Thursday, February 26, 2009

Community Cupcakes Fundraiser

If you have lived in this area for a few years, chances are you remember the tragic death of 12 year old Luke Carter-Schelp back in November 2006. Luke slipped on some leaves while crossing Strathmore Avenue in Garrett Park and was struck by an oncoming van.
To celebrate his life, every year Luke's mother, Val, hosts a fundraiser event that involves, you guessed it, cupcakes. Check out the story from the Metro section in today's Washintgon Post:
Every year on Luke's birthday, Val organizes an event she thinks he would have liked. On Saturday at Walter Johnson High School -- the Bethesda school where Luke would have been a freshman this year -- 11 middle and high school groups will compete at a battle of the bands fundraiser.
"For me it's been a really good way to think about Luke's birthday without thinking, 'Oh, God, he's not here,' " Val said. "On Saturday, if I weren't doing this, what would I be doing? It's Luke's 15th birthday. I could go climb a mountain, but why not spend it with a bunch of people doing something else?"
And doing something good. The event will raise money for Hungry for Music, a nonprofit group that provides musical instruments to needy kids. In the past, Luke's friends have done other charity work in his name, including collecting sneakers to be ground into playground surfaces. Because the events always include a cupcake for everyone, Val calls her group Community Cupcakes.
To understand why, you have to go back to a week before Luke died. It was Election Day, and Val had dragged Luke out of bed to take him to the polls, where she was volunteering with True Vote MD.
"I was forcing him to go," she said, "telling him, 'It's important. We live in a democracy. We have to do our part.' "
Luke was having none of it. He raged against the fundamental unfairness of being a 12-year-old snatched from bed on a day off. Then they came around the corner and he saw the hustle and bustle around the elementary school. "He said -- I'll never forget this -- he said, 'Well, I'll volunteer if they have cupcakes.' I was crawling on the sidewalk, I was laughing so hard."
What kid doesn't like a little bribery?
Val, 45, is a physical therapist for the early intervention program in Montgomery public schools. I know her from my church, where the energy with which she throws herself into social justice issues is legendary. For Saturday's event, an army of bakers will help her ensure that every person receives one of the aforementioned cupcakes.

Family Photo of Luke, From the Washington Post
So if you are in town this weekend and would like to donate to a good cause, then head on over to Walter Johnson High School and enjoy the bands (and a cupcake!) Bands competing Saturday include Metrophish, Those Guys, Trees Have Cars and Danger. Admission is $5, and attendees are invited to donate used musical instruments. For more information on the event and the bands, visit

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Williams Sonoma Perfect Endings Easter Cupcakes

Keeping up with their holiday cupcakes from Napa Valley bakery Perfect Endings, Williams Sonoma has these cutesy cupcakes available from now through Easter.
They come in a set of 9, 3 of each flavor - Chocolate Devil’s Food Cake frosted with Chocolate Ganache and scattered with chocolate sprinkles; Vanilla Poundcake swirled with Vanilla Buttercream and sprinkled with white jimmies; and Vanilla Cake slathered with Lemon Icing and topped with pastel yellow jimmies.
I think they are rather (okay, extremely) expensive ($69 plus shipping), but hey, had to share!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hello Cupcake St. Patricks Day Flavor

It's almost the time of year for Drunken Irish Cupcakes!

Hello Cupcake has their own version with their "Bailey's Irish Dream," Available March 2-17th. The description says this cupcake is "a boozy celebration of St. Patricks Day! Dark, moist Guinness Chocolate Cake topped with Bailey's Irish Cream Frosting and a lucky sugar shamrock." Pick a few up for your St. Patty's Day celebration!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Nostalgia Cupcakes Pictures

For those of you who haven't been able to make it out to Annapolis based Nostalgia Cupcakes, owner Sharon White was kind enough to send me some photos to share with you guys - thanks, Sharon! From what I hear, they've got a lot of great reviews from both the locals and the tourists - I'm thinking maybe when it warms up we can have a meetup out there!

