Cupcake Bites

CupcakeBites

Attempting to capture the wonder of cupcakes into a tiny candy morsel, the makers of CookieDough Bites created Cupcake Bites and Red Velvet Cupcake Bites. I found each of these at our local dollar store and curiosity got the best of me.

2YearGiveaway_Candies

They come in little boxes, like movie theater candy (and just like movie theater candy these days, the boxes are larger than necessary for the contents because the candies are housed in a bag, and then boxed).

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The Red Velvet Cupcake Bites are definitely red on the outside. Unfortunately so much red on such a tiny bite leaves the the candy with that unmistakable red dye flavor. The inside of the candy, to my surprise, was not red, but cookie dough colored. After popping a few more in my mouth, I realized that the flavor was more like cookie dough than cupcakes. I suspect that the insides might be a very similar recipe to the original CookieDough Bites.

CupcakeBites_Reg

I had higher hopes for the regular Cupcake Bites. They were certainly fun, with their colorful sprinkles, with extra scattered in the bag like confetti. The soft candy coating on the outside tasted like white chocolate but the inside looked like the Red Velvet candies and tasted more like cookie dough.

Although these candies don’t necessarily live up to their name, they are festive and easy to indulge in. Not overly sweet, especially for a candy, they are easy to pop in your mouth one after another, without paying much attention to how many you’ve eaten. I think they’d be great dropped into a tub of buttery popcorn!

If you’d like to try them for yourself, head over to our contest page because we are giving away a box of each in our Two Year Anniversary Grand Prize Giveaway package, and you could be the winner! The contest ends tonight, Monday July 22nd, at midnight. Good luck!

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

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A Baking Adventure: Sprinkles’ Strawberry Cupcakes

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When Crusader Stacy and I started brainstorming cupcakes ideas for our Passionately Pink Bake Sale, I knew I wanted a naturally pink frosting. That idea, paired with looking for an excuse to make Sprinkles Cupcakes’ strawberry cupcake recipe (featured on Oprah.com in June 2009), solidified my cupcake project.

StrawberyCupcakes_2

The recipe was easy to follow, although if I’d had my standing mixer at the time it would have been even easier! I wish I had noticed prior to getting started that the recipe only yields 12 cupcakes. Since I didn’t, I tried getting 24 cupcakes and ended up with 16-ish. For some reason the cake batter didn’t really rise either (I seem to have this problem with from-scratch recipes), so the cupcakes ended up being relatively small.

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The cake was dense and crumbly, and would have benefited from a strawberry filling. But, the frosting, oh the frosting! It was divine. It had the flavor of a strawberry milkshake and a perfectly smooth consistency. Although everyone seemed to like the cupcakes and said good things about them, I would recommend a different cake recipe. But definitely use Sprinkles’ frosting recipe!

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

Guest Review | First Annual Cupcake-A-Palooza | DC Area

When we found out our graphic design colleague, Kristina, was in a cupcake club and had organized their first ever Cupcake-A-Palooza, we had to find out more. Luckily she agreed to be a Guest Crusader and share her story and reviews with everyone! Thanks Kristina!

What’s Cupcake-A-Palooza you ask?

Well, it all started about a year ago, with me, two of my friends and our mutual love for cupcakes. We decided we needed a cupcake club. Better yet, a SECRET cupcake club, just because that’s more fun, complete with a secret handshake and secret knock! We started meeting once a month, and on members’ birthdays, just to eat and critique those delicious mini cakes. Little by little we started inviting more friends (and cupcake lovers) until we completed the group at 6 (it’s worth mentioning, we are coed). This way, when we bought a dozen cupcakes, everyone could have 2.

And then Cupcake-A-Palooza came to life. We realized there were so many cupcake shops we were missing out on because either they didn’t deliver, or they were not feasible to get to during a workday.  So we picked a day – August 10th – where we would take the day off of work and go on what is now dubbed “a cupcake crawl.” We decided to hold our first annual event in DC.

