Afternoon in Annapolis: JoJo’s Cupcakes & Cream

Some of you may remember the bad storms that barraged the east coast a couple of weeks ago, leaving many of us, including Crusader Stacy, without power for days. During this time, one of our guest crusaders, Jen, was visiting for the weekend. We had planned on spending the afternoon in Annapolis, hometown for Crusader Stacy and Jenn, and wanted to visit Sweet Hearts Patisserie. I found out on Facebook that morning that they were partially without power and would not be serving fresh baked cupcakes that day, since their ovens were not operating. Instead of surprising them while they were at a low, we decided we would cut them some slack and plan a visit for another day. Bummed, we were at least glad that my dad still had power, and he and my step-mom would be able to venture out with us.

Downtown Annapolis was booming! Main Street was full of people, trying to get out of their powerless homes. It was a hot weekend and most people had no other choice but to eat out, with refrigerators and stoves out for the count. Not to mention the excuse to sit in an air-conditioned building. I called Chick ‘n Ruths that morning to make sure they had power, but when we arrived the line ran down the sidewalk. Another change of plans in our day lead us to 49 West, a coffeehouse, wine bar, and gallery on West Street, near Church Circle. They had tables available (apparently their morning rush had finally ended) so we found a spot in the cozy front dining room and perused the menu. Jen and I were happy to see that they serve breakfast late on weekends. So, we got some breakfast sandwiches while Crusader Stacy and our step-mom got a veggie sandwich. I know this is a cupcake blog, so you are probably wondering why I’m going on about 49 West, but it’s because I really recommend it. Great service, good food, and a quaint atmosphere…you really can’t ask for more while in Annapolis. And my step-mom swears that the veggie sandwich was the best she’s ever had in her life. She’s still talking about how good it was.

While strolling along Main Street we noticed that JoJo’s Cupcakes & Cream was open for business and in the same building that Nostalgia Cupcakes (now The Cake Courtesan in Bowie, MD) used to be located. We REALLY miss Nostalgia. Although you can get the same great cupcakes at their new store, the location isn’t as convenient for us anymore so we haven’t had the chance to check them out yet (but we will!). The benefit that JoJo’s has in this building is that they not only have the back space that used to be Nostalgia (and is now their party room), but they also have the street-front store, with windows and signage that can’t be missed.

This JoJo’s location also offers ice cream which is a nice feature, particularly since Annapolis’s tourist months are during the summer, and the locals don’t mind some ice cream in the winter. We had an opportunity to sample JoJo’s cupcakes around Christmas time, back when they had a kiosk in the Annapolis Mall. Anyone remember the missing cupcake mystery?

I think we all agreed that the cupcakes we had this day were a tad too sweet for us, mostly due to the very sweet icing that was piled high. Considering our previous review, this might have to do with quality control. It seemed as if more confectioner’s sugar was used at this location then the cupcakes we had before. One thing they did all have in common was moist, flavorful cake.

Lemon Blueberry

Crusader Stacy and I both got this lemon cupcake with blueberry lemon buttercream frosting. Looking at the frosting, we thought it would be packed with blueberry flavor, however the lemon and sugar overpowered it, and in the end it tasted like it was just a lemon cupcake.

Chocolate Monkey

Guest Crusader Jen and my step-mom both got this cupcake. While Jen felt that the banana flavor was lacking, my step-mom thought it was subtle, but still present. They also felt the icing was too sweet. When I was asking about ice cream and milkshakes I was told that they were out of bananas that day. I wonder if the frosting is supposed to pack more banana flavor?

Boston Cream

True to his nature, my dad stuck with his usual favorite and ordered the Boston Cream. There was just one BIG thing missing from this one…the cream! This boggled our minds because without the cream, it’s just a vanilla cupcake with chocolate buttercream frosting. I did some research and found out from JoJo’s website that this cupcake is supposed to have a vanilla pudding filling. What happened, JoJo’s of Annapolis?!

