Sprinkles Cupcakes

50 East Walton St.            3015 M St. NW
Chicago, IL 60611            Washington, D.C. 20007
312.573.1600                     202.450.1610

If you’re a cupcake aficionado, odds are you have heard of Sprinkles Cupcakes. If you’re lucky enough to pass by the colorful facade of this small cupcake chain of 10 locations throughout the United States. Sprinkles is considered the first Cupcake bakery, opened in 2002 at a time when carbs were criminal and cupcakes were, in the words of founders Candace and Charles Nelson, “the backup dancer to cakes.” All those countless cupcake places you’ve visited? Thank Sprinkles for getting the trend started. If you have the option of coming to the place where it all began, don’t miss out.

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These are the best cupcakes I have ever eaten.

While today’s cupcake chains are all about the pomp and circumstance – complicated, decadent and over-the-top confections – Sprinkles relies on its delightfully simple “original” cupcakes as the novelty to trying the place. Sophisticated and gourmet, these cakes stand out not only with their quality ingredients and preparation, but in the best flavors and textures possible in a cupcake. Top notch imported sweets like Belgian chocolate, French decorations and vanilla products from Madagascar. The fruit ingredients are fresh, and you can taste the difference quality ingredients provide.

  • Peanut butter cupcake: Topped with a light — but not too light — peanut butter frosting and then a helmet of sprinkles, this funny little cake goes with chocolate. And that heavy peanut butter taste doesn’t overwhelm it one bit.
  • Strawberry cupcake: The light strawberry flavor is great of course, so this classic cake has to be a mainstay of the menu. It’s perfectly delicate without being too overwhelming, which is good. Because it’s a big cupcake.
  • Caramel apple cupcake: One of the fall seasonal specialties, this one has an assertive caramel frosting and a light taste of apple inside. A perfect balance.

The secret is the decadent texture of the cupcakes. The cake is extremely moist and very soft, and the cake flavors are very simple and delicious. I’m glad that Sprinkles prefers the sort of one-note cupcake recipes because it does them extremely well. A consequence of this choice is that they have a pretty complicated schedule where they only offer certain kinds on certain days, so you really have to check online if there is a specific cupcake you want, some like the red velvet cake, raspberry or s’more are baked every day of the week, while others like orange and chai latte are only around one day of the week.

Moreover, the flavors are so decadently strong for the cupcakes without being overwhelming. The frosting-to-cake ratio is spot on, so the cupcake is neither too dry nor too sweet, and the simple flavors allow each cupcake to absolutely explode in your mouth with an amazing taste.

Sprinkles remains famous as THE cupcake place to try, the one where it all started. As soon as you catch sight of the place you’ll note the long lines. It’s worth the wait. Many have tried to emulate and improve what this amazing cupcake bakery has done, but few have come close. For cupcake connoisseur, Sprinkles is a must for the bucket list.


  • Expect long lines. This is, after all, THE first cupcake place.
  • Some locations have a “Cupcake ATM” which is stocked with cupcakes so you can grab one and go without waiting in lines. Might want to check by location, though.
  • All of the cupcakes are good, but if you have your heart set on one flavor, check the website. Most cupcakes are only baked on certain days.

Sprinkles Cupcakes on Urbanspoon — Chicago

Sprinkles on Urbanspoon — Washington D.C.

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