Where to Get a Cupcake Fix in the Washington, D.C. Area Slideshow
February 4, 2013
Northern Virginia: Buzz Bakery
Buzz Bakery operates under the philosophy that ingredients matter, freshness matters, and people matter. Led by chef Tiffany MacIsaac, the team produces everything from cakes and pies to cupcakes and chocolates, as well as coffee and lounge fare. The cupcake selection is smaller than other shops but each of the limited-time flavors is worth tasting, such as the Coco Loco (a coconut chiffon cake with rum Italian buttercream and toasted shaved coconut.)
Northern Virginia: Alexandria Cupcake
The brightly lit Alexandria Cupcake is located inside a narrow townhouse-style building on King Street in the heart of historic Old Town Alexandria. Stepping into this bakery feels like walking back in time and reinforces Old Town’s distinct charm. Special flavors rotate throughout the week. Daily offerings range from red velvet to vanilla bean, and specialty offerings include vegan chocolate and rose-flavored rosewater cupcakes.
Northern Virginia: Cupcakes Actually
Located in Fairfax, Va., inside of commercial and residential development Fairfax Corner, Cupcakes Actually is where shoppers go to get a sugar rush. The cupcakes are stored behind a glass panel inside of a bright white boutique. The menu items rotate weekly and include options like vegan red velvet, strawberry lemonade, pistachio cinnamon, and their signature chocolate-dipped cupcakes.
Northern Virginia: Edibles Incredible Desserts
The Reston, Va., shop Edibles Incredible Desserts, as its name would suggest, is known for its "incredible" dessert creations such as a cake shaped like the Capitol Building. But its cupcakes are tasty morsels that deserve attention, too. Some of its cupcake offerings include the creatively named Chocolate Madness, Coconutty, Banana Bam, and staples like red velvet and peanut butter cup.
Washington, D.C.: Baked & Wired
Georgetown’s Baked & Wired is one of the area’s best bakeries. Its cupcakes, which the shop calls "cakecups," include traditional flavors like chocolate satin and coconut that are served alongside creative offerings including the Elvis Impersonator — a banana cupcake topped with peanut butter frosting and drizzled with chocolate (one of The King’s favorite food combinations) with the option of adding candied bacon on top.
Washington, D.C.: Georgetown Cupcake
Georgetown Cupcake is the area’s most famous cupcake shop thanks to its starring role on TLC's DC Cupcakes. Sisters Katherine Kallinis Berman and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne whip up hundreds of cupcakes each day, all featuring a their signature inward swirl of frosting that is both distinctive and attractive. Waiting in line for these sweets at their tiny Georgetownboutique is part of the experience. The menu includes everyday, special, seasonal, and holiday offerings, including chocolate ganache, vanilla birthday, carrot, Key lime, vegan cranberry spice, chocolate butterscotch chip, and Mother’s Day and Father’s Day vanilla. All of Georgetown’s locations (there’s also one in Bethesda, Md.) give out 100 free cupcakes each day. The flavor is announced daily on Facebook; be sure to arrive early in the morning if you want to snag one. They go fast.
Washington, D.C.: Red Velvet Cupcakery
The Red Velvet Cupcakery goes above and beyond in offering customers the ultimate luxury experience. Cupcakes are sold in customized liners with Red Velvet Cupcakery's logo on it, and you can even get one served with a gold leaf garnish. Try the Summertime, a zesty lemon cupcake topped with whipped cream cheese frosting that's smothered in coconut.
Washington, D.C.: Hello Cupcake
After learning to bake at the apron strings of her Greek mother, owner and executive pastry chef Penny Karas says she brings the Greek Mother philosophy to Hello Cupcake. The cupcakery offers customers an extensive line of daily flavors, including the classic vanilla and chocolate along with carrot, lemon, and peanut butter. Try the Pumpkin Spice cupcake — spiced pumpkin cake, topped with brown sugar streusel, vanilla cream cheese frosting, and salted pepitas.
Washington, D.C.: The Sweet Lobby
The Sweet Lobby knows how to stay on top of waves. First, it was their sensational cupcakes meant to delight all the senses. Then, they expanded to Parisian macarons, another tasty trend sweeping the nation. Finally, The Sweet Lobby offered special Obama- and Romney-themed baked goods for Election Day 2012 — they've truly capitol-ized on their location near Capitol Hill. Try the Ginger-White Chocolate (a vanilla cupcake, infused with fresh ginger, topped with a whipped white chocolate-fresh ginger frosting and finished with white-chocolate dipped candied ginger).
Washington, D.C.: Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats
Columbia Heights’ Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats serves up more than just cupcakes, but as its two wins on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars will attest, its cupcakes are top-notch. All of Sticky Fingers’ treats are animal-product-free and include options like classic vanilla, peanut butter fudge, cookies 'n’ cake, carrot, and red velvet.
Maryland: Charm City Cupcakes
Charm City Cupcakes, which ranked number seven on The Daily Meal's 50 Best Cupcakes in America list, prides itself on turning their cupcakes into breathtaking pieces of dessert, not just bake sale fodder. The menu ranges from the everyday, like red velvet and vanilla, to black-tie, such as limoncello chiffon and Jamaican rum. They even have a breakfast cupcakes menu, including flavors like apple cinnamon spice and espresso.
Another two-time winner of Cupcake Wars, CakeDreams is a family-owned business with a focus on sustainability. To cut down on the amount of food the shopthrows out, CakeDreams, located in Rockville, Md., only makes a limited number of sweets per day. The bakery recommends calling ahead if ordering cupcakes after 3 p.m. Recent flavor choices, which rotate monthly, include cannoli, yellow vanilla, double peanut butter chocolate, and carrot.
Maryland: Lilly Magilly’s Cupcakery
Gaithersburg, Md.’s Lilly Magilly’s Cupcakery is decorated in cupcake colors like fuchsia, black, and white. The shop serves preservative-free cupcakes in fun flavors like snickerdoodle, vanilla-peanut butter, brownie delight, strawberry cheesecake, root beer, orange cream, and neopolitan.
Sure YOCAKE’s Rockville, Bethesda, and D.C. locations serve cupcakes that are baked fresh daily in flavors like dark velvet, coffee aroma, strawberry coconut, and blueberry bliss, but its signature "yocakes" are cupcakes topped with the shop’s creamy or tart-flavored frozen yogurt and toppings. Frozen yogurt and cupcake lovers rejoice.