Cupcakes seem like one of those trends that might actually be here to stay for a while. Big in NYC and LA, we're seeing that trend hit full speed here with a few big cupcake centered places already open, and at least one more on the way.
Over the past couple weeks Apples and I have had a chance to stop by both Georgetown Cupcake and Baked & Wired, the two Georgetown centered cupcake joints, to see which cupcake was king.
The verdict was mixed (in my opinion), though Apples heavily favored Baked & Wired.
At Georgetown Cupcake I had a chocolate and hazelnut cupcake, which was chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and crushed hazelnuts. I really liked this. I thought the cake was incredibly moist and the frosting and hazelnuts were a great flavor/texture combination.
Apples got a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. Her reaction was very favorable, and I enjoyed the small bite I had.
The inside of Georgetown Cupcake is small, and you'll often find yourself waiting in line, but in general I approve of the product.
Baked & Wired was an Apples favorite before the past two weeks, as she had frequented it while interning here a couple summers ago. We both split a lemon-vanilla cupcake which was very tasty and different than Georgetown Cupcake's. The cake itself was denser, and more "cakey". The frosting was lighter (probably helps that it wasn't chocolate or cream cheese) and had a subtler taste.
I really liked the space overall at Baked & Wired; certainly the kind of place I could hang out and study if I went to Georgetown.
When it comes down to it, both of these bakeries are worth a visit. Yes, you'll always get critics saying that they're overpriced (these are a luxury item in a luxury neighborhood, buy less cupcakes and more veggies and you'll be fine) and that they make them better in NYC and LA (perhaps, but you're in DC...if you really want a Magnolia cupcake, hop on a train and head up there), but I'd have no problem stopping in either one of these places again, and I certainly look forward to it.
Have you tried the cupcakes (and other goodies) at Amphora Bakery in VA? They have two bakeries, 294 Sunset Park Dr, Herndon, 703 964 0500, 403 Maple Ave West, Vienna, 703 281 5631. At the one Sunset Park Dr one you can see the bakers working in the back. And there are "Cabaret" style sofas in the front. What can be more decadent than lounging back in a squishy sofa scoffing a squishy cupcake watching people work? Drawback: do it too often, you get to look like the cupcake...
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