Mint Chocolate

Because the cupcakes looked so good, I decided to take a couple home for my husband. I got two of his favorites, Mint Chocolate and Key Lime. While the frosting on this cupcake was sweet like the others, the mint flavor balanced it out well, making this one of my favorites.

Key Lime

Another usual favorite, this cupcake had good tartness but was still a little sweeter than I like in a Key Lime cupcake, although it didn’t seem as sweet as some of the other JoJo’s selections.

Since the day was so hot, Crusader Stacy, Jen, and I also got milkshakes to go along with our cupcakes. The choices were endless! You can make a milkshake out of any of their ice cream flavors and there are a lot to choose from.

Each of our milkshakes was really good and we happily sipped them while walking around the harbor. If you find yourself in Annapolis, I would suggest going to this JoJo’s location for the ice cream and milkshakes. Then if the cupcakes tempt you (which I think they might!) share one with a friend, because there is enough sweetness to go around.

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

Florida Fun, Relaxation, and Treats! Simply Cupcakes of Naples

After a week of sweet reviews from our recent trip to Florida, we have finally arrived at our last one, Simply Cupcakes of Naples. Before heading to Florida I would often stalk visit Simply Cupcakes’ Facebook page admiring all their cupcake photos, so I knew we had to stop in to sample their oversized cupcakes.

When we arrived at Simply Cupcakes the owners and staff were in the middle of a meeting, but that didn’t keep them from taking a break to show us all the flavors and talk a little bit about the company. We learned that the company was started in 2006 by selling cupcakes at a local farmers market and now there are many locations throughout Florida and the United States. We also learned that Simply Cupcakes offers a program to help bakers start up a Simply Cupcakes online company. It’s not a normal franchise opportunity, but rather, they go over things like legal requirements for at home baking, calculating your costs, marketing yourself, and even provide recipes. It’s everything you need to start up your own Simply Cupcakes!

After learning so much about Simply Cupcakes, we were ready to get some cupcakes! I immediately knew two of the flavors I would be getting: Funky Monkey and Key Lime (their signature flavor). When Simple Cupcakes posted about Funky Monkey on their Facebook page I couldn’t help but comment, and they happily told me they would make sure that flavor was there for us to try!

The remaining cupcakes we decided on were Carrot Cake, Red Velvet (for Crusader Elisa), Hint of Mint, and Raspberry Almond. We found out that they predominantly use an Italian meringue buttercream for their frosting which gives each cupcake a lightness that is greatly appreciated in the hot Florida air.

Funky Monkey:

The Funky Monkey cupcake was everything I dreamed it would be. Banana cake, chocolate ganache, peanut butter filling and a strongly flavored, yet light and airy, whipped peanut butter frosting. Crusader Jenn and I both agree that this is one of our all time favorite cupcakes.

Key Lime:

Made with a key lime curd filling, this cupcake was another crowd pleaser. Any one who has ever tasted a regular lime vs a key lime knows that the key lime packs more flavor and more tartness than the regular lime. It’s no wonder that this is the signature cupcake of a Florida cupcakery.

Carrot Cake:

I wish I could say that I tried this nicely decorated cupcake, but we purchased this for my Nana (one of the most wonderful grandmothers ever!). She loves carrot cake so when we saw that Simply Cupcakes had that option, we quickly added it to our growing list of flavors we would be purchasing that day.

Red Velvet:

This Red Velvet is another that I didn’t have a chance to try since it was for Crusader Elisa. I have to admit though, that with its tasteful, yet simple, decorations it traveled quite well from Fort Myers to Baltimore in my cupcake container.

Hint of Mint:

After reading the notes for this cupcake that Crusader Jenn took (yes, we often take actual notes…) I had to laugh because she wrote: “Stacy grunted twice: ‘ganache… mmmmm…'” I sure do enjoy my cupcakes. 😉 At first I thought the frosting could have used more mint flavor, but looking back it was the perfect amount for sitting by the pool on a warm day. I think if it had been any stronger it may have made the cupcake feel much heavier, which is not what you want on a hot day.

