Posts Tagged ‘Baked & Wired

17
Jan
12

Pie Vs. Cupcake: Pie Sisters comes to Georgetown

When Sprinkles opened in DC last year, it seemed like Georgetown had reached dessert saturation point. Or at least, cupcake saturation point.

Personally, my cupcake fatigue set in last summer. Maybe I’d partook of too many free cupcakes (thank you, Sprinkles and Georgetown Cupcake*). Maybe I’d overstocked them in my freezer—I’ve still got some Baked & Wired ones from Ms. Pie’s wedding last August. But now I just don’t get that jonesin’ for them anymore. I can actually walk past a cupcake place without getting the shakes. Not that I’m defecting to Team Pie. Yet.

But apart from Baked & Wired, there’s a lack of places in Georgetown to grab a great pie. Until last week, that is. Pie Sisters just opened at the edge of Georgetown, by the Key Bridge before you get to the Exorcist steps. Their story is similar to the owners of Georgetown Cupcake: sisters who gave up their careers to pursue their dream, family tradition of baking, that kind of stuff.

The cuppies ($4, including tax) is Pie Sisters’ answer to the cupcake. They’re individually sized and hard to resist, even though you probably get more bang for your buck ordering by the slice. The nice thing about the menu is the pies come in both sweet and savory flavors. I love that I could just have an entire meal there made up of cuppies. Even though I’m mildly embarrassed to order anything called a “cuppie,” because it sounds like something you pad your bra with.

This key lime and coconut cream cuppie were surprisingly intact after being schlepped all over Georgetown. And they tasted as good as they look. The crust is really thick, with a nice crunch. It’s not your typical flaky lard/shortening/butter crust. That’s actually a good thing because it’s not a bit soggy. If anything, it could’ve used just a touch more salt to play off of the sweet fillings.

Lots of key lime pies are maddeningly sweet. This one was pleasantly tart. I prefer puckeringly tart, but that’s challenging to achieve since excess acid can prevent your filling from setting (as I’ve learned in previous baking fiascos). The coconut cream was also good, thick with toasted coconut in the filling.

Pies may not be any healthier a fixation than cupcakes, but it’s nice to know there’s another option in Georgetown for getting your sugar fix.

*Georgetown Cupcake gives away 100 free/day per location. Sprinkles gives away 50/day. See their Twitter feeds for the secret flavor or phrase of the day.

15
Mar
11

Who makes the best cupcake in DC?

There’s nothing like a massive cupcake taste-off to help you visualize yourself in that projectile puking scene from Stand By Me–with cake vomit standing in for pie vomit, in this case.

This shot was taken before disgusting amounts of cupcake consumption commenced. Photos by Ms. Pie.


Last weekend, Ms. Pie, Mr. x-sXe, Greenie, Token Vegan and I set out to determine who makes the best cupcake in DC. According to The Washington Post cupcake wars from 2008, the winner was the chocolate ganache from Georgetown Cupcake. Since then, quite a few more cupcakeries have cropped up around town, so it was time for a re-match.

The red velvet contenders, clockwise from 5 o'clock: Sticky Fingers, Sprinkles, Georgetown Cupcake, Crumbs.

Aside: If you want to take all the pleasure, joy, and fun out of cupcaking, try tasting 30+ cupcakes between 4.5 people (the .5 being Token Vegan) over the course of 3 hours. While OD’ing on cupcakes like this may put most people off cupcakes for the foreseeable future, I was hitting the freezer for leftovers within 24 hours. Appalling but true.

Appearance-wise, Red Velvet Cupcakery's cupcakes are the woman grocery shopping in sweatpants.

The Methodology: We pitted 7 DC bakeries/cupcake shops against one another. Asterisks indicate national chains.

1) Sprinkles*

2) Georgetown Cupcake

3) Baked & Wired

4) Red Velvet Cupcakery (not to be confused with red velvet cupcakes)

5) Hello Cupcake

6) Crumbs*

7) Sticky Fingers (vegan cupcakes)

We taste-tested 3 mainstay flavors side-by-side: red velvet, chocolate-on-chocolate, and vanilla-on-vanilla. Hello Cupcake doesn’t do a red velvet, and Baked & Wired was out of that flavor the day we went, sadly.

The chocolate contenders, clockwise from 6 o'clock: Hello Cupcake, Red Velvet Cupcakery, Sticky Fingers, Georgetown Cupcake, Baked & Wired (in parchment), Crumbs.

We also tasted 3 wildcard flavors:

1) Vegan peanut butter blossom from Hello Cupcakes

2) Menage a Trois from Baked & Wired (chocolate cupcake with raspberry filling, cream cheese icing, and cringeworthy name)

3) Chocolate marshmallow from Sprinkles

The wildcard flavors, clockwise from 7 o'clock: Sprinkles chocolate marshmallow, Baked & Wired Menage a Trois, Hello Cupcake Vegan Peanut Butter Blossom

Cupcakes were scored on a 10-point scale (with 10 being the best) based on:

  • Appearance
  • Frosting
  • Cake
  • Taste
  • Overall

Let the chest-beating begin: The winners

Red Velvet: Sprinkles. Score: 7.75. The cream cheese icing was exactly the way you’d want it to taste–the tangyness comes through, perfectly paired with a fluffy, moist cake. Crumbs took second place with 6.25.

