The #1 Cupcake in DC: Baked and Wired!

The moment we’ve ALL been waiting for is finally here! (okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration but just play along with me here) Now that finals are over for most everyone (sorry if you’re not, you will be done soon!) and I’ve had a week to settle in at home, there is no better time than now to let you all know who the Crazy About Cupcakes blog has decided has THE best cupcake in DC.

So just to give you a little bit of a run-down of my semester in DC:

I went to 16(!) different cupcake shops in DC.

Attended the first ever Cupcake Challenge Cocktail hour with nearly 1,000Β (woah.) of my closest cupcake enthusiast friends.

Received over 50 free cupcakes throughout the semester! (wow… I promise I didn’t eat all of those alone…)

And finally, I definitely THOUGHT about cupcakes nearly 24 hours a day πŸ™‚

And now… The WINNER is… After 5-6 trips to the shop this semester I am more than proud to announce ….

While there were SO many good cupcakes in DC, Baked and Wired ran away with the show in Week #2. I found myself going back every single time someone new came to town and even carried one all the way to Marco Island for Spring break! Now THAT is the sign of a good cupcake.

Here are some pictures of the bakery to give you a feel for everything wonderful about them .

Tucked away just perfectly - Once you find the shop you won't ever want to miss them again!

You can't resist a shop that is this upbeat even with snow on the ground

Photo courtesy of http://freefoodboston.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/img_4293.jpg

The Cupcake Counter with beautiful bell jars prominently and proudly displaying the prized cupcakes!

The Cupcake that won my heart more and more with each bite. Incredible.

Well known marketing professional David Heyman and his wife recently decided to go on a day long “Cupcakeapalooza” as it was hash-tagged on Twitter, and gave this resounding endorsement of B&W.

“Our first stop was Baked & Wired. We liked the hipster feel to the place, as cupcakes are not pretentious food. Β I loved that they had a Rock the Red cupcake to show support for the Washington Capitals playoff run (they clearly need it). We settled on a vanilla cupcake/chocolate icing cupcake, referred to as Karen’s Birthday, deciding to taste test a classic. I was a big fan right away of the shape and size of the cupcakes, the parchment wrapping and the amount of the icing. We cut the cupcake in half and dug in, and quickly realized the competition was over before it had begun, we have a winner! Β The cake was moist, the icing was sweet and properly balanced to the cake, while deliciously chocolaty. Β It was the perfect cupcake.”

– Thank you David for your support in crowning Baked and Wired as the #1 Cupcake in DC!

And so, with that my friends, if you are ever in the DC/Georgetown area you MUST go to Baked and Wired, no excuses!

1052 Thomas Jefferson Street NW

Washington, DC 20007

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who has followed my cupcake adventures thus far, it has been an absolutely amazing experience that has impacted me in more ways that I ever imagined. I could not have asked for a better place to take my love of baking to the next level then in DC, the CUPCAKE capital of the United States.

Don’t worry cupcake enthusiasts, the adventures are certainly not over! I plan on continuing to post as I find interesting things about cupcakes, new recipes, and in general, all things cupcake! After spending a semester so connected to cupcakes in so many ways, I have no intention of giving that up now. Next week I am going to post pictures of all the cupcake paraphernalia I received throughout the semester, I may be forever known as the girl who is obsessed with cupcakes but that is a title I will embrace with pride.

Until next time,

3 cheers for Baked and Wired cupcakes!!

– Crazy Queen of Cupcakes

p.s. Anyone who is still in D.C. go out and have a celebratory B&W Cupcake for me will you? πŸ™‚ Then send me pictures!

Just a few pictures of me with B&W Cupcakes numerous times this semester… I may have been obsessed.

So... embarrassing story: I didn't get a picture of my first B&W Cupcake... I ate it too fast without realizing I should take a picture... This was my second trip, worth it.

My grandmother wanted to try some of the cupcakes I had written so much about so I brought them to Florida for her to try on Spring Break

When Jane and Matt came to visit we ate a LOT of cupcakes.... and yet I still managed to have this much enthusiasm for my Mocha Cupcake from Baked and Wired!

