The Seattle Met staff is, to say the least, a cupcake crowd. We know from Trophies and Royales. But after gathering three flavors from seven bakers (chocolate, vanilla, and baker’s choice) for a blind taste test, we found many more little frosted friends worth swooning over. The real winners, it seems, are local cupcake lovers: There wasn’t a bad one in the bunch.

Page by page, find vanilla, chocolate, and baker’s choice winners and runners-up.

Cupcake Trials in our Shopping Guide

Bakeries Tested: Cupcake Royale, Kimberella Cupcakes, Look Cupcakes, New York Cupcakes, Sugar Rush, Trophy Cupcake and Party, Wink Cupcakes.

 

Vanilla

Winner

Vanilla Vanilla
Trophy Cupcake and Party

The Goods Vanilla flavored butter cake, vanilla buttercream frosting.
Icing to Cake Ratio: 1:3
Sugar Per Cupcake 9 tsp per 4.1 oz serving
Why We Love It One taster summed it up smartly: “the sweet, distinct vanilla tastes like it came from nature, not a chemistry lab.”
Sweet Success SecretRestraint. Trophy Co-owner Jennifer Shea says holding back on confectioner’s sugar leads to creamier buttercream. 

 

Runner-Up

Vanilla Swirl
Sugar Rush Baking Company

The Goods White cake, vanilla buttercream frosting.
Icing to Cake Ratio: 1:2
Sugar Per Cupcake 1 tsp per 2.9 oz serving
Why We Love It The “thick, dense” buttermilk won rave reviews for this mini cupcake.
Sweet Success Secret Quality control. Madagascar Bourbon vanilla—”the purest,” per Sugar Rush general manager Jilyan Perry—flavors this frosting.

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Cupcake Trials in our Shopping Guide

Chocolate

Winner

The Cheatin' With Chocolate, chocolate cake topped with chocolate buttercream frosting, will only be available on the Eastside after today.

Cheatin’ with Chocolate
New York Cupcakes

The Goods Chocolate cake, chocolate buttercream frosting topped with chocolate curls.
Icing to Cake Ratio: 1:3
Sugar Per Cupcake 2 tsp per 4 oz serving
Why We Love It “Silky, not-too-sweet” frosting and moist cake with “few crumbles” put Cheatin’ with Chocolate in the lead.
Sweet Success Secret Silence. Owner Lisa Waxman Johnson says she’d tell us what makes her choco cake so deadly decadent, but then she’d have to kill us.

 

Runner-Up

Chocolate Swirl
Sugar Rush Baking Company

The Goods Chocolate cake, chocolate buttercream frosting.
Icing to Cake Ratio: 1:2
Sugar Per Cupcake 2 tsp per 2.9 oz serving
Why We Love It Tasters noted the “fragrant decadence” of the cake.
Sweet Success Secret Fearlessness. In the era of eating light, Perry doesn’t shy away from adding high-fat Pernigotti cocoa to her mix.

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Cupcake Trials in our Shopping Guide

Baker’s Choice

Winner

Coconuts
Sugar Rush Baking Company

The Goods White cake with coconut, cream cheese frosting topped with coconut flakes.
Icing to Cake Ratio: 1:2
Sugar Per Cupcake 1 tsp per 2.5 oz serving
Why We Love It “Just enough coconut intensity” paired with “satisfying” cream cheese icing pushes this little guy over the edge.
Sweet Success Secret Neighborliness. Sugar Rush sources its sweet stuff from nearby White Satin Sugar Mill in Georgetown.

 

Runner-Up

Red Velvet
Trophy Cupcake and Party

The Goods Southern buttermilk cake with cocoa, cream cheese frosting.
Icing to Cake Ratio: 1:3
Sugar Per Cupcake 10 tsp per 4.7 oz serving
Why We Love It Trophy’s red velvet is way more “complex” than its cupcake colleagues, and received high points for freshness.
Sweet Success Secret Depth. Valhrona dark cocoa flavors this nuanced red velvet; Shea calls the chocolate “simply the best.”