As an avid dessert lover who also eats healthy most of the time, I like to make sure that a dessert is really worth the calories before indulging. Not all desserts are created equal, and this is especially true for cupcakes. Why eat tasteless pre-packaged mini cupcakes from the grocery store (you know the kind I’m talking about) when you can splurge on a real, freshly made cupcake that is so insanely delicious it makes you feel something? In Williamsburg, Extraordinary Cupcakes is the place to go for a treat like this. I may be biased (I'm lucky enough to work there) but I honestly believe that they’re the best cupcakes you’ll ever eat.

If you’re a busy William and Mary student who’s a bit strapped for cash, you probably don’t have the ability to try every single cupcake in order to figure out your favorite - and if you did, you might gain a few pounds (although the cupcakes are so good, it would be worth it). Lucky for you, I’ve tried them all and can provide a definitive ranking.

Taylor Brooks

1. Marvelous Madagascar

This twist on a classic is the shop’s bestseller, and for good reason. The vanilla bean pound cake is denser than an ordinary vanilla cake and makes this flavor anything but plain. Plus, the Nielsen-Massey vanilla buttercream icing is definitely the best icing I’ve ever tasted.

Taylor Brooks

2. Uncommon Carrot

Did you know that there are several different varieties of cinnamon? This cupcake recipe calls for Vietnamese cinnamon, the variety with a stronger flavor, and pineapple--making it “uncommon.” Even if carrot cake isn’t normally your flavor of choice, this cupcake will not disappoint.

Taylor Brooks

3. Wicked Chocolate

So, my unpopular opinion: I really dislike chocolate. But I had to include this flavor at the top of the list, because everyone raves about it. Rich chocolate cake with a chocolate buttercream frosting--if you’re part of the normal 99% of the world that can’t get enough chocolate, this is the cupcake for you.

Taylor Brooks

4. Phenomenal Peanut Butter

I also don’t personally like peanut butter (another unpopular opinion) but this flavor always gets rave reviews. This one uses the same cake base as the Wicked Chocolate flavor, but has a creamy peanut butter filling and a peanut butter buttercream frosting. If you’re addicted to peanut butter, you need to try this cupcake.

Taylor Brooks

5. Almond Blackberry (seasonal)

This flavor--almond cake, filled with blackberry pastry cream and topped with blackberry buttercream frosting--is only available for the rest of September, but it’s so unique that I needed to include it. After letting one of my friends try it, she thanked me for finding her wedding cake. It’s that good!

Taylor Brooks

6. S’mores (seasonal)

S’mores is a brand new fall flavor, which means it will be available until December 21st! This one features a cinnamon graham cracker cake stuffed with marshmallow cream and crushed graham crackers, topped with a melted chocolate bar and a roasted marshmallow. Eat it for the ‘gram, but also because it’s delicious.

Honorable Mention: Glorious Gluten Free

Because Extraordinary Cupcakes is *hip* to dietary sensitivities, they also offer gluten-free cupcakes on the weekends! You can choose from vanilla or chocolate cake, and then pick any filling or icing you want. You won't even miss the gluten.

Next time you need a sugar fix, don’t reach for the store-bought cookies - trek the half a mile to this magical cupcake shop and reward yourself with a well-deserved treat.