I have never understood the fascination with cupcakes. It seems as though a recent trend has sparked in which America is now suddenly finding itself in a pseudo-hormonal craving for small, sweet and expensive desserts. From New York City’s Magnolia Bakery to Los Angeles’ aptly named Famous Cupcakes to D.C.’s own Georgetown Cupcake, this “cupcake madness” is spreading like an epidemic from coast to coast. TV shows such as “DC Cupcakes” and “Cupcake Wars” (in which, coincidentally, Sprinkles founder, Candace Nelson appears as a judge) have all contributed to and glorified this new staple to the American diet, and apparently we have Beverly Hills-based Sprinkles Cupcakes to thank for it.
The company prides itself as “the world’s first cupcake bakery and the progenitor of the cupcake craze.” Company founder Candace Nelson says that, through Sprinkles, she hopes to continue in her great-grandmother’s legacy of “simple and satisfying desserts handcrafted from the best ingredients.” The bakery began as an L.A. cupcakery founded by Nelson and her husband that quickly expanded into a small chain of bakeries in the L.A. area. Now the Golden State has been kind enough to export Sprinkles to the East Coast, most recently to Georgetown’s own M Street.
Sprinkles doesn’t yet have the same allure as Georgetown Cupcake, though it would be hard to tell by just paying a visit. Inside, there was a chaos of people all crammed into one tiny waiting area and to be perfectly honest, I am still not sure how I went about ordering and paying for my cupcake, but somehow, amidst the rabbles of sugar-deprived Georgetowners, it happened. Inside, there are about 20 square feet in which to stand in line, order, pay and eat. Two small tables were flushed against the window panes. Clearly the owners of Sprinkles were not anticipating much success or if they were, they’re just not huge fans of floor space.
Sprinkles boasts a hearty assortment of cupcakes, from red velvet to mocha to chai latte and even carrot. Though I could not quite muster enough courage to order the carrot, I ended up with a box of four assorted flavors (banana, chocolate marshmallow, dark chocolate and red velvet) for which I paid a small fortune. For over $3 per cupcake, Sprinkles gives a sizeable portion, but still, I could not help but feel disconcerted over the fact that I had just handed the cashier a $20 bill for cupcakes; although this is Georgetown, where such prices would be considered a bargain.
The cupcakes themselves were good, very heavy and very sweet. One bite of any one of their wide assortment of cupcakes will melt the braces off any pre teen and turn even the healthiest among us into an instant diabetic.
At the end of the day, however, the cupcakes were just good — not terrible but not amazing. Maybe I’m just not a cupcake person, or perhaps I’m just immune to whatever this cupcake pandemic is, but I can not justify spending that kind of money on something so small that would be gone in just a matter of seconds. If, however, money is no objection, then by all means, feel free to pass up that other cupcake establishment in Georgetown and buy yourself a box of Sprinkles. You will leave heavier and your wallet, much lighter.