My very last Baked and Wired cupcakes ... πŸ˜₯ They were so good and shared with such great company, but I still miss them! Can't wait to go back some day and try them again.

Posted in May 2011 | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

#16. Cake Love

An unexpected visit to a shop I thought I might not get to has prompted yet another post! I’ve got a few to catch up on so hopefully you all will be okay with a few extra posts before the grand finale πŸ™‚ Last week was my last week in DC so I had to make sure I did all the important things before I left town, like getting together for one last dinner with my mom’s good friend from college, Sally. Sally has been an incredible blessing in my life this semester, filling in for the mom who was so far away and completely embracing my obsession with cupcakes!

As soon as we found out that Cake Love was re-opening in Silver Spring on April 9th Sally and I began planning a trip to try their cupcakes. As soon as we walked into the shop the two young women behind the counter were so friendly and genuinely interested in hearing about my cupcake blog. It will forever amaze me that I can make so many connections over cupcakes! With 7 shops in the DC, VA area I knew I was in for something good but what I didn’t know was that I’d get to meet the man behind it all, Warren Brown!

Owner and Founder of Cake Love Warren Brown

I was amazed that in the short time I had with Warren, his passion for cakes was so completely evident. He is proud of his business and the success that he has found, and I don’t blame him one bit! Even as we were talking, Warren made sure to point out the aspects that make his cakes stand above the rest, giving me a sample of his distinguishing Italian Meringue butter cream frosting. I feel like such a bad critique for not looking into different kinds of frosting throughout my cupcake adventures, but I was so glad Warren enlightened me, it really did provide a different cupcake experience!

Woah, I just realized that I ended all my above paragraphs with exclamation points, critique if you want, I guess its just more evidence of how much I love my cupcakes πŸ™‚ Sally and I chose three different cupcakes from Cake Love, a S’more cupcake, one called the ’44th’ a salted caramel cupcake in honor of President Obama, and Warren’s personal favorite the New German Chocolate. After dinner and of course a photo session featuring the beautiful cakes, we began the ever so scientific process of analyzing each one.

New German Chocolate Cupcake

Appearance: Cake Love’s tagline is ‘Cakesfrom scratch’ and these cupcakes were a true testament to the made with love feel. Each cupcake looked home made, not made by a machine, and that’s definitely something I can appreciate! I loved the large flakes of coconut on top of the New German Chocolate cupcake because it gave it a different look that set it apart from a German chocolate cake you could get at any other bakery.

Cake: The cake from Cake Love was moist (one of my biggest requirements now) and I’m not sure how to describe it other than dense and spongy. The bonds between the flours and sugars in the cake were very tightly knit, making for a solid, satisfying cake.

The S'more cupcake had the PERFECT chocolate cake, fudgy, not overwhelming. Loved it!

Frosting: After having heard from Warren himself about the Italian Meringue Buttercream frosting, I was excited togive it a try. The frosting was so smooth and whipped, almost like a whipped cream topping rather than frosting. In a sense this was really good as the two flavors of the cake and the frosting blended easily into one in your mouth, but I also didn’t find it quite as satisfying as the frosting I remember from childhood. It was, however, the perfect sweetness, not overbearing as most frosting can become, which was one of the main reasons Warren said he used it. For me, since I was trying more than one cupcake it was great to not be overwhelmed by sweetness on the very first bite.

This picture doesn't do this cupcake justice, never did I think I'd like a savory cupcake but I agree with Obama on this one, it was top notch!

Cake to Frosting Ratio: I have to give two thumbs up to Warren and his crew for this one! The cupcakes were perfectly home-made and had that ‘mom doesn’t want the kids to go into a sugar coma’ layer of just the right amount of frosting on top. I didn’t have to scrape any off to equal out the cake to frosting ratio, which I always end-up licking off making me look ridiculous, so thank you for that Cake Love!

And so… Here is the final report card for my cupcake adventures in Washington, D.C.!

