another try. To my delight, on several succeeding visits I have had perfectly delightful cupcakes there which didn't suffer from dry cake disorder and were, on the contrary, quite moist and flavorful. Flavors I have tried: Vanilla/vanilla, Baba Booey, Artie Lange (favorite!), and Half Baked.
So while I don't have a single answer to the "what cupcake should I try" question, I hope I've left you feeling better equipped to tackle this delicious day trip.