National Cupcake Day is Tuesday, December 15, and we're taking that excuse to eat cake.
Happy Bakeshop (formerly Happy Cakes) Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcake. —Photo by Lucy Beaugard
After a week of research and 14 cupcakes in two days, you would think our desire to see another cupcake would be moot—quite the opposite, actually. With each bite of the sweetly frosted treats, we happily identified five favorite cakes worth celebrating today and every day.
No cupcake list would be complete without Happy Bakeshop (formerly Happy Cakes) mentioned at least once. One of our top picks is the seasonal chocolate-pumpkin, in which tender pumpkin cake with rich chocolate chips is topped with a dollop of spiced cream cheese frosting that's dipped in a silky chocolate ganache. Also try the chocolate-salted caramel—it's the shop's signature treat for a reason. We pass no judgment if you’re drooling right now. 3434 W. 32nd Ave., 303-477-3556, happycakesdenver.com 
Big Fat Cupcake definitely satisfies our inner child with generous cupcakes, many of which are covered with candy bits or mini versions of our favorite cookies. Our favorite has to be the toffee bar, which is a soft, oversized chocolate cupcake with whipped white frosting topped with crunchy toffee bar crumbles. The perfect mix of crunchy and gooey makes for the ultimate indulgence. Also try the Monkey Love's not-too-sweet banana cake with cream cheese frosting. 129 Adams Street, 303-322-2253, bigfatcupcake.com 
If you’re craving a treat but aren't in the mood for an overwhelming rush of sugar, Cake Crumbs has the perfect solution: a sweet and slightly savory pistachio cupcake made with pistachios and chocolate chips that's topped with amaretto buttercream and crushed pistachios. This cupcake is a must, but call ahead to make sure it’s on the ever-changing menu. Also try the chocolate-cherry or lemon for a fruity twist. 2216 Kearney St., 303-861-4912, cake-crumbs.com 
This one goes out to all of the gluten-free dessert lovers. Kim & Jake’s offers a variety of GF cupcakes in all sorts of wild and wonderful flavors. Although we have yet to meet a cupcake there that we don’t love, we’re partial to the ginger molasses. Expect a dense ginger molasses spice cake topped with a light cream cheese frosting and a sugary ginger candy. Also try the poppy seed and almond buttercream—it's the perfect cupcake-muffin hybrid. 641 S. Broadway, Boulder, 303-499-9126, kimandjakes.com 
A spongier alternative to your typical cupcake can be found at Smallcakes. Although the shop has tons of crave-worthy flavors, our go-to is the lemon drop: a lemon cake with zesty lemon filling and topped with—you guessed it—lemon buttercream. The combo is light, sweet, and citrusy. Also try the birthday cake flavor if you're looking for something sweeter. 7650 W. Virginia Ave, Lakewood, 303-420-8349, smallcakescolorado.com 
—Embedded photos by Lucy Beaugard