We chose 10 bakeries/cupcakeries to try and one of the club members graciously mapped out our plan of attack. But what is Cupcake-A-Palooza without an event T-Shirt? I’m not only a cupcake lover, I’m a graphic designer, and so, our t-shirts were born.


(Our official Cupcake-A-Palooza t-shirts, complete with a concert tour inspired list of stops!)

Decked out in our matching tees, we headed into DC and began Cupcake-A-Palooza. After four hours of eating cupcakes, here’s how I think the shops rate (with the help of some of my club members)…

1. Baked & Wired (Georgetown)
This happened to be our first stop. So not only did I need a cupcake, I needed some caffeine! I decided on the Dirty Chai cupcake. And just to stick with the theme, a Chai Latte. Both were outstanding!


(The staff at Baked & Wired was just as fun as their hand drawn flavor signs)

The cupcake was bigger than usual, but the cake was perfectly moist throughout. The espresso buttercream melted in my mouth and was just strong enough to complement the spice of the cake. As an extra treat, it was topped with a chocolate covered espresso bean. Yum! This cupcake and latte left me longing for fall…

2. The Sweet Lobby (Capitol Hill)
This was our final stop of the day. There were so many interesting flavor choices, that I went a little cupcake crazy here. I decided on Chocolate Raspberry, Green Tea Pistachio, Caramel Apple, Bananas Foster, Butterscotch Crunch, and Pineapple Inside Out. I gave a couple of them to another club member and gifted a couple. Ultimately, I only tried two.


(Top row, from left to right: Chocolate Raspberry, Butterscotch Crunch, and Green Tea Pistachio. Bottom row, from left to right: Caramel Apple, Pineapple Inside Out, and Bananas Foster)

The Butterscotch Crunch won me over in two bites. As soon as I hit the butterscotch center, I was sold. The vanilla cake and buttercream were an excellent balance so that the butterscotch flavor was not overpowering. Topping it off, were some Butterfinger crumbles.

As an avid Green Tea drinker, the Green Tea Pistachio cupcake was an obvious choice. Although, I’ll admit, I was skeptical. This cupcake is a Cupcake Wars Winner and one of The Sweet Lobby’s signature “MacTops,” meaning it had a Green Tea macaroon on top.  At first I thought, this is different…then, half way through, I thought, this is good! I enjoyed the cake with the bits of pistachio and macaroon most. I wasn’t crazy about the green tea buttercream; I would have liked it to be a little sweeter.

3. Georgetown Cupcake (Georgetown)
With all the hype and long lines…I really didn’t want to love Georgetown Cupcake, but it was inevitable. I was excited to try one of their seasonal cupcakes, Banana Split. Complete with sprinkles, hazelnut bits, fudge drizzle and a cherry on top, I felt like I was indulging in the real dessert. The vanilla cream cheese frosting was so smooth and acted as the ice cream, while the fudge center mixed perfectly with the banana cake.

Another club member tried Georgetown Cupcake’s other season flavor, Blueberry Cheesecake. The fresh blueberry cheesecake was just as advertised. The cupcake had the graham cracker bottom, adding to the authenticity of a cheesecake. While there was no icing, the top had a soft cheese texture and a blue fondant flower.

4. Hello Cupcake (Dupont Circle)
This shop prides itself on its use of fresh and all natural ingredients. Well, it’s working. It was a no brainer as soon as I saw the selection; I went for the flavor of the month, Root Beer Float.

I imagined sipping the real thing while I enjoyed this spicy/sweet cupcake topped with vanilla cream cheese frosting (my absolute favorite) and a fun chocolate straw. This cupcake was rather refreshing.

5. Sweet Themez Cake & Cupcake (Adams Morgan)
The employee in this shop won brownie points with his enthusiasm over our Cupcake-A-Palooza tees. He even offered me a dozen free cupcakes if I send him one!


(Sweet Themez isn’t as glitzy as some of the other shops from the outside, but it’s worth the stop)

I can’t vouch for myself on this one, but one of the club members had the Cookies ‘n’ Cream cupcake. The scent of the cupcake was amazing – it made you want to dig right in! While the rich chocolate cake was moist, it crumbled. The icing and the mini Oreo on top made the cupcake.

