Using the best ingredients and showing them off elegantly, Georgetown Cupcake excels at portable cake-y confections.
My sister doesn’t like sweets. She never has, and I have a hard time understanding that as I want my cake, and I want to eat yours too. So when she came back from a trip to Georgetown Cupcakes where she fell in love with their vanilla squared, I was dumbstruck. She waited in a super long line for cupcakes and enjoyed one? Was this the same sister who so vehemently refused sweets at every turn? Yes indeed it was. I became intrigued, finding recipes online to understand just what made them so gosh darn special. It was their ingredients, but also their frostings are out of this world which made me start to understand what exactly had captured my sister.
In this recipe which we found in 2009 in the Washington Post, it highlighted the ingredients for a chocolate cupcake- a chocolate cake with chocolate ganache. Sounds simple enough but when you look at their ingredient recommendations it calls for : Valrhona cocoa powder, Callebaut chocolate, Madagascar vanilla and European-style unsalted butter. These are the best of the best in terms of chocolate, vanilla and butter. The fact that they were even using two of the best brands of chocolate showed me that they took care to pair them and make sure their end cupcake rocked.
Then came their frosting. It boasted the luxurious taste of a buttercream, but an insanely light and fluffy delicateness. Their “secret” was simple, beat the frosting to submission for 3-5 minutes. I’d never heard of such a concept but you bet now I use this tactic every time I make cupcakes. No more lumpy heavy frosting here folks.
Simple is better and this is where Georgetown Cupcake excels. For the most part, they have two to three components to a cupcake. They have the cake, frosting or ganache, and sometimes a filling. When they use frosting, their signature swirl is a simple way to highlight the end product (after a few tries of course it’s deemed simple). Then there’s almost always some type of sprinkles, swirl glaze (peanut butter, chocolate, caramel) or a simple fondant decoration to highlight the flavor or season. There’s no over the top showmanship that occurs which is exactly why everyone gets so excited and can enjoy something from their shop.
I first tasted deliciousness at their shop on Newbury Street in Boston. Since I was down there a few times a month, I frequented them all too often. I even deigned to order something other than cupcakes and was surprised at how good their coffee was. Of course they were using another top name brand, Illy.
When I went to visit my sister in DC, we braved the downtown streets of Georgetown. It’s a super hectic little community, but with such an awesome vibe. We found lots of fun stuff to get into, but the highlight was of course Georgetown Cupcake. You were able to see their little storefront where they started it all, and their current main street corner location showing off all their goodness.
I even went so far as to order the cupcakes for my dear friend’s bachelorette party, to test their skills one step further. They didn’t charge me any extra to have her wedding colors and unique fondant toppers. It was a great way to highlight my darling friend during her celebration and for more individuals to appreciate their awesome cupcakes.
Unless you’re living in the big cities such as Washington DC, New York, Boston or Los Angeles, you’ll have to get cupcakes shipped in (which I’m still dying to try). Or you could try your hand at making them at home. While you can scour the internet for recipes, I actually recommend their books Sweet Celebrations or the Cupcake Diaries. Sisters Katherine Kallinis Berman and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne talk you through their cupcakes of course, but also talk you through how their business got started, how they became quite famous on TLC’s DC Cupcakes, and family recipes and traditions.
Don’t take my word, go out there and bake! Or at least revel in pictures.
To full plates and eating your tarte out.