Nostalgia Cupcake's Peanut Butter Cupcake

Nostalgia Cupcake's Hot Chocolate Cupcake

Nostalgia Cupcake's Grandma's Best Vanilla & Chocolate Cupcakes

Nostalgia Cupcake's Caramel Macchiato Cupcake (which I've had, and it's great!!!)

Yankee Candle Vanilla Cupcake Sale

I was at the mall yesterday and saw that the Vanilla Cupcake flavor at Yankee Candle is currently on sale! You can take 25% off of any size Vanilla Cupcake candle - the promotion is also online.
Yankee Candle Company Vanilla Cupcake Candle

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Smithsonian Cupcake Installation Pics!

One of the blog readers, Marivic, was sweet enough to send me some pictures from the Zilly Rosen cupcake installation at the Smithsonian last weekend. Pretty amazing, huh?? Thanks Marivic!

Starbucks Red Velvet Cupcake

I finally found a standard sized Red Velvet Cupcake from Starbucks! The only one I have had so far is the little version, with the chocolate candy on top. This one tasted exactly the same as the smaller version - like a sweet sugar cookie - but bigger! Have you tried all the Starbucks flavors? What's your favorite?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Occasionally Cake's Cupcakes!

Last weekend I finally caught up with the lovely and talented ladies of Occasionally Cake, Sabrina & Marcia, and had the opportunity to taste their Valentine’s Day Cupcake Box. Where have these girls been all my life!? These bigger than average cupcakes are so delicious and sweet, you won’t know what you’ve been missing until try them!
The first flavor I tried was the Pomegranate Cupcake with Pink Champagne Frosting. This Pink Champagne Cupcake is their signature flavor, and one of their most popular. When I pulled the cupcake from the box, the sweet smell jumped out and had my mouth watering in seconds! The fluffy pink cake was fruity and sweet, and the champagne frosting was the perfect pairing. This is the kind of dessert where you take one bite and think, ohmygosh, and just want to dive in. BUT, I refrained from over indulging – I had 3 more flavors to go!
Next up was their Chocolate Overload Cupcake. The chocolate ganache cake was so rich and moist, and that frosting, wow. It was a light and fluffy swirl of chocolate buttercream atop a layer of dark chocolate ganache. I think the layer of ganache underneath the buttercream adds a level of flavor that helps give this cupcake such great flavor. Chocolate lovers would go nuts for this cupcake!
You might be thinking it couldn’t get much better, but oh, it did! The third cupcake was definitely my favorite. It was a White Orange Sour Cream Cake with Ginger Orange Buttercream. Sometimes people hear Ginger (myself included) and get a little skeptical, but oh no my friend, not here. I forked into the cake by itself first, and to say the least, it was fantastic. The flavorful dense cake has a tart tang to it, a lot like lemon, but the taste is not too strong at all. It’s just right. The frosting had a wonderful tangy kick to it as well. Take a bite of the frosting and cake at once, and Wow – you have one amazing cupcake. I could have probably consumed this whole thing if I didn’t exert a little self control!
The last cupcake of the group was a Fresh Strawberry Cake with Chocolate Buttercream - their Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcake. The thing that made this cupcake good was that it wasn’t one of those overly sweet box mix fruity strawberry flavors – you know the kind? Not at all. This cupcake had a very, very light fruit flavor to it that paired with the chocolate buttercream was something that you could easily eat all of. Not too heavy at all, and doesn’t leave you feeling in sugar shock afterwards.
Another nice thing about the size of these delicious cupcakes is that you can eat half and be completely content. Put the other half in an airtight container and have it later! You’re definitely getting a lot for your money considering they're only $2.75/each (which if you're familiar with the area's cupcake prices, this is on the cheaper end of the spectrum). Cupcakes with special decoration start at $3.50/each.
The ladies are working on getting into their storefront (they have a space! But as you have seen with the delays of other bakery openings – think Hello Cupcake, Nostalgia Cupcakes, etc. – these things take time!) but in the mean time you can place an order by emailing or calling them. Occasionally Cake offers 12 different flavors, with a large number of filling options. I cannot say enough nice things about these girls and their cupcakes – you’ve got to try them!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mindful Eating Workshop: Cupcakes!

