With a motto like, "If cupcakes are wrong, we don't wanna be right," Cups and Cakes Bakery (451 9th St., 415-437-2877) taps into the central figure in its success: temptation. With out-of-this-world specialties such as Irish coffee, banana split, pumpkin perfection, and mudslide changing daily, it's hard to resist just one more confection from the SoMA bakery; classics like red velvet, vanilla, and chocolate are also always available. Looking for gluten-free or egg- and dairy-free choices? They've got you covered, too.
Likely responsible for the mini cupcake trend in San Francisco, Mission Minis (3168 22nd St., 415-817-1540) does one thing and does it well. Baked fresh daily in San Francisco, these petite treats, available in 10 flavors from cinnamon horchata to blueberries and cream to meyer lemon creme, are the perfect afternoon pick-me-up at only $1 a pop. Have an event to be catered? Mission Minis can deliver up to 5,000 cupcakes for your SF bash with custom frosting and lettering. There's even an adorable cupcake cart you can rent!
With five locations around the bay area, Kara's Cupcakes (3249 Scott St., 415-563-2253, more locations) has become a staple in San Francisco since Kara Lind first founded her cupcake catering business. Offering both mini and regular size cupcakes, Kara's offers 11 consistently delicious classic flavors, such as carrot, vanilla, and s'mores, including one seasonal specialty (currently pumpkin), as well as filled cupcakes with passion fruit, fleur de sel, and raspberry cream centers, among others.
While Susie Cakes (2109 Chestnut St., 415-474-2253) serves up a number of classic desserts, such as specialty layer cakes, sweetie pies, and puddings, the bakery's signature, frosting-filled cupcakes are heaven-sent. Seasonal and custom flavors are available, but it's hard to imagine wanting anything more than the daily selections: vanilla with pastel vanilla frosting, chocolate chocolate, fluffy coconut, luscious lemon, strawberry, mocha, peanut butter, red velvet, and chocolate mint. If you're hosting a party, Susie Cakes also offers bite-sized cupcakes topped with any butter-cream frosting.
Located in the heart of Cow Hollow, a visit to That Takes the Take (2271 Union St., 415-567-8050) is the perfect complement to a day of shopping. From Blonde Bombshell to Gentlemen Prefer Reds to Hella Nutella to Alfred Hitchocolate, the bakery's menu of flavors is as fun as it is delicious. That Takes the Cake bakes daily using the freshest of ingredients, and here's a hint: day-old cupcakes are discounted, if you're penny-pinching!