The Best Cupcakes in Cape Town

Close your eyes; open your mouth. We've selected the best (looking) party this side of heaven

What IS the difference between a muffin and a cupcake? Muffins are an often more fibrous bread food; cupcakes are a dessert. Plus, cupcakes dress better, it must be said. Also known as a fairy cake, diet cheat or the alternative to the cigarette break, cupcakes are pieces of heaven in your hands. Or rather, your mouth. We scoured the city's bakeries and eateries to find the top ten cupcakes in Cape Town just for you. (OK, we had to sample some, it's true).

Charly's Bakery
Bright, bold, unbelievably fun, Charly's are the bright-spark bakers who brought us edible glitter. Known for incredible cakes for the most brilliant eye candy that actually IS candy, trot on downtown to this café in the city's east precinct and stuff your face with cupcakes that will fight for attention from your eyes and your mouth. The blue monster cupcake is unbelievably cute, and the less look-at-me ones made with carrot cake mix and topped with cream cheese icing are delectable. What’s more, Charly’s make to order.

Opening hours: Tuesday – Friday: 8am – 5pm | Saturday: 8:30am – 2pm | Closed on Sunday, Monday and public holidays
38 Canterbury Street | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 461 5181

Lazari Night & Day
Lazari is lovely, and its pink cupcakes are delicious. Prepared with a white chocolate icing, and moist, vanilla sponge they're best about an hour out of the oven while the icing is still semi-soft. Not to be upstaged, their sexy red velvet counterparts are a deep crimson sponge with a dollop of cream cheese icing.  In both cases, one is enough for two.

Opening hours: Monday – Friday: 8:30am – 5pm | Saturday – Sunday: 7:30am – 4pm
Cnr Upper Maynard and Vredehoek Ave | Vredehoek | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 461 9865

Whimsical Cupcakes
The beauty of Whimsical is the character of their cupcakes; the only problem with their cupcakes is that they taste as good as they look, which is dangerous. Land in a 3D fairytale with frog princes and toadstools. Warning: do not look at their photo gallery. You will eat your screen! Email or call to discuss, view and order.

Opening hours: Monday – Tuesday: 9am – 4pm | Wednesday – Friday: 9am – 5pm | Saturday: 9am – 12pm
Shop 1, The Meat Factory | 368 Voortrekker Rd | Maitland | Cape Town | +27 (0)82 408 5739

Queen of Tarts
Delicately smothered in a pastel-shade, thick, silk icing, Queen of Tarts turns cupcakes into a fine art. Try not to drool while you go over their catalogue of cuties. If light-hearted class is your style, Queen of Tarts is the king of the cupcake castle. Situated just outside central Obs, it's also a delight to visit. Pro tip: You can also find their baked wonders at the Oranjezicht City Farm Market every Saturday!
 Opening hours: Monday – Friday: 8am – 4pm | Saturday: 8am – 2pm
213 Lower Main Road | Observatory | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 448 2420

The Velvet Cake Co.
Hailed as one of the best places to order cake in Cape Town due to its high quality eye-catching varieties and delicious flavours and toppings, it’s no surprise that the Velvet Cake Co. also does some first-class cupcakes. On their site you can customise your cupcake order by choosing from an array of colours and having the option of adding matching crumbs sprinkled over your frosting. You can pick one of two frostings: a cream cheese icing, or an all-out blow torched meringue with a cream cheese centre - wow. Although there are no flavour variations - all the cupcakes are ‘velvet’ ones - this does not take away from the fact that they are all pure moist, delicious goodness. Velvet has a branch both in Bellville and one in Cape Town’s CBD.

Opening hours: Monday - Friday: 9am - 5pm | Saturdays and public holidays: 9am - 2pm
10 Bella Rosa | Bellville | +27 (0) 914 1376
16 Loop St | CBD | +27 (0)21 286 1082

Lady Cupcake
Peanut butter and jam, caviar, and chili. Cupcakes are probably the last things that come to mind when you hear these, but Lady Cupcake will change all that with their next-level take on cupcakes. As well as offering your usual oldie-but-goodie vanilla sponge and chocolate and the still slightly novel red velvet, Lady Cupcake goes above and beyond with their imaginative flavours and toppings. These cupcakes are made to order and you can choose from their menu sections: go classic, gourmet, full-on deluxe or go kustom and request a specific preference!