6. Red Velvet Cupcakery (Penn Quarter)
This shop is teeny, tiny. So if you pay them a visit, don’t plan on staying to enjoy your cupcake inside. As a coffee lover, I chose the Hazelnut Café cupcake.


(Hazelnut Café on the left, another club member’s Carrot Cake cupcake on the right.)

However, I was disappointed. The cake was pretty dry and was only saved by the bits of crunchy hazelnuts throughout. I wasn’t a fan of the whipped icing, as I always prefer something creamier, but the pinch of espresso on top was a nice touch.

7. Sprinkles Cupcakes (Georgetown)
I was really looking forward to trying Sprinkles, as I had heard mixed reviews. I’m a sucker for pumpkin anything, so I went for their Pumpkin cupcake.

I was really hoping to taste pumpkin, but the flavor was barely there. It was overpowered by the cinnamon cream cheese frosting, which was the only part of the cupcake that I enjoyed. On top was one of Sprinkles signature modern dots, which added no flavor value.

8. Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats (Columbia Heights)
This shop is 100% vegan. While I am not, I recommended we add this shop to our list of stops 1) Because I liked the name 2) They were two time Cupcake War Winners and 3) My mom went dairy free in the past year for health reasons, so I wanted to taste things from her perspective.

I had not had a red velvet cupcake all day, so I tried theirs. Unfortunately, I couldn’t even finish it, and neither could my fellow club member. I found the cake to be plastic-y and lacking in flavor, but as the shops name suggests, it actually was also sticky! I thought the icing was grainy, and was not up to par with the other cream cheese icings of the day. Lesson learned: I need my dairy.

However, another club member saw it differently. She tried the Lavender Lemon. Although she found the cake to be denser than non-vegan cupcakes, she thought it was moist and quite delicious. The lavender flavor was very present, without being overwhelming. Lesson learned: try it for yourself!

Out of the 10 stops we planned to make on Cupcake-A-Palooza, we only made it to 8.

When we got to Cupcake Felicity, or at least, what used to be Cupcake Felicity, it was no longer there. Instead there was a café called Bread & Brew. We found out that Felicity, who also makes 100% vegan cupcakes, now sells her cupcakes to the café. Unfortunately, they did not have any available that day. Chatman’s D’Vine Bakery & Café was supposed to be our last stop, but by 2PM we were stuffed and coming down off our sugar high. The shop didn’t open until 3PM, so we decided to save it for another time.

Our first annual Cupcake-A-Palooza was a fun, sweet filled day! Up Next: Cupcake-A-Palooza 2013, Northern VA…

– Review by Guest Crusader, Kristina (Baltimore, MD)

Rebecca’s Cupcake Surprise! Sprinkles and Bittersweet Bakery

Our Healthy Guest Crusader and my co-worker, Rebecca, often surprises me with fun things, like a high heel shoe tape dispenser… but the best surprises are always cupcakes! Last week, while on a trip to DC,  she was kind enough to buy me cupcakes from Sprinkles and Bittersweet Bakery!

Knowing my love for Sprinkles, she stopped by and got me two cupcakes she knew I had been dying to try, their Cherry Blossom and S’mores cupcakes.

Cherry Blossom

Cherry done right! This cake has cherries puréed in both the icing and the cake! The icing was sweet, pink, and very cherry, while the cake actually tasted more almond to me and had a lovely blue/pink/gray color. This cupcake celebrates the beautiful cherry blossom trees just perfectly.

S’more

Graham cracker lined bottom with gooey chocolate ganache filling, and toasted marshmallow on top really embody a s’more in cupcake form.

The crust stayed crunchy and buttery too, which has to be a difficult challenge when you are putting cake batter on top. I don’t always love chocolate cake, but this cupcake really let each flavor shine, making it a chocolate cake I would always order. Sadly, S’mores is only offered a few months out of the year and the next time it will be around is next fall. I can’t believe I will have to wait that long to get one again!

