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Feb 27, 2009 08:50 AM

Cake Love: Opinions?

About 3 weeks ago, I tried my first cupcake from Cake Love (in Silver Spring). I had heard and read about the owner and the cupcakes for years. I was expecting something really earthshaking. I must admit that I was very disappointed. A second trip to the place last week didn't change my mind.

The cupcakes that I had (one vanilla with chocolate buttercream frosting and a chocolate with a cream cheese frosting) were terrible. The cakes were dense, glutinous, and bland. My second cupcake was extremely dry. (So much so that I needed some water to swallow it.) I could tell that they were made from scratch, but this isn't a plus if the ingredients aren't prepared properly. These cupcakes had such a course, non-delicate crumb.

Both frostings were awful. They seemed watery and whipped up with air. It was also a bit sad to see the thin layer of frosting just slopped onto the cupcake with a spatula. (No attempt at piping.) This is the type of thing that I'm used to seeing at a community bake sale.

I can't understand how people would rave on about these cupcakes, especially when they cost $3.50 a pop.

Did I just catch these guys on a bad day (or two)?

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  1. Do a search. You will see it was not a bad day. Actually, I'm surprised that, as a user of this site, you would be expecting something earth shattering. Most reviews echo yours: dense, dry, etc. Sorry you were disappointed. :-( Always a bummer when something you were looking forward to doesn't pan out.

    2 Replies
    1. re: charmedgirl

      Thanks charmedgirl. You make a good point. I just joined this site yesterday. lol :)

      1. re: Sean D

        That would explain it then! Ha ha! Next time maybe consult the hounds first, at least to see what they have to say. No need to take it as gospel (I sure don't!) and you can always do your own thing, but that way you'll be going in more informed. And you know what GI Joe says .....

    2. No, that's pretty much standard at Cake Love. I prefer Red Velvet for cupcakes, though I usually just make 'em myself and get a couple dozen for the price of two or three retail.

      1. It's hard to find better than Georgetown Cupcake. My favorite is the choc cake with vanilla frosting.

        Avoid the peanut butter if you have arachibutyrophobia.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Steve

          Appalingly poor value. Cake love that is. I clicked the worng link. I'm not hating on gtown cupcake.

          1. re: Steve

            Georgetown Cupcake is an adorable experiece, and I've seen everyone from tweens to businessmen! I love their vanilla w/choc frosting, but their caramel sea salt seems a bit sweet but with no discernable flavor.

            Georgetown Cupcake
            1209 Potomac St NW, Washington, DC

          2. I've experienced their cupcakes several times and they have uniformly been mediocre. Once the interior of the cupcake was still batter and undercooked. Not so nice for $3.50 a pop.

            I think the reason Cake Love received so much attention was not for the quality and uniformity of the cakes but rather because of the love story the media weaved about the owner forging a new business in the renaissance of U Street.

            1 Reply
            1. re: onocoffee

              Not only that, but the much ballyhooed detail that he gave up his law career for his dream to be a baker.

              There's a Cake Love located in Tysons Corner and I'm glad I've never bought anything from there. They don't even post prices for their stuff.

            2. Agree with everyone that CakeLove is terrible -- and also wanted to add that Georgetown Cupcakes is excellent!

              When I've gone to the CakeLove in Silver Spring, they gave me a refrigerated cupcake out of the display case and told me it wasn't meant to be eaten until it had come up to room temperature. Is this standard? Isn't that ridiculous?

              3 Replies
              1. re: slyc

                Thanks for writing about the refrigerated cupcake, Slyc. When I had my first CakeLove cupcake, it seemed cold in the middle. It also had a wetness that seemed a bit like built-up condensation. I had a hunch, but I wasn't sure.

                Also, on a surprising, pleasant note...I had a really nice cupcake at Starbucks! It was red velvet with cream cheese icing. I must say that for a mass-produced cupcake (which arrives refrigerated), it was really nice. The price was also remarkable - $1.85 - which is incredible for a place like Starbucks.

                1. re: slyc

                  Actually, it is not ridiculous. Buttercream is best when served at room temperature. Worked in a bakery for six months and always instructed customers to take the kid out of the frig for at least fifteen minutes before serving.

                  1. re: BEmama

                    From practical experience though, I've found that buttercream lasts perfectly well at a stable room temperature and that there is no real need for refrigerating the cupcake - unless you're planning on holding the cupcake for up to ten days.

                    But for $3.50 a cupcake, I would expect that they would bake them fresh everyday... wouldn't you?