Best of DC: Cupcakes

The highly anticipated list that isn’t only about what’s the best cupcake is in DC ( The Washington Post, CBS, & Yelpers have that covered), but why these boutiques are continually buzzed about.

Included: Baked & Wired, Sweet Lobby, Hello Cupcake, Sprinkles, Georgetown Cupcake, Baked By Yael, Occasionally Cake, Crunkcakes, and Little Bird Cupcakes.

A few things about this post:

1:  It’s almost impossible to actually know what the best cupcake is in DC because

  • There are places that just do private orders that are better than the places you can buy a single cupcake
  • Each person can have a different taste in cupcakes
  • Outliers are making dents in the surrounding DMV area.

2:  I had to set limits

  • Did not Reviewed cupcakeries in the immediate DC city limits UNLESS someone brought/bought me an establishment’s bites of bliss.
  • Did not do any private orders (only single cupcakes) UNLESS someone brought/bought me an establishment’s bites of bliss.
  • With that, I’ve created a Watchlist at the bottom for these private order entities.

3: Where my tastes lie.

  • Unique flavors/combinations
    • I LOVE baking my own cupcakes. My cupcake selection therefor is based on flavors I COULD NOT BAKE MYSELF.
  • If I’m going out for dessert, I want to go OUT
    • I want to enjoy the delectable dessert in it’s own environment. This includes actual space & service
  • Money matters
    •  I don’t care if it’s the best tasting cake, if it’s $8, and something a TBSP less tasty is $4, I’m going for the $4 (and getting 2).


Let’s get our cake on!

7. Hello Cupcake

Location: Barrack’s Row (SE Capitol Hill) and DuPont Circle

Atmosphere: Sterile Kitchen. Places for seating by the windows, but general “metal feeling.”

Price: $3.25

Size: Average

Cupcake: Raspberry Beret

Why the buzz? HUGE flavor selection (including vegan selection that offers multiple cakes & frostings), locations close to dinner hot spots easily accessible by Metro, and decorating classes.

Review & Rating: 3/5

6. Sprinkles

Location: Geogetown
Atmosphere: Boutique where you sit in the window and enjoy your little treats
Price: $3.50
Size: Slightly larger than average cake, more frosting.
Cupcake: Lemon Blueberry (fragrant lemon cake studded with wild blueberries topped with lemon cream cheese frosting) Only for 4th of July (6/22-7/8).

Why the Buzz? Brijitte B. & 153 others on Yelp swear by the Red Velvet, praise their moistness, and without the wait of Georgetown Cupcake.Review and Rating: 3.5/5

5. Occasionally Cake

Location: Old Town Alexandria & Alexandria

Atmosphere: “More than a dessert, a centerpiece” of King St.

Price: $2.75 & $3.25 & FREE!

Size: Average w/ an extra heap of frosting

Cupcakes: Mojito, Cherry Hazelnut & Strawberry Champagne

Why the Buzz? New location on King Street, owner works cash register and is EXTREMELY friendly, unique rotating flavors, and connects and rewards fans over Facebook.

Review and Rating: 3.5/5

4. Chatman’s D’Vine Bakery

Location: Shaw

Atmosphere: Long Ikea coffee shop with a Southern Darlin’ serving up the sweets

Cupcake: Banana Pudding

Price: $3.03

Size: Slightly larger cake, slightly less frosting

Why the Buzz? Bakery and cafe that opened in 2008 and has been raved about since. Known for their pies & cupcakes in which you have the option to get them frosted or leave them plain, people love the flavors, and the owner who is super sweet and southern.

Review and Rating: 3.75/5

3. Baked & Wired:

Location: Georgetown

Atmosphere: Vibrant lounge, large selection, additional coffee bar.

Cupcake: The Tessita (vanilla cake with dulce de leche filling and chocolate-hazelnut satin icing)

Price: $3.85

Size: Large

Why the Buzz? More than just a cupcakery, but an edgy-cool destination: cookies, bars, brownies, and quiches,  bagels, and a full espresso bar. This is the best atmosphere of any cupcake place in DC & also the BIGGEST cupcakes as well.

