Thursday, July 19, 2012

I'm Calling It Cupcake Research

So ... a couple of weeks ago we took a trip to Washington D.C. Craig and I were going for a teacher convention and decided to take the boys out for a family vacation as well. Since my sister lives just outside of D.C., everything fell into place. We flew out a week early, stayed with my sister, and did some sight seeing with the boys. Craig and I then took the Metro into our hotel while the boys spent another week out in the burbs.

During our two weeks there, I decided to check out some of the cupcakes establishments in the area. Regretfully, I was unable to hit all of them, but I did make it to three.

It was really, really hot the entire time we were in D.C., but on one particular day we decided to brave the heat and headed out to Georgetown. We took the blue line and then had to walk about a mile to make it to Georgetown Cupcakes. Along the way, we passed Sprinkles, but I was on a mission to try a Georgetown cupcake, so we didn't stop. This is the place, after all, where they film the show DC Cupcakes. I've read all kinds of reviews where people had to wait in a line outside for 30 to 45 minutes before even getting into the store. Can you imagine ... a cupcake store with a hostess? We must have gotten there at the right time, though, because we only had to wait outside for a couple of minutes. While we waited, the hostess gave us each a menu to look over so that we didn't waste any time when we got inside. When we walked through the door, we were greeted by a beautiful display case full of that day's cupcakes.

It was decided that we would each try a different flavor. So we each ordered, paid ($2.75 per cupcake), and then moved over to the next counter and waited for our order to be filled.

The cupcakes were packaged in a cute pink box inside a nice little shopping bag.

So here's what we got ...
I got a chocolate cupcake with chocolate buttercream, Craig got a coconut cupcake, Collin got a red velvet cupcake with cream cheese icing, and Jared got a chocolate cupcake with vanilla icing.
My sister, Lisa, got a chocolate cupcake like mine, my niece, Hannah got the one in the upper right (I don't remember what it was), and Lisa took a key lime cupcake home to my brother-in-law, Eric.

I think we all agreed that they were good, but dry. I personally thought that the chocolate icing was fantastic ... I just couldn't get over the dryness of the cupcake. The general consensus was that my cupcakes taste better. :)

I few days later, after Craig and I had ditched the kids, we visited Red Velvet Cupcakery near the Crime and Punishment Museum.
It was a quaint little place with two very pleasant workers. This time I ordered a chocolate cupcake with peanut butter buttercream. Unfortunately, Craig can't remember what he had. I paid $3.25 for each of those cupcakes and he can't remember what he had. Again, we felt that the cupcakes were pretty dry. We were kind of disappointed.

A few days later, on a very HOT morning, we took off after our morning meetings. We visited the White House ...
... and then went to find Crumbs before going to the Smithsonian Museums. We were quite delighted to find out that Crumbs sold jumbo cupcakes. These huge cupcakes were $3.75 each, which seemed like a steal after visiting the other two establishments. Craig had a peach cobbler cupcake and I had a chocolate filled chocolate cupcake with chocolate icing.
We had to eat them with a spoon. Craig is such a light weight ... he couldn't even finish his. I, however, ate every crumb. I was, after all, conducting research. Again, we felt that the cake was dry. What saved this cupcake was the filling. None of the others were filled. Also, this cupcake was a lot for the price.

We tried to go to Hello Cupcake, but it was Sunday and they closed a 6:00 ... we got there at 6:15. We also never made it back to Sprinkles. I guess I'll just have to go back to finish my research.

All in all, we felt that my cupcakes taste better. Everyone we tried was dry. Is it because they are mass produced? Is it because they've been sitting in the cases for a while? I'm not sure I know the answers.

I was a little concerned that I was going to gain too much weight from all this research. The 110 degree days and all the walking we did help a lot though. I was pleased that I was still able to fit into the dress I brought for our evening out. :)