I love baking my own cupcakes, but sometimes it is fun to visit local bakeries and try out their offerings. It is a great chance to compare my own recipes to what is on the market and discover some new ideas. This morning I was in downtown DC and found myself right in front of one of DC's acclaimed cupcake bakeries- Red Velvet. Of course I had to pop in for a cupcake.
Red Velvet is located near the corner of 7th St and E St in NW DC. Cupcakes are $3.25 each or $36/dozen. This is a bit more than some of the other cupcakeries charge for, but not unheard of. The bakery offers a wide variety of flavors (10 were available when I was there), but there is no seating area. You can take your cupcakes next door to the frozen yogurt shop if you want to sit. However, although the bakery is small it has a simplistic but charming decor and the cupcakes are the main attraction.
As the name of the bakery suggests, Red Velvet is included in the array of flavors. On a previous occasion I tried the red velvet, or "Southern Belle" as it is referred to on the label, on a previous occasion, so this time I opted for another flavor.
I went with one of their new recipes- Hazelnut Cafe. Their website describes this cupcake as "A delicious new wake-up call for coffee lovers-- a rich and moist hazelnut cake topped with a sexy espresso buttercream and completed with just a pinch of espresso."
The description definitely reflects this cupcake quite accurately. The cake was rather rustic- instead of a light and fluffy hazelnut-flavored cake, the cake was a bit denser and moist with shavings of hazelnut baked inside. The espresso buttercream was well flavored and a very soft (almost melty) texture, although I attribute some of this to the heat outside today. The cupcake to frosting ratio was excellent and the two flavors complemented themselves well.
Overall, I enjoyed my Red Velvet Cupcakery cupcake. The rich, denser cupcake is not the kind that I often opt to make since I prefer the lighter fluffy cake, but with this flavor combination it worked quite well. It would definitely be worth visiting again when I am in the area, but I wouldn't necessarily make it a destination, mostly because I have several other fantastic bakeries very close to me!