Best of Baltimore Party, with cupcakes!

When my co-worker, Alyssa, asked me if I would be her date for the Best of Baltimore 2012 Party I jumped at the chance to go to this exclusive party dedicated to all the best things in Baltimore. It was at the Hippodrome this year, which is a favorite venue of the Crusaders, and boasts tons of food, drinks, dancing, Baltimore fun… and cupcakes!

(Photo from Best of Baltimore website, no harm intended)

Luckily I mentioned to Crusader Stacy that I was going, because her immediate reaction was, “I bet there will be cupcake places there!” Surely enough there were – two in fact – and Alyssa and I hunted them down to try the confections of the night.

We started with Dirty Carrots, a new vegan bakery. They had two mini vegan cupcakes:

Chocolate with Salted Caramel Frosting (on the left)

This mini cupcake, which Crusader Jenn and Stacy have tried before, was really good! The cake was moist and had good texture – not like a normal cake, but not like some other vegan cakes I have had that tend to be dry, with an almost grainy texture. The frosting was also good, very flavorful and I loved the hint of salt. It did have a little bit of an odd texture, but not off-putting enough to bother me. I really enjoyed that mini and would like to try it in a full-size cupcake sometime.

Vanilla cake dipped in Chocolate Ganache with Vanilla Frosting (on the right)

This mini wasn’t as good as the first one. It was on the drier side and the chocolate ganache just didn’t taste like chocolate. The icing was very good though, especially since I know there isn’t any butter in it.

Next we went to Midnite Confections, a favorite of the Crusaders. They also had two mini cupcakes in flavors we haven’t tried before:

Strawberry (on the left)

Having recently fallen head over heels for strawberry cake, this cupcake had a lot to live up to… and it DID! The cake was the perfect strawberry, moist, mini treat and the frosting was sweet, smooth, and paired perfectly with the cake. I did not know that Midnite Confections made a strawberry cake cupcake, and it is now a necessity for me to stop by the shop and pick up a full size version.

Vanilla with Vanilla Buttercream (on the right)

Moist and exploding with vanilla flavor, this mini really packed a flavor punch. I’m not always a fan of vanilla/vanilla cupcakes, but I enjoyed this mini and know I would love their full size cupcake.

The Best of Baltimore party was fantastic, I cannot thank Alyssa enough for taking me as her date, and I thank Crusader Stacy for suggesting I write a post about the cupcakes featured there. An awesome party, with cupcakes, and a post?! Count me in anytime!

– Posted by Cupcake Crusader, Elisa (Baltimore, MD)


Dirty Carrots’ Vegan Cupcakes

As we’ve mentioned before, the Crusaders have another passion other than cupcakes… the theater. So combining the two makes for a perfect evening. On a recent trip to the Everyman Theatre with Crusader Stacy, I stopped in Bohemian Coffee House knowing that they carry Dirty Carrots’ cupcakes. Luckily they had a few left, so I grabbed what I assumed was a chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting and stashed it in the car for after the show (knowing that theater world tends to frown upon bringing in your own treats).

After a great show, which you can always expect at the Everyman Theatre, Stacy and I headed back to my car ready for a cupcake!

(Please excuse the quality of the photo. This is what you get when you sit in cars late at night trying to photograph a cupcake.)

Since the cupcakes are a really good size, I’d only gotten the one for us to share. Once we bit in we realized that the frosting did not taste like vanilla. We tasted, speculated, and considered a few options thinking that maybe it was a butterscotch or salted caramel buttercream. After looking at their website I think that it was most likely their salted caramel buttercream (because they don’t have butterscotch listed). Honestly, it doesn’t even really matter because it was just so good! I could have eaten tubs of it. I have no idea how you make a vegan buttercream, but this was smooth, rich, not overly sweet, and completely delectable. The cake portion was very chocolaty but more of a muffin consistency, which I anticipated with a vegan cake. Without the frosting it tasted just like a chocolate muffin, however once paired with the icing it didn’t seem to matter anymore and the flavors came together. Once Stacy and I had each consumed our halves, we wanted more. We actually considered going back to Bohemian Coffehouse since they have late night hours.

So if you find yourself in front of a Dirty Carrots’ cupcake do not let the vegan aspect scare you. I think that you will be very happy that you gave them a chance!

– Posted by Cupcake Crusader, Jenn (Westminster, MD)