After the successful experiment on my niece and nephew, I wanted to continue this momentum. So, my sister kindly volunteered her time to be my next test subject. There is just so much work to be done that enlisting my family’s help seems to like a smart plan.
There were two cupcakeries in Old Town Alexandria that were on my radar – Lavender Moon and Alexandria Cupcake. This duel had my sister’s name all over it! The plan was to purchase a sampling from each establishment, then take them to her at work at a local, Alexandria middle school where she and a few coworkers would deliberate.
If you haven’t been to Old Town Alexandria, you must go. And take advantage of the free King Street trolley to cruise the entire main drag. Needless to say, both Lavender Moon and Alexandria Cupcake score points for their charming digs in this beautiful historic district (the 3rd oldest historic district in the nation!).
First up – Lavender Moon. The decor is a bit eclectic, curious, intriguing…almost fairytale like. The cupcake display was there waiting for me at the back of the shop, and the lovely woman working that day described all that were on display. She also informed me that they do bake fresh daily, using natural ingredients and lower sugar recipes. I intended to buy three, but walked out with the following four cupcakes:
~Flourless Chocolate (topped with sea salt and almonds. Made with almond flour).
~Buttermilk cupcake filled with Mexican Chocolate Pudding.
~Vanilla Bean filled Lemon Curd.
~Blood Orange Creamsicle (said to be a signature cupcake).
Next up, Alexandria Cupcake located about 8 block away on King Street. The scene here is a bit more modern and sleek. The hardwood floors and exposed brick walls make for an interesting blend though. The offerings were a bit more familiar, like Red Velvet, Strawberry, and Vanilla Bean. I did receive excellent customer service here as well and the nice lady fielded all my questions. I walked out with the following three (I stuck to my guns this time!) cupcakes:
~Red Velvet (their signature – with a cream cheese and buttercream combo frosting)
~Dark Chocolate (with vanilla bean frosting).
With my colorful cupcake boxes I raced over to my sister. She recruited three coworkers to taste test with her, so I quickly divvied up the goods and grabbed my notebook. Here’s what these kind folks had to say…
Alexandria Cupcakes were first up. The Strawberry wasn’t a huge hit and the cake was compared to Bisquick. The Red Velvet was well received, however! Everyone appreciated its moist cake and delicious frosting. One of my sister’s coworker even said it made his tongue vibrate! I’m pretty sure that’s a good thing, right? He looked happy, so I’m going to go with yes! Last but not least, the Dark Chocolate was up to bat. And unfortunately struck out, with dry cake, bitter chocolate, and not so tasty frosting. I snuck a small piece of this cupcake and thought it was kinda yummy - very whip cream-like frosting and rich cake. That’s just me though!
Then, Lavender Moon took the stage and their inguinitive flavors generated some buzz. The Vanilla Bean w/Lemon Curd was considered “just ok” and “kind of dry”. The Mexican Chocolate Pudding was also thought to be dry. The Blood Orange Creamsicle was enjoyed and compared to sherbert, but it’s cake got the Bisquick comparison also. Then came the Flourless Chocolate and won over everyone with it’s “airy and light” frosting and brownie like consistency. I got to sneak a bite of this one too and was Deeelighted! This sucker is good - I highly recommend this cupcake, especially to all you chocolate lovers out there. At the end of this great cupcake feast, Lavender Moon was crowned the winner! And the Flourless Chocolate Cupcake will certainly make an appearance on the Top 10 list.
Let me break it down now, in dueling fashion!
Lavender Moon (LM)/ 116 S. Royal Street, Alexandria, VA / (I can’t find a website for them, but you can find them on Facebook).
Alexandria Cupcake (AC) / 1022 King Street, Alexandria, VA / www.alexandriacupcake.com
-LM: $3 each
-AC: $3 each / dozen: $33
2. Room temperature:
4. Vegan or gluten free options:
-LV: the Flourless Chocolate fits the gluten free bill, and it’s AMAZING!
-AC: Gluten-free ($3.50) and vegan ($3.75) are both on the menu!
5. To-go packaging:
-LV: Cardboard box with standard dividers.
-AC: Cardboard box with standard dividers.
6. Milk for sale?:
-LM: they have a little fridge near the cupcakes with several bottled beverages. My brillant self didn’t think to look if milk was an option….sorry guys!
-AC: bottled beverages like soda, water and Gatorade available.
7. Other treats for non-cupcake enthusiasts you may have in tow:
-LM: just cupcakes here
-AC: mainly cupcakes here. Sometimes they have mini cupcakes available, too. I think that’s definitely worth checking back for. Love me some mini cupcakes :) Also, you can find peruvian alfajores cookies from time to time (thanks for the tip, Stella!).
-LM: 2 points for cozy! and 2 points for being in a historic building. There is a small area with tables and chairs should you choose to dine-in and appreciate the artistic decor.
-AC: Even thought I described the decor as modern, the hardwood floors and brick walls still lend a cozy feel. Plus, it too is in a historic building – yay for that. Only one table and two chairs can be found if you’re looking to eat your goods right away. If you do snag it, you can enjoy a great window view.
-LM: Very good!
-AC: Very good!
Have you been to either of these establishments? Tell me your impressions!
Sending out a great big thank you to K, T, S, and my dear sister C for your time, taste buds, and overall awesomeness!