Raspberry Almond:

This cupcake was a great way to finish our tasting with. It had a fluffy almond flavored cake, raspberry preserves smeared on top, and was finished with a soft Italian meringue buttercream and almond shavings. It was light and refreshing. Another perfect treat when relaxing by the water.

I’ve always looked forward to visiting my family in Florida. I spent countless summers there growing up and it really is like a second home to me. Now that we have discovered some amazing cupcake places it will make our visits there even “sweeter.”

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

Florida Fun, Relaxation, and Treats! April’s Pie Company

Crusader Stacy, our husbands, Little Leah and I spent one afternoon in Downtown Fort Myers while we were vacationing in Florida. We had lunch and then walked around the shops and galleries along 1st Street. Having run out of cupcakes, and only being halfway through our trip, Stacy and I were also keeping a look out for bakeries. We passed by a French bakery that has some pastries, but was mostly set up with a lunch deli. We’d almost given up on finding any tiny treats, when we stumbled past April’s Pie Company (also know as April’s Eatery).

It is located in the old Arcade building in Downtown Fort Myers, beneath a very neat old sign. They also have a breakfast and lunch menu but having already filled up at Ford’s Garage, we only had eyes for sweets…and behold, they had mini pie bites!

We selected four of the options: Apple, Key Lime, Cookies and Cream, and Coconut Cream. For anyone who loves pie for the crust, these pie bites are perfect for you! The crust is in a higher ratio than pie filling, but is flaky, crunchy, and buttery. I’m not usually a pie person, but the small bite of filling made me want more. The key lime that I selected was perfectly tart and Stacy said the apple was delicious and definitely her favorite. I was hoping that she’d let me take a small bite, but was too afraid to ask…She never offered, so I’ll have to take her word for it. 😉

April’s Pie Company also offers pies by the slice and whole pies for special order, so the next time I’m in Fort Myers, I think I’ll have to try a regular slice and stay for lunch!

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

Santoni’s Marketplace “Gourmet” Cupcakes

I used to pass Santoni’s Marketplace & Catering (Glyndon, MD) every day on my way to and from work and think, “I should stop and pick up something for dinner or dessert.” They have a great deli and homemade dessert selection, but since I was often eager to get home I rarely went in. Now I still pass by once or twice a month, on my way to a playgroup meet-up, so when Crusader Stacy reminded me that they have cupcakes I thought, “Now I really need to stop in!”

The selection of mini cheesecakes, mousses, pastries, and other baked goods made it difficult to concentrate on the cupcakes (yes even for me!), but I redirected my focus to the selection. I was originally just going to pick up a couple, but the cupcakes looked impressive, so I ended up choosing 4 of the 6 flavor options.

Peanut Butter Chocolate:
If you don’t already know, the Crusaders’ husbands are big fans of this combination, which is one of the reasons we frequently review peanut butter chocolate cupcakes.


(In the display case the candies looked like they were coated with sugar, however upon closer inspection, they were just old. Eww. I didn’t eat them.)

While the chocolate ganache frosting on this cupcake was really good, I was extremely turned off by the condition of the peanut butter candies on top. My only thought as to why they looked the way they did is that maybe the cupcakes had been refrigerated at some point and then condensation built up on the candies when they were being brought back down to room temperature, causing the cracked-crystallized effect. The cake was also dense and dry and didn’t have much peanut butter flavor.

Cookies ‘N Cream:
All the cookie pieces in the frosting made me believe this cupcake would pack a big cookies ‘n cream flavor, unfortunately it did not.


(Looks tasty, right?)

The frosting was very sweet and just tasted like your standard American buttercream and the cake was dry and crumbly. I really wanted to like this cupcake, but sadly it just didn’t impress me.

