A Cupcake Social

The state’s only cupcake purveyor to start as a food truck (owner Suzette Herr describes the vehicle’s working conditions as “hot”) has been baking nearly six years. The menu always features two variations on chocolate (the shop’s bestsellers), plus vanilla and red velvet. They’re supplemented by rotating flavors (vegan and gluten-free, too), in the $2.79 to $3.29 range. Right now Herr is offering her cupcake crumble sundaes — chocolate, vanilla or red velvet cake layered in between house-made vanilla ice cream — and plans to have her seasonal scoop case back in business by early April.

3800 28th Av. S., Mpls., 651-243-1114,


Amy’s Cupcake Shoppe

Watching the Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” inspired lifelong baker Amy Brace to leave a career as a medical technician and launch this cute Hopkins hangout. “I’m having way more fun compared with what I was doing before,” she said with a laugh. And why not? She’s baking anywhere from 10 to 15 varieties daily ($3), including a few vegan/gluten-free options ($3.75). Her bestseller is salted caramel, and her personal favorite is a lemon cupcake filled with tangy lemon curd. Also on hand: scones, muffins and colorful macarons. Oh, and on Saturday mornings starting at 7, it’s all about cinnamon rolls.

701 Mainstreet, Hopkins, 952-479-7516,


Nadia Cakes

“Cupcake Wars” champion Abby Jimenez has two stylish Twin Cities area shops (a third is in Southern California), and she’s deep into the serious fun of cupcakes. The daily flavors menu — culled from a near encyclopedic repertoire — is available on the shops’ website (hello, Grasshopper and chocolate cherry chip), and there are typically 12 to 15 varieties on hand, including a selection of dairy- and gluten-free options. All are $3.50. Bestseller? Salted caramel, of course. Other goodies include bars, cannoli, macarons, cake pops and ice cream treats, supplied by Sebastian Joe’s.

11650 Fountains Dr., Maple Grove, 763-575-8885, and 429 Commerce Dr., Woodbury, 651-314-4444, nadiacakes.com