Tue-Thu, 11am-11pm; Fri-Sat, 11am-midnight; Sun, noon-10pm; Mon, closed
L at First Ave.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
This tiny, sweet-smelling cupcake shop stresses grown-up flavors and high-quality ingredients over splashy colors and kitschy names. Owners Pam Nelson, Maria Baugh, and Linda Lea forgo dyes and artificial additives in favor of vanilla bean, pure cocoa, organic butter, and fresh fruit. Shocking-pink floral wallpaper covers one wall in the otherwise demure, white space, and waiting customers linger at the counter with tasting sticks to sample frosting flavors like key lime, pumpkin, raspberry, or blueberry. A small chalkboard lists choices ranging from standbys like dark chocolate and vanilla to less common offerings like banana cake with cream-cheese frosting or grapefruit ginger. The chocolate and vanilla buttercream frosting is whipped up in both French and American versions—the French version is made with egg whites and melted sugar for a lighter consistency. Unlike the majority of its competitors, which venture into puddings, brownies, and bars, Butter Lane sticks exclusively to cupcakes, keeping its small staff busy frosting freshly baked batches just behind the counter.