Key Lime:
Key lime cupcakes are another favorite for my husband and me, so while I was a little worried by the bright green color, I decided we should give Santoni’s a try.


(The bright frosting definitely makes a statement!)

This cupcake was probably one of the best from the selection. Although the bright green frosting proved to be a warning for artificial lime flavor, it was tangy and had a nice creamy texture and the cake was very moist and fluffy.

Cookie Dough:
Any cupcake with half a cookie on top (and one dipped in chocolate, no less) is a strong contender in my book.


(It’s like two treats in one!)

Like the Peanut Butter Chocolate cupcake, I believe this cupcake was a little old. After biting into it, I noticed that the outside of the frosting was darker than the inside (and had that hard coating that frosting gets after awhile) and didn’t have much flavor. The chocolate cake was also dry and crumbly. Although I didn’t finish the cupcake, I did try the cookie center, which was tasty and could have been the redeeming quality, had the rest of the cupcake been good.

After sampling these cupcakes, I won’t be getting any in the future from Santoni’s. I suspect that some weren’t baked fresh that day, which could have led to the poor quality. While I think their other market selections are good, the cupcakes just didn’t live up to the gourmet name, despite their appearance.

I also think I’m becoming a little bit of a cupcake snob. 😉

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

Due to comments, we thought we should offer a close-up example of the old candies on the Peanut Butter Chocolate cupcake. I’m not even entirely sure how this could happen, go unnoticed, and still be put out for sale:

The Cupcakes You Didn’t See | Kupcakes & Co. | Elkridge, MD

Since Kupcakes & Co. made the #1 spot on our Top 5 cupcake places on the outskirts of Baltimore City, we have eaten a lot, and I mean A LOT, of cupcakes from their shop. Today I wanted to share with you some of their new spring flavors and give you a peek at some of the cupcakes we’ve had over the past several months that you haven’t seen.

To kick off March, Kupcakes & Co. did their own “March Madness” cupcake style. They had customers submit suggestions for new flavors and then they narrowed it down to their favorite 16 flavors. Each week customers could vote for the flavors they wanted to see in a bracket style tournament. When the final two flavors went head to head, in addition to voting online, customers could actually go to the shop and taste each option and place a second vote. The Crusaders couldn’t miss out on this opportunity! It worked out perfectly too, because my mom (and Jenn’s… we are sisters – twins – for those who don’t already know) was visiting from Florida and she wanted to get cupcakes with us from one of our favorite places. The two final flavors we got to try were Crème Brûlée and Tiramisu.


(Final March Madness Contestant: Crème Brûlée)


(Final March Madness Contestant: Tiramisu)

I was ecstatic to see the two flavors I really wanted to make it to the final round actually make it, but it was so hard to pick between them for my online vote! However, after tasting each at the shop, the Crusaders (with mom and husband in agreeance) thought that the Crème Brûlée was the better of the two. Unfortunately this flavor didn’t win, but the Tiramisu was still so good that I’m looking forward to having another. AND if you weren’t able to try both flavors and would like to, Kupcakes & Co. might be offering the Crème Brûlée for mothers day. If they do, make sure not to miss out! (I will be stocking up for myself and saving some in the freezer…)

Since Tiramisu won the March Madness Contest it will now be featured on their spring menu. Some of the other flavors on their spring menu are Irish Creme, Mint Oreo, and Hummingbird. We reviewed the Irish Creme with our St. Patty’s Day cupcakes, but wanted you to see the other two delicious flavors! All 3 of these flavors will be available through May.