Rebecca has been telling me for months now how much she loves Bittersweet Bakery in Alexandria, VA. So while she was in the DC/VA area, she got me four of their adorable mini cupcakes to try (starting on the far right and working clockwise):


Chocolate Peanut Butter
What a peanut butter punch! This little deep dark chocolate cake was topped with the most savory and delicious peanut butter frosting. I mean, WOW, it was that good and I would love to have a full size cupcake of this flavor!

Boston Creme
This little cupcake looked better than it tasted. The cake was oddly oily, and while the chocolate ganache topping was yummy, it did not save this cupcake from being mediocre. Maybe their full size cupcake would be different, but it would be tough to get me to order it, especially knowing how good some of the other flavors are.

Red Velvet
Knowing how much I love red velvet (when it’s done right), Rebecca made sure to include this one for me. However, as can often be the case with red velvet, this cupcake was disappointing. The cream cheese icing was just okay, and the cake was very dry. I love the chocolate shavings on top though; what an interesting and delightful treat, sadly, the only treat about this cupcake.

Carrot Cake
Rebecca warned me about how much I would love this cupcake, and boy was she right! The very moist and spicy cake was full of carrot and raisins. The cream cheese icing (which I swear was not the same as the icing on the red velvet) was perfect and smooth. My one problem with this cupcake is how small it was… all I wanted was more of it!

Surprise cupcakes are always a treat and I really enjoyed these cupcakes. I’m always looking to eat more flavors from Sprinkles and am excited to have finally had cupcakes from Rebecca’s favorite bakery! I’m looking forward to the next time Rebecca swings by my office with sweet treats to share. 🙂

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

Very Merry Christmas Cupcakes

Throughout the month of December the Crusaders (and a friend of the Crusaders)  have been gathering Christmas themed cupcakes to share in one big post. We hope you enjoy these reviews as you spend these next couple of days wrapping presents, baking, and spending time with family.

Crumbs Bake Shop – NYC
This year Crumbs had an assortment of cupcakes decorate and flavored for Christmas. Unfortunately, when Crusader Elisa and I stopped by they only had the following two, Vanilla/Vanilla and Vanilla/Chocolate with holiday sprinkles. We decided to go ahead and give them a try, since we haven’t had any of Crumbs classic flavors and we had waited in a long line. We were so glad we did!


(Crumbs Bake Shop’s Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting)

This cupcake blew me away! I’m still often pleasantly surprised by how good a vanilla cupcake can be. The cake was light, moist and very buttery. It brought back memories of the vanilla cake my mom used to make when I was a kid. The vanilla cream cheese frosting was the perfect compliment and it was double perfect because I ate half of this cupcake for breakfast. Vanilla is quickly becoming a favorite flavor of mine, which is still a bit shocking to me.


(Crumbs Bake Shop’s Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting)

The cake on this cupcake was exactly like the cake on the Vanilla/Vanilla cupcake. The frosting was just as light a fluffy as the vanilla cream cheese frosting, but the milk-chocolatiness of it complimented the vanilla cake perfectly.

Magnolia Bakery – NYC
While visiting NYC Elisa and I also stopped by Magnolia Bakery. It’s not typically our favorite place for cupcakes, but we were in the area and figured “why not?” They were out of a lot of options, but they did have these Red Velvet Rockette cupcakes left:


(Magnolia Bakery’s Red Velvet Cake with Whipped Vanilla Frosting)

Unfortunately this was not a good cupcake. The cake was really dry and dense and there wasn’t much flavor to it at all. The frosting was just okay too. Unfortunately the best part of this cupcake was the edible glitter and the chocolate Rockette on top. One redeeming quality was that even with how busy they were, the staff was incredibly friendly, so we had a great experience while we were there.

IcedGems – Baltimore, MD
IcedGems has a huge assortment of holiday flavors and decorated cupcakes this year. The options are amazing and thanks to one of Elisa’s co-workers – a fellow cupcake lover, Rebecca – Elisa has five to show you below. Thanks Rebecca for hooking us up with such awesome cupcakes!


