Georgetown Cupcake Newbury
Georgetown Cupcake -- yes, that Georgetown Cupcake -- opened on Newbury Street in Boston this past Saturday, and last Thursday I had the pleasure of attending a pre-opening party complete with cupcakes, champagne, and sister-owners Katherine Kallinis and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne.
Let me back up a minute, just in case you're not yet a fan of the TLC show DC Cupcakes. Georgetown Cupcake started as a single shop in a tiny townhouse in Washington DC. Katherine and Sophie left their jobs and steady incomes to follow their passion: baking cupcakes and making people happy. The day they opened, they sold 500 cupcakes in just two hours and had to close the shop to bake more cupcakes and re-open later that day.
Their cupcakes were so successful that they were eventually able to move to a bigger shop (and open additional locations). They've baked with Martha Stewart and Oprah on their shows and in 2009 were approached by TLC about doing their own show. That was the start of DC Cupcakes, which chronicles their days at the bakery and special projects they take on for customers. Watching the show is how I first learned of Georgetown Cupcake and Sophie and Katherine. Having a passion for baking, I was instantly hooked on the show and the sisters' personalities.
I was beyond excited when I heard Katherine and Sophie were opening a shop in Boston and that they would actually be attending the pre-opening party. On Thursday after work, I met up with Meghan before the party, and we headed over together (we ran into Fiona outside the shop and later were joined by Emily, Elizabeth, and Bianca inside).
As soon as we entered the shop, we saw stunning displays of cupcakes in a chic space with lots of girly pink accents.
A bejeweled KitchenAid on display in the front window caught my eye after I finished ogling the cupcakes. I instantly wanted one -- until I started thinking about how hard it would be to clean. I wouldn't mind having one to put on display though!
I turned again and saw Sophie and Katherine standing directly in front of me. They were both so warm and welcoming, and it was so much fun to meet them in person.
As we made our way farther into the shop, we were greeted by waiters carrying bubbly and cupcakes. I grabbed a glass of champagne and one of every cupcake that came by. (Minis were served for the pre-opening party, but the store will carry full-size cupcakes.)
As I sipped Champagne and sampled cupcakes, I got a good look at the space. It's definitely decked out just right for a cupcake shop, with pink lighting, pink boxes, and a sleek counter.
A wall display showcases all sorts of Georgetown Cupcake paraphernalia for sale, from T-shirts to mugs to the sisters' cookbook.
Now on to those cupcakes I was sampling (excuse the pink pictures). I started with the chocolate hazelnut cupcake: a Valrhona chocolate cupcake with a rich Callebaut chocolate ganache icing topped with caramelized hazelnuts. (Have I ever told you that Valrhona and Callebaut are two of my favorite words?) This cupcake was surprisingly my favorite. I say surprisingly because it wasn't heaped with frosting, just simply dipped in ganache. But those crunchy, caramelized hazelnuts made the cupcake for me.
Next I tried the peanut butter fudge cupcake: a Valrhona chocolate cupcake with a fudge core topped with a peanut butter frosting and a fudge star drizzle. Only the full-size version actually has the fudge core, but this cupcake combined chocolate and peanut butter, so it was still a hit in my book. (And so was the full-size one I tried the next day.)
The salted caramel cupcake -- a caramel cupcake with a salted caramel-infused buttercream frosting topped with a caramel drizzle -- was just a little too sweet for me but would be great for the caramel lover.
The chocolate coconut cupcake -- a Valrhona chocolate cupcake with a vanilla cream cheese frosting capped with a cloud of shredded coconut -- surprised me. I always think I'm not a big fan of coconut, but then I have something with coconut and love it. That's how it went with this cupcake. It reminded me of a Mounds bar, and that's a good thing.
The red velvet cupcake -- a classic red velvet cupcake with a vanilla cream cheese frosting topped with a red fondant heart -- was another impressive cupcake. I think I really like the vanilla cream cheese frosting. And of course, the little fondant heart is adorable.
I loved the chocolate2 cupcake: a Valrhona chocolate cupcake with a whipped Callebaut chocolate frosting topped with a fondant flower. But that should be no surprise given my love for all things chocolate, especially high-quality chocolate like Valrhona and Callebaut. (There's also a chocolate3 cupcake with sprinkles and a chocolate ganache cupcake that I need to go back and try.)
I heard there was no cream in the mini Boston creme cupcake, so I didn't try that one, but the clover on top was a cute touch. (And I gave a full-size one to a friend, and he confirmed it had the Boston creme pudding inside.)
The lava fudge -- a Valrhona chocolate cupcake with a rich fudge core topped with a vanilla icing with a fudge star drizzle -- was another favorite for me, even though the mini didn't have the fudge core. I noticed a strawberry lava fudge cupcake on the February menu and plan to go back then to try that one.
I was getting full by the time cookies and creme came around, but the Madagascar bourbon vanilla cupcake baked with Oreo crumbles and topped with an Oreo-crumble-infused buttercream frosting was sweet and crunchy.
A lot of the flavors we tried at the pre-opening were very basic and provided a good preview of what Georgetown Cupcake is capable of. None of the cupcakes were particularly moist, but they weren't dry either. And they were on the denser side, which I loved. (I can't stand anything resembling a light, airy, box-mix cupcake.) You could tell the cupcakes were made with high-quality ingredients, and they were all really flavorful. The frostings were especially amazing. Besides the salted caramel, I didn't find any of them too sweet, and they all had great textures. Now I have a long list of flavors I want to go back and try, including lemon berry, lavender earl grey teacake, chocolate peanut butter swirl, and banana split.
When I couldn't eat another cupcake, I took a walk around with Elizabeth to check out the kitchen. The prep table outside the kitchen was covered in pink boxes that we soon learned were full of cupcakes for us to take home.
While most people were focusing on those pink boxes, what was under the table grabbed my attention: Cambros filled with cupcake decorations, from sprinkles to those delicious caramelized hazelnuts. If only I had room in my kitchen for those!
The kitchen itself looked very neat and streamlined. The counter was lined with 20-quart mixers, which must come in very handy for making all the batters and frostings. It's interesting seeing a kitchen designed for just one type of baked good after working at Flour, where all sorts of baked goods are made.
I also found more cupcakes lined up on the counter in the kitchen and was able to get some better pictures in the brighter lighting back there...
Just before we left, Elizabeth and I thanked Katherine and Sophie and got a picture with them!
On the way out, I was handed a generous gift bag (stuffed with a hat, a mug, a travel mug, The Cupcake Diaries, a gift card, information about the shop, and a T-shirt) and a six-pack of full-size cupcakes to take home.
Georgetown Cupcake went all out at this pre-opening party. Champagne was flowing and cupcakes were abundant. I had a great time and enjoyed getting to check out the space and sample the goods. I will definitely be stopping by Georgetown Cupcake whenever I'm strolling down Newbury Street and find myself craving something sweet! I'm also planning on trying a bunch of recipes from the cookbook.
This event was complimentary, but as always my opinions are my own.
Have you ever watched DC Cupcakes?
Labels: Restaurant reviews and events