Food Challenge: The Disney Food Blog 2012 Cupcake Crawl

Last year we created a special kind of challenge… It was meant for only the truly brave — the true cake and frosting fans. Some of you took on the sweet mission with enthusiasm and…well…courage.

White Chocolate Elephant Cupcake at Animal Kingdom

Yes, we’re talking about the Disney Cupcake Crawl of 2011!

Now as we come upon the anniversary of this challenge, we’ve been inspired by all of you who have attempted — and even conquered — the Cupcake Crawl! And because Disney Cupcakes are one of our passions around here — Yep, we’ve created a sequel!!

The Disney Food Blog’s 2012 “Walt Disney World Cupcake Crawl” Strategy

Are you ready to take on yet another sugary challenge in the name of sweet snacks?!

Follow the 2012 crawl step by step, or opt to mix and match the 2011 and 2012 challenges. Cupcake success is accomplished when you’ve visited these six locations and sampled at least 7 different cupcakes.

Remember that many Disney World cupcakes are offered seasonally, so if you need to substitute out new options for the ones below, that’s A-OK with us!

Depending on your tolerance level, you may want to split this crawl up over a couple of days. We won’t judge!

Don’t forget, most of these can be purchased for a Disney Dining Plan snack credit, so save up those snacks!

CONTEMPORARY RESORT: Cupcakes required = 2

Contemporary Resort’s Contempo Cafe is your starting point for wonderful (and seasonal) cupcakes.

Contempo Cafe
A modern quick service restaurant in the midst of the bustling Contemporary Resort makes a convenient cupcake stop on your way to or from the Magic Kingdom.

Spiced Apple Cupcake

  • Spiced Apple Cupcake: Vanilla cake with a delightful cinnamon flavor is crowned with frosting that sure tastes like the caramel topping on the Dulce de Leche version. The cake could have been a tad moister, but I enjoyed the inside filling — apples, dried cranberries, and cinnamon.
  • Chocolate Peppermint Cupcake: During the holiday season, Contempo Cafe unveiled this cupcake with peppermint buttercream frosting and gorgeous candy-cane shaped (and flavored!) sprinkles. Unwrap and dig in to find more buttercream and a scrumptious dose of chocolate sauce.
  • Red Velvet Cupcake: Luckily, this one is available much of the time at Contempo Cafe, and it’s probably one of their best in my opinion! Luscious red velvet cake covered with a (lighter than I’d like, but still good) cream cheese frosting. The best part? The real cheesecake packed inside the cupcake! Heavenly.

Try both of these, or throw in some of the other wonderful Contempo Cafe cupcakes to substitute!

Peppermint Chocolate Cupcake from the Contempo Café

Red Velvet Cupcake

MAGIC KINGDOM: Cupcakes required = 1

At the Main Street Bakery, we love the holiday creations at Halloween and Christmas as well as the peanut butter cup cupcake. While not always available, look for fun creations like the Burger Cupcake.

Main Street Bakery
You’ve heard me admit that the cupcakes at the Main Street bakery don’t always wow me. Too dry. Gritty Frosting. Yet, this year I became a convert when I sampled the Peanut Butter Cup cupcake. Hubba, hubba!

Peanut Butter Cup Cupcake

  • Peanut Butter Cup Cupcake: Dense buttercream frosting with a decadent peanut butter flavor gets this cupcake party started! And that’s not all — you’ll be treated to a drizzle of melted peanut butter sauce and hot fudge atop that peanut butter chip-laden frosting. The surprise on top is a mini peanut butter cup. Inside the dark chocolate cake, which wasn’t too dry, were more peanut butter chips. This cupcake took top honors!
  • Halloween or other Seasonal Cupcakes: In 2011, we saw some fun cupcakes highlighted during Halloween. The graveyard cupcake may look gruesome, but it’s a yellow cake topped with chocolate frosting, sugary candy bugs, and Oreo crumb dirt. Fun!

RIP cupcake

POLYNESIAN RESORT: Cupcakes required = 1

Take the boat from the Magic Kingdom to the Polynesian Resort where you’ll find yourself in a tropical paradise.

Captain Cook’s
Seasonal cupcakes highlight south seas flavor at this quick service restaurant, Captain Cook’s. Try the current specialty cupcake or one of these beauties — Chocolate Macadamia Nut or Lemon Ginger!

Chocolate Cupcake

  • Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cupcake: Macadamia nut slices are arranged atop a luxuriously creamy dark chocolate frosting. Chocolate lovers will savor the fudge-like ganache found on the inside of the moist cake. The last surprise? More nuts at the bottom of the cake!
  • Lemon Ginger Cupcake: Capped with a golden brown meringue, the light flavored ginger cake holds a super tangy and awesomely delicious lemon filling! This one is definitely better than you bargain for after first seeing it!