(IcedGems’ Peppermint Cupcake)

Chocolate, peppermint, Hershey’s Kisses… what more can you ask for?! The perfect blend of sweet and peppermint, this cupcake made me go, “MMmmmmmmmm.” The cake was moist and rich with flavor, while the icing was smooth, creamy, and unfolded a peppermint taste on your tongue. Find their truck and buy one of these asap!


(IcedGems’ “Christmas Tree” holiday cupcake)

This was their “birthday cake” cupcake, which is fun-fetti cake with sweet buttercream icing. With it’s adorable star on top, this cupcake screams Christmas cheer! It was moist, delicious, sweet, savory, and just plain yummy. Simple flavors sometimes get lost in the mix of extravagant, complex, flavors, but this one was a shining star!


(IcedGems “Elf” holiday cupcake)

This adorable cupcake was very moist and sweet. It was a peanut butter swirl cake with vanilla buttercream icing. Elisa said that while it was really good, it wasn’t her favorite, but that there was some pretty steep competition with some of the other flavors.


(IcedGems “Santa Pants” holiday cupcake)

This chocolate cupcake was very good. With Santa’s legs sticking out of it like he’s stuck in a chimney, the flavorful cupcake was a sweet treat – with it’s reese’s peanut butter cup and marshmallow on top, this cupcake wasn’t just fun, it was flavorful too!


(IcedGems’ Egg Nog Cupcake)

Rebecca said that this cupcake was very good. In her own words, “The buttercream frosting was smooth with the right hint of spice and richness. While the cake wasn’t as moist as the others, it was also eaten a couple of days after it was purchased, and was still light with a nice kick of spice in it as well.  With an edible, white chocolate ornament on top, this cupcake all around was great!”

** IcedGems also very kindly gave Rebecca a Red Velvet, knowing that it’s Elisa’s favorite. We will be sharing that review in a separate post in the next week or two. So keep an eye out for that!  🙂

Sprinkles Cupcakes – Georgetown, DC
Another big “THANKS!” must go out to our newest Guest Crusader, Rebecca, for bringing a Red Velvet Sprinkles Cupcake to Elisa and sharing a review of the chocolate peppermint she got for herself.


(Sprinkles Cupcakes’ Chocolate Peppermint Cupcake)

This cupcake is described as a “Belgian dark chocolate cake topped with bittersweet chocolate-peppermint frosting. Sprinkled with crushed peppermint candies, it will get everyone rockin’ around the Christmas tree!” Apparently Rebecca agrees because she said, “Delicious! Moist, yummy, and great flavor.”


(Sprinkles Cupcakes’ Red Velvet Cupcake)

From Elisa: “Having previously reviewed the red velvet cupcake from Sprinkles, I was afraid this one wouldn’t live up to my memories… But it just confirmed my original review of simply scrumptious cake with fabulous cream cheese icing. Anytime I go there, I will have to get their red velvet.”

We hope whether you are baking cupcakes or ordering them from your local bakery, that you and your family have a very “sweet” Christmas.

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

I ❤ Sprinkles “on” Georgetown!

I’d heard of Sprinkles from Stacy, but little did I know on my first visit, that it was started in Beverly Hills and has been stated as “the world’s first cupcake bakery” by the Food Network. The shop in Washington DC is very crisp, clean-lined, and contemporary. The decorations on the cupcakes are the same.

Being in DC is always a treat, but since it is also a rarity for me, I decided to buy a half dozen. The staff was very helpful and very cheery! They talked to me about the flavors and made some recommendations. I was lucky, because no one else was there, so they could really take some time with me and help me pick! Here are my flavors and thoughts!

Lemon:

(Please excuse the photos. We had a blogger photo fail and forgot to photograph the cupcakes before splitting them up.)

Moist fluffy cake that screamed citrus! The frosting was very sugary, and missing the vanilla flavor that I was hoping for, but this is a great cupcake for a sweet-tooth looking for a lemon/sugar fix.

