Say Hi to Hello Cupcake in Washington, DC
February 21, 2014
WASHINGTON, DC, US – Perky, spic-and-span, and a little bit precious, Hello Cupcake is one of the friendliest cupcakeries that DC has to offer. The humble cupcake has become such a craze in DC that many of the most popular purveyors have frustratingly long lines (here’s looking at you, Georgetown Cupcake) or too-cool-for-school service (à la hipster-beloved baked & wired). But at Hello Cupcake in the heart of Dupont Circle, the line is never too long and the service is always cheery. When they say “Hello!” they really mean it.
The shop is a perfect blending of old-fashioned and modern, both in its décor and in its main attraction: the cupcakes. The walls are adorned with pop-art flowers, and a large pink crystal chandelier dangles from the ceiling−it’s equal parts Barbie’s dream kitchen and Andy Warhol. So are the confections. They’re fluffy and wholesome in a 1950s sort of way, but the frosting design and candy art adds a contemporary flair. Plus, fun names like Prima Donna, You Tart!, and 24 Carrot show that the bakers don’t take themselves too seriously.
The baker-in-chief here is Penny Karas, who learned the art of pastry making from her Greek mother. She’s carrying on the traditions of old-country Greece, using farm-fresh, natural ingredients and employing everything-from-scratch perfectionism. The kitchen incorporates gourmet ingredients like real citrus zest, Madagascar bourbon vanilla, fine chocolate, real cream cheese, and creamery butter in its creations. No wonder they are so lipsmackingly yummy.
Six of their flavors (including a vegan and gluten-free selection) are offered every day, and additional flavors rotate daily. In total, there are 50 different flavors in rotation on the schedule, along with special seasonal and holiday selections, so there’s no doubt something for everyone. We’re partial to that Prima Donna cupcake−chocolate cake with pink strawberry buttercream−and the Peanut Butter Blossom cupcake−chocolate cake topped with peanut butter frosting and a chocolate Kiss. Full-size fondant and buttercream cakes are also available in artful, eye-catching designs.
As if Hello Cupcake could get any sweeter, the shop also tickles us with its environmentally friendly attitude. The store is in a LEED certified building, and they use recycled or recyclable packaging whenever possible. If you’re only buying one cupcake, they ask that you simply carry it away in your hand instead of wasting a bag. That’s absolutely fine with us, because it’s rare that we’re able to control ourselves from devouring the entire thing as soon as it hits our palm. Oh, Hello Cupcake, it’s so hard to say goodbye!
Read more about Hello Cupcake in our Washington, DC Guide.