Chocolate-on-chocolate: Baked & Wired. Score: 7.25. The chocolate icing is a creamy consistency (did I detect a hint of coffee in there?) atop a dense cake with a hefty crumb. Sprinkles wasn’t far behind, with a score of 7. Note that we tested the dark chocolate from Sprinkles, which some taste-testers found “too rich.” And while Ms. Pie noted that “Hello Cupcake’s chocolate cupcake is like the Platonic ideal of what a cupcake should be,” they tied for third with Crumbs at 5.25.

Vanilla-on-vanilla: Baked & Wired. Score: 7.25. Crumbs was second, with 6.25. Overall we were most underwhelmed by the vanillas. Maybe that’s why the word vanilla is used as an insult? But we also tasted them last, giving them an unfair disadvantage, since we were ready to swear off cupcakes by then.

Wildcard: Baked & Wired, Menage a Trois. Score: 7.25. A thimbleful of raspberry filling complements the chocolate cake and icing nicely. Hello Cupcake was neck-and-neck with a score of 7.2. Actually their peanut butter blossom was a sleeper hit–much tastier than any of us anticipated. And by “tasty,” we don’t mean “tasty for a vegan cupcake.”

The aftermath. By this point we were feeling very, very ill.


In conclusion: the best overall cupcake in DC is the red velvet from Sprinkles, but the best bakery overall is Baked & Wired. They also offer the best value, with cupcakes weighing in at 5.7 oz. ($3.50)–or as Ms. Pie puts it, “the Quarter Pounder of cupcakes.” To put that into perspective, a Georgetown cupcake ($2.75) weighs around 2 oz.

Sticky Fingers, a recent Cupcake Wars winner, was disappointing considering their big victory, although Ms. Pie is rallying for them to bring back their flower cupcakes.  Their scores were consistently at the bottom along with Red Velvet Cupcakery (“frosting like a stick of butter”).

13
Mar
11

Cake versus cake preview

What do you get when you bring together 35 cupcakes from 7 DC bakeries, with just 4.5 people to eat them?

Stay tuned for the results of our taste-off, where we’ll be revealing who makes the best red velvet, vanilla on vanilla, and chocolate on chocolate cupcakes in the city.

14
Nov
10

November’s seasonal flavors at Georgetown Cupcake, caramel apple and pumpkin

The tourists may be gone, but the lines at Georgetown Cupcake are still ridiculous.

Luckily, we did a pick-up order online. While the store may not have a red velvet rope outside, it kinda feels like you’re sailing past one as you flash your order confirmation to the cupcake bouncer.

Georgetown Cupcake is offering a pumpkin and a caramel apple cupcake through November. The  caramel apple was very tasty with a moist apple cake, dulce de leche filling, and cream cheese icing. (See cross-section below.) Mr. X-sXe noted that there were actual bits of apple that gave the cake a slight tartness.

The pumpkin, a more modest cupcake, was good too. If you’re into spice cakes, you’ll enjoy this one.

Ever since Pie brought over those Baked & Wired cupcakes, though, everything else has seemed wimpy in comparison. Georgetown Cupcake is no exception, since their cupcakes are among the smallest in DC. And don’t be surprised if the ratio of icing-to-cake leaves you with a serious hankering for more cake.

18
Oct
10

Cupcakes for breakfast: The scientific justification

Pie brought over these goodies from Baked and Wired last weekend, and Mr. X-sXe thought I was crazy for having them for breakfast. But I’d read some studies like this one that show that fat metabolism genes are most active in the morning. So if you’re going to gorge on cupcakes, try to have them right after you wake up!

As for the cupcakes, they’re our new favorites. I’d had Baked & Wired a while back and remember not being particularly impressed, but this time around, I’m a fan. The ratio of icing-to-cake feels right. It doesn’t leave me wanting for more cake to balance the icing, or make my heart race from the sugar shock. These are the largest of the DC cupcakes and, for our money, the most gratifying.

31
Jul
10

Pie V Cake’s tips for avoiding the ridiculous lines at Georgetown Cupcake

This was the scene outside Georgetown Cucpake’s M Street location this morning at 11:15 AM.

In other words, TLC’s DC Cupcakes has dashed my hopes of ever getting another free Facebook cupcake on weekend mornings. It used to be, pre-DC Cupcakes, you could show up near opening time on weekends and sail through the line within 10 minutes. With a free cupcake, no less. Those days are gone, now that every tourist and their mom wants a cupcake. <<{{Gnashing of teeth.}}>>

Here are our tips for getting your cupcake on:

  • Order ahead. You can place your order the day before, then not have to wait in line to pick it up. Cut in front of the sugar-starved mobs at your own risk.
  • Walk a few blocks to Baked & Wired, where the cupcakes are bigger (and some say better), anyway.
  • Jump on the blue Georgetown Metro Connection bus to Dupont Circle’s Hello Cupcake. Especially if their Gianduja is on the menu that day.
29
Apr
10

Interview with the folks behind Hello Cupcake, Georgetown Cupcake, Baked & Wired and Something Sweet

Click on the photo to check out an interview with the ladies behind some of DC’s favorite places for cupcakes, from NBC4.