The fun with cupcakes never seems to cease πŸ™‚ Make sure to check out Cake Love’s awesome website where you can watch a video starring Warren himself giving you a behind the scenes look at everything Cake Love and give you a preview of what they have to offer if you haven’t made it over to one of their locations yet! If you haven’t though… you probably should put that on the agenda this weekend… just saying πŸ™‚

All the way from back home in the MidWest… 3 cheers for cupcakes!

– Don’t fight the craze

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The man, the myth, the cupcake legend!

Okay, so John’s going to kill me for saying that but I do feel like he deserves at least some credit for the cupcake phenomenon that has taken over my semester in DC. One day way back in January I was on the phone with my boyfriend, John who was back in Omaha going to school. I told him about my disappointment over Georgetown Cupcakes and the fact that these cupcakes that were hyped as being the best cupcakes ever left me wanting to run and get a box of funfetti from the store. And so, completely offhand, John said something along the lines of, “How about you find the best cupcakes in DC before I get there?”

Back together again πŸ™‚

And so, that’s where the idea for Crazy About Cupcakes began, along with an assignment for class which required my roommate Emily and I to create a video, website and blog of our choosing. From that point forward, cupcakes have come to define my experience here in DC. Finally last week, John himself got a taste of DC and my semester away from Omaha when he came to visit for Easter! I was just a tid-bit excited to have him here and show him my city and CUPCAKES!

As usual, getting cupcakes was an adventure across the city, one that was totally worth it of course! John and I jumped on our bikes and headed off across the city to … Op, wait! I can’t tell you where we went yet because guess what, that would give it away! Hopefully all of our photos will suffice for now πŸ™‚ Poor boyfriend was so patient with me as I photographed our beautiful cupcakes before we absolutely demolished them. I think he’d say it was DEFINITELY worth it. πŸ™‚ Enjoy!

Plain. White. Unidentified Box. Don't you wish you knew!

The boy himself, it's true, he was here!

Wrappers off side to side, wrappers off and side to side.

Monstrously delicious to go along with its size -- Mocha cupcake

Just in case you missed it the first time... Hugely delicious Carrot Cupcake!

Okay really though, I just want to eat my cupcake!

And the verdict is ... Big smiles!

I can’t wait to tell you all where we got these delicious cupcakes! This is my last week in DC so I will be posting where I believe the BEST cupcake in DC comes from at the end of this week so make sure to check back to find out!

Until then, 3 cheers for cupcakes!

– The Girl who is truly Crazy About Cupcakes!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Week #14: Curbside Cupcake! (Finally!)

My oh my how wonderfully my world of cupcakes has turned out to be! Sometimes the best cupcake adventures are the unexpected and today was definitely one of those treats! After a late lunch due to a long Palm Sunday service, I headed out to Eastern Market to check out the Flea Market they have each Sunday. It was an absolutely perfect afternoon for the occasion!

As soon as we got above ground from the Metro, we were greeted by none other than Pinky, the Curbside Cupcake mobile! I’ve been struggling all semester trying to get to Curbside Cupcake, I even got friends to help me persuade them to come to Georgetown only to fail miserably and stay home the one day they actually did. I didn’t have a cupcake stop planned for this week, as my boyfriend John, who was the one who originally told me I had to find the best cupcake in D.C. before his arrival, will finally be here! I wasn’t about to miss an opportunity as perfect as this so after perusing the flea market goods, we topped off the afternoon with cupcakes.

Amazing how cupcakes can bring people together!

Shout out to the Curbside Cupcake man for hooking me up with one of their delicious cupcakes without even hesitating. I ended up with their newest Banana Chocolate Chip, which I’m pretty sure I’ve drooled thinking about ever since I saw their tweets announcing its arrival. Bananas and chocolate? Touche my friends, that is one heck of a stellar combination. I was like a little kid promised a reward for being good as I held my little paper bag tight while we made a second loop around the market.

Rebecca decided shed take the safe route and eat her PB&J cupcake before it melted in the beautiful sunshine. Her report? Delicious!

