Cupcakes squeeze volumes of sweetness into a tiny package, much like slipping the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man into skinny jeans. Savor appropriately adorned desserts with today's Groupon: for $16, you get one dozen cupcakes at The Cupcake Shoppe (a $33 value).
Sugary scents waft throughout The Cupcake Shoppe's cozy interior as bakers pipe colorful icing atop scrumptious mini cakes baked before 4 a.m. each morning. The flour-fluffing crew populates the menu with 14 flavor varieties, tweaked from generations of recipes from owner Sara Coleman's family. Children, adults, and low-flying blimps can peer into the open kitchen as bakers whip whole ingredients into teeny treats, such as the Simply Cinnamon and the Pretty in Pink, infused with a dulcet puree of fresh strawberries. The Big Red pays homage to Southern tradition and local college teams with decadent red velvet, and the You Mocha Me Crazy charges taste buds and tap shoes with rich chocolate and accents of finely ground espresso.
Pale pink hues ice The Cupcake Shoppe's interior, which welcomes guests with glossy countertops, free samples, and a vintage 1915 cash register. Stroll by the shop until 11 p.m. on weekends to placate a protesting sweet tooth, savoring late-night morsels while lounging on outdoor seating. Nibbles are extra satisfying for patrons who know that The Cupcake Shoppe is as sweet on the inside as it is on the spatula, partnering with Inter-Faith Food Shuttle to whisk leftover desserts to local shelters and orphanages.
104 Glenwood Ave.
Raleigh, North Carolina 27603