Mint Oreo

The Mint Oreo has crushed Oreos blended inside the cake and a peppermint buttercream frosting with more crushed Oreos on top! Usually the mint cupcakes I encounter are a chocolate cake base, so this was a nice surprise. The yellow cake makes it much lighter and perfect for a sweet treat on a mild breezy afternoon or evening (or morning if like cupcakes for breakfast like I do). 🙂

Hummingbird

This southern classic cupcake is amazing. You have to like a chunky cake though because it is chock full of fresh bananas, crushed pineapple and pecans. It’s spiced similarly to a carrot cake, but still keeps it light coloring. It is then finished off with their amazing cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with coconut and topped with a pecan. If you like carrot cake, you MUST try this cupcake! It takes everything that’s great about carrot cake but puts it all in a more delicate and airy package, making it a great warm weather option!

While you are there getting the new spring flavors, you will most likely want to try some of their other offerings. Below is a brief look at some of the other flavors we’ve tried.

1. Hazelnut Crunch
2. Chocolate Dipped Strawberry
3. Key Lime
4. Vanilla/Vanilla
5. Salted Caramel
6. Red Velvet
7. Chocolate Covered Pretzel
8. Pancakes and Bacon

If you want to know more about any of these flavors, before visiting their shop, feel free to ask! We love talking about cupcakes.  🙂

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

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Healthy Cupcakes: Key Lime Meringue

Continuing our healthy crusade, Rebecca has another recipe for cupcakes with fewer calories, less guilt, and a little bit of key lime.

I recently took a trip down to Savannah, GA to visit my best friend, and while out shopping, I came upon Key Lime juice! Being the Key Lime lover that I am, I knew I needed to figure out a recipe for a healthy Key Lime cupcake. I searched WeightWatchers.com, but ended up modifying a recipe I found for a Key Lime cake.

There are a few substitutions used to help cut the calories and fat in this cupcake, such as incorporating whole wheat pastry flour, yogurt (in place of some of the oil), and meringue (instead of frosting). That leaves these cupcakes at a friendly 4 Points Plus.

Key Lime Meringue Cupcakes Ingredients

CAKE

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 tablespoons key lime yogurt

LIME FILLING

  • 8 oz nonfat sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup lime juice, preferably Key lime
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest, preferably Key lime

MERINGUE

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place baking papers in cupcake pan. Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour and salt in a medium bowl. Then, beat 4 eggs and 2/3 cup sugar in the mixer on medium-high (4-6) speed until pale yellow and doubled in volume. It will be very foamy. Drop the vanilla and lime juice in the cake mixture. Gently fold in oil and yogurt into the egg mixture. Add the flour mixture and gently stir until just incorporated. Scoop the batter into the cupcake tins. Bake for 16 – 18 minutes and cool completely (about 45-60 minutes)

For the lime filling, whisk condensed milk and lime juice in a medium bowl until combined and refrigerate until thickened. 30 – 45 minutes.

For the meringue, beat egg whites in the stand mixer on high until soft peaks form. Pour in ¼ cup of sugar in a slow, steady stream and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

I then piped in the lime filling with a pastry bag and spread a thin layer over the top of each cupcake. They were then topped with meringue and I lightly burned the meringue with a small kitchen torch. (The recipe I found online said to brown it in the broiler, but I was concerned with burning the cupcake wrappers.)

I was very impressed with the key lime flavor, but wasn’t in love with the texture of the cake. The filling helps to add moisture, but I believe the technique of whipping the eggs and sugar together before folding in other ingredients, could have something to do with it. Perhaps I over beat it or wasn’t gentle enough when mixing in the dry ingredients, but the bite of a fresh Key Lime Pie with meringue is there! These were also fun to make and because we didn’t have a kitchen torch, I enlisted my boyfriend, Jim, and his large propane torch from the garage to add the lightly toasted top to the meringue.

– Recipe by our Healthy Guest Crusader, Rebecca (Baltimore, MD)

Favorite Cupcakes on the Outskirts of Baltimore City | Touché Touchet Bakery and Pastry Shop | Columbia, MD

Every Tuesday for the month of March (and the first week in April) we will be counting down our Top 5 favorite cupcake places outside of Baltimore City. In order to make sure we did the proper research and included places that would “qualify” we decided that any place that was within a 20 to 45 minute drive from the Baltimore City boundary would be included. If you don’t see a place that you think should have been featured in this Top 5 let us know! We do our best to research where the cupcakes are, but there is no better way to find out than a recommendation!

