In case you didn’t know, cupcakes are kinda a big deal in Washington. Sure, there are a lot of attractions that bring visitors from all over the world to DC. The Capitol Building, the White House, the countless memorials and museums… but many folks are also keen to check out the cupcake scene.
(Even though cupcakes were so 3 years ago because now it’s ALL about the donut and fried chicken places, and by donut I mean cronut because, haven’t you heard, that’s THE dessert to spend hours in line waiting to try nowadays.)
Pickin’ out the best bakery isn’t an easy task. There are just so many different cupcake joints to choose from, which can be daunting when you’ve only come for a weekend trip.
Alas, don’t you fret. Because the public wants to know which bakery is the best, I’ve made it my civil duty to personally taste test the most popular cupcake places in DC.
Philanthropic, I am indeed.
Georgetown Cupcakes — A conversation about cupcakes in DC can’t be had without mention of Georgetown Cupcakes. Originally opened in 2008 by two sisters, Georgetown Cupcake rose to national fame with the premiere of the hit TV show DC Cupcakes on TLC. Today there are 6 different Georgetown Cupcakes across the country.
I’m all about successful female entrepreneurs — yayyyy feminism! — but the cupcakes themselves are overrated and overpriced.
The flavors are boring. The cakes are small and not very moist. The line into the shop is outrageous. And the price? Just not worth it. I’d rather waste my money and calories elsewhere.
Baked and Wired – When asked about the best cupcakes in DC, many DC locals will be quick to refer to Baked and Wired, a funky bakery and coffee shop just off M Street in Georgetown. The quality of the cupcakes here is hard to beat, but what makes Baked and Wired even more delectable is the variety of other treats available for purchase. Some of the most popular include the O.M.G. (a caramel s’more finished with a dark chocolate glaze), hippie crack (homemade granola), or one of their ice cream sammies.
The variety of treats are vast, and the atmosphere is very hip and less commercial than any of the other places, which makes it by far the best bakery around. Oh, and the cupcakes are pretty good too. And by pretty good, I mean SO MAGICALLY DELICIOUS.
Best Vegan Cupcake
Sticky Fingers — Located a little off the tourist path, Sticky Fingers is a must for any vegan with a sweet tooth. A two-time winner of Cupcake Wars, Sticky Fingers claims itself to be “a haven for foodies and the health conscious alike.” The bakery serves vegan sandwiches, wraps, and hot food items as well. Gluten free eats are also available.
Many of my friends swear by this place — and I’ll admit, they do a decent job considering they don’t use any eggs, butter, or sweet animal product goodness(!!) in their baked goods — but I just can’t dig it.
Best Chain Cupcake
Sprinkles — First opened in Beverly Hills in 2005, Sprinkles now has 12 different locations nationwide, including one right here in Georgetown. The menu is extensive and changes daily. The newest addition to this sweet shop is Sprinkles Ice Cream.
These cupcakes are the cupcakes you eat when you want to make a meal out of your dessert. They are BIG. And cheap(er). And come in lots of flavors.
All positives in my world.
The cons are that they aren’t of the same caliber as Baked and Wired or The Sweet Lobby in terms of quality. They’re always a bit dry.
Oh, and I usually want to keel over and die after devouring one. But I think that’s more of a personal issue of over indulgence.
So which bakery offers up the BEST cupcakes in DC?
I was trying to be nonchalant in my description of them so there’d be at least a little suspense, but I think it’s quite obvious.
Baked and Wired kills the competition.
Plus, this is the view you get to enjoy while you sit in the grass nomming away on the moistest morsel you ever did taste.
Now I’m off to tackle them cronuts.