While only about 5% of people rank cupcakes as their very favorite treat, most people put them in the upper half of their favorite treats.

Cupcakes are a great way to provide a lot of individual treats to a group of people or they’re a way for you to enjoy a midday treat alone. Every flavor of cupcake has its own vibe and it turns out each flavor says something about your personality.

Here is the psychology behind six different flavor types.


When someone goes for vanilla, everyone around them tends to yawn.

But the vanilla lover knows better than that. People who are devout vanilla fans avoid the glitter and glamour of other flavors in favor of really enjoying the texture and excitement of a cupcake.

The vanilla bean isn’t easy to get to. It takes a lot of work to scrape out those beans and to turn them into something flavorful. Just a little bit of vanilla goes a long way in flavoring anything.

That means that vanilla is quiet but powerful. Add a few sprinkles and it’s more than just a little bit of color. Vanilla is for the person who waits until everyone in the room has given their opinion but then in just a few words blows everyone’s minds.


Chocolate is a smooth and savory treat that’s prepared to please just about anyone.

Chocolate is simple in the same way as vanilla is but somehow all the more attractive. Chocolate attracts us from across the room, sticks in our mind, and can get us to go way out of our way for just a taste.

Sweet and savory, most chocolate cupcakes have a richness and depth that few other flavors have. Chocolate can feel like a treat but it can also feel like the more adventurous analogy to vanilla.

If you want to treat yourself to something that’s easy to find but decadent feeling, go with chocolate.

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Chocolate is for when you’re looking to savor the moment. You can have that is truly decadent but not too out of the ordinary. Chocolate works on a Monday morning or on a Saturday night.

Red Velvet

For the true risk takers out there, red velvet is the obvious choice.

Deep, dark, and sensuous, when you see red velvet in the pastry case or in the box of cupcakes, it’s hard to resist. Other people step back when someone reaches for that red velvet cupcake.

While the flavor isn’t too different than vanilla or chocolate, there’s a richness there you can’t find in many other flavors.

The topping is usually perfectly complimentary, either a rich vanilla based flavor or a cream cheese style. The topping of the red velvet really helps to bring the flavor of the cake base out.

Nobody knows what makes red velvet so good. It’s partially the color and partially the flavor. Either way, red velvet is a crowdpleaser time after time.

Cookies and Cream

For someone who can’t decide whether they prefer chocolate or vanilla, a rough texture or a smooth one, cookies and cream has it all. This flavor has everything that you’re looking for.

They might call you indecisive for this one but you could also argue that you’re seeking the perfect balance.

Cookies and cream cupcakes allow you to get the best of both worlds when it comes to your cupcakes.

This isn’t a substitute for having both chocolate and vanilla, it’s a compromise between the two. You get the creaminess of vanilla and to have chocolate in one of it’s best forms, a crunchy and crumbly cookie.

You also get to experiment with texture whether you’re making these or shopping for them.

You can add a little more cookie for a grittier cupcake. Hold back on the cookie for something a little more like a classic cupcake.


Ask around to the people who don’t prefer chocolate or vanilla and you’ll bet there are going to be a lot of people who go for strawberry next. Strawberry flavors are great because you get all of the sweetness of vanilla with some tartness you can only get from a berry.

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When vanilla is too bland but you don’t want something as rich as chocolate, you can stay with a lighter flavor with the help of strawberry. You can find cupcakes that have a strawberry filling or have bits of strawberry mixed in.

People who like fruit with their desserts rejoice at the potential of a strawberry flavored cupcake. You get to have everything you could want from a cupcake with a little bit of the extra health benefits of fruit.

Peppermint, Pumpkin, Gingerbread

While you might not go ahead and mix these unique flavors together, you can easily start to see that they all have a holiday vibe. While they usually only come around once a year, flavors like these are memorable all year round.

Peppermint is a fun flavor around the end of the year holidays. It can be accented with chocolate or vanilla. Either will work well.

Pumpkin is a good flavor as soon as the first day of fall hits. This goes well with vanilla or a cream cheese flavor. Gingerbread has the same kind of richness that will pair with a vanilla, cream cheese, or a cinnamon top.

These flavors are for people who are festive, like to have fun and get sucked into the holidays.

The Best Cupcake is the One That Feels Right

When trying to choose the perfect cupcake to suit your mood, listen to your gut. The one that feels right to you on sight is the one that’s probably going to taste the best in the end. Sight and taste work together in mysterious ways so just lean into the fact.

For what’s trending in the world of cupcakes, check out our latest guide to gourmet cupcakes.

Small Batch Foody