During our research to find our Top 5 places outside of Baltimore City, we came across Touché Touchet Bakery and Pastry Shop located in Columbia, MD. Touché Touchet creates beautiful cakes, cupcakes, sugar cookies and even makes savory pastries and delicious coffee for those who might be looking for something to go with their sweet treat of choice. Since it isn’t located in the shopping/restaurant hub of Columbia, we had never been there before.

On the day we visited Touché Touchet, we had the pleasure to be accompanied by my sister and her two adorable daughters. Our niece, Lylah, is 2 years old and already showing signs of being a little cupcake connoisseur.


(Lylah enjoying a basic vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting. Her technique is still a bit questionable, but her enthusiasm makes up for it).

As you can see in the above photo, Touché Touchet has a great little seating area complete with table lamps and adorable cupcake table clothes. Seating areas are a great bonus to any bakery or cupcakery, especially when you’ve got the little ones with you.

While you probably don’t mind reading about the shop itself, I’m sure what you are really interested in is the cupcakes? Well, the ones we tried were great! Here are our reviews:

Peanut Butter and Jelly

I’m a big fan of PB&J cupcakes, but before trying this one at Touché Touchet I had only found one other that I really loved. To me, there is something special about taking two nostalgic foods and combining them together. The peanut butter frosting was rich, light, creamy, and not too sweet. Then, the dollop of tart raspberry jam you see on top was only the tip of the iceberg.

I’ve never seen so much filling inside of a cupcake before! Normally it’s just enough to give a little surprise, but the filling in this cupcake ensures you get the full PB&J experience with every bite.

Chocolate Raspberry

Like the Peanut Butter and Jelly, Chocolate Raspberry is another favorite flavor of mine. So much so, that I rarely encounter anything with this mixture that I’m not a fan of, but this cupcake makes others look insignificant. It may be a contender for my ultimate favorite Chocolate Raspberry cupcake. The filling was the same featured in the Peanut Butter and Jelly, but instead paired with decadent, moist, and chocolatey cake and frosting.

Peanut Butter Chocolate

Jenn ordered this cupcake and said that it uses the same great cake from the Chocolate Raspberry and the smooth, creamy peanut butter frosting from the Peanut Butter and Jelly to create a deliciously classic cupcake.

Key Lime

This Key Lime cupcake was one of Elisa’s two selections. She said that it was moist and sweet, with a subtle key lime flavor. Elisa typically prefers a citrus flavored cupcake which has the flavoring in the cake or the icing (or both) and not just in a filling, like this cupcake. However, once she got to the filling, it all came together for her and she thought the key lime flavor was very nice and worked well with the vanilla cake and the light, sweet, icing.

Black and White Marble

This was Elisa’s second selection and she really enjoyed it. She said, “the mixture of icings was playful and a delight, and the cake was a traditional marble cake, which I rarely see and absolutely love. The chocolate icing was really very good and stands out as the signature component of this cupcake.”

Overall we really enjoyed our time at Touché Touchet. The atmosphere and the cupcakes were both great and are the reason why this “new-to-us” shop has taken the #4 spot on our Top 5 list. While it might not be in a super convenient location for any of the Crusaders, I hope to return and enjoy more cupcakes with a cup of coffee in their quaint seating area. And who knows, after more visits, maybe they will move up our Top 5 list?

If you are in the Columbia area, we would highly recommend stopping by Touché Touchet the next time you are on the hunt for some tasty, large, gourmet cupcakes!