Lemon Ginger Cupcake Undressed


From the Polynesian Resort, bus over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for an afternoon snack.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios has been creating some really fun seasonal cupcakes, in addition to the beloved Starring Rolls goodies. If you happen to visit during a holiday season or even Star Wars Weekends, seek out one of these memorable treats!

Starring Rolls Cafe
Home to the Butterfinger Cupcake, we won’t stop you from returning to this favorite spot! Starring Rolls Cafe continues to be a popular cupcake mecca. Visit this stop early as it closes at 4pm! If you are starting a new day,cupcakes are perfectly suitable for breakfast!

Butterfinger Cupcake

Other DHS Locations
Venture to various other counter-service spots to find these one-of-a-kind goodies!

  • Chocolate Cappuccino Cupcake: Likely a Starring Rolls creation, this cupcake was discovered at Toy Story Pizza Planet. If you see it, the moist chocolate cake is covered in a fluffy, coffee flavored frosting. The toffee bits add a buttery crunch.
  • Ice Cube Cupcakes: This one glows! Atop the chocolate cupcake, there’s a dusting of snow with a glowing cube. Now that’s festive! We’ve only seen these during the holiday season…

Bunny Cupcake!

Darth Vader Cupcake

Chocolate Cappuccino Cupcake

Holiday Ice Cube Cupcakes at Disney's Hollywood Studios

BOARDWALK INN: Cupcakes required = 1

Walk or boat from the Studios to the Boardwalk resort. Before venturing into Epcot via the International Gateway, make a stop at the Boardwalk Bakery.

Boardwalk Bakery
This quaint stop along Crescent Lake is a nostalgic bakery from the turn-of-the-century. You’ll find a wide array of fun cupcakes here, from strawberry to peppermint to s’mores! Lots of them are seasonal, so have fun discovering a potentially brand new creation! Take your cupcake to an outdoor table to enjoy the view of the Lake.

S'more Cupcake Close-Up

  • S’mores Cupcake: Forks at the ready! Dig in to the chocolate cake base to find an inner filling of chocolate chunk frosting (yep, real chocolate chunks!). It’s topped with a vanilla-buttercream-marshmallow frosting mixture with a dusting of graham cracker crumbs. Comforting, toasted marshmallows top this snack.

EPCOT: Cupcakes required = 1

Departing the Boardwalk, you’ll walk towards the International Gateway at Epcot. This is your last stop, and we understand if you need to take a leisurely stroll on your way to Sunshine Seasons.

This location has seasonal cupcakes, including a Guava Cream Cheese treat.

Sunshine Seasons
As we rush by this quick service location on my way to Soarin’, many folks tend to overlook the delicious food variety offered at Sunshine Seasons.

We recently taste-tested the Chocolate Raspberry Cupcake, which fell a bit short on our cupcake rating scale; so we’re recommending that you opt for the Guava Cream Cheese if available. While not one of my absolute faves, it’s a mixture of interesting flavors that I’d definitely return to again.

Guava Cream Cheese Cupcake

  • Guava Cream Cheese Cupcake: Bite into moist vanilla cake with a whipped textured cream cheese frosting and don’t miss that touch of tangy guava jam! I’m recommending that you combine all the flavors so that the sweet and tang are mixed just right.
  • Chocolate Raspberry Cupcake: We’re not convinced that the frosting is indeed raspberry flavored, plus the cake was a bit disappointing. It’s pretty and does have some lovely raspberry filling, though, so we’re putting this on the list as an option.

ORKaramell Küche
This caramel specialty store in Germany is sponsored by Werther’s Original — yum! They’ve been experimenting with some new cupcake creations this year, so be sure to tell us if you find some new ones!

  • Caramel Corn Cupcake: Unwrapped you’ll discover a yellow vanilla cake with plenty of vanilla buttercream frosting beautifully drizzled with Werther’s caramel. The caramel corn adds an interesting texture, but we found that the corn had become a bit stale.

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcake

Caramel Corn Cupcake

Are You Ready for the Challenge?

We highly recommend taking on this crawl with family members or friends — sharing allows lots of memorable taste-testing without the full-on calories and resulting sugar highs! ;-)

Of course, if you need a partner, you can always call me!

Did you attempt a cupcake crawl in 2011? Any plans to tackle this challenge in 2012? We want to hear from you about what you’d add to the mix!


  1. Rod says

    My daughter and I will be attempting this, perhaps with my son (can do it in one day of we space out the sugar and split three ways). probably not until early fall, however. She and I did a Boston cupcake crawl to celebrate her 14th birthday, with 14 different cupcakes. Admittedly, we ended up bringing the last two home. And not all of them were the size of a toddler’s head, like the butterfinger at Starring rolls.

  2. says

    Joshua B — I love that it’s filled with peanut butter, too!

