During our weekend excursion last weekend to DC for the National Cherry Blossom Festival, I made it a point for Marcus and me (along with my longtime friend, Angela) to try at least two cupcakeries while we were down there. Angela recommended Sprinkles Cupcakes (blogged here) and baked & wired (post to follow).
Our first stop at was Sprinkles Cupcakes in Georgetown. Sprinkles is the world's first cupcake bakery, then based out of Beverly Hills, California, founded by Candace Nelson in 2004. She imagined Sprinkles and its "scratched-based cupcakes as a natural extension of her great grandmother's legacy," who created "pure, delicious, uncomplicated pastries--the result of her French culinary roots and her new American working life" at her San Francisco restaurant in the 1930s.
I love the cupcakery's logo--the outline of a cupcake liner from an aerial point of view.
Inside Sprinkles Cupcakes. I like how there's a glass separation between the patient cupcake fanatics waiting in line and the cupcakes themselves. Plus, they're organized nicely and neatly in rows! All soo pretty!
While we were waiting in line, they gave us "flavor cards" which had all the flavors it offers during the course of the week. I like how they denote each cupcake type with two multi-colored concentric circles (you'll notice that it is the colors denoted on the flavor card are the signature modern "dots" atop the respective cupcake flavor)!
Sprinkles Cupcakes paraphernalia!
Our box of cupcakes from Sprinkles!
Marcus went with the chocolate marshmallow (on left, with a red outer circle and white inner circle), while I went with the cinnamon sugar (on right, with a tan outer circle and a red inner circle). While I enjoyed the chocolate marshmallow (the outer shell reminded me of the exterior of Entenmann's boxed chocolate frosted donuts), Marcus was taken aback by the marshmallow filling in the middle. He likes the centers of his cupcakes to be cake-filled and with nothing else (what he calls uniform distribution of cake in the middle), his reason being that otherwise it starts to venture into doughnut territory. In this case, he reported that the marshmallow filling in the middle made him feel like he was eating a Hostess Ding-Dong, which he wasn't really what he was expecting. In situations like this, he said, it becomes messier to eat, and there's less solidity to the cupcake a a whole if you remove the cake and fill it with something creamy. He likes to have each bite of cupcake to have a little bit of frosting and a bit of cake, but when the core is filled with say marshmallow, you have to start eating it at weird angles, and then you eventually run out of cake to eat in tandem with the surface frosting. All in all, he reports that it just became a hassle, and the taste and texture ratios are off for him.
Anyway, besides his hang-up with core-filled cupcakes, he still thought the cake part was very good. As for mine, the cinnamon sugar was amazing! It actually tasted more like a denser muffin to me (which was definitely a plus), and the cinnamon sugar added a subtle grittiness that I love about its nature. The cake was fluffy and moist--not at all overpoweringly sweet, so no worries of onset sugar comas here! Also, the signature "dots" atop the cupcakes are edible! They taste like sprinkles (ha-ha), but slightly harder. Overall, Sprinkles has some solid cupcakes up its sleeve!
Findings: If you're in the Georgetown area, I recommend making a stop at Sprinkles Cupcakes (if you don't have one near you back home). They have a great variety of flavors offered over the course of the week. The line moves pretty fast, so I would say it's worth the wait. I'm not sure how the ones with buttercream frosting would taste as the cupcakes we chose had a chocolate glaze and sprinkled cinnamon sugar, but I'm sure the cake part is consistent throughout its cupcake selection--moist, fluffy, and easy to consume! They almost have the consistency of a muffin--only slightly softer and sweeter. In any case, they plan to open up a location here in New York (yay!) near Bloomingdales (anticipated for May 2011), so I surely be making a stop there to try the flavors that weren't offered on Saturday afternoon.
Price point: $3.50 for each cupcake.
--March 26, 2011
Sprinkles Cupcakes (Georgetown)
3015 M Street NW
Washington, DC 20007