This small shop on the south side of Dupont Circle is delightful. Delightful!
We ordered two 'control' cupcakes (vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting), the "heart of darkness" (devil's food with chocolate ganache frosting and chocolate chips), tiramisu (espresso cake with mascarpone frosting, dusted in cocoa), "you tart!" (lemon cake with an insane lemon cream cheese frosting), and oh dear God, the "velvet Elvis" (banana cake with peanut butter frosting). This was also the only cupcakery that we visited that regularly bakes gluten-free cupcakes, and also vegan cupcakes, although we didn't try any because we do so enjoy butter and white flour.
My first thought, when I was looking at the cupcakes, is that this is what cupcakes are supposed to look like. These are stereotypically the ideal cupcake -- small cakes held in paper, frosting swirled high on top with little sprinkles or candies on top. Then the taste. These taste like the ideal cupcake. It's the ideal frosting to cake ratio -- vanilla and chocolate in perfect, complimentary quantities, the cake light, the frosting thick, all different tastes and textures at once.
Then, the specialty flavors. "You tart!" was palest yellow, sour and creamy at once, ridiculously good. Heart of Darkness was super rich, almost like a brownie mixed with fudge. But the velvet Elvis. Without ruining the outcome, the velvet Elvis was the single best cupcake I ate on the crawl. And apparently, they only bake it on Mondays and Thursdays, so plan your visit accordingly. But all these cupcakes were marvelous, I think you can't really go wrong at Hello Cupcake.
These cupcakes scored above-average in all categories, but got especially high marks for frosting, amount of frosting and creativity. These were also the cheapest cupcakes we ate, at $3 a piece, and scored high on value as a result. Comments from my team included "really good," "big cake, big frosting," "you may do me on this cupcake," "the peanut butter banana was unbelievable...doable," "nice amount of frosting," "best aesthetic so far," and "prettiest cupcakes, banana peanut butter is amazing!"
The composite score was a 4.2 -- a solid lead above Cakelove and a strong competitor in the Western bracket. Can it beat my personal favorite though, Baked and Wired? Who will advance to face Georgetown Cupcake in the Fabulous Four??
Happy 2nd blogiversary! One year ago: One Year, One Hundred Things, two years ago: the mission statement, Wonderland trivia, and Cowgirl Creamery.