Sunday was the perfect end-of-winter day in New York: sunny, 50 degrees F, gorgeous. I dragged my lazy Sunday bones out of bed, hopped on a 3 train, and expressed it all the way up to 125th Street. Since I was going to be in the neighborhood, I stopped by the Studio Museum for a look around. I know it’s not food, but I have to stop for a moment to plug the Studio Museum. It’s off the beaten museum path and it’s not an enormous museum, but they always have great stuff on display and their gift shop also has a fantastic selection of cookbooks. My favorites from last weekend: Cauleen Smith’s The Changing Same, Dawoud Bey’s Harlem U.S.A., and Tanea Richardson’s He’s Actually Very Intelligent.

But onto the food: the true object of my trip to Harlem was two blocks away, tucked neatly in the bottom of a residential building. Tonnie’s Minis reached out to me on Twitter last week and I promised them I’d stop in on Sunday, partly because I love being contacted on Twitter and partly because cupcakes are one of the most efficient ways to bribe me.

The store itself is cute and cozy, with a long, glass-paneled counter through which you can watch your cupcake be constructed. There are also a few tables in case you want to order a coffee and hang out or, as I obviously did, shovel your cupcakes into your face as fast as possible. Everyone working at the bakery was super friendly and jovial, happy to make recommendations, and handing out the cutest mini-cupcake samples.

Coming, as I do, from the South, I of course ordered a red velvet cupcake and also snagged a sample of the carrot cake cupcake. The great thing about Tonnie’s Minis is that they put the icing on your cupcake when you order it, so your icing is still rich and moist and creamy. I’m very particular about my cream cheese icing and I’m happy to declare that Tonnie’s passed my test. I’m also a pretty big fan of carrot cake and my mini cupcake was also delicious.

Bottom line: Tonnie’s Mini’s is worth the trip to Harlem. They also do large orders, custom orders, and cakes, so be sure to check out their website and follow them on Twitter!

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