Cupcakes are joining the trend of all things retro and gaining popularity as a serious dessert. Personal-sized packages of yummy goodness – what’s not to like about a cupcake? Because our family is opinionated about almost everything and most certainly food, we decided to conduct a cupcake experiment to find out who had the best cupcakes in Atlanta. It was going to be a tough mission, but we were up to the challenge.
We bought every cupcake ourselves in order to give an unbiased, honest review uninfluenced by free food. This is not a comprehensive list; we did not try every cupcake available for sale in metro Atlanta, so I’m sure that we left out some great cupcakes. Please give us grace on that point; we could only eat so many cupcakes before we got sick.
Our rating system:
1 cupcake = not very good
2 cupcakes = just okay
3 cupcakes = pretty good
4 cupcakes = very good
5 cupcakes = excellent
Funkidivagirl – Funkidivagirl looks at the dessert menu before ordering her entrée and only goes to birthday parties for the cake. Her favorite desserts involve lemon or lime.
The Keyinfluencer – The Keyinfluencer prefers cookies over cake, but he is crazy for chocolate. Brownies, cake, cupcakes – he doesn’t discriminate when chocolate is involved.
Captain Cuisine – A recognized food critic, this kid loves food. While he wasn’t much of a fan of sweets as a young child, he has since grown to appreciate well-made desserts.
Girly – From toddler age, Girly has rarely met a dessert that she didn’t like. She can smell sugar a mile away. To say that she has a sweet-tooth is underrated—she has a mouth full of sweet teeth!
While Belly is not a bakery, they do sell several baked goods and are especially known for their cupcakes. At $2.50 each Belly’s cupcakes are huge and easily shared with a friend, making them a good deal. Sadly however, as a group we were not that impressed with Belly’s cupcakes; Captain Cuisine said, “Publix is better.” The Red Velvet cupcake was especially dry and tasteless to all of us; we rated this 1 cupcake. The Vanilla Cupcake was a little better, but most of us thought that the icing was too sweet; all of us gave it 2 cupcakes. The Chocolate Chocolate cupcake was the best; as The Keyinfluencer said, “the frosting had a good taste, but the cake wasn’t moist enough.” He gave it a respectable 3.5 cupcakes, Funkidivagirl and Captain Cuisine rated it 2 cupcakes, while Girly liked it the most at 4 cupcakes.
THE ATLANTA CUPCAKE FACTORY
We have had cupcakes from The Atlanta Cupcake Factory before at parties, but this was our first time walking in off the street. The cupcakes are $2.50 each and a good size, not too big or too small. The menu changes daily, so we were only able to sample what was available. As The Keyinfluencer made this cupcake run alone, he went a little crazy and got 4 different cupcakes for us to try: Raspberry Sugar Cookie, Salted Carmel Sugar Cookie, Cinnamon Oatmeal and Chocolate Chocolate. Funkidivagirl was disappointed that lemon or key lime was not available for tasting.
The tasting didn’t start off too good. None of us liked the Raspberry Sugar Cookie; Girly, The Keyinfluencer and Funkidivagirl all rated it 1 cupcake, while Captain Cuisine gave it 2 cupcakes.
The Salted Carmel Sugar Cookie cupcake didn’t go over too well either; it was rated 1 cupcake with Girly and Funkidivagirl, while The Keyinfluencer gave it 2 cupcakes. Captain Cuisine liked it and gave it 4 cupcakes, although he said that it was “a little dry.”
He also really liked the Cinnamon Oatmeal cupcake and thought it was worth 4 1/2 cupcakes. The Keyinfluencer thought “that it tasted like a great oatmeal cookie” and gave it 3 cupcakes like Funkidivagirl, who doesn’t like oatmeal cookies, but nevertheless thought it was a good cupcake.
The winner for everyone at The Atlanta Cupcake Factory was the Chocolate Chocolate cupcake; three of us rated it 4 cupcakes and thought it was “yummy, amazing and fudgy” and “almost like Watershed’s cake”, while Girly gave it a “shining 5 cupcakes” and said, “I found my heaven cupcake!”
Although we had 2 cupcakes that we didn’t like, over-all we all agreed that The Atlanta Cupcake Factory is a solid place to purchase cupcakes because of the homemade taste. We will return to buy the Chocolate Chocolate cupcake and try the other flavors that we missed.
CHOCOLATE PINK CAFÉ
We have been to Chocolate Pink Café a few times and enjoy the lounge/coffeehouse atmosphere as well as the desserts. We have had several different kinds of desserts there such as the Key Lime Pie, but this time we specifically concentrated on the cupcakes.