Peanut Butter:

Chocolate Chip peanut butter cake was less moist than most of the other cupcakes, but still worth it! The frosting can only be described as “super yummy” – not too sweet, with just the right amount of savory, a must when you are talking peanuts! The chocolate jimmies on top where reminiscent of my kid days. I’d like to eat one of these for breakfast… and the next time I get down to DC, I plan on saving it for the next morning.

Cinnamon & Sugar:

While I think $3.50 for a cupcake that doesn’t have frosting is a little steep, this is a very interesting take on one. It tastes like a fluffy snickerdoodle cookie, and I could have eaten the cinnamon & sugar covered top over and over again!

Carrot:

WOW. What a carrot cupcake! Moist, cinnamon-y/nutmeg-y cake with REAL carrot pieces in the cake. The cream cheese frosting was more sugary than I typically like, but all in all this one of the best carrot cake cupcakes I have ever had the pleasure of eating.

Caramel Apple: (A Seasonal Special!)

(Of the photo-fails, this is almost the most epic fail of them all. We took a bite before we even realized we needed to take photos. Sorry!)

The apple cake with spices was really nice, the mix of savory in the cake works so well with the very sweet lightly caramelized flavor of the frosting. The frosting left me wanting more caramel flavor and less sugar, especially because this it is also a cream cheese based.

Red Velvet:
(Sorry, no photo available. Definitely the biggest photo-fail of the group.)

Well, as you all know, I am some-what of a red velvet maniac. This one did NOT disappoint! It is by-far the second best red velvet I have ever tasted. The cake was just as the others, super moist. The frosting was sweeter than the usual cream cheese frostings (just as on the other cupcakes) but on this one it worked. The cake’s subtle sweetness equaled out the over-sweet frosting and created perfect bliss.

The day I went out it was a cold, but sunny and beautiful… and getting to eat such delicious cupcakes was the “icing” on the cake. 😉

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

Creep Crawly Cupcakes!

Halloween is everywhere today. Kids (and adults) are all dressed up, either waiting to receive loads of candy tonight, or just hoping to put a smile on someone’s face. Houses are decked out, candy bowls are waiting by the front door, pumpkins are carved, and even the cupcakes are celebrating.

Today’s post will showcase cupcakes from 6 different locations ranging from the most popular (like Georgetown Cupcake) to the simple neighborhood grocery store, and everything in between.

The idea for this post came about becuase I heard my local bakery not only had Halloween themed cupcakes, but they also had special Halloween boxes to put them in. I had to go check this out and we decided the other crusaders should see what they could find. We hope you enjoy our collection of spooky sweets!

Hamilton Bakery: Baltimore City
Review by Cupcake Crusader, Stacy

As I mentioned above, I found out my neighborhood bakery, Hamilton Bakery, created themed cupcakes and were placing them in colorful Halloween boxes. I decided had to have one for myself. They only had the classic Vanilla/Chocolate flavors adorned with creepy fun, so I choose a Vanilla Vanilla with the Bat.

I have to say, for amazing as Hamilton Bakery is at creating pastries, I’m still not a huge fan of their cupcakes. I know the other crusaders might not agree with me, but like before, I think that their cake is a little too muffin like, and their frosting is way to buttery for my liking. But, it was a really fun treat to have for “Halloween Weekend.”

Fresh & Green’s: Baltimore City
Review by Cupcake Crusader, Stacy

Today was my boss’s birthday, and she loves having a Halloween birthday, so today we surprised her with cupcakes (of course), flowers, balloons, candy, the works. I was so glad that Fresh & Green’s decided to join in the Halloween fun and dress their cupcakes up for the occasion. I heard from my co-worker that the Chocolate Chocolate with the Trick or Treat Bag was delicious. I opted for the Vanilla Vanilla with the Green Frosting and Jack-o-lantern.

