February 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

Please read this first: (I initially wrote this as a follow up entry to “High Maintenance”, but I wrote too many sentences and it became a somewhat substantial entry so I switched blogs. Is this arrangement convoluted and unnecessary? Yes. Do I like this arrangement? Very much.)

…And there are times when “Baby” wants a single, please-surprise-me-with-the-flavor cupcake and the boyfriend decides to be an overachiever and get her four cupcakes of different flavors from Red Velvet Cupcakery (I personally think the place is a 3.5 because while I do really enjoy the cupcakes, I find the price a little bit extravagant since this place is not Sprinkles nor is it located in Beverly Hills. I’m sorry, Wayne –I didn’t know they were so expensive!…However, that isn’t to say that if I’m in DC Chinatown and my sweet tooth is begging for attention– and specifically for a cupcake–, I wouldn’t go here, because, at the very least, I don’t have to wait in a line that extends out the door and curves up the street. And I also don’t have to attempt to bake a singular cupcake.):

From the top left: classic red velvet, vegan Black Velvet, chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting, and key lime cake with white chocolate frosting

We only tried the peanut butter frosted chocolate cupcake and the white chocolate frosted key lime cupcake so far. I really like them both. The chocolate cake was moist and the peanut butter frosting was very creamy and light and, surprisingly, not incredibly sweet, which I actually really enjoy more than the overly sweet frostings. There were bits of chocolate chips in the cake that made me think of what a Reese’s would taste like if it used chunky peanut butter instead of its classic creamy. The key lime cake had a hard exterior with the edges where the cake harden being slightly crunchy but the interior was soft and moist and had a very strong key lime fragrance that still lingers on the cupcake wrapper after the cake has been eaten and is only a gastronomic memory. The white chocolate frosting was very light and airy and also not incredibly sweet. I was amused by the white chocolate shavings on top of the key lime cake but I don’t think the garnish added to the cupcake. beyond an aesthetic value. The shavings might be thought of as a good textural contrast to the light, airy frosting for someone else; however, for me, it kind of felt as if I were drifting on a breeze on a sunny day and little shards of hardened white chocolate shavings are torpedo-ing through my mental image. My tongue is simple-minded, and it was confused what happened to its lovely breezy days in the Key West.

I bake a fair amount. I baked a lot more during college as a way to procrastinate and put off studying. I also had a lot more willing mouths to offer my baked goods since I lived with four other girls. Apparently my four girls still weren’t enough mouths to get rid of all my excess baked goods so I distributed them to my French class, which comprised of 20 underclassmen who loved free food and a French professor who knew and understood that I didn’t care that I wouldn’t get anything higher than a solid B in the class and the baking really was just because I was a bored Spring semester senior waiting to graduate. This was in no way an attempt to improve my grade; some seniors get bored and skip class whereas I got bored and baked for the class. I wrote all this to say that because I’m a baker, I could not bring myself to eat the additional two cupcakes because the self-induced guilt from the knowledge of the amount of butter and sugar in those cupcakes made me tired. So I fell asleep and had the two cupcakes for breakfast. See! Compromise! My body gets to start off the calorie count fresh at zero with a new day, and I can eat the cupcakes guilt-free.

I kept the cupcakes out on the dining table overnight because putting any bread or cake in the refrigerator ages them much more quickly — I think the equivalent of one day in the refrigerator is equal to five days just sitting on the counter in terms of how quickly the bread or cake will dry out. With that said, I’ve had cupcakes that I’ve left outside for two to three days without a noticeable difference in moistness so I doubt that 10 hours really made that much of a difference in the quality of the cake; though I will agree that next day cakes don’t taste as good as same day cakes.

I really liked the red velvet cupcake. After I ate it, I was sad it was gone. It was still light and moist. Interestingly, it was sweeter than both the chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting and the key lime cake with white chocolate frosting, but it still wasn’t overwhelmingly sweet. Since I had left the cupcake out overnight, the frosting became very soft and melted in my mouth — personal preference: I love when that happens, when the creamy sweet texture of the frosting just melts in your mouth. Maybe it added to the velvety-ness of the cupcake since the melted frosting seeped into all the crevices of the cake as I ate (sorry for the mental image of my chewing)? And then, it was gone. After savoring and analyzing the first bite, I ate it so quickly that even I don’t entirely remember eating it; the only evidence being the messy red crumbs and the rumpled, red-stained wrapper. I could mused about perhaps I took a huge bite out of Elmo and not be completely sure that I didn’t, though I would spend the rest of my life think Elmo tastes of red velvet cake and cheesecake frosting. I liked Red Velvet’s red velvet cupcake because it left me wanting more.

However, that doesn’t really say very much about the quality of Red Velvet’s red velvet cupcake. All it really means is that I think it is, at the very least, a decent cupcake, because, to be honest, I am the worst judge of red velvet cupcakes. Hands down, they are my favorite flavor, which you would think it would make me somewhat persnickety with each red velvet cupcake I eat and make me into a red velvet cupcake snob. No. I am the opposite. I am a red velvet cupcake slut. I’ll take them any way I can get them, and I’m perfectly content to admit that if it means I can get my hands on a red velvet cupcake. I haven’t really met a red velvet cupcake that I didn’t like– however there was this one time I had just a really bad cupcake overall and it happened to be a red velvet cupcake; it was too gummy, so moist that it was evident the cake batter gave up and just congealed in the middle to resemble a red sticky paste that was not completely opaque.


So the vegan Black Velvet was interesting in that I was mainly intrigued by the vegan-ness. While I love the idea of vegan cupcakes– I love when people explore into the world of vegetarianism and veganism and will always opt to try the meatless, cruelty-free yummy creations–, I’m always worried about the texture because  vegan cupcakes tend to be extremely dry, which this cupcake was, unfortunately. It seemed that there was a good deal more frosting on this cupcake than the others so a small part of me wonders if the bakers at Red Velvet were trying to compensate for the dryness with more frosting. The frosting was light, not that sweet, and could not make the vegan chocolate cupcake memorable. The cake tasted days and days old. I’ll attribute some of the dryness to being left out overnight and eaten a day later. I am more than willing to give this a second try so the next time I’m in DC Chinatown, I’ll make a point to stop and buy a freshly made vegan Black Velvet cupcake to taste again.



Red Velvet Cupcakery
501 7th Street Northwest
Washington D.C., DC 20004
(202) 347-7895


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