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

2011 Cupcake Tour: 3rd Stop – Georgetown Cupcake (Bethesda Location)

After a nice lunch that served as a little “halftime break” from sweet wonderful cupcakes, we ventured back out again, and actually only had to walk around the corner to our next stop: Georgetown Cupcake. Last year we visited the one in DC (see here) and it was the favorite of the day. We were really curious to see how this location would compare to that, especially after experiencing the wonderful Fancy Cakes by Leslie. We were hoping that there wouldn’t be a crazy long line like there was last year, and there wasn’t (yay!).

The girl at the door was friendly, but unfortunately the staff behind the counter was kind of blah. Not super grumpy, but not happy or enthusiastic either. Another bummer about this stop was that there is only one table that you can’t really sit at, since it’s gets pretty crowded in the little shop. So instead of getting cupcakes and sitting to enjoy one, we all just got ours to go. As expected they had a great selection, but I already looked online and knew what I was going to get (right now, it’s all about the fall flavors for me).

Here is what Elisa and I selected:


2 Chocolate Chip Maple, 2 Salted Caramels, 1 Pumpkin (mine), 1 Key Lime (Elisa’s)

Jenn and her husband, Dan, also got 6 to share:


2 Key Limes, 1 Chocolate Chip Maple, 1 Pumpkin, 1 Salted Caramel, and 1 Mint Cookies and Creme

Last year the two big hits were the Key Lime and the Salted Caramel (if you couldn’t have guessed). I would have gotten a Key Lime for myself, but I was too tempted by the fall flavors. After waiting a few minutes, we all had our cupcakes in hand and were ready for the next stop.

Since we didn’t get to sit down and try any, I am just going to list the cupcakes that we’ve tried so far since the Cupcake Tour (in no particular order):

Salted Caramel:


Elisa and I disagree about this cupcake. For me it wasn’t as great as I remembered it being. I didn’t think it had as much of a salty and sweet balance and I thought the cake was more dense and not quite as moist as I remember it being. I’m not sure if I felt this way after trying Fancy Cakes’ cupcakes, but unfortunately I thought that it was just okay. However, Elisa said she thought it was just as good as she remembers it being: “Sweet, salty, caramely goodness. I scrapped the paper clean of every morsel of moist cake and bit of icing. It might have been a bit dryer than I remember, but i’ll chalk that up to being two days old.”

Pumpkin:


Even thought Elisa and I disagree about the Salted Caramel, we both agree that the Pumpkin cupcake was REALLY good. The cake was dense, but I wouldn’t expect different from a cake with pumpkin in it. The frosting was sweet, but just the right amount of sweetness for the cake. This is definitely one of my favorites from the trip. Jenn said that she thought it was “yummy” (that is her exact choice of words) but not her favorite from the day. Elisa said that she was surprised because she felt the cake was still true cake and not pumpkin bread in a cupcake liner.

Chocolate Chip Maple:


Jenn and I each got a chocolate maple, but we don’t have the same thoughts about it. While Jenn thought there wasn’t a super strong maple flavor I thought it was packed with maple flavor, so much so that it made it a very sweet cupcake. We do agree that the cake was pretty dense, but to me that just gave it more of a chocolate chip pancake feel, which went really well with the maple frosting. Even my husband, who isn’t much of a cupcake fan (I know. How could you not love them?), was surprised because he didn’t think he would like it, but really did. It was really sweet though, so I was so glad I had him to help me finish it.

Key Lime:


Elisa said that she thought this cupcake was sweet and tart with true Key Lime taste, and that she wishes I had gotten some over the summer, since citrus and hot weather go hand in hand. Jenn said that it was good as always and that it “Takes me back to Belize with every bite. If Belize had a flavor, this would be it.”

Mint Cookies and Creme:


Jenn was the only one who got the Mint Cookies and Creme flavor and thought that it tasted exactly like mint chocolate chip ice cream. It was her husbands favorite so far, but to her it might be a little too much like the ice cream. She said, “I prefer a mint with rich chocolate so that the chocolate is the star with mint in the back, wheres as with this cupcake the mint is meant to be the star, and it is, but it’s just not my personal favorite.”

