Best Cupcakes in South Africa

I have a wicked sweet tooth, and here in South Africa there is no shortage of sweets. From malva pudding to milk tart, I have plenty of desserts to try. Of course, there are some things South Africa doesn't have, like frozen yogurt and ice cream sandwiches, but when it comes to cupcakes, Johannesburg delivers.

 Berry passion fruit cupcakes

 Berry passion fruit cupcake glamour shot - perfect paired with champagne!

Chocolate chili cupcakes

No, there aren't cupcakeries on every corner like in LA or New York, but one woman, Rochelle Phillips (better known as The Cupcake Lady) is changing the definition of cupcake here in Joburg. I've been getting my cupcake fix at the Neighbourgoods Market every Saturday in Braamfontein, a hip new neighbourhood I could compare to Chicago's Wicker Park.

 Chocolate olive cupcake - what a flavor combo!
 Red velvet cupcake topped with a rose

These cakes are so moist and Rochelle comes up with such interesting flavors, including a chocolate olive cupcake! Talk about the perfect sweet and salty combo. I love how she has a layer of frosting in the middle of too, which makes for easy eating with a spoon and you never gets bites sans frosting.

These babies are beautifully presented....almost too pretty to eat. Her red velvet cupcake even has a fresh rose on top. I meant to save it to eat at home, but as you can tell from the photo didn't make it through the car ride.

 Chocolate orange cupcakes
Lemon coconut cupcakes

I don't mean to be disloyal to my hometown favorites, but Rochelle's cupcakes are as good if not better than the absolute best in Chicago - Molly's Cupcakes, Cupcake Whimsy, More and Swirlz.

Unfortunately Rochelle doesn't have a website, but if you're in Johannesburg definitely stop by Neighbourgoods Market to give these lovelies a try.

Amber Gibson is an American food & travel writer who has been living in South Africa for the past three months.


As a south African in London I'm proud to see these and the very high praise. In general people don't know how brilliant the food is over there. Those chilli ones would be a killer! With the pips left in these are only next to scotch bonnet in heat. Blow t
Your head off. I'd suggest removing before eating. Unless they're actually fake and made from sugar paste