After dinner I finally sat down to dig in and man, it was SO worth the wait!

Nom. Double Nom.

Okay Okay SO, here’s what I thought:

Appearance : Simple yet the perfect classic cupcake. No bells and whistles to work around, just a great cupcake waiting for you to take that first bite.

Frosting: I am becoming more intrigued at the number of different frostings I’ve encountered in my cupcake adventures here in DC. In case you were wondering, all frosting is DEFINITELY not alike! This was what I might describe as the perfect chocolate frosting. Seriously. It was so rich and yet not overwhelmingly heavy as chocolate tends to be. It was like whipped rich chocolate, absolutely amazing.

Cake:Β Β I was kind of skeptical about a banana cupcake, often qualifying anything fruity, (esp banana) as more of a muffin flavor rather than a cupcake. I was extremely pleasantly surprised by this cake! It had a light real banana flavor versus artificial banana as so many “banana” flavored things taste. It went extremely well with the whipped chocolate frosting! My only disappointment lay in the lack of choco chips… there were maybe 4-5 little chocolate chips all at the bottom of my cupcake but not dotted through the cake as I might have hoped.

Cake to Frosting Ratio: In achieving the perfect classic cupcake shape, as seems to be a trend, there was a bit too much frosting for my liking. I didn’t have much problem eating a couple bites off the top each time in order to achieve the right balance, but without doing that the chocolate frosting definitely outplayed the light banana flavor. I did appreciate however that the frosting was centrally placed on the cupcake as that meant I could remove the wrapper without all the mess!

Now for the report card :

I am still amazed at how well my cupcake adventures have turned out this semester, I don’t think I could have made it work out this well if I had planned it all out. Just goes to show, some of the best things in life are unexpected! Next time you’re out around the city and see a big pink van drive past you should definitely join in on the craze and get yourself a Curbside Cupcake!

My next post will be with the guy behind it all and his verdict on the cupcakes I’ve found so make sure to be on the look out for that!

Until then, 3 huge cheers for spontaneous cupcake adventures!

– Not so secret agent Cupcakes.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Week #13: Hello Cupcake!

Aw… Hello to you too! πŸ™‚ jk jk This week I finally got a chance to go some place that I’ve heard about since I kid you not, week #2. Insane how fast time goes! The same night that I went to Red Velvet Cupcakery, Rebecca who went with me had just gone to Hello Cupcake in Dupont! This city is truly crazy about cupcakes.

On Tuesday night, the SIWJ kids were lucky enough to get to go to the Nationals game against the Phillies and join in with the crowd that is consistently known for cheering for the other team. πŸ™‚ Okay, one might say that seeing the Nationals is all that great, but I was still excited to go because that means its BASEBALL season in St. Louis which means CARDNIALS games and SUMMER! Awesome.

Before the game, Ashley and I met up to begin our cupcake adventures walking just across the street from the DuPont Circle metro stop to ‘Hello Cupcake’ a cute little cupcake shop whose name says it all. Inside the shop was a combination of super cutesy and yet sophisticated, with smiling faces ready to hand over your sweet.

Wasting no time, Ashley and I began to survey the rundown, quizzing the Hello Cupcake experts who didn’t ever miss a beat. When asked what THE BEST cupcake was that they had to offer, I was told I MUST have the peanut butter blossom, and from the looks of the dozen or so that were tempting me behind the case, I knew they were right. It had a Hershey Kiss on top! I knew I couldn’t go wrong with that.

Peanut Butter Blossom Cupcake!

Dipping my finger into the peanut butter frosting, as any proper cupcake connoisseur might do, I was delighted at the soft whipped frosting and then even more excited about the taste! It was perfectly peanut buttery and yet light and sweet enough that it wasn’t overwhelming as directly out of the jar. MmMm … So here’s what I thought.

Enjoying my sweet treat from the comfort of a familiar spot ... Panera! (aka St. Louis Bread Company)

Appearace: Super cute with a great cupcake shape and whipped peanut butter frosting swirled perfectly on top it definitely enticed me to want to bite right in! On top of that the Hershey kiss pulled it all together on top, giving it a little touch that makes all the difference.

