Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Hello Cupcake.

What a feel-good greeting.

Hello, cupcake.

Beats being called honeybun or sugar pie.  And certainly more flattering than bundt cake.

Sup, bundt cake.

See?  Not so hot.

This past Saturday was the "Design Your DC" challenge at Hello Cupcake in Dupont Circle.  I toyed around with a few ideas during the week and eventually narrowed them down to two, mainly due to time constraints.  Had I known how long it would take me to finish each design, I would've started in 1994.  

The DC Metro map:

A spin on the Obama "Change" symbol:

Nom nom nom.

Mike had a prior commitment that he had to attend (beer event at a local restaurant...huge bummer for him) but after that Double Dare debacle, I figured I was probably better off making it a solo mission.

Win or lose, I had to do it.

As expected, Hello Cupcake was absolutely darling.  The walls, the decor, the employees...hell, even the light fixtures were huggable.

And then there were the cupcakes.  Adorable little creations with equally adorable names.

The kind you buy in a secondhand store.

I dropped off my submissions and, in return, got to choose some cupcakes for entering the competition.

Do you want to know the quickest way to put a girl in a fabulous mood?  Place her in front of a cupcake case and tell her she can choose four.  ANY four she desires.

It was tough.

I took the box holding my four newly adopted children (whom I would eventually eat), walked out of the store and went to find a nice, quiet place to sit and ogle them for a few minutes.

Come to mama.

Clockwise from top left corner:  Lucy, Vanilla Gorilla, You Tart!, Chococo

I had a few hours to kill until they announced the winners.  Normally, I would use the time to explore unfamiliar areas of the city, people watch, maybe try to find a bar with a good beer list.  But on this particular day, I was on-call for work and was lugging around my laptop, in addition to my camera and my box of children.  Not to mention it was close to 90 degrees outside.

So I decided to do something that I'd always promised myself I would never do, no matter how technologically connected the world around me was.

I went to Starbucks and worked on my laptop.

 And yes, I was sitting at a table reserved for disabled customers.  If I noticed that someone needed my spot, I would unplug in a heartbeat.  I'm not that person, I swear!

I am, however, that person who will buy a bottle of water and milk it in order to keep my spot.

As I was working, I received a text from a number I didn't recognize.

"Winner - best use of fondant."

Wait, I won?  I won!  I won one of the categories!

I quickly packed up my computer, camera, cupcake box and bottle of water and ran back to the store, barging in like some sort of crazy, neurotic, well-hydrated bag lady.

When I got there, I was given my prize and took a picture with my Metro cupcake.

Photo by Hello Cupcake

Not sure what's up with the Dr. Evil thing I'm doing with my pinkie.

There were some really incredible submissions and I'm honored to have been a part of the competition.  You can check them out on Hello Cupcake's Facebook page.

It was such a fun, memorable experience.  Definitely made up for that godawful audition.

Marc Summers, you can keep your Encyclopedia Brittanicas. 


  1. loved your cupcakes! i can imagine the amount of time it took you to do them :) great job!

  2. Oh wow! Many, many congratulations, Ali! Your cupcakes are adorable and your children are lovely. You look mahvelous!

  3. I totally wish they'd picked your NOM cupcake as best political message. That cupcake was awesome!

  4. Thanks gals :D

    I need to soak my hands in epsom salts.

  5. Congrats Ali! You had it coming. Great job on the designs.

  6. CONGRATS! That is so exciting! I love your metro map cupcake, it is so creative and adorable at the same time :)

  7. Congrats Ali, the metro cupcake is awesome and then some.

  8. Fantastic job!! I love this blog so I was happy for you when I came in for an update. :) Congrats!!

  9. That was completely awesome. I love them both. I don't live in DC, but I was born there and even though we left when I was an infant, I feel at home in that city. Let's find a small corner of the city and open a cupcake shop. :) Congrats Ali.

  10. Fabulous! I'm a DC-er and absolutely wanted to enter but completely forgot. With such competition, probably for the best :)

  11. Oh, and I posed a link to your fabulous cupcake on my column ( Yay for you!

  12. It's cool to see all the DC heads (current and former) coming out of the woodwork.

    RC - I'm in. So many corners to choose from.

    Chic Cookies - you *must* enter next year. Being able to see all of the different ideas and talent out there was so inspiring. Plus, you get HC cupcakes in return :D

  13. Those are amazing! I love the metro map cupcake. Congrats on your win :)

  14. Congrats! your cupcakes are great!

  15. Those looks so hard to make. Congrats on the mixer! I know you won it fair and square, without busting any other competitors shins with a lead pipe.

  16. Congrats on your win! I loved your metro cupcake...and your blog is great! Thanks to Hello Cupcake for having such a great contest!

  17. Today I met your blog, and I loved your site and your recipes, later while catiching up the news... Waitaminutethere I know that cupcake!!!

    Your DC Metro cupcake made it to the news! Look:


  18. Congrats! I actually loved your DC metro idea! In fact I was thinking about it this morning. I have some friends moving to DC and was going to make a 'welcome to DC' cake for them...mind if I 'borrow' this idea and incorporate it in the cake?

  19. Saira - go for it! I'm sure your friends would love it (and it might even help them navigate their way through the city.)

    Have fun!

  20. YAY! So creative and well deserved :)

  21. congratulations! yours was my favorite by far!

  22. I still crack up every time I see the caption under the Raspberry Beret cupcake.

  23. I know i'm late on this...but CONGRATS girl!!! This is pretty awesome!!! i never would of thought to put the metro design on there.. Only you Ali! Only you!!! hhahaha
    i have a question for you ...but i'll message you on facebook! !

  24. These are just wonderful. So creative and well executed. Bravo!

  25. the DC metro design is amazing! you are a genius!

  26. That is amazing! You have me laughing my butt off too.. I am so glad I found your blog. That cupcake is so awesome and you won which you totally should have and Dr. Evil pinky ha ha ha ha ha! Too funny!

  27. Congrats on the prize! The cuppies you made are stunning! And smart, yes I said smart cupcakes!

  28. I knew the moment I saw your Metro-line cupcake that you'd won something with it! Fantastic! Well done - and congrats!

  29. I love your cupcakes too. It may have taken time but it was worth it. They came out great.