Finding good cupcakes in Seoul is almost impossible. Sometimes the cake is too dry, sometimes the frosting is not sweet enough, sometimes it’s not even real frosting, but just a whipped cream that’s bland in taste! The best part is being able to find that one spot that “hits the spot” and sharing it with the rest of the expat community here in Korea.
At the very top of the list is Sugar Daddy, a small shop in Itaewon where the baker is in the store baking and decorating as she sells cupcakes from the same table finally opened a café by the McDonald’s. This extremely small and cozy spot is filled with all things delicious which are not only cupcakes!
Sugar Daddy offers cupcake sized pies, mini cheesecakes, fudge bars, cookies, and cupcakes of traditional flavors as well as all things crazy. Many of the ingredients used in the recipes are ordered from foreign markets and online stores which explains the quality of the baked goods. Furthermore, the owner (Yumi Jung) tries to incorporate all things crazy that Americans love into her baked goods which provides her with another bonus thumbs up.
In terms of her baked goods: the root beer cupcake is definitely a special kind of cupcake which is a fun eat. The root beer kick to the cupcake takes it to a whole new level. I'm personally not a fan of root beer, but this cupcake definitely changed my mind. Topped with a "scoop of icecream" and a "straw" for consumption, this cute it is a blast of flavor with a fluffy cake base, whipped fondant-icing like cream, and a drizzle of deliciousness.
Cupcakes and baked goods average at $4.50 a pop, cookies priced at $1 and totally worth every penny of it! From exit 2 of the Itaewon station; go straight until you see the McDonald’s on your left. There will be a small sign for Sugar Daddy that leads to the back of a building.
The Cupcake Factory
The Cupcake Factory (not a branch of the NY version) is a hidden treasure in Hongdae of Seoul that is baking up cute cupcakes that are extremely moist and flavorful. This small shop offers the traditional vanilla, red velvet, and cookies and cream flavors, but they also break away from the traditional kinds and bake up their own which include, but not limited to cappuccino, mint chocolate, and my all time favorite is the midori with no lime.
The Cupcake Factory offers one of the moistest cupcakes in Korea. The midori with no lime was actually a great compliment of a vanilla cupcake-like base with a lemony frosting. It was a great compliment of tangy and sweet fluffy icing to the cake. The one thing that was different about the mint chocolate cupcake is the fact that the mint icing is light in taste initially, but the mint flavor kicks in after a little. The mint flavor can be a bit overpowering because it really does taste like mint and doesn't quite compliment the chocolate cupcake.
Although the cupcake shop is small in size, the pink interior offers a cute seating area in the back to enjoy your cupcake. The Cupcake Factory offers a handful of drinks to order as well and enjoy in a seating with pillows under a tree of yarn. It is extremely girly in decoration and a great location to visit with a group of girls. Cupcake are priced at $4 a cup which is average for Korean standards. To find this hidden location, turn into the only street where Baby Gorilla and Club Naked in Hongdae is. You will see it on your left: bright and pink.
Lee Saem Cupcake
Lee Saem Cupcake who's motto is "life is just a cup of cake" is one of the most popular cupcake locations. In fact, it is the most popular location to go to for cupcake in Itaewon. This small little white shop is hidden in a little alley from the Itaewon station in the basement floor. Once discovered, you will find yourself in a cupcake fairytale, surrounding by all things cupcakes and picnic seating to enjoy your cupcakes. With a small number of seating, it is recommended to grab these goodies to go.
Lee Saem Cupcake offers one of the more moist cupcakes in Korea. Offering traditional flavors as well as more creative ones, cupcakes are paired with a different kind of icing and sprinkle. The matcha cupcake is extremely bold in green tea taste which is recommended for anyone who is in love with green tea, sprinkled with a light touch of matcha powder. The blueberry is one of their best sellers and extremely fruity. It takes you back to being a kid because they sprinkle it with candies that pop in your mouth, just like the childhood favorite of Pop Rocks. The classic vanilla, which is the sweetest of them all, is topped with a mix of white and chocolate cookies which is the one recommendation to make. Go straight from Itaewon exit 2, down the hill to the end where you cant go anymore. Take a left at the light and it will be two blocks down on your left after the Nohyung bank.
Monster Cupcake is a small cupcake shop in Itaewon that is one of the most recognized and longest standing cupcake shops in Seoul. Why? Because their cupcakes are extremely cute and fun to eat! For an average of $4.50 per cupcake, there are a handful of flavors to choose from that are whipped up in the shop. The favorites are red velvet and tiramisu, classic cupcake flavors. Although Monster Cupcake is recognized for their cupcakes, they're still a little away from signature cupcakes back at home. The cupcake isn't as fluffy, but made with a more dense batter. The icing is also different with a creamier texture, but their decorative gels are extremely flavorful and is the sweetest touch to the cupcake, literally. None the less, it is still a spot to go to satisfy a cupcake craving! Take Noksapyeong exit and instead of taking a left at the hill it is on the opposite side across the street on your left two blocks down.