Funkidivagirl’s favorite cupcake was the Pink Lemonade; she liked the “burst” of lemon filing and said that “it tastes like a lemon bar” (her favorite dessert). She gave it a solid 5 cupcakes and Girly agreed. Although neither is a big fan of lemon, both Captain Cuisine and The Keyinfluencer also liked this cupcake; both gave it 4 cupcakes.
We also tried the Red Velvet cupcake because the Café’s staff said it was an Atlanta favorite. Funkidivagirl and Captain Cuisine agreed that the cupcake had a delicious, true red velvet flavor and that the icing was tasty and light; they both rated it 4 cupcakes. The Keyinfluencer thought that it was good enough to rate 3 cupcakes, while Girly thought the icing was too creamy for her; she gave it only 2 cupcakes.
It is worth noting that The Keyinfluencer’s mother really likes the Coconut cupcake, although none of us have tried it (we do not like coconut).
The cupcakes are very small for the expensive price of $3 each, so this is not the most economical place to buy a cupcake, but they are good and the cozy atmosphere makes for a nice over-all cupcake experience.
PIECE OF CAKE
Funkidivagirl was excited to try the cupcakes at Piece of Cake because this is one of her very favorite places to buy a cake; she loves the Orange Cake! The cupcakes are $2.25 for the small size (which is still a respectable size) and $2.75 for the large ones. We got 3 different flavors of the small cupcakes: Red Velvet, Lemon and Strawberry.
Unfortunately the Red Velvet cupcake was slightly disappointing; while the icing was very good, the cake tasted below our expectations; it was a little dry. Two of us gave it a solid 3 cupcakes, Captain Cuisine added ½ a cupcake for a rating of 3 ½ and Girly liked it the best at 4 cupcakes.
More disappointing to Funkidivagirl was the Lemon cupcake; “Where’s the flavor?,” she asked. While it wasn’t a bad tasting cupcake, the lemon taste was barley perceptible. Most of us gave it a rating of 2 cupcakes, while Captain Cuisine really like the icing and rated it 3 cupcakes.
Piece of Cake redeemed itself with the Strawberry cupcake, which was delicious. Both the icing and cake were very fresh tasting; we could tell that real strawberries were used. Funkidivagirl and The Keyinfluencer rated it 4 cupcakes while Girly gave this “awesome, good and creamy” cupcake a shining 5 cupcakes. Captain Cuisine is not a fan of strawberry cupcakes, but even he loved the icing; he gave it 3 cupcakes.
Piece of Cake is still one of our favorite places to buy a cake, but we weren’t too impressed with the cupcakes. The consensus says that If we were in the area and wanted a cupcake, we would stop, but we wouldn’t make a special trip.
THE LITTLE CAKE BAKERY
Although up against steep competition by Piece of Cake down the street, Little Cake looked promising. The cupcakes were a decent size for the $2.50 price and the flavors were interesting. We decided to try Strawberry and S’Mores, a popular weekend special.
The Strawberry cupcake elicited the same response from all of us: yuck! “Not good at all,” “gross,” and “tastes like baking soda” were some of the detailed responses. It was the direct opposite of Piece of Cake’s Strawberry cupcake. We all gave it 1 cupcake.
The S’Mores cupcake was somewhat better. The taste of the chocolate cake was decent, but the graham cracker bottom was soggy. It didn’t taste like S’Mores at all; there should have been toasted marshmallows on top. Funkidivagirl and The Keyinfluencer both gave it 2 cupcakes, Captain Cuisine liked it enough to give 3 cupcakes and Girly thought it was good enough to score 4 cupcakes (she really liked the bit of Hersey’s bar used as garnish).
We were not impressed with The Little Cake Bakery and won’t be going back, especially with Piece of Cake right down the street.
We already knew that Matty Cakes has a great Red Velvet cake; we have ordered it many times for Christmas and birthdays. But we were curious to see if the cupcake was just as tasty. First of all, the $3 cupcakes are HUGE at Matty Cakes and must be shared; that is just too much cupcake for one person!
Upon tasting we were not disappointed; their Red Velvet cupcake was just as good as their cake. In other words, it was delicious! The icing was fluffy and light, yet intense with flavor, while the cake was moist with a distinctly Red Velvet taste. Everyone gave it an enthusiastic 5 cupcakes and agreed that it beat all other Red Velvet cupcakes that we tasted, hands down.
