Posts Tagged ‘Sprinkles

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.

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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”).

04
Mar
10

Keep the freebies coming, Georgetown Cupcake

Why are they giving out free cupcakes?  Not like they’re hurting for business, so I’m guessing they want to keep their stores busy while they’re filming their new Cupcake Sisters reality show, and to build loyalty before the DC cupcake assault begins. Sprinkles and Crumbs are coming to town this year. (Aside: As my coworker pointed out, one’s a top, the other’s a bottom.)

But back to how you get a free cupcake: the first 100 people who ask for the flavor of the day by name receive one. You gotta check out their Twitter feed or FB page every morning to see what the flavor is. They’ve been giving these out for weeks now. Show up early, and pray that you’re not the 101st person to ask for it.

17
Feb
10

Is there such thing as cupcake fatigue?

Someone must’ve caught wind of how much moolah the Georgetown Cupcake sisters are pulling in, because there’s a slew of cupcake places coming soon to DC. A sugar coma is imminent.

According to Washingtonian magazine, Crumbs is opening seven (!) locations in the DC Metro area starting in May. Their cupcakes are over the top, and big enough for sharing.

Sprinkles will be opening a location in Georgetown (timing TBD). I’ve only tried them via their mixes at Williams & Sonoma. I can’t wait to try the real goods.

The market for cupcakes in this town already seems near saturation point. Will someone open a French macaroon place, please?

Read the article: http://bit.ly/c8WVpR




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