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A Sweet Day

Maybe it’s the satisfaction of perfect proportions. There’s too much frosting on the center cake slice; too little on the end. Maybe it’s the endlessly creative flavor combinations. Plain vanilla and chocolate are such old news. Maybe it’s the tiny moments of joy. Pure sugary-bliss in every bite.

Maybe I just love cupcakes.

In 2011, some coworkers and I formed a secret (because it’s more fun) Cupcake Club. Monthly we shared a dozen cupcakes. Often from local boutique shops, sometimes even ordering deliveries from out of state. Since then, I have become cupcake-obsessed, seeking out boutique shops in every new city I visit.

It’s Throwback Thursday…

On a sweet August day in 2012, the Cupcake Club played hooky from the office and mapped out a 10-shop cupcake crawl in Washington, DC. For this epic event, I designed a custom logo and concert-style tee, with every shop accounted for, as we ate our way through Cupcake-A-Palooza.

"You're a human being, you live once and life is wonderful, so eat the damn red velvet cupcake!"

-Emma Stone

On your next visit to DC, stop by one (or all!) of these sweet shops:

Baked & Wired (Georgetown)

A sugar and caffeine fix – double the fun! Offering a variety of other sweet treats, their Dirty Chai cakecup is my favorite. Dubbed cakecups due to their larger than average size, I bet you eat the entire thing. The espresso buttercream melts in your mouth with just enough kick to compliment the spice of the cake. Finishing touch – the crunchy chocolate covered espresso bean on top. For a match made in chai heaven, pair it with their Chai Latte.

Vegan & Gluten-Free Options Available

The Sweet Lobby (Capitol Hill)

Make sure to pick up one of their signature “MacTops” – a macaroon topped cupcake! As a tea enthusiast, I am drawn to the Cupcake Wars Winner, Green Tea Pistachio. The bits of pistachio in the cake add a pleasant texture. While enjoyably light, the green tea buttercream seems to need a drop of honey. The macaroon on top is the clear winner – do not leave without one…or six.

Vegan Options Available

Georgetown Cupcake (Georgetown)

Lots of hype and long lines – but monthly seasonal flavors are worth the wait! August’s finest is Banana Split. With sprinkles, hazelnut bits, fudge drizzle and a cherry on top, it is like indulging in the real thing. The vanilla cream cheese frosting, like ice cream, is so smooth, while the fudge center melts perfectly into the banana cake. For a cupcake twist, try Blueberry Cheesecake. It is as fresh as advertised and authentic with a graham cracker bottom – no frosting needed on this creamy treat.

Vegan & Gluten-Free Options Available

Red Velvet Cupcakery (Penn Quarter)

This shop is tiny – grab a dozen to go! Sample their Hazelnut Café cupcake. The cake, with crunchy hazelnuts pieces throughout, is a little on the dry side. It is saved by the whipped cream frosting reminiscent of a drink prepared by a barista, complete with a pinch of ground espresso on top. Or go for a classic and try Southern Belle – their version of Red Velvet.

Vegan & Gluten-Free Options Available

Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats (Columbia Heights)

This shop is a two time Cupcake Wars winner – and 100% vegan! Go for the Lavender Lemon cupcake if it is available. Although the cake is a bit more dense, it is moist none-the-less and quite delicious. The lavender flavor is very present, without being overwhelming. Fun fact – the cupcakes actually are a bit “sticky.” With full service café options, you can even enjoy a healthy lunch before dessert.

Vegan & Gluten-Free Options Available

Eat a damn cupcake…and have a sweet day!

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