Sugar Sweet Sunshine is a bakery located in the Lower East Side at 126 Rivington Street. Opening in 2003, the bakery has garnered a lot of attention for their cupcakes. But cupcakes aren’t the only dessert they sell. Sugar Sweet Sunshine sells a variety of sweets including layered cakes, cheesecakes, cookies, brownies and trifles. Since discovering Sugar Sweet Sunshine over the summer, I have visited at least 5 times. Eventually, I will have sampled all of their cupcake offerings, but for now, I have tried three and will gladly make the travel just to have those three again.
First up is the cupcake that is named after the bakery- The Sunshine. This cupcake is a yellow cake that is frosted with vanilla buttercream. The Sunshine has a yellow colored frosting that gives a cheery and sunny appearance. There is a perfect cake to frosting ratio in which the frosting is just enough to finish the cake underneath. This cupcake was good, but nothing too remarkable. It tasted a bit like a homemade cupcake, which sometimes, I find, to be the best kind of cupcake because it doesn’t taste like it has been mass-produced in a factory somewhere.
Their Sexy Red Velvet cupcake is perhaps their best seller, despite it not being the cupcake named after the bakery. But what makes this cupcake so spectacular? The frosting. Most red velvet cupcakes are made with a cream cheese frosting, but not this one. Sugar Sweet Sunshine’s Sexy Red Velvet cupcake is made with “The Moose” frosting. “The Moose” is a satin buttercream frosting and is their own creation. The satin buttercream frosting is a lot smoother than the typical cream cheese frosting and almost melts in your mouth when you bite into the cupcake. The frosting is extremely light and fluffy. I really loved the frosting the most because it’s a departure from the typical cream cheese frosting for red velvets.
Another highlight is their Pumpkin cupcake. This cupcake is created by using a pumpkin cake base with cream cheese icing. The cream cheese icing can be a bit heavy if you eat more than one, but if you are craving something with a pumpkin flavor, this is the one for you. The pumpkin cake base is different from their other cupcake bases. This one has more of a loaf or muffin texture to it, making it a bit stiffer than the other cupcake bases. But it’s exactly this different texture that makes it stand out from the other cupcakes.
These cupcakes might be the best cupcake I’ve ever had. In my opinion, it beats the city’s famous Magnolia’s and Baked by Melissa’s by a long shot. Before I stumbled upon this bakery on my quest to find the Meatball Shop (review to come soon) I was a firm follower of Baked by Melissa’s cupcakes. After my first visit, I swore I would never find another bakery this good when it comes to cupcakes. Even in the price category, Sugar Sweet Sunshine wins by far. Magnolia’s sells their cupcakes at $3.50 each while Baked by Melissa’s sells their minis for $1 each or 3 for $3. Sugar Sweet Sunshine, at $1.75 each, is a super cheap buy!
I would give Sugar Sweet Sunshine a 4/5 only because they would benefit from some more seating. There were only two tables for two and one couch with a coffee table in front of it. I’ve only eaten my cupcake there once because of the lack of space. I wouldn’t suggest coming here for coffee or a long chat. Take your cupcakes to go and explore what else the Lower East Side has to offer!