As the star pastry chef at Gramercy Tavern, Nancy Olson turns out some of the city's finest desserts (try her recipe for chocolate-covered toffee). Who better to judge the All-American cupcake invasion?
Fifteen bakeries -- from Brooklyn's Baked to Two Little Red Hens uptown -- dropped off more than 75 cupcakes to New York Magazine headquarters. With milk shots to cleanse the palate, Olson graded their versions of chocolate, vanilla, and everything in between on a ten-point system for taste, five for presentation, and five awarded at her discretion. Read the list to see how Magnolia ranks, whose wares compelled Olson to channel Gordon Ramsay, and which bake shop takes the champion cake.