Their fairy size White Chocolate and Caviar cupcakes are definitely a sumptuous something to put on your bucket list of things to try for a whole new cupcake experience, the Chili Chocolate presents a currently very trendy combination of flavours that is unusual and tasty and peanut butter and jam sandwiches in cupcake form sound very intriguing. Other varieties include banoffee made with real bananas and topped with fresh cream, snickers and more. Tip: you can also find their cupcakes to buy at Cape Town’s Earth Fair Food Markets that are held at St. George’s Mall in the CBD and in Tokai!

Opening hours for orders: Monday - Friday: 9am - 5pm | Saturday: 9:30am - 10:30am
+27 (0)82 710 5621 | +27 (0) 21 715 6664

Tessa’s Bakery
Do yourself a favour and check out Tessa’s unbelievably gorgeous and unique selection of cupcakes made to order. They are so beautiful they could be works of art and it almost feels like a shame to eat them. But not really, because they taste exquisite. The out-of-the-ordinary varieties include Sugarplum Unicorn chocolate cupcakes in gold wrappers filled with chocolate ganache and decorated with colourful buttercream flowers, unicorn ears, and golden horns. The lavishness doesn’t stop there! You’ll find more cupcakes with such elaborate, unexpected features as marshmallow frosting, macaroon toppings, strawberry cream, gold dust… What can we say, it’s a pleasure-seeker’s treasure trove. Be that as it may, they had us at ‘unicorn’.

Opening hours: Monday - Friday: 8am - 5pm | Saturday: 8am - 2pm
Unit 5, The Gables | Prime Park | Printers Way | Montague Gardens | Cape Town
+27 (0) 551 6107 | +27 (0)84 300 1452

Dolce Bakery
Another Observatory cupcake haven, Dolce has a range of these gorgeous little treats that make cute gifts and come in all colours. Some are even sprinkled with edible glitter on the frosting! They also have mini stacked-layer cakes, which, while not strictly cupcakes, are small enough to count as extra-decadent ones. With jam or melted chocolate oozing mouthwateringly from between the layers and frosting generously slathered on top, it’s hard not to stare in open-mouthed wonder at these stacks of joy.

Opening hours: Monday - Friday 7:30am - 5pm; Saturday 8am - 2pm
293c Lower Main Road | Observatory | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 486 9007

Soet Society Cafe
On the corner of Oxford Street and Wellington Road in Durbanville, this delightful haunt for the sweet-toothed has a huge range of cakes that also come in miniature versions. There are some sinful sounding concoctions on their menu, including the apple pear chocolate cake, oreo cake and buttermilk rainbow (this one sounds particularly exciting and original) amongst other creations Now it’s just up to you to decide on what to try - or try them all! As well as your typically-sized cupcakes, Soet (which is Afrikaans for ‘sweet’, by the way) also bakes cute ‘mini mini’ ones for just R5 each.

Opening hours: Weekdays: 7am - 5pm | Saturdays and public holidays: 8am - 3pm
11 Wellington Rd | Durbanville | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 975 5294

Mango Ginger
While it's essential to have little pleasures, it's also important to have alternatives. So, whilst technically not a cupcake, Mango Ginger makes marvellous mouthfuls kind to stricter eating plans.  Their pear and chocolate muffins melt in your mouth and wheat-free date and pecan muffins (from spelt and rice flour) offer sweet respite with less guilt for the gluten intolerant.

Opening hours: Monday – Friday: 7:30 – 5pm | Saturday 8am – 3pm
27 Lower Main Road | Observatory | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 448 2500


Need more of the sweet stuff? Try Cape Town's Top Ten Bakeries.  If you ate too much, work off your guilt at Cape Town's top ten gyms. And if you've had enough of Top Tens and eating, try wrapping your toes around a toyi-toyi.

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