Young and Hungry

Where Can You Get the Most Cupcake For Your Buck? (Hint: Not Georgetown Cupcake)

Prices shown represent the cost per ounce of each cupcake

Last April, Y&H interviewed Cake Love's Warren Brown about how the District's first gourmet cupcake seller was dealing with all the new competition in town. Brown defended his prices (cupcakes cost $3.25 at Cake Love—50 cents more than rival retailer Georgetown Cupcake, for instance) by citing some recent price studies he'd conducted of his competitors. Generally speaking, Brown asserted that "other places that have them for less money have a much smaller cupcake." On visual inspection, at least, Brown seemed to have a point.

Y&H recently decided to conduct its own price study to see which D.C. sweet seller offered the most cupcake for your buck. The mission: buy one basic-style cupcake from each high-end shop in town, weigh each one of them on the same digital scale and then tally up the price per ounce in order to obtain a more scientific comparison.

Here's what we found. The best deal in terms of size: Baked & Wired, where you're paying around $0.64 per ounce of the sweet stuff. That is to say, you're getting about an ounce and a half of cupcake for every dollar you spend. Compare that to the worst deal, at Georgetown Cupcake, which charges about $1.38 per ounce, meaning you're getting less than ounce of cake—about three quarters, in fact—for every dollar.

Check out the complete breakdown of the results of our sugary experiment after the jump:

Location: Baked and Wired
Cupcake: chocolate w/ buttercream frosting
Cost: $3.50
Weight: 5.5
Price per ounce: $0.63

Location: Sticky Fingers
Flavor: red velvet
Cost: $2.25
Weight: 3.2 oz.
Price per ounce: $0.70

Location: Crumbs
Flavor: chocolate w/ butter cream frosting
Cost: $4.50
Weight: 6.1 oz.
Price per ounce: $0.74

Location: Curbside Cupcake
Flavor: Red velvet
Cost: $3.00
Weight: 3.6 oz.
Price per ounce: $0.83

Location: Hello Cupcake
Flavor: chocolate w/ buttercream frosting
Cost: $3.00
Weight: 3.6 oz.
Price per ounce: $0.83

Location: Olivia's Cupcakes
Flavor: chocolate w/ buttercream frosting
Cost: $2.00
Weight: 2.2 oz.
Price per ounce: $0.91

Location: The Sweet Lobby
Flavor: red velvet
Cost: $2.75
Weight: 3 oz.
Price per ounce: $0.92

Location: Red Velvet Cupcakery
Flavor: chocolate w/ buttercream frosting
Cost: $3.25
Weight: 3.2 oz.
Price per ounce: $1.02

Location: Something Sweet
Flavor: red velvet
Cost: $3.25
Weight: 3.2 oz.
Price per ounce: $1.02

Location: Cake Love
Flavor: chocolate w/ buttercream frosting
Cost: $3.25
Weight: 2.8 oz.
Price per ounce: $1.16

Location: Sprinkles
Flavor: chocolate w/ buttercream frosting
Cost: $3.50
Weight: 3 oz.
Price per ounce: $1.17

Location: Georgetown Cupcake
Flavor: chocolate w/ buttercream frosting
Cost: $2.75
Weight: 2 oz.
Price per ounce: $1.38

Illustration by Brooke Hatfield


  1. #1

    If all you care about is price per ounce, you can get a 4 oz Little Debbie Apple Pie for 50 cents, which comes to 12.5 cents per ounce.

  2. #2

    If you venture outside the district, your best deal is probably Best Buns in Shirlington. Those things are huge.

    (how does Cakelove only weigh 2.8 oz? That "icing" feels like it weighs a ton by itself!)

  3. #3

    Plus, Baked & Wired taste the best too. Seriously why do so many fools waste their life in line at Georgetown Cupcakes?!?

  4. #4

    well sure but you also need to take taste and quality of ingredients into consideration. I know that Georgetown Cupcake uses only the freshest and best ingredients from around the world in their cupcakes, which explains the increase in price.

  5. #5

    I actually thing Gtown Cupcakes are really dry. I always see people standing in line for up to an hour+ and don't understand why. The only reason people are so infatuated by them is because the are on TV. In my opinion Sprinkles, Olivia's and Red Velvet Cupcakery are the best.

  6. #6

    georgetown cupcakes will nickle and dime you too. they will place a single cupcake in a bag, and if you want a box so your cupcake can make it home on the metro without being smooshed, that'll cost extra (either 50 or 75 cents). i decided not to go back after that.

  7. #7

    Get Baked. No question 'bout it. They taste great, they large enough to leave you satisfied (wink wink) and they're frosting is the way frosting should be: messy and swirled and deelish!

  8. #8

    You forgot Sweet Themes on 18th street, NW. They make a very nice cupcake for $2.50 each. I got a dozen for Super Bowl, and they quickly disappeared. Not too much sugar and delicious flavor.

  9. #9

    Shop Rite in White Oak has the best cupcakes and they're $3.99 for 6. Extremely fresh, huge, the best in town. Get the sweet potato or red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting. PHENOMENAL!

  10. #10

    Bake& Wire is the bomb. Cake Love is sooo overrated!

  11. #11

    Oy. I thought Baked and Wired's cupcake tasted like a supermarket cupcake with slightly better ingredients. Never tried Georgetown Cupcakes. Lavender Moon in Alexandria is the bomb -- I need my cupcakes to be flavorful without being overly sweet.

  12. #12

    I'm not in love with Georgetown Cupcake or Baked and Wired, but I think Georgetown Cupcake is the better of the two. Baked and Wired's are overly sweet and dry as dust. Just because it's ~indie~ and ~unique~ doesn't actually mean it's better, guys.

    JM is correct about Lavender Moon. The best by far.

    Cake Love is disgusting.

  13. #13

    No love for Buzz? I actually think theirs are the best in the area. Prices ok too.

  14. #14

    JM, Anon,
    This price survey, like most posts on this blog, sticks to places inside the District.

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