    Rod — Please let me know how it goes! In fact — send pics! ;-) I’m loving the Boston cupcake crawl — congratulations! What was your favorite cupcake that day?

    AFoodie — Ha ha! Let me know if you conquer this one!

  3. Jackie says

    Can the crawl last the whole two weeks that we’re there? If so I think my daughter and I will try to do it. She loves anything chocolate!

  4. Jackie says

    Great! I’m putting all the information in a word file to put on my phone to reference while we are there.

  5. Susan says

    I just tried The King cupcake at Pop Century this past weekend. Have you tried it yet? Chocolate cupcake with banana filling, peanut butter icing with candied bacon and chocolate swirl on top. It was delish!

  6. Susan says

    Yes! I posted a picture on pinterest and mentioned you. I’m under Susan T. I’ll post a picture of the sign too.

  7. Julie says

    we will be there on Saturday, I would love to try this… I will keep you posted if we succeed. We are only there for 6 days so, that would be a cupcake a day… and yet I make it sound like a bad thing!!!

  8. Susan S says

    I know they are ‘technically’ not Disney cupcakes but Babycakes in Downtown Disney is one I would add. They have a strawberry shortcake gluten free cupcake that was amazing. I just tried it on a hunch and have been thinking about it ever since. As far as gluten free you could not tell at all.

  9. says

    Susan S — I LOVE Babycakes!!! I always get the cookie frosting sandwiches there, though! That must be why it didn’t get into the cupcake crawl. Bad AJ!

  10. Wendy says

    well…it just so happens we are staying at the BoardWalk, Bay Lake Tower, and the Polynesian on our wedding/honeymoon trip this November…so I will definitely be able to complete this challenge (albeit…it might take the full 11 days we are there…we’ll also have an entire tier of Disney wedding cake – red velvet with cream cheese frosting – to eat during the week)

  11. Danielle says

    I was already planning to do something like this ! Thanks for feeding my cupcake problem! HA!

  12. says

    Wendy — Yay!! Yes, take as long as you need. Can’t wait to hear about your crawl! Congrats on your Disney wedding!

    Danielle — Ha!! It’s our pleasure! ;-) Send pics!

  13. Shawn says

    I agree the Darth Vader cupcake was great. We’re going to attempt the whole crawl when we go back in December!

  14. venessa says

    I have no idea how we’re going to do this! We’ve not really fans of Disney Cupcakes, too sweet, I KNOW I KNOW, Sorry lol. BUT, Chad and I will be trying the peanut butter cupcake over at MK and the Macadamia Nut at Poly. And I will be trying the one over at Pop. THE KING!

  15. Kelly M says

    I wish I had enough time on my impending vacation to do all fo these!
    Does a ‘stuff as many carrot cake cookies as you can in a day’ crawl work as a one off I wonder?
    One of the activities at the top of my list is ‘hit Starring Rolls bakery’…so there is definitely one cupcake on the cards!

  16. Faith says

    I think I’ll try a cheesecake crawl LOL. We pretty much did the cupcake crawl last year, we had many of these cupcakes and a few different ones :) This year I plan on trying the new Elvis cupcake at the POP Century too…..although maybe just a bite as that is a LOT of flavor on one cupcake LOL

    Thanks for the pictures and in depth review of the cupcakes available :)

  17. says

    Do you have an plans to put together a Cupcake Crawl for 2013? We will be at WDW the first week of April and I would love a refreshed crawl with 2013 flavors. If not, we will just attempt this one. My hubby and I both are cupcake addicts!

  18. says

    My husband and I LOVE eating at Disney World! We try different restaurants every time we go. We will be there for 8 days in the beginning of December. So, we will definitely be doing the Cupcake Crawl! Can’t wait!!! :)

  19. Kelly says

    My family and I will be heading down to Disney for the week of Christmas and will be partaking in the Cupcake Crawl. We had never heard about this but with our Mother’s birthday on Christmas Day we thought this would be something fun to do during the week to celebrate each day with her. I am hoping there will be special cupcakes that week for the holiday season :)

  20. JM says

    Well, we tried it! But it seems that different seasons bring different choices in cupcakes, so we did our own version of ‘the crawl’…. the elephant cupcake at AK was so good, and I loved the holiday gingerbread cupcake at Starring rolls….. Couldn’t find them all , but the 5 or 6 we sampled were SO good! (they were so large, 3 of us usually shared bites) except for the babycakes NYC cupcakes for one allergic family member,those were good, but much smaller.

  21. Laura says

    My husband and I went down for our honeymoon last September, and I had a great time sampling cupcakes from the ’11 & ’12 crawls. We’ll be back down to WDW, staying at the Yacht Club during week 2 and 3 of Star Wars. Any other new thoughts for a 2013 campaign?

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