Young and Hungry

Smirnoff Icing On The Cake: Sticky Fingers Bakery Seeks Liquor License

Tiramisu cupcake at Sticky Fingers. WARNING: May contain alcohol

Doron Petersan, proprietor of Sticky Fingers bakery (City Paper readers' pick for "D.C.'s Best Vegan Restaurant 2011"), piped up on Thursday to remind Y&H that Crunkcakes aren't the only liquor-laced cupcakes in town. Petersan points out that her crew nabbed a cool $10,000 by winning the Food Network's "Cupcake Wars" this past spring with their own spiked desserts, including a chocolate cinnamon cupcake, filled with a bourbon caramel sauce and topped with a bourbon vanilla frosting.

The biggest difference between Petersan's boozy cupcakes and Crunkcakes is the overall level of alcohol. Each Crunkcake contains nearly a full one-ounce shot of liquor, according to creators Faith Alice Sleeper and Raychel Sabath. The Sticky Fingers varieties are far less potent. No one is getting crunk, in other words, at Petersan's place in Columbia Heights. Unless you eat an awful lot of them.

The grog gap has a lot to do with location. Crunkcakes are sold in licensed bars. Sticky Fingers bakery, meanwhile, doesn't have a liquor license. At least not yet. Nor does it need one. So long as the liquor amounts to less than 10 percent of the ingredients of a given cupcake, according to Petersan.

"There's not enough alcohol in the cupcakes for me to have to card you," she says. "And that's how we don't have and we don't have to have, currently, a liquor license."

Most of the alcohol in Sticky Fingers' "21 and over" creations are found in the frosting. Petersan does make a whiskey cake, she notes, "where the whiskey is mostly cooked out of the cake." But there is whiskey in the frosting, as well, which doesn't evaporate, she adds.

Crunkcakes, meanwhile, are infused with alcohol after baking, the makers say, meaning the hooch doesn't cook off at all.

That's not to say that Crunkcakes will remain D.C.'s most powerful cupcake, at least in terms of alcohol by volume.

Petersan tells Y&H that Sticky Fingers is now in the process of applying for its own liquor license, which would allow for sales of organic beers and wines at the bakery. And, of course, boozier cupcakes.

"When we do get our liquor license, that's when we might get a bit more risque with the alcohol cupcake," she says.

Photo by Chris Shott

  • Seth

    If there was a show called EgoBruisedHaterWars Petersan would win the $10,000 easy!!!

  • StrangeFruit

    @ Seth, welcome to the world of capitalism! Petersan is seizing an opportunity, as would any savvy business owner and she is in a prime location to make bank.

  • MeggoWaffles

    This is sooooo funny...considering the hissy fit Petersan threw over Crunkcakes and gauche comments about prize money. And they "might" flat-out copy them?

    Doron IS a business owner able to make bank - but is apparently so insecure that she needed to trash talk the underdog first??

    The two Crunkcake women are probably making cupcakes out of their homes and are trying their hand at something new and innovative (yes it is new - where else can you get truly boozed up cupcakes right now in DC?), and all just because they love doing it.

    I was completely ambivalent about cupcake trends before, and I know you can't see this - but I'm giving Sticky Fingers a big ole finger of my own right now...

  • Sissy

    You hit the head on the nail Meggo. You'd think Sticky Fingers would leave a nice comment congratulating such innovative, young business women. But they obviously took the low road. Really? You're going to spout off that you won Cupcake Wars? CUPCAKE WARS? First of all, I watch that show and usually get angry because the competition is WEAK. To be honest, my 93 year old granny could go on that program and wipe the floor with your egotistical faces.

    And the fact that Crunkcakes has their liquor license and actually sells these cupcakes to BARS seems quite innovative to me. But...waaaaait aaaa miiinute...what's the title of this article again? Sticky Fingers is getting a liquor license? Why now? Weeeeeeeeeird.

    I just want to comment about what these classless bitches forgot to say on the last article. GOOD LUCK with the business Crunkcakes!! :)

  • Noelle

    This article definitely cements my feelings about how amazing the girls at CrunkCakes are, as well as their cupcakes (sooooo good!!)! Small businesses need support, I will not be buying any cupcakes from Sticky Fingers after seeing such awful attitudes, liquor license or not!