That's a question we get asked a lot (and ask ourselves a lot).
My personal philosophy is that everyone has their own taste when it comes to cupcakes (or any food, really). There can never truly be a "#1 best cupcake" because everyone likes different things (or multiple things). You may live for cream cheese frosting, while I'm a buttercream girl. Same for size, shape, color, decorations, etc. That's what makes the many cupcake bloggers, reviewers, and bakeries so fascinating.
So here's how Michael of the blog Just Giblets is rating the cupcakes he's tasting in his area of Massachusetts:
I’ve developed the criteria with which I will determine the best of the best in the cupcake world. This is a very personal criteria, and is geared toward my cupcake pleasures specifically. I have given each criteria a certain number of points it can earn. The top score being 100. Time will tell if any cupcakes can earn that high score. Anyway, here is my criteria.
▪ Moistness of cake (15)
▪ Flavor of cake (15)
▪ Flavor of frosting (15)
▪ Proportion of frosting to cake (15)
▪ Sweetness of frosting (10)
▪ Overall attractiveness of cupcake (10)
▪ Ease of eating (5)
▪ Originality of flavor (5)
▪ Discretionary points (including special toppings or fillings) (10)
And yes, for me there is quite a difference between the flavor of the frosting and the sweetness of the frosting. And yes, the moistness of the cake if vitally important. What do you think? How would your criteria be different? And if anyone would like to join me on my sojourn, I would welcome the cupcake-loving company!
What do you think? What would you add to (or subtract from) his list?