Maybe cooking is

Cupcake Celebration!

Posted on: June 29, 2010

In celebration of my birthday (today!), I will reveal all of the cupcake places I’ve searched out in the past few years.  Some have been in D.C., others with my Cupcake Girls (Vanessa, Mallory and Stephanie) in NYC, and others in random spots on my travels.

Although some argue that the cupcake bubble has popped, I’m still enjoying the boom.  In fact, I directed a corporate-sponsored cupcake-decorating event this past April!

Let me know which places you recommend, or flavors you love to devour!

The District

It seems appropriate to start with cupcakeries in my hometown, which the Washington Post cited as wellsprings of hope amidst the bleak recession of 2009.  Cupcakes were quickly incorporated into the belly of the beast: the House of Representatives’ cafeteria.

I think it all started with CakeLove (U Street), a D.C. bakery that began in 2002 by a Green Line native.  Although I stopped in first during summer 2007 (officially before the cupcake craze), the founder had already been featured on the Today Show, Oprah and had his own show on the Food Network (episode recipes online).  CakeLove has expanded to seven other D.C.-metro-area locations.

Needless to say, this is where I’ll be getting my birthday cake this year.  Any suggestions on flavor?

Other verified cupcakeries:

  • Hello Cupcake (Dupont Circle) – My favorite is the “You Tart!” lemon cupcake.
  • Georgetown Cupcake (M Street) – With its cream cheese-based frostings, this is my favorite cupcakery in D.C.  Any flavor, anytime.
  • Red Velvet Cupcakery (Chinatown) – Good for an after-Verizon-Center-concert pick-me-up, but not worthy of an out-of-the-way trip.
  • Something Sweet (Glover Park) – Sadly, this bakery gets two thumbs down because its frosting lives up to the bakery’s name all too well – it makes my teeth hurt.  Avoid unless you have kids along – it’s very child friendly.

The Empire State

The original congregating city of the Cupcake Girls (CG) since 2008, we have explored the big apple territory together far and wide.  There an endless number of bakeries still to explore on later trips.

  • Billy’s Bakery (Chelsea) – My favorite in NYC!  The gooey buttercream frostings balance the cake, which is on the drier side.  I get my standby favorite every time (vanilla frosting on chocolate cake), and often leave with other cupcake flavors in a box.
  • Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery (Lower East in the Village) – The sumptuous taste of fresh and homemade converge here.  Worth the trip to the colorful shop – plus their cupcake characters couldn’t be cuter!
  • Batch (West Village, CLOSED) – As an experimental aside of the chef of the Asian restaurant next door, this place was high fashion for cupcakes with highfalutin fillings and toppings.  R.I.P. Batch.
  • Crumbs (Union Square) – A chain with several locations on the East and West coasts (and one opening soon in D.C.), this place sucks the fun out of cupcakes due to lack of flavor.  A redeeming idea is the mini-cupcake taste package.
  • Eleni’s (Chelsea Market) – A gourmet’s favorite spot, these cupcakes are often sent as corporate gifts.  The flavor is acceptable, but not stellar.
  • Magnolia Bakery (West Village) – It’s been featured on the show Sex & The City because the cupcakes really are sugary indulgence, but good.  I admit that I own the Magnolia cupcake cookbook, despite the bakery’s torrid ownership history.
  • Big Booty Bread Co. (Chelsea) – I honestly can’t remember much about the cupcakes because I was so preoccupied with buying a t-shirt with the bakery’s logo with Mallory.  But I remember that after I returned the stale cupcake I got, it was good.
  • Butter Lane (East Village) – The latest cupcakery explored by the CG together, this bakery focuses on buttercream frosting and offers frosting shots for $1!

The CG strikes again! Stephanie, me, Mallory and Vanessa enjoy cupcakes and frosting shots at Butter Lane this past weekend.

Cupcakes U.S.A.

  • Chicago: More (Gold Coast) – This bakery is awesome.  Not only is it experimental in its gourmet combinations (salted caramel, key lime, feta strawberry, chocolate champagne, passion fruit meringue, white velvet, etc.), it also has a flavor of the day!
  • Annapolis: Nostalgia Cupcakes (Old Town) – Although way too sugary for me, these cupcakes are perfect for kiddos in town for parades and other frequent family-friendly events.
  • Wilmington: Hot Pink Cake Stand (Historic Old Town) – This cake decorator caters to vegans!  She also offers mini cupcakes, and her best recipe is the chocolate cupcake with peanut butter icing.

So that’s the summary of the cupcake expedition so far.  To be continued…

Thought for the week:The secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.” – Lucille Ball, 1911-1981

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6 Responses to "Cupcake Celebration!"

Wishing you lots of cupcake love on your 24th birthday!

Sweet post for your birthday! Mom was telling me about a cupcake truck she had heard about that took requests for flavors and the most common request was bacon! So the baker (the wife of the husband/wife team – he drives the truck) created a bacon, banana, chocolate creation a la Elvis and now it sells out every day! Yuck.

Add Bittersweet to your list of places to go in Chicago. I had samples of their cakes at the Ultimate Bride show and they were delicious! The baker was telling me about a flourless chocolate cake with mousse icing. Mmmm!

And you’ll have a cupcake from Charleston, SC’s Cupcake soon enough! There are a lot of other bakeries to try there since it’s THE destination wedding spot!

Thanks Susan for the Bittersweet suggestion. I will definitely have to check it out in Chicago.

Kristen – great post! I agree, I still LOVE cupcakes, and I don’t think the cupcake bubble has busted yet! They are still fab and fashionable down here in SoCal. Matter of fact, I will probably get some tomorrow in honor of your blog post and birthday. 😉

Happy Birthday from the West Coast!

There was this little desserty/cupcake place right near the BB&T and Salsas Restaurant in Asheville. I’ll have to do some research to remember the place. They have amazing black and white cookies and cupcakes.

It’s impressive how many places you’ve been! You’re a serious cupcake huntress!

[…] I tried the red velvet (cheesecake-based icing) and a chocolate cupcake with white (buttercream) frosting for $3 each.  A tasty momentary indulgence, the cake wasn’t moist enough to touch the top spots on my cupcake list. […]

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