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Word on the street is that Washington DC has some of the best cupcakes in the United States. And we aren’t going to contest that. With tons of cupcake shops and cool cafes, you’ll have a hard time picking where to load up on sugary treats. From creatively flavored cupcakes through to moist, scrumptious classic cupcakes, we’ve rounded up the best cupcakes in DC.
If you like designer shoes, bags, and clothes, what about designer cupcakes? Georgetown Cupcakes is best known for its beautiful, bespoke cupcake designs. The cupcakery is so popular, it even has its own television show, DC Cupcakes, which is about the two sisters Katherine and Sophie Kallinis who opened Georgetown Cupcakes back in 2008. It also has its own cupcake live cam, showing you baking processes and design process, alongside other fun time-lapses and quirky cupcake designs
Katherine and Sophie Kallinis risked their life savings and gave up city careers to pursue a family passion for baking. They use their grandma’s own recipes and are one of the most well-known cupcake makers in all of Washington. Channel TLC hosts the show DC Cupcakes, which takes viewers on a journey showing the trials and tribulations of launching a cupcake business. At a very young age, Katherine and Sophie would follow their grandmother around the kitchen, helping her bake her signature vanilla cake with milk chocolate frosting. Ten years after opening their first cupcakery, the business makes over 5,000 cupcakes a day (that’s a lot of sugary deliciousness) and their cupcakes are shipped all over the United States, making them one of the most popular cupcake brands in the country.
Top flavors range from a gooey Peanut Butter Fudge and Salted Caramel Cupcake and a moist Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcake. Others include a Chocolate Ganache Chocolate Cupcake with a thin layer of Callebaut chocolate ganache icing topped with a fondant flower, alongside daily and monthly specials, such as Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake, Mocha Chocolate Chip, Key Lime Cheesecake, plus Gluten-Free Strawberry Lava Fudge cupcakes and Vegan Apple Cinnamon cupcakes for those with dietary requirements. We’ll have one of everything, please!
Baked & Wired
Baked & Wired is known for its shabby-chic rustic cupcakes that are so large you could technically share one between two people — but who wants to share a cupcake? Top flavors include the Chocolate Cupcake of Doom, which is so delicious you’ll eat several and probably put on a dress size or two, the Almond Orangesickle, which is an almond-flavored cupcake with orange-flavored icing, topped with toasted sliced almonds, and the scrumptious Pistachio Cupcake, which is a vanilla cake with ground pistachios, honey-cardamom cream cheese buttercream and crushed pistachios sprinkled on top. There’s usually one vegan option offered per day, for those of you with dietary requirements. Baked & Wired also produce larger cakes, brownies, and other delicious baked goodies.
Red Velvet Cupcakery
With a slogan such as ‘Simple, elegant, and too scrumptious for words’, Red Velvet Cupcakery offers high competition with the other cupcake shops in town. The cupcakes are moist and flavorsome and come in tons of varieties, including themed cupcakes to match events, such as a firework themed cupcake on July 4th with crunchy sprinkles inside the cupcake. Other featured flavors include Mexican Hot Chocolate and Root Beer Float. Meanwhile, permanent cupcake flavors include Devil’s Food, which is a rich chocolate buttermilk cake topped with our gourmet bittersweet chocolate ganache and garnished with 24K gold leaf, Southern Belle, which has signature whipped cream cheese topping on a moist red velvet cake, and the Summertime cupcake, which is a light, lemon-flavored cake topped with Red Velvet Cupcakery’s famous whipped cream cheese topping, and then sprinkled with shredded coconut.
Red Velvet Cupcakery first opened in 2008, during the city’s cupcake boom. Its staff consists of trained pastry chefs who create cupcakes as if they are a work of art. Red Velvet Cakery also try to give something back to the community and minimize waste by donating leftover cupcakes to area shelters and nonprofit organizations. You can also volunteer at some nonprofit organizations in DC if you want to do your fair share.
Sprinkles Georgetown is another excellent cupcakery in the DC area. It offers high quality, deliciously baked cupcakes, alongside other baked goods. The bakery is located on the quaint brick roads of Georgetown in the Northwest quadrant and it’s known for its Barbie-pink exterior — you know you’re in for a sweet treat as soon as you arrive.
Top flavors include the Belgian Dark Chocolate cupcake, which is a decadent and complex chocolate cupcake made with cocoa and Madagascar Bourbon vanilla and topped with a creamy, bittersweet frosting and real chocolate sprinkles from France, the Triple Cinnamon, which is a cupcake-twist on the old fashioned cinnamon roll and is made from a spiced buttermilk cupcake topped with cinnamon cream cheese frosting, and the Banana Peanut Butter, which is an old-fashioned banana bread cupcake topped with peanut butter frosting.
For dietary requirements, you can find gluten-free red velvet, sugar-free red velvet, and vegan red velvet cupcakes, alongside a summery gluten-free lemon blueberry cupcake. Sprinkles offers special birthday boxes, and offers on bozes for a dozen cupcakes or more.
Sticky Fingers Bakery
Sticky Fingers is another excellent bakery in DC serving up delicious cupcakes. It’s well-known for its excellent vegan and gluten-free options, with flavors such as the Bunny Huggers Carrot Cupcake, which is a spiced cake slathered with delicious vegan cream cheese frosting, and the Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcake, which is perfectly moist. It’s safe to say that DC has its fair share of excellent vegan offerings, and should be counted as one of the most vegan-friendly cities in the US.
The bakery also serves up slices of cake and donuts, alongside plenty of other sweet treats and good coffee. Its current cupcake flavor of the month is a light and summery watermelon cupcake that’s to die for. The bakery is in the Columbia Heights area of DC and one of its star bakers Jenny Webb has even made an appearance on Cupcake Wars, which is a television series where top bakers compete for a $10,000 prize in a cupcake-baking competition.