If you missed the last Mindful Eating workshop, now's your chance to catch the fun and informative event!
If you want to learn how to have your cake and eat it too, then you must join Wellness Counselor Jennifer Howe and The Little Black Dress Club for a workshop on Mindful Eating! What is Mindful Eating you ask? It's the art of savoring and truly appreciating your food. Learning to eat mindfully will avail you more self awareness, fewer binges, more joy and less stress. Something us sweet lovers, or just food lovers in general, could really benefit from!
Jennifer will teach you how to get in touch with your intuition around food: recognizing your natural hunger and satiety cues; knowing what your cravings really mean; choosing foods that are both pleasing and nourishing; reclaiming a healthy relationship with all food, all the time. Doesn’t that sound liberating? Cupcakes will be provided!
The workshop is being helf at the Astoria in Arlington this upcoming Monday, February 23 from 7pm – 9pm. The cost is $15/person, and to attend or check out more information, visit Jennifer's website by clicking here

Monday, February 16, 2009

Soda Cupcakes!

Looks like Snapple has caught onto the cash cow that is the cupcake craze! Snapple, who owns brands like 7-Up, Orange Crush, Hawaiian Punch, and Dr. Pepper, came out with these "Soda Pop Cupcakes!" I was in a Kroger today when I saw them and snapped a picture - I wonder how they taste???

Orange Crush Cupcakes by Snapple

Hawaiian Punch Cupcakes by Snapple

Dr. Pepper Cherry Vanilla Cupcakes by Snapple

7-UP Cupcakes by Snapple

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

5,600 Cupcake Art Installation at the Smithsonian

So I think I’ve been procrastinating on writing this blog post because I am SO bummed out that I’m not going to be here for it! Seriously, it pains me!!! Myself aside, you all deserve to have all the details!

As some of you may have heard, the very talented Zilly Rosen was recently asked by the Smithsonian to create a cupcake image for Family Fun Day this Saturday for the President’s Day activities in honor of Obama’s election & Lincoln’s 200th Birthday. You might remember Rosen as the woman who put together the amazing 1,240 cupcake portrait of Obama last month (see below).

Photograph of Zilly Rosen & her Obama Portrait from
This weekend’s cupcake image will span 9 ft x 14 ft (hxw), and will be made up of over 5,600 cupcakes. The design, “A New Birth of Freedom,” includes the faces President Obama and Abraham Lincoln with an American Flag behind them. Rosen says she's using 17 colors and variations to create the image.
Visitors can view the installation from noon through 5pm this Saturday February 14th from the mezzanine levels of the Smithsonian’s Luce Foundation Center. Following the Presidential Family Fun Day activities, visitors can flock to the Kogod Courtyard to take part in the de-installation of the artwork, aka, eat one of the cupcakes!
If you go, please take pictures to share with the rest of us!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Occasionally Cake’s Valentines Special

Virginia-based Occasionally Cake has a very tasty special this Valentines Day – their “Be Mine Cupcake Box!” This tasty gift comes with 4 Jumbo Cupcakes and is packaged in a Pink Box with a decorative ribbon, all for $20.
Flavors include Chocolate Covered Strawberry – Fresh Strawberry Cake with Chocolate Buttercream, Chocolate Overload – Chocolate Truffle cake dipped in chocolate Ganache and iced in chocolate buttercream, Pink Champagne – Occasionally Cake’s signature Pomegranate cake with champagne flavored buttercream, and Sensuously Spicy – Orange Sour Cream cake with ginger infused buttercream.
To place an order, you can contact Occasionally Cake at 703-780-3519. Orders must be placed by February 10th (that’s tomorrow!) for pickup February 13th or 14th.

