Red Velvet Ranking: Georgetown’s best cupcakes
Three cupcakes, three bakeries, one eager taste-tester.
I made my way to Georgetown to settle an internal conflict of mine: I wanted to know which local cupcake shop served the finest cupcake. Because I refuse to endure cold temperatures, I only journeyed to Georgetown, so this ranking includes cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake, Sprinkles Cupcakes and Baked & Wired.
Before starting the taste testing, I knew I didn't want to consume a different flavored cupcake from each establishment, because I felt this wouldn't allow me to form an objective conclusion. Therefore, I needed to base my experiment on some type of scientific rule. So, I made sure to purchase a red velvet flavored cupcake from all three stores.
After setting up the experiment, I sat in my lounge and laid out the three masterpieces, examining each dessert’s size and decor.
Baked & Wired’s creation looked like a monster compared to the other two cupcakes, rebellious due to its uneven and messily-wrapped look. The distressed appearance of this red velvet made my mouth water and my body quiver with excitement. I knew when I saw the cupcake that I wanted it, and I wanted it fast.
I found Sprinkles’ cupcake the most beautiful. Sprinkles’ work of art looked aesthetically pleasing with its flawless icing and nice brownish-red color. Also, I believe most would find the size of Sprinkles’ cupcake appealing due to its average size.
Georgetown Cupcake’s confection had me a little disappointed in terms of appearance. On one hand, I appreciated the heart that the baker placed on top of the cupcake. While reminding me of my singleness, the heart brought a smile to my face because I imagined it telling me, “You might not have a man this Saturday night, but at least you have some red velvet.” On the other hand, the size of the cupcake saddened me. When next to the other two cupcakes, you could see that Georgetown’s looked tiny and not as majestic as the others. I wanted something bigger.
Georgetown Cupcake. Photo by Freddy Rodriguez.
Once I examined each cupcake’s external characteristics, I began to shove the Baked & Wired cupcake down my throat and thus, my taste testing began.
Baked & Wired’s cupcake had the perfect proportion of cream cheese frosting to cake. Disproportionate cake-to-icing cupcakes really irk me, so I always find pleasure in bakeries that have the perfect ratio. I typically find cheeses sour and not tasty, but the cream cheese frosting on Baked and Wired’s cupcake proved otherwise. I don’t know how the bakery did it, but the cream cheese tasted like a thick and creamy vanilla icing. I especially enjoyed this taste due to my past dark experiences with cheese, but that’s a story for another time.
As for the cake itself, I found it fluffy and dense. The layer of chocolate the baker placed in between the cake and the frosting complimented the entire piece. The chocolate made the cake smooth and the icing less overwhelming.
Sprinkles’ cupcake did something weird but pleasant to my throat-— it made it feel cool, as if a breeze passed through my body. I’m sure the cream cheese frosting caused this strange feeling, so I’m not going to question the sensation any further. The cream cheese on this cupcake tasted more cheesy than the Baked & Wired one; however, it was more sweet than sour. The cake was also more moist than the other two, so Sprinkles definitely won some brownie points (cupcake points?) for its cake.
Prior to participating in this experiment, I had never eaten a cupcake from Georgetown Cupcakes. I knew about the craze surrounding the establishment from binge watching every episode of “D.C. Cupcakes,” but I always found the line too long. In all honesty, I’m glad I never wasted my time standing in the tourist-infested line. I can’t comment on an individual aspect of the cupcake due to the flavor of the cream cheese. Not only did the bakery place a disproportionate amount of cream cheese on its tiny cupcake, but the cream cheese tasted so sour that it made me nauseous. I must say that for this cupcake, I only appreciated the tiny heart placed on top of it.
Right to left: Georgetown Cupcake, Sprinkles, Baked & Wired. Photo by Freddy Rodriguez.
Ranking Georgetown Cupcake as the worst of the cupcakes is the easiest decision I have ever had to make. The fact that Georgetown’s red velvet cupcake made me nauseous illustrates its inferiority when compared to the other two establishments. I didn’t find it as easy to rank the other two cupcakes. I found them equally good. Sprinkles’ ability to be both refreshing and satisfying excited me, and Baked & Wired’s sweet cream cheese piqued my interest. Passivity aside, and because I value a proportionate cupcake, Sprinkles ranks second and Baked & Wired takes first place. If a cupcake lacks a good ratio of cake-to-frosting one half becomes too overwhelming, and I felt turned off by the inadequate cream cheese that Sprinkles used for its red velvet.
In contrast, Baked & Wired’s excellent proportions and heavy look brought happiness to my life, creating a sense of symmetry in my mind, stomach and soul. I will never find it a waste of time standing in Baked & Wired’s increasingly long lines, even in the cold.