Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cupcake Taste Off

With the Washington Post in the middle of their Cupcake Wars and cupcakes shops popping up everywhere, it seemed like the perfect time to jump on the cupcake fad. So this weekend, I had my friend Steph over and we decided to have our own cupcake tasting. Steph is the ultimate cupcake tasting partner because if there is anyone who likes desserts and all things sugary more than me, it's her. The contenders in our line up were Hello Cupcake, Georgetown Cupcake, and Cake Love. I'd love to show you pictures of our specimens and the following carnage, but sadly my digi seems to have gone to the camera heavan. So instead here are some comparable pictures I found online of some of the flavors we sampled.

From Hello Cupcake, Steph brought over the peanut butter blossom , the raspberry berret , and a basic vanilla on chocolate cupcake. Our verdict? The cake part was alright. Steph swears they were more moist the last time she went. So I'm not sure if we got the bad cake or if she got exceptionally good cake on her previous visit. The icing was very very fluffy, but very very intense in flavor. Although chocolate and peanut butter are pretty much my favorite flavors, I could only take a bite or two of the peanut butter blossom. I thought it was a bit too rich. Although Steph was able to finish off most of it. I liked the raspberry flavor better. Steph voted Hello Cupcake as her favorite icing, but based on flavor Hello Cupcake didn't hit the mark for me.

From Cake Love I picked up 2 chocolate cupcakes, one with strawberry frosting and the other with key lime frosting. Now right off the bat, let me caution you against ever getting anything lime flavored at Cake Love because it bascially tastes like a gin and tonic, which is definitely a flavor that is in the running for something you'd most like your cupcake not to remind you of. So the rest of the tasting was based on only the strawberry cupcake. The cake part was blah. It was definitely the driest and most flavorless. The icing, however, was the saving grace for the strawberry cupcake. It was made of real strawberries which you could see and taste. The texture was also more substantive than Hello Cupcake which I really liked. Steph, however, thought the icing had good flavor but was too slimy. We both voted this worst cake, but I voted it favorite icing.

Finally! Georgetown Cupcake. I picked up a smorgasbord of cupcakes from here, but sadly only 3 of the 4 survived the trip home on the back of my bike. Lemon berry was the completely unsalvagable victim. So I picked at the remains in the box which were delicious. I am really sad the whole cupcake didn't make it to the tasting. The cake in all the Georgetown cupcakes was the best. It was the moistest and most flavorful. You could really taste the chocolate or lemon. By the end we were scooping icing from other cupcakes and topping in on left over cake crumbs from Gtown CC. Of the ones that were included in our tasting, the chocolate 3 was our hands down favorite: great cake, rich ganache, and little French chocolate flakes on top. The rest of the cupcakes weren't as good as the chocolate 3 only because they had the standard Gtown CC icing which is really runny. Hense the reason the cupcakes didn't travel very well on the way home. Our overall verdict was that the flavor is great, but if you aren't going to eat your cupcake right in front of the shop, you risk having it melt all over you. Winner in taste but loser in travel-ability.

Has anyone had different experiences with any of these cupcake shops? Or had an amazing experience somewhere else? I heard Buzz has the best cupcakes. Thoughts?

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