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Cupcake Confessions

Most of the people reading this blog (that’s right, all three of you gals…plus my Mom) already know that I have a supreme obsession with those little confections known as mini-cakes (as I like to think of them): i.e. CUPCAKES. When I try to think back to when this obsession really ignited, I like to think that it was before cupcakes were cool and trendy. And most likely it was, but I can’t pinpoint an exact memory of the first time I consumed (and fawned over) a cupcake.

This post is actually in response to a blogger who inspired me (from my Social Media class at Georgetown): abbybakes. Her blog is great  (for many reasons of course, but I personally enjoy reading her down to earth voice and relate-able cooking tidbits…I also love her whimsical design!) and I wanted to give her both some “blog love” and also thank her for motivating me to do a post about something sweet. This week she posted about Bisquick Peanut Butter cookies and I discovered that we both covet baked goods that are a bit undercooked…giving it that soft and gooey texture of scrumptiousness.

SO. Here’s my thing with cupcakes: I have an unruly desire to try out every cupcake shop known to (wo)man wherever I’m visiting. I like to compare and contrast my experiences in different cities. Novel? Not so much. But I was reminded of how much fun I have doing it when I decided on a whim to stop at Carytown Cupcakes on my way out of town from Richmond (where my parents live) back to D.C. yesterday afternoon…

Feliz's reaction to the cupcake box: a nap.

Girlscout-inspired Samoa and Red Velvet

My review of their cupcakes: The Red Velvet was just okay. I thought it was a bit dry and out of all the Red Velvets I’ve tasted, this wouldn’t rank at the top, though I did think the frosting was quite nice! The Girlscout-inspired Samoa was delectable and I consumed it for breakfast this morning. I. Really. Couldn’t. Help. It. It had a toasted coconut and chocolate drizzled top and a caramel filled center. I found this cake to be a bit more moist than the Red Velvet.

Here are some photos of other cupcakes I’ve sampled over the years…

Lavender Moon Cupcakery in Old Town Alexandria, VA

One of the first places I checked out when I moved into my new neighborhood a few weeks ago. On my first visit I purchased a Red Velvet cupcake (not pictured here, sadly…I think I must’ve eaten it before I remembered to take a photo!). It was definitely the best Red Velvet cupcake I’ve had. The woman who served it to me told me that the owner of the bakery uses all natural ingredients and has been working for years to perfect the recipe. Most people use food coloring to get their red velvet cupcakes a bright shade of red, but this was a deeper shade (sans dye) and it was incredibly moist.

An assortment of cupcakes from Lavender Moon

My favorite (the one that’s cut in half) was a Blood Orange Creamsicle cupcake. In a close second is the one right behind it which was a Mexican Chocolate Pudding cupcake. It had hints of cinnamon and a chocolate-filled center. The other two were S’Mores and their signature Flourless Chocolate cupcake. I’ve come to realize after being in denial for a while now I really do prefer non-chocolate-based cupcakes. I’m not sure why, as they’re certainly yummy, but I think they’re a bit too rich for me. The Flourless Chocolate cupcake was quite amazing though and I can see why it is one of their bestsellers.

Clarabelle's Cupcakes in Miami, FL.

I bought a Dealtificate coupon in order to sample these very special (and kosher!) cupcakes. I bought a variety for several celebrations including Tiramisu, Cookies and Cream, S’Mores, and a bunch of Red Velvet, Vanilla and Chocolate mini-cupcakes…

Cupcakes from Stella's Sweet Shoppe in Miami, FL

These were the most beautifully presented cupcakes…on a bed of marshmallows! A chic and wonderful surprise for me from my birthday twin/cupcake partner in crime, Miss Eimear Lambe, who lives in London but coordinated to have them baked and delivered to my birthday party!

A Publix birthday cake made out of...CUPCAKES.

My 27th birthday (in 2009) was made all the more special by my co-workers at the time, who, knowing my affinity for those adorable mini-cakes, decided to have Publix (the supermarket) create a cake comprised of cupcakes. It was, well, amazing! And for those of you who don’t know, Publix has a wonderful bakery and I, for one, love their frosting!

I’m always looking for new places to try, so if you have a suggestion for me, let me know! It doesn’t have to be in D.C. — I like to keep a running list of places to go!

Here’s hoping abbybakes can inspire me to actually start baking my mini-cakes instead of mostly purchasing them đŸ™‚