I have a soft spot in my heart for good quality, inexpensive foods. I’m not talking about cheap food that hides external costs to society. I’m talking about something like cupcakes. Something that most shops charge $2.50 to $3.00 for. Sugar Sweet Sunshine, on the Lower East Side, manages to make a delicious cake but charges only $1.50. Crazy, I know. The only other place I’ve been that sells GOOD cupcakes that cheap is Babycakes in Quincy, MA, and even there, only the standard chocolate and vanilla are $1.50
On my most recent visit, I got a chocolate with vanilla frosting, a red velvet, and a lemon cupcake. The lemon was by far my favorite. The cake was moist and the frosting sweet, tangy, and refreshingly lemon-y. Not at all fake tasting. The chocolate cake had a solid chocolate flavor. It was a tiny bit dry this time but the frosting ameliorated that for the most part.
For me, red velvets have to have cream cheese frosting. That’s just how it is in my mind. Sugar Sweet Sunshine’s red velvets are topped with “The Moose,” a satin buttercream. The cake also had little flavor, but I might have taken more kindly to the cake if it were accompanied by cream cheese frosting.
Of all the Sugar Sweet Sunshine cupcakes I’ve tried over the past few years, the red velvet is the only one I have not liked. One of my favorites is the pistachio cupcake, a green-tinted pistachio cake with buttercream frosting. I love the pumpkin as well, but that might have something to do with its cream cheese frosting. And if you like almond flavor, Sugar Sweet Sunshine makes a chocolate almond frosting that goes on its yellow, chocolate, and red velvet cakes.
The store has a homey, quirky coffeehouse vibe, with low lighting and artwork adorning the walls. Located right inside the entrance are a few tables and comfy chairs. If you enjoy waiting on long lines to get your cupcake, by all means, you know where to go. But if you prefer an awesome, inexpensive cupcake and a laid-back, comfortable atmosphere, I highly recommend checking out Sugar Sweet Sunshine.
Sugar Sweet Sunshine
126 Rivington St
New York, NY