Hello Cupcake Sweet Tart Cupcake

In continuing the run down of Valentine’s Day cupcakes this week, Hello Cupcake has their Sweet Tart Cupcake available from now through Saturday, February 14th. The Sweet Tart is a Pink Lemonade Cake topped with sweet lemon cream cheese frosting, and finished off with pink, white, and red hearts. If it’s anything like their You Tart cupcake, I’m sure it’s great!

Hello Cupcake’s Cherry Blossom cupcakes (an old photo, but thought it went well with the Valentine’s theme!)

By the way, I found out through one of the blog readers, Bryce, that Hello Cupcake has a frequent buyer card called Bakers Dozen! Yup. Buy 12 cupcakes and get one free! So buy 12 for someone special this Valentine’s Day, and save the freebie for yourself ;)

Valentine's Day at Baked & Wired

Take a look at this picture posted on the Baked & Wired website of some of the treats they’re offering up this Valentines Day. That looks like their Strawberry Cupcake – which is AMAZING, to say the least!

Nostalgia Cupcakes Valentines Flavors

Nostalgia Cupcakes, who officially opened their doors on January 29th, is celebrating Valentine's Day with two special flavors.
The first flavor, Velvet Kiss, is a buttery soft chocolate cake with a liquid caramel center and bittersweet chocolate ganache. Cherry Cordial is their second flavor, and this cupcake is a chocolate cake filled with a soft cherry center and dipped in chocolate ganache. Sounds delicious!
You know what is really cool about Nostalgia Cupcakes? They are the first cupcakery I have seen to offer a frequent buyer card! Some of the blog readers and I were discussing how we wished cupcakeries would do this - so it's nice to see one finally run with it! When you make a cupcake purchase at Nostalgia, just ask the front counter for a frequent buyer card. Each time you visit they'll stamp the card, and after the 6th visit you'll recieve a free cupcake!
Nostalgia Cupcakes
is located at 188 Main Street, Suite 102 in Annapolis, Maryland. Custom orders should have 24 hour advance notice - 410.280.0660.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

National Geographic Loves DC Area Cupcakes

Thanks to CTTC, I found out about this National Geographic Article on Cupcakeries! To encourage people to skip the box of chocolates this Valentine's Day and give a box of cupcakes, National Geographic put together "a select list of of top cupcakeries around the U.S." Fun! You can click here to read the whole article, but I'd just like to share who made the cut from our area.

Photo by Thomas Fahey, from National Geographic Article

Charm City Cupcakes Most unusual flavor: Ouzo Peach. Price: $1-2.50

Washington, D.C.

Georgetown Cupcake Most unusual flavor: Key Lime (key lime cake with key lime frosting topped with candied lime). Price: $2.75

Hello Cupcake Most unusual flavor: Tiramisu (espresso cake with mascarpone frosting). Price: $3

Red Velvet Cupcakery Most unusual flavor: Peanut Butter Cup (chocolate chocolate-chip cake with salted peanut butter frosting). Price: $3.25

Congrats on making the list!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Williams Sonoma Perfect Ending Valentines Cupcakes

Williams Sonoma is back with their holiday-themed cupcakes, this time for Valentine’s Day of course. As with their Christmas cupcakes, they are using Perfect Endings, the Napa Valley boutique, as their supplier. The three flavors they’re offering up this Valentine’s Day are Red Velvet topped with vanilla icing and white sprinkles, Chocolate cake frosted with chocolate ganache and dark chocolate sprinkles, and Chocolate Caramel which is a chocolate cake topped with Chocolate Caramel buttercream and milk chocolate sprinkles.
The cupcakes are sold in a set of 9 (3 of each flavor) via the internet/catalog only, and go for $69.00. To ensure freshness, they are shipped overnight from the supplier. The website says that for Valentine’s Day delivery, order by 5pm Monday, February 9, 2009.
Also available at Williams Sonoma this Valentine’s Day is their Crown Heart Cupcake Pan and Special Set. The pan produces six large cupcakes crowned with heart shaped tops. The Special Set includes the cupcake pan and their Valentine Fondant & Cutters Kit, for decorating the cupcakes with words and/or numbers.
The pan alone sells for $24, while the Special Set sells for $49.95. Take a look at the pan though…the cupcake still bakes in normal cupcake shape so you can use normal cupcake liners, which is smart, since I have never actually seen a heart shaped cupcake liner…but then again, you’d have to be super careful about baking so you don’t burn that thin heart shaped top. Wouldn’t it still be pretty fragile though, even if you didn’t burn it? Has anyone ever used this pan before?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Just Cakes Cupcakes at Chevy Chase Supermarket?