Cake: I was slightly dissappointed in the chocolate cake that was used as a base for this classic chocolate and peanut butter mix because it wasn’t especially chocolatey. The guy at Reeses are doing something right because their blend of chocolate and peanut butter is spot on, while this cake left me unable to satisfy the ongoing desire for more chocolate.

Frosting: So light, sweet, and fluffy, I loved it! There is some magic in being able to make a peanut butter frosting just right, and Hello Cupcake has definitely found it.

Cake to Frosting ratio: It was a good thing I loved the frosting, because I spent the first 10 minutes eating half of it off the top before I even started into the cake… πŸ™‚ Whoops. With half of it gone and spread equally on the top of the cupcake, the perfect ratio was then achieved.

What a great chance to hit another local spot! In talking with other Hello Cupcake enthusiasts at the shop I was told about many of their other great flavors that are must-haves including 24-carrot and tiramisu. Both sound absolutely delectable to me! Next week I am DETERMINED to track down Curbside Cupcake… Gotta make my plan of attack πŸ™‚ and then in just a couple weeks we will have THE GRAND REVEAL! πŸ˜€ Get excited.

3 Cheers for the Cupcake Capital!

– Could I get any crazier about cupcakes??

Posted in April 2011 | 1 Comment

Week #11: Indigo Pineapple

Oh what a life for the Queen of Cupcakes! This past weekend went SO quickly and left me with many memories as well as a smile on my face. My brother and sister in law, Robert and Betsy, came to town Saturday afternoon and had a whole weekend of fun activities planned in celebration of Betsy’s birthday! After an afternoon of Cherry Blossoms by the tidal basin we headed back towards campus for a dinner at Tonic and of course a few birthday surprises!

They came at the perfect time to see the Cherry Blossoms in full bloom.

Before Robert and Betsy arrived, Robert and I did some secret planning to make the weekend a success. After networking the weekend before at NCACS Cupcake Challenge, I have become Facebook friends with many cupcake enthusiasts in the area, one of the sweetest and most responsive being Junnie Han of Indigo Pineapple.

After checking out Indigo Pineapple’s website as well as Facebook page, it didn’t take much for me to realize I NEEDED to ask Junnie if she could put her adorable fondant monkeys on some cupcakes for Betsy’s birthday. (We have an on-running joke, thanks to the comic strip Get Fuzzy) Of course, she immediately said she could do that no problem! Wow, cupcake bakers are amazing!

On Friday I went to go pick up my precious treats from Junnie who handed them over the metro turn-styles so that I didn’t even have to pay for my ride! (ShHh Don’t tell Metro) Despite a sad mishap with the monkeys (Poor Junnie and the disappearing/road kill monkey mess) I was more than excited to try my Red Velvet and Chocolate cupcakes!

I opted for decorating the box with PLENTY of monkeys to carry out the ridiculous theme, making Betsy all smiles as she opened her gifts. We all had a great time trying each of the cupcakes, the cream cheese frosting making a hit with Robert, while Betsy and I are both HUGE fans of Junnie’s ganache.

Here’s what we thought:

Appearance: While I’m sure Junnie’s original Monkeys were absolutely adorable, her cupcakes were classically cute all on their own, made in birthday cupcake wrappers with big colorful “button” sprinkles adorning the tops of each one πŸ™‚

Chocolate Cupcake with Chocolate Ganache

Cake: The cakes on both cupcakes was complimentary to the frostings that were chosen, as the chocolate flavors balanced out their sweet counterparts. Having had Indigo Pineapple’s Peppermint Paddy cupcake the weekend before, I think I could go for more of that same cake with these two frosting varieties.

Frosting: If you’re a cream cheese frosting lover, Indigo Pineapple’s red velvet is the one for you! On their website this frosting is also offered as a filling as well on custom ordered cakes, yum! The chocolate ganache was an oh-so-pleasant reminder of the Peppermint Patty I’d had just the week before. So good!

