06 September 2008
The Cupcake Chronicles Continue
Cupcakes are the new black in the DC area. It seems that every few months another cupcake shop opens to great hype and enormously long lines. Last week it was Hello Cupcake's turn. I had seen the storefront before it opened- just off DuPont Circle, an trendy area known for restaurants but also for being an independent place not littered with chains, though this has been changing in the last few years. The Hello Cupcake shop had huge plate glass windows, bright pink chandeliers and a few tables and a compressed bamboo bar for those (like me) we can't wait to get a cupcake home before eating it. In short- it looked very DuPont and I was very interested.
Some friends and I arranged a study date at a coffee shop across the street (confession- it is a chain; justification- we needed free internet) and cupcakes were going to be our reward for our first afternoon studying of the semester (am I the only one that gives myself rewards for things like that?). We read and read some more and then it was finally time for cupcakes. We rushed across the street, skirting the cars stuck in traffic and joined the line outside the cupcake shop. Looking through the windows, we could see that the days selection of a promised 10+ flavors had dwindled to two or three and by the time we got to the counter we found out that all of the gluten-free cupcakes had been sold so my friend A- had to go without. The rest of us had a choice between peanut butter blossom, triple coconut and de coconut and de lime. I chose peanut butter blossom, which the man behind the counter insisted tasted just like a peanut butter cup and K* got the triple coconut and we planned to go halves.
We paid for our goodies ($3 even) and it was all I could do to take a few photos before digging into the cupcakes, especially as I could hear the other girls exclaiming about how delicious they were. I carefully peeled back the paper on my cupcake, trying not to take too much cake off with it, and took a bite. It was a peanut butter explosion. I have never in my life had a frosting like that. It was as peanutbuttery as eating a spoonful straight from the Skippy jar, but not heavy or sticky. It was like eating a peanut butter cloud. It was so good in fact, that I would have been happy eating a little cup of frosting (with chocolate kiss on top) and skipping the cake entirely. In this instance, the cake seemed like an afterthought to the frosting and I had trouble getting more than the merest hint of chocolate out of it. Even when I broke off a piece to eat without the frosting, it didn't taste like much but it may have been because my taste buds were going crazy with a peanut butter overload.
K* and I did switch cakes but just for a bite. I always forget that I think that coconut baked goods smell too much like sunblock for me to actually enjoy them, so after a taste, we switched back.
The overall verdict on Hello Cupcake- very promising. I'll have to go back when there is a larger selection of flavors available.
1351 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Just south of Dupont Circle, across from the Metro