I was going through some old magazines tonight, and when looking through my December Bethesda Magazine, saw an advertisement saying that Just Cakes Cupcakes are now available at the Chevy Chase Supermarket. Has anyone seen them there?

Wedding Cupcakes photo from Just Cakes Website

UPDATE: Looks like this is no longer the case! Thanks to reader Kate, I've found out Chevy Chase Supermarket used to carry Just Cakes Cupcakes, but no longer does. Bummer! Thanks for the tip, Kate!

Cupcake Goodies!

Check out the latest in cupcake-related goodies from the retail world:
This Cherry-topped "Choose Juicy" cupcake bank, is 6.25"Dia. and 5.5"T. It sells for $45 and you can find it at Neiman Marcus by clicking here.
I love all things cupcake, but this Steuben Celebration Cupcake is perhaps the most frivolous and absurdly priced cupcake-related thing I have ever seen, so of course I had to share it with you. The product description reads this tasty, fine crystal objet is crowned with a semiprecious garnet cherry for just a touch of color. Ours exclusively, it is handcrafted in the USA. 2 2/5"H x 3" diameter. This "fine crystal object" will put you out a nice $950 plus tax. Enjoy.
Now this is cute! The Baby Bunch Infant Girls' Romper Cupcake Box Sets are a perfect baby shower gift! The box contains 3 colored rompers and 3 white rompers, which are all decorated with removable stickers of flowers and fruit. All cupcake boxes arrive tied with a ribbon bearing a gift tag. The box set is $55, and you can find it at Bloomingdales.
The cheapest thing on this list? Cupcake Bandages! The description says What's better than a treat to turn that boo-boo into a woo-hoo? Sweet cupcake bandages are sold by the dozen and packaged in a tin with a surprise inside! At the very least, they'll certainly take your mind off things (like the trip to the ER, blinding pain, etc.). Urban Outfitters sells them for $7, and the box includes 12 cupcake-shaped bandages and a prize.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sugar & Champagne Picture Recap

Remember the Washington Humane Society's Sugar & Champagne Affair I blogged about last month? Well Washingtonian Best Bites Blog posted some pictures from the event that I thought were worth sharing!

Says Best Bites, "Josh Short of Buzz Bakery in Alexandria decorated his chocolate. vanilla, and red velvet cupcakes to look like different breeds of dogs."

Hello Cupcake's Penny Karas holds a box of cupcakes

Some of Hello Cupcake's delicious cupcakes on a pretty little stand

All photographs are from The Washingtonian Best Bites Blog. Other cupcake bakers that were present, but I don't have any photos of, were SugaChef Desserts and Locolat. You can check out the whole recap on Best Bites Blog by clicking here!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Spotted: Starbucks Cupcakes

When I was doing a little shopping at Tysons Galleria on Saturday afternoon, I stopped at the Starbucks and what do you know - cupcakes! I haven't seen these yet...Vanilla Bean and Double Chocolate (and no, these were not the Cheesecake Factory cupcakes).
Had I not pigged out at the Red Velvet Cupcakery Meetup earlier in the day, I definitely would have picked one up, but I just couldn't do it. Has anyone tried them?? I'm also keeping my eyes peeled for Starbucks Valentines Day cupcakes!