Capitol Sweetness: Cake Gumshoe Stephanie Visits Three Washington DC Bakeries

CakeSpy Note: Cake Gumshoe Stephanie is a bona fide Cool Dudette, and when she visited DC, she shared her favorite bakery finds and even had a chat with one of my personal cake-maker crushes, Warren Brown. Want to read about her adventures? Go for it:

While in DC, we stayed in contact with the main office of CakeSpy and were alerted that the Red Velvet Cupcakery was recommended. It was late on a warm night when we stopped by and most of the business was oriented towards frozen yogurt, but I snagged a "Birthday Cake" cupcake with a little sprinkle of sugar confetti. It was not a party in my hand, but a tasty cake.

Strolling along the C&O Canal in Georgetown, we spied Baked and Wired.

Completely drawn in by the excellence of their display, but unwilling to carry cupcakes the rest of the rainy day, a couple of delicious cookies were squirreled away for later (self portrait in the window, above!)

Last day in DC, we strolled by CakeLove on our way to the infamous Ben's Chili Bowl. Friendly faces in the bakery drew us in as much as the likelihood of sweet treats. While taking a quick photo of the cupcake case, we were greeted by a melodic "Welcome to cakelove." Turned to see a smiling face that matched the photo on the cover of the book on the counter. It was the man himself, Warren Brown. We talked at length about Italian Buttercream made without Crisco, the ratio of frosting to cake, and Cakespy and her store and blog (which has featured Mr. Brown's recipes!). The strawberry frosted chocolate cupcake was easily the best of my DC sweets. Warren, if you catch this - thanks for the chat! Next time, we'll make a beeline to Love Cafe if we want to eat breakfast on U Street. It was a pleasure to meet you.

Places mentioned:

Red Velvet Cupcakery

Baked & Wired


Buzz Balls: Spotlight on CakeLove's Crown Jewels

Nobody is going to accuse Warren Brown of being lazy. The owner of DC-based CakeLove and its related cafes, he is a darling with the press and even filmed a show with the Food Network for a while. And the attention is warranted: their baked goods are buttery, creamy and comforting just like good dessert needs to be! While the cupcakes and cakes are the stars of the show, Cakespy was most impressed by yet another pastry whose name mortifies us: The Buzz Ball.

So what is a Buzz Ball?

No, it does not involve drunken frat boys finding an electric razor and hilarity ensuing. Buzz Balls are cream puff-esque pastries, filled with rich creams in flavors like coffee, chocolate, mango and lemon. Apparently the name is a derivation based on taste and appearance--coffee was the first cream flavor offered, lending the "buzz"; once the cream was injected into the dough it made it round, like a ball. Either way, the light-as-air dumplings filled with rich cream and drizzled with sugar icing have completely won us over, even if we're not convinced that the name is as innocent as they say.

Unfortunately they can't be shipped at this time, so if you want to taste the coveted Buzz Balls you're going to have to visit one of the DC-area locations (check out locations online at; however, CakeLove does have a "Box-O-Luv" series of pastry samplers which can be shipped; visit here to see the options.