Cupcake warfare

March 3, 2011

Do you ever walk down M Street and think to yourself, “Wow, I really wish Georgetown had another high-end, overpriced, nationally-famous cupcakery?” Probably not, since the line and television crew outside Georgetown Cupcake are almost as unavoidable as those ubiquitous pink boxes you eye with envy when you see them all over campus. But despite the fact that Georgetown’s overpriced confection market has been very much tapped, today, Sprinkles Cupcakes’s flagship D.C. location will have its grand opening—just a few blocks away from Georgetown Cupcake.

So what does Sprinkles have to entice the Georgetown Cupcake line to move a little further down the road?

For one, Sprinkles has gotten on not just one, but two D.C. culinary bandwagons—they’ve got a food truck. And as part of their promotional tour of the D.C. area, the Sprinkles truck parked itself outside Georgetown’s front gates on Tuesday and offered free cupcakes—normally $3.50 a pop—to the first 500 visitors.

Although Sprinkles offered only three of its 24 varieties of cupcakes, the sample was enough to discern what kind of quality the Georgetown crowd can expect from the company that boasts having opened “the world’s first cupcake bakery” in Los Angeles. The red velvet cupcake (which, on the regular menu, is also available in both gluten-free and vegan varieties) had an understated flavor in the cake, but the quarter-inch thick dollop of rich cream cheese frosting made it decadent and satisfying. The other varieties—a simple but delicious black-and-white, and a nice pink strawberry-on-strawberry combination whose taste was neither artificial nor overpowering—were also impressive, boding well for the rest of the menu. In fact, the smooth texture of the frosting and complimentary, moist cake base may put them slightly ahead of their Georgetown Cupcake counterparts as far as taste, but whether that difference is worth a whole extra $0.75 per cake remains up for debate.

With its fairly small cupcakes, more-than-fairly high price, and lack of menu items beyond the cupcake, Sprinkles definitely caters more to the Georgetown Cupcake crowd than the hipster Baked & Wired set. But price and market saturation aside, if there’s one thing nobody can say no to, it’s cupcakes on wheels. Sprinkles, welcome to Georgetown.

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Charlie Sheen

u r an ugly mcuglykins