A truly great cupcake is many things. It is soft but not dry, sweet but not overpowering, and above all, it is oh-so-satisfying. Houston bakeries know how to make a great cupcake, but with so many options to choose from, it can be tough to know where to start. Whether you're celebrating a birthday, eating your sorrows, or just have a hankering for something sweet, you can't go wrong with cupcakes from these five Houston-based bakeries.
Located in Rice Village just off of University Boulevard, Celebrity Cupcakes is a small shop that elevates traditional cupcake flavors while offering some distinct combos of their own. In addition to tamer picks like vanilla bean and German chocolate, the shop offers bolder tastes, such as Chardonnay grapefruit lavender and lemon raspberry. Whatever you choose, you can expect the frosting to be light and fluffy, and the cake so moist and crumbly, it falls apart in your hands.
Cupcakes are available in regular size, as well as minis, and you can order ahead online or drop by the store. The menu changes both with the day of the week and the season, guaranteeing there will always be something new to try when you visit.
Pro-tip: Parking can be a challenge in the area, but dedicated spaces are available.
Sinfull Bakery specializes in vegan baked goods made with organic ingredients, as well as gluten-free options. While many Houstonians know them for their pies and gooey cinnamon rolls, the bakery offers several cupcake and frosting flavors so tasty that you can't even tell they're vegan.
The bakery doesn't have a brick-and-mortar storefront, but you can find its goods at a host of coffee shops and restaurants throughout the city — including Urban Eats, Inversion Coffee House and Agora — as well as the Urban Harvest Farmers Markets at City Hall and at Eastside.
Pro-tip: If you want to bring some alternative eats to a family gathering, the bakery also offers a variety of vegan sides and desserts during the holidays that are perfect for sharing.
Oooh La La Dessert Boutique has a wide selection of cupcakes in both jumbo and mini sizes with a menu that changes every day. Flavors range from classics like chocolate chip to fun combos like piña colada and salted caramel apple.
Chocolate lovers, in particular, will drool over the Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake. The cupcake is a chocolate explosion — complete with chocolate chunks folded right into the batter, a rich chocolate ganache filling and chocolate buttercream on top. It's enough to satisfy even the sweetest of sweet tooths and is one of the most popular items in the shop, according to owner Vanessa O'Donnell.
Oooh La La has several locations on the west side of the city, including in Katy and near CityCentre.
Named after the owner's fiery, red-headed grandmother nicknamed "Red," this small shop knows that sometimes you need to pair that red velvet cupcake with a nice pinot noir. The menu features a range of baked goods and small bites for all times of day — including gluten-friendly and vegan options — as well as a selection of local craft beer, wine and coffee.
Pro tip: Swing by happy hour from 4-7 p.m. Monday through Friday for discounted prices on drinks. Just be sure not to park in the Ruggles Green parking lot, or you might get towed.
If you prefer your cupcakes with thick, gooey frosting, CRAVE offers a mind-boggling selection to pick from. The daily rotating schedule features nearly two dozen options that include both year-round classics and seasonal favorites. During the wintertime, you can enjoy holiday-themed flavors like gingerbread, eggnog, and maple bourbon pecan. And early fall options include all things pumpkin, as well as desserts with cranberry and orange zest. You can even customize your cupcakes with hand-crafted toppers to make the occasion extra-special, including options for baby showers, birthdays, Valentine's Day, or your favorite local sports team.
In addition to cupcakes, the bakery also offers other interesting takes on beloved baked goods, like a bacon cheddar scone, veggie and goat cheese croissants, and insanely good sausage kolaches made with gruyere.
CRAVE has several Houston-area locations, including shops in Uptown, Upper Kirby and the Woodlands. You can also order items ahead online and pick them up in store or have them delivered anywhere in the United States.