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Archive for December, 2010

Georgetown is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Washington DC. Located in the Northwest quadrant of the city, the area is filled with charm, character, and paints a story to the history of Georgetown. Even though you are minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the center of our nation’s capitol, it feels as if you’re a world away.

Most visitors in the Georgetown area would flock to Georgetown Cupcake to sample one of the city’s most famed cupcakery. A secret wonder that the locals know is Baked and Wired.

Walking inside, my eyes dance along the counter filled with rows of cupcakes. I soon spot the one I’m about to enjoy… the vanilla on vanilla.


Taste
Cake
The vanilla cake is homemade at its best! I don’t think even your grandmother could bake something that would top this cake. The top center was slightly doughy. However, I couldn’t tell if that was because of the frosting and the way it sat on the cake. The rest of the cake (its top, edges, and throughout) was cooked perfectly.

Frosting
Even though the counter lady said it was a buttercream frosting, I would have to argue with her. It’s quite possible it could have been made with some butter, but I couldn’t taste it. I could definitely taste the powdered sugar, which made the frosting very sweet. The frosting wasn’t as white as one would assume. It had a gray hue to it, which probably came from using a dark vanilla flavoring instead of clear vanilla.

Presentation
Their cupcakes aren’t called “cupcakes”, but rather “cake cups”. Each one was wrapped in individual parchment paper cups. Very clever!

Sweet Endings
I loved everything about this place. The concept of a coffeehouse/bakery is brilliant. The coffee shop itself had a funky, chill
atmosphere that makes it a great place to study, hang out, take a date, or even people watch. Their selection of not only cupcakes, but other sweet homemade indulgences would cause any sweet tooth to get misty-eyed. I would love to go back when they have live music, grab a cup of coffee and a “cake cup”, and enjoy a relaxing evening.

My advice? Skip Georgetown Cupcakes on your next visit and try something new. In addition to getting a bigger cupcake for the price, you’ll get to really experience one of Georgetown’s best kept secrets.

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For my first cupcake adventure in Washington DC, I set out on foot to find Curbside Cupcake, DC’s first mobile cupcakery (and as rumor has it, the original in the nation).

Getting started in the morning, I checked both of Pinky’s schedule… they have two pink-colored vans that drive around the DC metro. After seeing where they were and their next stops, I hopped on the Metro to hunt them down. Apparently, I read the location wrong and found myself on the complete opposite side of the National Mall. Federal Triangle and Federal Center looked very much alike! Granted, this was my first day back in the city after six months, so it took a moment to get re-acquainted to the area. Standing on the street corner I weighed my options. 1) I could jump back on the Metro, or 2) I could start walking. Well, for those who know me, I opted for the latter. (Besides, half of the adventure to find mobile cupcakeries is the journey). Even though I was at F and 12th (I needed to be at D and 3rd), it didn’t appear to be that far away. But, what I forgot to remember is the National Mall divides E and D, and the blocks are LONG in DC. So, halfway to Pinky’s location, I started getting nervous. What if I’m too late? What if it’s leaving as I am arriving? All these bad thoughts swarm my head, which causes me to put a little jump into my step. I cross the Mall and I see the street sign for “C”. What?! You have to be kidding? Where is D?? I backtrack a bit and get myself over to 3rd street… I look up and down both directions frantically deciding which direction to go. And then, like a ray of sunshine, I see a pink truck.

That has to be it! I gracefully walk (eh, race) down the street. I cannot let the truck get away! Out of breath, I make it to the truck and I nonchalantly get in line to order. Sadly, they were out the vanilla, so I ordered the next best item. The lemon with lemon buttercream.


Taste
Cake
My goodness, was this very lemony! It reminded me of eating a lemon pound cake, although not as dense. The top was stiff, and the edges were overly browned. They were browned to the point that I was afraid the cake was going to be too well-done or very dry. However, to my great surprise, the inside was extremely moist.

Frosting
Their lemon buttercream was to die for! The smooth, silky whipped frosting was bursting with lemon goodness. Not only was the texture delightful, pieces of real lemon rind were mixed in, adding an extra lemon treat.

Presentation
The lemon cake did look like a little ray of sunshine. The natural color of the buttercream frosting and cake was a slice of happiness. For an added touch, they put lemon rind shavings on the top. For one of my first adventures away from my vanilla staple, I was extremely pleased.

I understand it’s so much easier and less expensive to pack individual cupcakes into bags, but it has always concerned me. Fortunately for me, this cupcake was going to be eaten immediately, so there was no travel time to be worried about. But, if I had to Metro with the cupcake, I would be fearful of its livelihood.

Sweet Endings
The combination of the lemon cake and lemon buttercream was almost overpowering with lemon flavor. I thought a cream cheese frosting would have paired nicely with the cake. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed everything about the frosting, but too much of one flavor can overpower the senses.

I was in luck because Pinky was smart enough to be parked outside of a Starbucks. Coffee and cupcakes are my two favorite things and are great complements! It was apparent that Pinky had a good fan base. All of the customers in line appeared to be regulars, and there was quite the line of people.

Even though it was quite the exhausting trip to track Curbside Cupcake down, it was well worth the trip. I always enjoy having to “work” for my sweet tooth. The two Pinkies’ make several stops around the DC Metro, so you are bound to find them nearby. Would I walk across the city again for one of their cupcakes? You bet I would.

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I’m been a fan of Yelp for quite some time, but I always forget to use it when I’m searching for new restaurants and places I want to visit. It dawned on me the other day to use it to find cupcake places in Kansas City (well, for any city for that matter)! Before, I’ve just searched google maps to find a selection of bakeries.

Today, I searched for “cupcakes” in “Kansas City”. Fifty-eight places were found… 58! Granted, many of these are restaurants that serve delicious desserts, not solely cupcake. Most importantly, I very impressed that I have been to 4 out of the 5 top places! (The place I haven’t tried is Le Petit Rouge in Reading Reptile, which has now moved to the top of my list. You need to check them out! Find a link to a story about them on my “Guest Reviews” page)

In preparation for my cupcake tour of DC, I did a Yelp search to see what I came up with. 280 results! I’m proud to say I’ve already tried two of the top 10 (Georgetown Cupcakes and Hello Cupcake), and two others in the top 10 (Crumbs Cupcakes and Curbside Cupcakes) are on my new list.

I’m so ready to hit the streets of our nation’s capitol to find the best cupcakes in the city! I just hope I can keep up with my sweet tooth!

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