Doesn’t he look so happy? And it wouldn’t be Halloween without some Candy Corn and Chocolate Eyeballs to wash it all down with. The cupcake was decorated with a plastic, confetti-like, edible sprinkle. I’ve had edible glitter and edible gold, but I’ve never had edible plastic before, so I was a bit skeptical. After biting into it, the edible green stuff seemed to stick to my teeth, but it quickly dissolved. I’m not sure if this would be okay on a normal day, but for Halloween, it was just fine by me. The cake was the typical fluffy cake they had before and the frosting was the same wiped cream that I tend to enjoy. I was a little disappointed to see that their price has increased from $.99 to $1.50 per cupcake, but I’m going to assume that is becuase of all of the added decorations. And still, at $1.50 for these cupcakes, it puts them at half the price of most cupcakeries and bakeries.

UPDATE: Fresh & Green’s Hampden location is now closed.

Pirate Cupcakes: Baltimore City
Review by Guest Crusader, Beth Lacey

The moment I bought these six hilarious cupcakes from Pirate Cupcakes in Baltimore, Md., (sold exclusively through Captain Larry’s in Locust Point) I thought to myself, “Did I just spent $28 on a gimmick? Oh crap!”

I had bought two seeing eyes, two exposed brains and two vampire bites. They were out of mummies and spiders. The bartender at Captain Larry’s handed them to me unceremoniously in a plain styrofoam container (slightly squishing the brains and bites). I brought these crazy cool cupcakes home for further investigation and, you know, tasting. I selected the brain to sample first.

Mmm. It was a great surprise. Frankly, I started to think zombies might be on to something! It was huge, moist and flavorful. The madagascar vanilla bourbon spice frosting doesn’t just look killer. It was in good proportion to the cake and not so sweet that I didn’t want more. Inside, the cupcake was vanilla spice pumpkin with a pumpkin cream filling. Every bite of this delicious brain was good. Almost worth an arm and a leg, even!

Though Pirate Cupcakes loses a few points from me for presentation that doesn’t reflect the awesomeness of its super icing design, it absolutely gets this crusader’s thumbs up. Somebody bring me more body parts!

Starry Night Bakery and Coffee House: Westminster, MD
Review by Cupcake Crusader, Jenn

Hearing that one of my favorite local bakeries, Starry Night Bakery and Coffeehouse, had cupcakes decorated for Halloween, I decided that I should head over there and check them out. There wasn’t a big selection of varying decoration, but I did manage to get a seasonal favorite, the Orange Cranberry , with a spider web and also ventured into their standards section for a chocolate cupcake with a chocolate ganche frosting and gummy eyeball.


(Note: Prior to photographing the cupcake I accidentally dropped the box on it’s side, so the cupcakes sustained minor damage to the decorations.)

The Orange Cranberry appeared in our original review of Starry Night and this is the third time I’ve ordered it. I think that speaks for itself!

The chocolate cupcake was the first time I’ve ordered something from their standards and I have to say…YUM! While the cake was your standard chocolate cake, the icing was something between what you would find on a Berger cookie, a Baltimore favorite, and a chocolate frosted donut.

Although the decorations were on the minimalistic side, I fully enjoyed the taste of both of my selections and still had fun picking out which Halloween themed cupcakes I should get!

Georgetown Cupcake: Washington DC
Review by Cupcake Crusader, Elisa

Both of these cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake were Vanilla cake with Vanilla butter-cream icing (with some food coloring for the Ghost, orange icing!)

While they are on the more simple side, and not something I would normally order, they where simply tasty! The cake was moist, the icing was just what I expect from Georgetown, and they are the perfect size and price (in my Crusader opinion). I was very lucky that I got the LAST one with a ghost decoration and the orange icing – Lucky me!!

Sprinkles Cupcakes: Washington DC
Review by Cupcake Crusader, Elisa

The cupcake decorated with the Ghost is Caramel Apple and it was YUM! Apple-y delicious moist cake with a smooth dreamy caramel frosting. This is one for the cupcake record books!

The one with the signature Sprinkles Cupcakes‘ circle done in orange and black is Red Velvet. It was super moist cake with subtle cream cheese icing. This has easily moved in as my second favorite Red Velvet. I’d go back for them again!

Over all, the decorations were simple, but were on anything-but-simple cupcakes!

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We hope everyone enjoyed our collection of tricky treats. It’s not too late to go out and find some of your own!

Happy Halloween!

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