The cupcake craze has peaked, but that doesn't mean a sugar bomb topped with a thick layer of fat-laden frosting doesn't occasionally hit the spot. In anticipation of the New Times' annual Best Of issue premiering in June, Clean Plate Charlie has put together a list of some of the best cupcakes in Broward and Palm Beach counties. Did we miss your favorite sweet treat? Let us know in the comments.
Over-the-top décor -- a mix of hot pinks, lime greens, chocolate browns, and grape purples -- awaits sweets lovers at this shop midway on the avenue. (The owner's a professional designer.) Old-fashioned candy sold by the pound complements the huge cupcakes that come labeled with cute designer monikers - Berry Wang, Limey Pulitzer, Donatella Vanilla. More than 12 flavors are usually available but change daily. Cupcakes are baked in two sizes - regular and minis. Service is friendly, and even during the crowded after-dinner hour, no one seems to mind a wait. Coffee, sodas, and teas as well as gelato also are sold. Note: Gluten-free treats are available as cupcakes or cakes.
The winner of the 2012 New Times Cupcake Battle at the Las Olas Wine and Food Festival, baker Yessenia Fernandez doesn't yet have a storefront, but her enterprise delivers cupcakes throughout Broward County, with business growing quickly based on word-of-mouth. The winning flavor of rum chocolate with coconut-cream frosting is joined by other creations like guava and cream cheese, red velvet, peanut butter and chocolate, cookies and cream, and a white cake topped with lemon cream cheese frosting.
The store stocks six daily standbys -- chocolate cake with vanilla frosting and chocolate sprinkles, red velvet, Boston cream, key lime coconut, cookies and cream, and chocolate cake with chocolate fudge -- that serve as ever-reliable flavors of choice. Or pop in for one of the rotating specialties like strawberries and cream, lemon, orange creamsicle, German chocolate, carrot cake, coconut, chocolate peanut butter, or pistachio. If the salted caramel is up to bat, snap it up -- it's a homerun, to be sure. As lovely to look at as to taste, the bakery took the award for "best decorated" at 2012 New Times Cupcake Battle at the Las Olas Wine and Food Festival.
The bakery has been serving up sweets in west Broward for more than a decade and Sherry Bell took the reigns of the business in 2011 after her uncle (and the bakery's founder) passed away. The store continues to churn out sweet treats like wedding cakes and cheesecakes, but for a petite morsel, try the chocolate, lemon, red velvet with cream cheese frosting, or vanilla cupcakes. Other flavors are available upon request and the store will cater for events in Broward and Palm Beach counties.
This food truck isn't reinventing the cupcake wheel, but they are bringing a bit of gourmet whimsy to their sugar bombs. Some of the combos you might spot on a given day include the sugar/salt marriage of Godiva chocolate with bacon, a tropical marriage of pineapple and coconut, or the dinner-table-ready bacon and pineapple. Other choices may include familiar faves like red velvet, vanilla, carrot cake, and a guava mango cheesecake. Can be found frequently at rallies and smaller food truck events in Broward and Palm Beach counties.
Based out of Miami, but a fixture at food truck rallies in Broward and Palm Beach counties, this roving beacon of sweets peddles in familiar favorites like vanilla butter cake topped with chocolate buttercream frosting and the cocoa cupcake with creamy vanilla buttercream icing. The real standout is the guava, a nod to the region's deep Cuban roots. Topped with a cheese cream crown, this is sweet-as-can-be taste of quintessential South Florida. Keep an eye out for rotating specialties like Nutella and banana and even bacon.