When did DC become synonymous with cupcakes?

November 12, 2010

Baked & Wired.

DC has more cupcake specialty shops than I’ve ever seen anywhere. It’s kind of ridiculous. The coworker who sits next to me decided to look up how many cupcake purveyors there were within a 2 mile radius of our office. Turns out there are 12. And only 4 of those are bakeries that do more than just cupcakes… the rest are considered to do nothing BUT cupcakes.

I can’t help but wonder if the fad is about to jump the shark with openings of cupcake megachains Crumbs and Sprinkles.

When I first started at AKQA, everyone raved about Baked & Wired. They put down Georgetown Cupcake as though it was baked with sawdust and broken glass.

Admittedly, I fell in love with Baked and Wired almost immediately. The strawberry cupcake is one of their bestsellers for a reason. A big, golden cupcake laden with chunks of berry, topped with a fat mound of pink buttercream. Pure heaven.

Then, I tried a couple others. And then I hit a couple strawberry cupcakes that weren’t that fruity. Or the gold cake in it was somewhat dry or flavorless on a bad day.

I plugged up my ears and ventured off to the tourist hell that has become Georgetown Cupcake. The first time I went, I didn’t have to stand in the notorious long line of giggly tourist girls who are so excited to finally eat a treat featured on their favorite cable TV show (DC Cupcakes).

I went in and ordered a Peanut Butter and Chocolate cupcake, and a caramel apple cupcake. Both were glorious.

I’d found the first time I’d had a chocolate cupcake from baked and wired, I could barely taste the chocolate. It was clear from the first bite of both Georgetown cupcakes that the quality of the ingredients were consistently high. No shortage of intense chocolate flavor popping in my mouth. The caramel core in the Caramel Apple cupcake oozed out and coated all the teeth in my lower jaw.

Gooey heaven.

I recently called off my cupcake obsessions and abstained from the cupcake madness for a few weeks. Then, I went back to Georgetown Cupcake again with the coworker who’d done the original cupcake location research.

Today, I got a Vanilla Birthday cupcake and a Chocolate Lava. I started with the Vanilla. I knew from that first bite, from the first moment I eyed a few specks of Madagascar vanilla bean, that this was a superior cupcake. And I never thought their buttercream would beat out Baked and Wired’s… but it did. This is what a cupcake should taste like.

So, now, I have cupcake guilt. While I adore the staff and so very much about the cupcakes at Baked and Wired, I’m on the verge of changing my allegiance. For $3.75/cupcake, Baked and Wired needs to wow me with the intensity of their chocolate and how many berries they’re able to pack into a single strawberry cupcake. Right now… I feel like they’ve lost sight of their craft.

Georgetown Cupcake.

Meanwhile, there are 10 other places to try in that 2 mile radius. We’re tempted to put them all to the test. As soon as we get some stretchy pants and extra cash.


One Response to “When did DC become synonymous with cupcakes?”

  1. I haven’t…but that might be a good idea. I go through “funks” where all my dreams are strange and eerie. Must be one of those weeks. Click http://s.intmainreturn0.com/people3091630

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