Red Velvet with "Say Cream Cheese" Frosting

Cake to Frosting Ratio: Betsy and I both agreed that the cake to frosting ratio on these cupcakes was a bit high, but we also discussed that it totally depends on the person. For someone like Robert who loved the cream cheese frosting, or Betsy and I who loved the chocolate ganache, we were more than happy to eat the extra off the top.

So, here’s the rundown!

If you take a look at Indigo Pineapple’s website you’ll see all the beautiful cookies, cakes and cupcakes they have created. They have serious talent over there! Make sure to check out their Facebook page too, that’s where I got the idea for the monkeys and who knows, it just might have the perfect inspiration for the cake you need for your next party!

Always happy with a cupcake in hand πŸ™‚

Can you believe I only have 2 more weeks of cupcakes here in DC?? It is insane how fast it has gone. Make sure to put in your vote or comment if you have a cupcakery you think I MUST try before I leave. Until then… 3 cheers for Monkey and Tiger cupcakes! πŸ˜€

– The Queen of All Things Cupcakes (Who knew there was so much paraphernalia??)

Posted in April 2011 | Leave a comment

Week #11: Confections Cupcakery

This week’s cupcake adventure was a special one for a special occasion! For the past 5 weeks, the Semester In Washington Journalism program has been working on a project with the Division of International Conservation and yesterday was our final presentation. Being the connoisseur that I am, I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than with cupcakes!

Thanks to the NCACS hosting the first annual Cupcake Challenge, I met the wonderful women of Confections Cupcakery based out of Woodbridge, VA. After talking with them at the event, I decided I wanted to give their cupcakes another try and add them into my quest for the perfect cupcake. I was certainly not disappointed!

My classmates, director as well as consultant from the Division of International Conservation were all ‘wowed’ by the cupcakes we received! Β We had all types of flavors to try including red velvet, cookies and cream, peanut butter cup, strawberry, mint, chocolate and best of all TIGER VANILLA! How is TIGER VANILLA different than your typical vanilla cupcake you might ask?

See for yourself!

I was SO impressed by the way Laura took my request for Tiger cupcakes and far exceeded my expectations! I am still giddy about it. I wish I lived in DC full time so I could get kitty cupcakes for many more occasions!

All our amazing cupcakes!

It was so hard to get myself to look past the cute kitty on the top of this cutesy cupcake but I knew I had to dig in and find out whether the cake beneath lived up to its incredible decoration.

Appearance: Obviously, appearance wise, this cupcake is the absolutely top notch for anything I’ve eaten this semester. I realize thats not entirely fair, because how often does one request a tiger cupcake? But the fact that Laura took my order just this week and pulled it off this well, I give it a 10!

Cake to Frosting Ratio: While the tiger was made extremely well with dabs of icing for the nose and ears, my classmates and I did discuss the cupcake to frosting ratio on all of the cupcakes and decided it was a bit high. I ended up licking off the top parts of the frosting to equalize the ratio before I ate the cake but in general I suppose that isn’t very lady-like so a cupcake with a little less frosting would make it so I wouldn’t have to!

Cake & Frosting: Once I had perfected the ratio I took my first bite and oh was it good! The vanilla cupcake was everything and more that I remember from childhood birthday parties. The cake was moist and full of flavor, while the soft buttercream icing on top blended so sweetly into the mix. I really can’t give a report on bites 1-6 (even 6 bites might be generous) because I was too caught up in the moment of cupcake bliss!

And so… Here’s the rundown!

I am SO glad that I ran into this group at the Cupcake Challenge and then got to try more of their cupcakes this week! I loved the way that their cupcakes were designed, with sprinkles of cake or other accoutrementsΒ on top of the beautifully swirled frosting on each one. If you are looking for beautiful cupcakes for any occasion and don’t want to hassle with having to pick them up, I would highly recommend Confections, you certainly won’t regret it!

Love the cute distinguishing touches!

Until next time… 3 cheers for Cupcakes!

– The Queen Connoisseur of Cupcakes

Posted in April 2011 | Leave a comment