The Five Best Places for Cupcakes in St. Louis

Selecting Riverfront Times' Best of St. Louis 2011 was no picnic. Choosing the winner meant several worthy candidates would go unmentioned -- until now. In this Gut Check series, we are chewing our way through notable runners up in a number of categories. To see hundreds more winners and finalists and download the Riverfront Times Best of St. Louis mobile app, visit our Best of St. Louis homepage.

cupcake050812.jpeg
Kholood Eid
Are trendy cupcakes now a cliché? Yes. Are cupcakes, trendy or not, delicious? Yes. Does the second fact trump the first? Absolutely.

Page through to see the four finalists and our pick for "Best Cupcakes" in St. Louis.

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Ettie Berneking
Cupcakes on display at Jilly's Cupcake Bar
Jilly's Cupcake Bar (8509 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-993-5455)

One of the first cupcake-centric spots in St. Louis, Jilly's Cupcake Bar has gained national attention thanks to its victorious appearance on the popular Food Network show Cupcake Wars. The cupcakes here aren't decorated so much as crafted, a cityscape of spangled buttercream towers like something out of a child's storybook. The "Chocolate Thunder," for example tops chocolate cake, itself stuffed with dark chocolate ganache, with milk chocolate buttercream, vanilla buttercream, chocolate shavings and chocolate bark. Look for the unusual seasonal specialties, like the "Chicken and Waffles," which, yes, does have a piece of chicken atop it.

Sarah's Cake Shop and Catering Co. (10 Clarkson Wilson Centre, Chesterfield; 636-728-1140)

This west county bakery turns out an impressive roster of classic cupcakes: vanilla cream, chocolate, red velvet carrot. There are also rotating daily specials, like the "Samoa," a riff on the popular Girl Scout cookie, a caramel cake topped with vanilla buttercream, chocolate, coconut shavings and a drizzle of caramel sauce. A sprinkle of sea salt turns an ordinary caramel-topped cupacke into the decadent, delicious "Salted Caramel." Nowhere near Sarah's Cake Shop? Look for Sarah's Cake Stop, the bakery's food truck.

Location Info

Jilly's Cupcake Bar

8509 Delmar Blvd., Ladue, MO

Category: Restaurant

Sarah's Cake Shop and Catering Co.

10 Clarkson Wilson Centre, Chesterfield, MO

Category: Restaurant

SweetArt

2203 S. 39th St., St. Louis, MO

Category: General

Whipt Cream - CLOSED - CLOSED

Edison Ave. & Chesterfield Business Parkway, Chesterfield, MO

Category: Restaurant

The Cup-Central West End

28 S. Maryland Plaza, St. Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
28 comments
Erin
Erin

Ugh. I've been done with Jilly's since we went there for brunch shortly after their big Food Network win. We'd made reservations way before the FN show aired, and expected it to be crowded and busy, but we found mass chaos, and a restaurant staff acting like brunch patrons were the biggest inconvenience ever. Jilly herself (or whatever her real name is) was spectacularly rude to everyone, and complained loudly about how crazy things were. Yeah, I worked in the food service industry, and I know it does suck when huge throngs of people show up and you're feeling understaffed. But you know what? You treat your customers like crap because all this new publicity is just too much for you to handle, and you won't have that problem for long. No thanks. I'll leave the overpriced, dried up and overly sweet cupcakes with a side of snark for someone else. Next time I want cupcakes for a special occasion, I'll go to The Cup. You're welcome, Jilly.

NoFattiesPlz
NoFattiesPlz

Cupcakes all suck because they make women fat.

guest
guest

More of the hard hitting reporting we've come to expect  form the RFT blog.

Peanut Butter Lover
Peanut Butter Lover

The Cup's Graceland is the best I've ever tasted!  Sold in January in honor of Elvis' birthday.  Banana Cake and Peanut Butter Icing!  January, where art thou?

Cupcake Queen
Cupcake Queen

Is Whipt Cream still in business?  I work right by it and it appears vacant or closed now.

MC
MC

"look no farther"I think you mean "further"

Mike N.
Mike N.

Cupcakes!?!  Make it stop!!

RyanAlan
RyanAlan

Try the cupcakes at Epic Pizza & Subs in Soulard. Made by the owner's wife who is "not a bake" according to her. My favorites so far are the PB&J with peanut butter infused into the cake, the coconut one and the Margarita w/ tequila infused into the cake. Flavors rotate depending on what she makes that day

Jcthelilly
Jcthelilly

I don't understand the attraction or this phenomenon.  Who is buying and eating all these cupcakes to keep this concept thriving???