Review and Rating: 4/5

2. Georgetown Cupcake

Location: Georgetown & Bethesda (and expanding nation wide)

Atmosphere: A cutesie science fair volcano ready to errupt. Seating: yes but difficult not to feel rushed or frazzled.

Price: $3.03

Size: Average

Cupcake: Peanut Butter Fudge (valrhona chocolate cupcake with a fudge core topped with a peanut butter frosting and
fudge star drizzle). Other favorites: Banana Split and The FREAKIN BEST Salted Caramel.

Why the Buzz? The inciting incident of the DC Cupcake scene, TLC’s DC Cupcakes, and the popularity of gourmet cupcakes. People also see the line outside, and feel like they need to try it.

Review/Rating: 4.75/5

1. Sweet Lobby (and Crunkcakes):

Location: Barrack’s Row (SE Capitol Hill)

Atmosphere: Hole-in-the-wall with class. No seating.

Cupcake: Fire Breathing Chocolate (Dragon): (mandarin-scented dark chocolate cake, filled with spicy fudge,
topped with milk chocolate buttercream.

Price: $3.85

Size: Average

Why the Buzz? Scott M. and many others in search for the best cupcake on Yelp nod in agreement, Winner of Cupcake Wars, lesser known than most DC Cupcakeries.

Review and Rating: 5/5


1. Crunkcakes

I couldn’t resist throwing this up next to my #1 because it is right next to it.

They Do: Private orders AND festivals/events/bars, pick-up at The Rock & Roll Hotel

  • Grey DC, Eastern Market, H Street Festival, H Street bars are regulars.

Product: The Dirty Dozen at bars/events, 3 flavors per dozen for orders (more info here)

Price: Minis (only at events): Free. Dozen (minimum) $35 ($2.91 per cupcake)

Why the Buzz? Boozy cupcakes made with good quality liquor, appear locally at festivals/events, a new and recent twist to the DC Cupcake Scene .

How I Found Crunkcakes: Whiskey Tasting Night @ Little Miss Whiskey’s on H Street.

Cupcakes: Irish Car Bomb & Cowboy Coffee 

Price: Free! at Event

Size: Mini

Review and Rating: 5/5

2. Baked By Yael

They Do: Private orders droped off in Cleveland Park and Georgetown or delivered.

Products: Cake Pops (also Bagels & Rugelach)

Price: Dozen (minimum) at $33 ($2.75 per pop)

Why the Buzz? Cakepops that make your taste buds pop (irresistibly), a PERFECT (EXTREMELY RARE) 5-Star rating on Yelp, & searching for a storefront in Georgetown soon.

How I found Baked By Yael: Introduced to Yael at the Washingtonian Best Of Party

Cakepop: Cookies in Cream dipped in Green Chocolate coating.

Size: About 1 inch ball on a stick

Review and Rating: 4.75/5

3. Little Bird Cupcakes

They (will soon again) Do: Private orders  out of DuPont Circle, but are currently NOT accepting orders.

Product: Mini Cupcakes

Price: Dozen (minimum) at $18 ($1.50 per mini cupcake)

Why the Buzz? A near perfect 5-Star rating on Yelp

How I Found Little Bird Cupcakes: While researching for this post (main source: Yelp).

Review and Rating: ??/5

Haven’t had the opportunity to try these yet, but the praise alone puts them on my radar. Plus, I would love getting mini cupcakes so I could get more flavors.

Guess this means I will have to do another Best Of DC post on Cupcakes again 1 day. 

Thoughts on this cupcake-foolry? Agree/disagree? Throw it at me!

3 thoughts on “Best of DC: Cupcakes

  1. I am impressed by you! I have not yet been to Sweet Lobby (and you know where I live, so…pathetic). And have never heard of Chatman’s (but am going to make a point of it). I need to act more like I have a limited time in this city, apparently…rather than going ho hum along!

    • Christine,

      It’s not pathetic at all, and I say try a change of perspective. You can always go back to the same all routine afterwards.

      But Jen wants to go on a cupcake venture while she’s here. You should join us. =v)

  2. Pingback: Best of DC: Best of Summer 2012 | What's an Intern to Do?

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