Next we tried the Pumpkin cupcake. The icing was light–like whipped cream–and delicious; a dusting of cinnamon gave it extra flavor. The cake was dense and spicy; it tasted just like pumpkin bread. We love pumpkin bread, but we wanted a cupcake. This was pumpkin bread in the shape of a cupcake. Girly didn’t mind this last point and gave it a score of 5 cupcakes, but Funkidivagirl and Captain Cuisine gave it 4 cupcakes; it was delicious, but lost a point due to it’s lack of cupcakiness. (The Keyinfluencer was unable to taste this cupcake.)
Matty Cakes’ cupcakes are good and consistent with the quality of their cakes.
CamiCakes is the newest cupcake emporium in Atlanta and like The Atlanta Cupcake Factory and Little Cake, they only make cupcakes. The cupcakes are a nice size for one person, not too big or too small, and priced right at $2.50. Over the course of two visits we tried several flavors of CamiCakes: Red Velvet, Classic Chocolate on Chocolate, CinnaSwirl, Lemon Drop and Sweet Potato.
Red Velvet was our biggest disappointment from CamiCakes; it wasn’t bad, but it just didn’t taste like Red Velvet. We all agreed that it deserved 3 cupcakes—pretty good, but not great.
The Keyinfluencer was excited to try the Classic Chocolate on Chocolate. He said, “I am a chocolate cake fanatic, but this fell short for me.” He gave it 3 cupcakes, along with Funkidivagirl. Captain Cuisine liked it a bit more, giving 3 1/2 cupcakes as a rating, while Girly thought it was “very moist, very good; I’ll give it 4 cupcakes.”
CinnaSwirl tasted just like a cinnamon roll and was pronounced “very good” by everyone. It garnered 5 cupcakes from Captain Cuisine and 4 cupcakes from the rest of the family.
Lemon Drop was a big hit with Funkidivagirl, who is very discriminating about her lemon desserts. It’s a rating of 5 cupcakes from her all the way! The entire cake tasted like a lemon pound cake—yummy!–and the icing was a favorite of everyone, even The Keyinfluencer who doesn’t like lemon or icing. Both he and Girly gave it 4 cupcakes. Captain Cuisine, while not a fan of lemon cupcakes, liked the icing so much that he rated it 4 1/2 cupcakes
Sweet Potato was our favorite cupcake. Girly gave it the lowest rating of 4 cupcakes because “I don’t like sweet potatoes, but I like this,” while everyone else gave it an outstanding 5 cupcakes. We were all amazed by the real sweet potato taste in the cake and loved the cinnamon icing; it was very fluffy and light. The Keyinfluencer said, “This might be the best cupcake that I’ve ever had.”
Captain Cuisine said that CamiCakes cupcakes are “multi-dimensional in flavor.” As a bonus, the cupcakes are not only delicious, but also beautiful to look at; each cupcake is perfectly frosted and creatively embellished.
Best Chocolate Cupcake: The Atlanta Cupcake Factory
Best Lemon Cupcake: Chocolate Pink Café & CamiCakes
Best Red Velvet Cupcake: Matty Cakes
Best “Special Flavor” Cupcake: Sweet Potato at CamiCakes
Best Place to Hang Out While Eating a Cupcake: Chocolate Pink Café
and the winner for the Best Over-All Place to Buy Cupcakes In Atlanta is
We hope that our cupcake review has provided insight for your quest to find the best cupcake in Atlanta. But we’re not done, oh no! We won’t rest until we tried every cupcake in Atlanta…America…the WORLD!
Funkidivagirl & Captain Cuisine had a chance to try the Key Lime cupcake at The Atlanta Cupcake Factory recently and both loved the moist texture and perfect Key Lime taste. Funkidivagirl (who loves key lime, and therefore very critical) gave it an enthusiastic 5 cupcakes and Captain Cuisine was in complete agreement. Girly also tried it a few weeks later and gave it a “shining 5 cupcakes.” Another trip had us trying both the Lemon and Strawberry cupcakes. Everyone was in agreement that both cupcakes were great and deserved 4 1/2 and 4 cupcakes respectively.
Funkidivagirl was able to try the Red Velvet cupcake at CamiCakes again as a special birthday treat and it was really yummy this time; she gives it 4 1/2 cupcakes! There was also a new cupcake there, Orange Cream, that is going to give Piece of Cake’s famous orange cake a run for it’s money. Ooooh….it is so good! It is sweet, so you gotta like sugar, but that wasn’t a problem for Funkidivagirl, Captain Cuisine and Girly who all gave it 5 cupcakes.
Matty Cakes closed November 2010.
Chocolate Pink Cafe closed December 2010.
Belly closed in 2014.