Today is National Cupcake Day! And while some haters would have you believe the cupcake trend is so over, at least three new shops have opened in the East Valley in the past year.
To help you celebrate, I’ve compiled my list of the top cupcake stores in the East Valley. Don’t worry if you can’t make it to one of them today – any day is a good day for a cupcake.
1030 S. Gilbert Road, Gilbert
Rachel Saunders was trained at the Le Cordon Bleu London and worked as pastry chef for acclaimed Valley chef Vincent Guerithault. Earlier this year she and her husband opened TopIt at Gilbert Town Square, where her creations include pancake with maple frosting and bacon, triple chocolate and salted caramel. There are vegan options on Tuesdays, and gluten-free on Thursdays. Cupcakes are $3 apiece and $33 for a dozen.
Mind over Batter
1805 E. Elliot Road, Suite 106, Tempe
Ashley Kaiser’s 9-month-old shop in a south Tempe strip mall is decorated with more shades of pink than a pre-teen girl’s bedroom, but the 20-24 flavors offered daily will delight cupcake lovers of all ages. Flavors include hot fudge sundae, M&M and cotton candy. Cupcakes are $2.99 apiece, $16.99 for a half-dozen and $31.99 for a dozen. The store also sells cake pops – lollipops made of cake – for $2.29 apiece.
The Coffee Shop
3000 E. Ray Road, Gilbert
Sisters Jessica Cuff and Jenna Flowers rode their inventive cupcakes – including watermelon, horchata and root beer float – to Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars,” where their Coffee & Cigarettes cupcake was featured. Judge one for yourself at the Gilbert café/hangout next to Joe’s Farm Grill at Agritopia. Flowers also offers a Cruelty Free vegan line. Cupcakes are $2.75-$3.25 apiece; get 25 cents off each if you buy a dozen.
2270 E. Williams Field Road, Gilbert
This sleek-looking shop from fifth-generation Gilbert resident Cathy Monoscalco fits right in with neighbors Coach, Buckle and Aeropostale at SanTan Village. Monoscalco’s sister, Christy Vega-Gluch, is the artist behind the 18 cupcake varieties offered every day, which can include Orange Blossom, All About Chocolate or Snickerdoodle. Cupcakes are $3.75 apiece or $33 for a dozen.
Sweet Daddy Cupcakes
1055 S. Arizona Ave., Chandler
Kory Davidson and Jason Podany, who also have competed on “Cupcake Wars,” opened a spinoff of their Glendale shop in south Chandler in July. The offerings include Orange Creamsicle, kids’ favorite Doodah and Cory’s Fox 10 Fantasy, the last one conceived by local TV morning man Cory McCloskey. Cupcakes are $3.25 apiece, $12 for a four-pack, $19 for a half-dozen or $35 for a dozen.
Designer Cakes by April
2743 S. Market St., Gilbert
April Goff ran her business out of her home for four years before moving to a commercial space in Gilbert and eventually, just over a year ago, to a shop on the south end of San Tan Village Marketplace. Fourteen flavors are stocked daily, including salted caramel, chocolate Nutella and Oreo. Cupcakes are $2.75 (without box) or $3.50 (with box) apiece, $6 for two, $10 for four, $14.75 for six and $29 for a dozen.
Honey Moon Sweets
606 W. Southern Ave., Tempe
Tim and Joan O’Connor met at the Culinary Institute of America in New York and opened their Tempe bakery in 1996 (it moved to its present location four years ago). The dessert case tends to offer basic flavors like chocolate and red velvet, but the sky’s the limit when it comes to special orders, like a recent request for Gatorade cupcakes. Cupcakes are $3 (unfilled), $3.50 (filled) or $4 (holiday filled) apiece.
Queen Creek Olive Mill
25062 S. Meridian Road, Queen Creek
Mexican lime is the top seller at del Piero, the Mediterranean-themed bistro at Arizona’s only working olive farm and mill. All the cupcakes are made with owner Perry Rea’s family recipe from his infused or co-pressed olive oils; other flavors include Meyer lemon, blood orange, vanilla bean and double chocolate. Cupcakes are $1.99 apiece or $6.99 for a four-pack ($2.29 or $7.99 for double chocolate).
40 S. San Marcos Place, Chandler
Steve Schliening and Julie Mayberry make the cupcakes at this downtown Chandler shop, which offers an ever-changing variety of creations every day, combinations of cakes ranging from marble to pink champagne and fillings from German chocolate to caramel toffee. Cupcakes are $2.50 apiece or $30 for a dozen.
(P.S. – What’s the most popular flavor in the East Valley? Based on my survey of these nine stores plus several others, red velvet is the runaway winner, proclaimed the best seller at all but one.)
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