Baristaberry
Baristaberry

You missed Icing Cafe on Telegraph. The cupcakes are phenomenal and they are always coming up with awesome flavor combinations - PB&J, Maple Bacon, Almond Wedding Cake, Pecan Pie, Root Beer Float . . . . Many of the tasty cakes are also filled, like the Salted Caramel, which is filled with their house-made caramel. IMO, they have the best buttercream in St. Louis. I live and work in North/NW County but regularly make the drive down to Oakville to get my fix. Their stuff is THAT good.

And no, I am not being paid for my endorsement . . . I just want them to be successful so I don't have to live in a world without that buttercream. :)

Smith
Smith

Would love to know which of these bakeries strikes the best sugar balance. I find most commercial cakes to be too sweet, even better-quality, homemade-type cakes.

Baristaberry
Baristaberry

 Not true . . . I eat dessert AND work out every day, so I am happy AND in great shape. You're just bitter because you're fat.

Slim
Slim

This is Gut Check, the food blog.  Dicknose.

Baristaberry
Baristaberry

 Really? They posted new cupcake photos on FB a couple days ago.

Smith
Smith

Same question here. Does no one bake at home any longer?

Almost any cake recipe that usually goes into a large pan can be made into cupcakes. Check reliable sources for creative cake & topping ideas. Halve the recipes if you must get it down to a workable amount for your life (or share them with others), but do it yourself for a change.

Callmeinfrench
Callmeinfrench

I really, really love Icing Cafe too--but I have to agree, a lot of their cupcakes taste like grocery store cupcakes. And as far as their original flavors go...look no further than either Jilly's or the Cup's menus, because any time these two shops introduce a new cupcake, you can be sure that Icing Cafe will rip it off and sell their own version of it (i.e. the Cup's "maple bacon" and Jilly's "irish car bomb"), which I think is really disappointing. When they stick to their own creative flavors (for example, their Cookie Dough cupcake) I think they do amazing work. I just wish they would do their own thing more often instead of waiting for the "bigger guys" to come up with the new flavor combos.

Chefofpastry05
Chefofpastry05

Disgusting and way over priced for their fake cupcakes. When I cut my cupcake in half my icing shouldn't fall off the cake. But what do you expect for fake buttercream and bag mix cake? Here is a hint...REAL buttercream melts in your mouth, unlike their buttercream that leaves a horrible oil film in your mouth.

Jason
Jason

I hate "too sugary" frosting and I love The Cup because it is not so sweet. Icing Cafe is way too sweet for my taste. And I have never had a dry or crumbly cupcake at The Cup, which I have found at most other places.

Baristaberry
Baristaberry

 To be fair, I'd say the Cup ripped off the Maple Bacon-style cupcakes at TSarah's Cake Stop - they were making that flavor MONTHS before the Cup finally got on board. I do enjoy the Cup as well as Icing. There's plenty of room for all kinds of cupcakes in STL. The more the merrier.

Baristaberry
Baristaberry

Obviously buttercream is a very individual thing, and we clearly have different tastes, but there's no need to be nasty about it. Also, what is a "fake" cupcake? Do you have some kind of deep-seated anger issues with this bakery?

Darkstar
Darkstar

 Shortening And Crisco are both vegetable shortenings and Trans-Fats. Trans fats create plague in your arteries. Many places have and are trying to ban trans fats. So should the icing really be called Shortening/Buttercream? Read up on trans-fats and you might decide to stop eating products that include them as an ingredient, or not.

guest
guest

As a former employee at The Cup (I have the extra 20 pounds to prove it), I can guarantee that there is no shortening in that buttercream. Margarine and butter, yes, but no whipped crisco there!

Baristaberry
Baristaberry

Sorry, I just realized you were a different commenter from the angrier Chefofpastry05. My reference to venom was also misplaced. ;)

Baristaberry
Baristaberry

If it tastes good, I don't care if it's made from real dairy butter or styrofoam peanuts. I respect your right to be a cupcake purist, but I think your venom is a little misplaced. I think McRibs are gross, but I'm not going to hate on people who enjoy them, and I don't think McDonald's is destroying the moral fabric of the universe by marketing them as meat (as opposed to "fake meat"). CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG??

Darkstar
Darkstar

Fake buttercream is what almost every bakery in St. Louis is making. It is made primarily with vegetable shortening (Crisco) and maybe some butter or butter flavoring. And almost every bakery in St. Louis is using cake mixes. Most Customers don't ask about ingredients, they assume bakeries are baking from scratch, which is wrong. There are only a handful that are baking the old fashioned way.Unless The Cup has changed their methods, when asked about their icing it contained vegetable shortening and this type of icing does not melt at body temp. Butter does. That is why it leaves a coating of grease in your mouth.

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