All in all, Georgetown Cupcake is a must for any cupcake lover. It’s great to be able to say you had cupcakes from “that TLC show,” and they really are delicious. Even though Fancy Cakes is just around the corner, when I’m in Bethesda, I will definitely be getting cupcakes from both locations.

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

Happy Cakes = Three Happy Crusaders

Before I get into our review from last nights cupcake tasting, I wanted to announce that Jenn and I have decided that Elisa is going to join us as as a full fledged Cupcake Crusader. She has been on so many cupcake adventures with us, and also has always pursued trying new cupcake places when we aren’t even around, so it doesn’t make sense for her to only be a “guest” crusader. Most recently she brought back cupcakes for us all to try all the way from Florida to Baltimore! Without her we would not have all the wonderful memories that we have and we would not have this review.

Over the weekend, Elisa visited her family in St. Augustine, Florida, and was awesome enough to bring back 3 delicious cupcakes from Happy Cakes: A Cupcake Shop. She describes the shop as,”bright, cheery, and very beautifully decorated.” They even have kid’s tables and chairs which was perfect for Elisa’s to nephew to sit and eat his mini cupcake while playing a little bit.

How pretty are these cupcakes?

They even have “Frosting Shots!”

While Elisa was at the shop, she had a “Mocha Mini.” She says that this one was her 2nd favorite of all 4 flavors that she tried.

I’m not sure how she carried 3 cupcakes through 2 airports and on a plane without devouring them before Monday night, but she somehow managed so that Jenn and I could taste them with her when she returned. On Monday night, we all gathered around my kitchen table and decided our plan of attack would be: Red Velvet first, then Caramel Apple, and last the Key Lime Coconut. The Red Velvet probably held up the worst after it’s trip from Florida:

But that’s okay, we piled the frosting back on and divided it for the 3 of us to taste. My first reaction to pulling back the wrapper was how amazingly red the cake was. It was gorgeous!

After tasting this cupcake, our thoughts were pretty much unanimous, the sweet cream cheese frosting was AMAZING, but we don’t think the red velvet cake quite held up to the fantasticness of the frosting. It got lost a little bit. Still, the cupcake was worth it, just for the frosting. I should also say that we are all pretty picky about our red velvet cake, and I’ve personally only ever tried a few that I actually liked. (It’s not my favorite in general). BUT if you are a huge red velvet fan, I would definitely give this a try. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Up next: Caramel Apple

This cupcake held up shockingly well from the trip to Baltimore. I’m not quite sure how it managed, but if you are looking to travel a long distance with a cupcake, this is definitely the one for you. Hands down, this was all of our favorite. After cutting into it to split 3 ways we saw the aromatic apple pie filling:

Everything about this cupcake worked well. The filling could have been used in a pie or cobbler just by itself, it was that good. The cake was a mild flavor that didn’t compete with the apple and caramel flavors, and the frosting complemented the entire thing. I can only hope that I find myself in the St. Augustine area, in the Fall, sometime in my future, to be able to taste this delicious cupcake again.

After that, we knew that the Key Lime Coconut cupcake was going to have to be pretty good. I would say that if we hadn’t had the Apple Caramel, the Key Lime would have been Jenn’s and my favorite. Elisa said that the Mocha Mini was her 2nd favorite though (after the Caramel Apple) so I know that had to be amazing too. The Key Lime Coconut held up pretty well during the trip. Not quite as well as the Caramel Apple, but still, pretty impressive:

This cupcake was everything you would expect out of cupcake with Key Lime flavor. It was sweet and tart and a perfect warm weather/summer treat. The coconut flavor in the cake was very mild (we are guessing becuase they use natural ingredients) but had a true coconut flavor, not a processed artificial flavor. The key lime frosting can only be described as “WOW!”

If you are ever in the St. Augustine area, make sure check out Happy Cakes (and tell them the Cupcake Crusaders say, “Hello!”)

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