Cupcake fans, get your sweet tooth primed if you’re thinking about taking a (vegan) bite out of the Big Apple. New York City consistently ranks as the #1 vegan city in the nation in numerous surveys and its plethora of restaurant and bakery options to choose from might make your head spin. While this concrete jungle is a melting pot of vegan cuisine, it takes the cake when it comes to cupcakes. Here are seven sweet spots—many of which ship nationally—including some popular favorites and little-known finds.

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1. Baked by Melissa
Vegans may not have paid much attention to this local bakery in the past, but there’s good reason to stop by now, as the company recently announced that it has added vegan mini-cupcakes to its lineup. There are six flavors—strawberry, superfood (made with chia spirulina cake and a sweet beet icing), rich chocolate chip, cookie dough, peanut butter, and chocolate vanilla chip—available at its 14 locations throughout Manhattan. The company ships its sweet treats nationally, and plans on releasing a few limited-edition vegan flavors periodically.  


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2. Sprinkles
This national chain has arguably one of the best vegan cupcakes on the market. The red velvet cake is the only vegan choice on Sprinkles’ menu, identified with a red “V” on the top, but it’s seriously so good—the tofu-based cream cheese could rock any vote for best icing—that you must stop by when you’re in the city. Head to its locations at Brookfield Place, Penn Station, or the Upper East Side. 


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3. Georgetown Cupcake
Two sisters spearheaded the creation of this cupcake shop, and although the chain originated in DC, the authors of The Cupcake Diaries and hit TLC series DC Cupcakes eventually branched out, adding a location in New York City. This Soho bakery rotates its cupcake menu daily and offers a few vegan flavors such as carrot and apple cinnamon. Check its website to see which daily flavors are available before visiting, or order directly from its website.


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4. by CHLOE
Celebrated vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli—whose name still brands this wildly popular plant-based eatery (despite the fact that she’s no longer with the company)—first became famous for her delicious cupcakes after becoming the first vegan chef to win the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars baking competition. At by CHLOE, there are always three cupcake flavors on the menu—the Chlostess, the eatery’s take on a Hostess cupcake; red velvet; and chocolate with vanilla frosting—at all eight (soon to be 10) locations in New York (as well as locations in Providence, RI, Los Angeles, Toronto, and London). Check out the affiliated Sweets by Chloe on Bleecker Street for even more sweet options.   


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5. Molly’s Cupcakes
Molly might keep it basic when it comes to her vegan cupcake offerings, but we promise you won’t be disappointed—especially when the cupcakes are as drool-worthy as these (word to the wise: get extra for a midnight snack). You’ll find classic chocolate and vanilla flavors with either chocolate or vanilla icing, and the company is currently working to expand its vegan options. The quaint shop is outfitted with tables made from retro school desks, vintage ceiling tiles, and a long countertop with old swings for extra seating. For the true sugar addict, take a swing and then order 12 more to go.


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6. Little Cupcake Bakeshop
If this darling of a cupcake shop doesn’t lure you in with its aesthetically pleasing charm at all three of its locations, its daily selection of vegan cupcakes no doubt will. Little Cupcake features five daily cupcake (and cake) selections which include red velvet, strawberry, carrot, chocolate, and cookies and cream. As you bite into its creations, feel good knowing that you’re also supporting a business that places people and planet first with its sustainable, green practices, such as using locally sourced ingredients and energy efficient equipment and tools. 


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7. Erin McKenna’s Bakery
When you want vegan (and nut-free and safe-for-celiacs) treats, you know that Erin McKenna has your back. This vegan baking whiz and cookbook author has been giving New York City its sugar buzz since 2005. Her bakery, formerly known as Babycakes, has been around longer than most, and it’s worth a visit when you’re hankering for a cupcake. Every day, you’ll find vanilla, chocolate, carrot, and brownie flavors on the menu along with rotating and seasonal specials (this season, it’s the apple pie cupcake with cinnamon frosting and apple pie filling on top). Luckily, you can also order Erin’s treats to be shipped directly to your door.   

Karen Asp is the author of Anti-Aging Hacks, and award-winning journalist, as well as a fitness pro certified in plant-based nutrition, world record-holding athlete (in Nordic walking), and a vegan mentor with PETA.

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