Batter Up: Taste-Testing D.C.’s Best Red Velvet Cupcakes
Oh, no. It’s February 14th, and you forgot again – it’s Valentine’s Day!
But before you call every flower shop in town to find a last-minute delivery or grab a heart-shaped box of subpar chocolates, you can visit your local bakery for a decadent red velvet cupcake to melt your loved one’s heart.
Red Velvet Cupcakery
In reviewing local red velvet cupcakes, I thought it only appropriate that I should pay a visit to Red Velvet Cupcakery, where the dessert is actually referred to as a Southern Belle. Charming store attendants Carrilynn and Shawnice claim their recipe’s elite ingredients – such as Madagascar bourbon and Valrhona French chocolate – make Red Velvet Cupcakery’s version a top contender for best red velvet in the D.C. area.
After a generous bite of this cupcake, I was instantly hooked on the icing. It had a distinct cream cheese flavor and a smooth, dense texture. The cake was slightly dry, but this could vary from batch to batch.
Note that for those of you counting your calories or watching your sugar intake, a sugar-free version, the Northern Beauty, is available.
501 7th St NW
Washington, DC 20004
First opened in Beverly Hills, Sprinkles Cupcakes now has 12 locations across the United States. The eye catching, hot pink exterior and décor is enough to compel any passerby to take a step inside.
This red velvet took the cake on moistness, pun intended. The cream cheese icing wasn’t as memorable as some of the others, but the cake itself won top honors in this tasting.
“Red velvet is our most iconic flavor at Sprinkles and outsells all our other cupcakes combined! Sprinkles Cupcakes are baked fresh from scratch throughout the day using the finest ingredients. We also offer vegan red velvet and gluten-free red velvet!”
3015 M St NW
Washington, DC 20007
Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats
Whether you’re health conscious or vegan, Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats is the perfect place to grab a red velvet for your loved one. Although this is no traditional cupcake boutique, Sticky Fingers won the battle on the Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” in March 2011. Founder Doron Peterson explained during my visit that these are great for people who are suffering from health conditions such as high cholesterol or allergies.
These 100% vegan cupcakes might skip the dairy and eggs, but they do not skip out on flavor. After I dove into their red velvet, I found that it was just as tasty as the non-vegan counterparts I’ve tried. Although it was distinctly different, the cake was moist and dense, the icing smooth and creamy.
1370 Park Rd NW
Washington, DC 20010
Baked & Wired
Noting that this was by far the largest cupcake of the group, it’s the perfect treat for sharing. Baked & Wired refers to this specialty treat as a “Cakecup,” and I must agree that this red velvet resembles a large slice of cake due to its light and fluffy nature. Be prepared for a sugar high; the icing is dense and very sweet.
Baked & Wired also offers a special Valentine’s Day menu with baked goods such as the “Big Ass Conversation Cookie” or the “Mama Love Cupcake.”
1052 Thomas Jefferson St NW
Washington, DC 20007
Known for their reality TV show “DC Cupcake” on TLC, Georgetown Cupcake bills itself as “the leading destination for gourmet cupcakes.” Well, this red velvet had big shoes to fill. My take – the icing was light, fluffy and delicious. The cake itself was dense and full of flavor but slightly dry.
“Red Velvet is Georgetown Cupcake’s signature cupcake. Our Red Velvet cupcakes are baked with European-style butter, Madagascar bourbon vanilla, and Valrhona cocoa, and have a gorgeous red hue. Our Red Velvet cupcakes are topped with a signature swirl of our famous vanilla cream cheese frosting and decorated with delicate handmade red fondant hearts, brushed in edible luster, for an extra special touch.”
– Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne & Katherine Kallinis Berman, Co-Owners, Georgetown Cupcake
For those of you looking for a larger quantity, Georgetown Cupcake offers a Valentine’s Day dozen that includes Red Velvet, Strawberry Lava Fudge, Chocolate Squared and Strawberry Champagne.
Note that when visiting the Georgetown store, it’s best to go during a slow time of day or order online. Lines are known to wrap around the block.
3301 M St NW
Washington, DC 20007
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