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cheezepowder, you had me intrigued! i've heard about this elusive new old town cupcakery.

DJ Google says: http://indulgenthealth.wordpress.com/2008/...moon-cupcakery/

looks like they opened yesterday, with sadly less fanfare than Dupont's Hello Cupcake. with flavors like "summer peach and basil," however, i'm definitely going to make a trek out to old town this weekend to sample something.

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Mr. MV and I checked out LMC on Saturday. No lines, no fanfare, no press. Just terrific cupcakes that are worthy of your consideration. We sampled (OK, not exactly sampled but rather ate the hole thing) the Vanilla Lemon Curd, Devils Food with Peanut Butter Ganache and Mexican Chocolate Pudding with Buttermilk Chocolate.

The buttercream (and buttermilk) frosting needed no other instruction to eat but 'wipe the frosting off your nose after you bite' and each moist cake was filled with a creamy surprise.

The store is a bit 'bare bones' right now as they are still developing the interior, as well as their products and concept. The one thing they have absolute nailed at this point is.....cupcakes.

Go, enjoy.

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We also stopped by Lavender Moon Cupcakery - we were there yesterday (Sunday) mid-afternoon. It has a low key storefront (with a paper sign, though a different sign from the one we saw last Saturday night). We bought a vanilla lemon curd cupcake and a chocolate espresso meringue cupcake. She also gave us a free passion fruit mousse stuffed pistachio vanilla cupcake because she indicated that they don't keep the cupcakes overnight, and I guess she expected to have cupcakes leftover at the end of the day. We were the only ones buying cupcakes at that time though I think some people came in after us. We took them home and enjoyed all of them.

Vanilla lemon curd cupcake – the vanilla cake had a dense texture, was moist and not too sweet. The cupcake had a lemon curd filling and a cream cheese frosting (also not too sweet) with a raspberry on top.

Chocolate espresso meringue cupcake – the chocolate cake was lighter in texture than the vanilla cake, and the frosting was an espresso flavored meringue. The meringue was soft on the inside and lightly crunchy on the outside where it was browned.

Passion fruit mousse stuffed pistachio vanilla cupcake – the vanilla cake was the same as the lemon curd cupcake. This cupcake had a passion fruit mousse filling and a passion fruit flavored buttercream frosting with little pistachio nuts sprinkled on top.

I liked the lighter flavors of the fruit cupcakes, and I especially liked having cupcakes with a filling. Other flavors that they offer are chocolate lavender, summer peach & mint, Mexican chocolate pudding buttermilk chocolate, devil's food filled with peanut butter ganache, vanilla vanilla, and chocolate chocolate. They're $3 each or $30 for a dozen.

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We also stopped by Lavender Moon Cupcakery - we were there yesterday (Sunday) mid-afternoon. It has a low key storefront (with a paper sign, though a different sign from the one we saw last Saturday night). We bought a vanilla lemon curd cupcake and a chocolate espresso meringue cupcake. She also gave us a free passion fruit mousse stuffed pistachio vanilla cupcake because she indicated that they don't keep the cupcakes overnight, and I guess she expected to have cupcakes leftover at the end of the day. We were the only ones buying cupcakes at that time though I think some people came in after us. We took them home and enjoyed all of them.

Vanilla lemon curd cupcake – the vanilla cake had a dense texture, was moist and not too sweet. The cupcake had a lemon curd filling and a cream cheese frosting (also not too sweet) with a raspberry on top.

Chocolate espresso meringue cupcake – the chocolate cake was lighter in texture than the vanilla cake, and the frosting was an espresso flavored meringue. The meringue was soft on the inside and lightly crunchy on the outside where it was browned.

Passion fruit mousse stuffed pistachio vanilla cupcake – the vanilla cake was the same as the lemon curd cupcake. This cupcake had a passion fruit mousse filling and a passion fruit flavored buttercream frosting with little pistachio nuts sprinkled on top.

I liked the lighter flavors of the fruit cupcakes, and I especially liked having cupcakes with a filling. Other flavors that they offer are chocolate lavender, summer peach & mint, Mexican chocolate pudding buttermilk chocolate, devil's food filled with peanut butter ganache, vanilla vanilla, and chocolate chocolate. They're $3 each or $30 for a dozen.

Had some on Friday myself and they are delicious. The only negative aspect is the $3 price tag for the smallish cakes.

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We tried to sample their wares today, but they were closed, and with no phone number or Web site, we had no way of knowing without making the trip :lol: We will try again the next time we're in Alexandria during business hours...
They are closed Mondays and Tuesdays, just like Grape and Bean.

Their cupcakes are a bit small, I only tried one (the Chocolate Espresso Meringue) but am looking forward to sampling some of the others, especially the Peach Mint. At first taste, I am much more inclined towards G-town Cupcake, which win in the size, flavor and especially the design department (speaking of the cupcakes only). But it's a beautiful space and worth a stop if you're in the neighborhood.

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First, a note that if anyone else is as confused as I was, Lavender Moon is a completely separate business from Grape & Bean -- different owners, etc. - though it is indeed pleasant having a cupcakery next to a coffee shop :lol:

We tried a couple cupcakes each. I had the Mexican chocolate, and Tripewriter had the peach. He snarfed the peach right down -- not even a nibble for me -- so I'll just have to take his word for it when he says it was delicious ;) I enjoyed the chocolate cupcake, but not as much as I liked the vanilla-lemon one I had later today, which was great. Tripewriter had a peanut butter cupcake later today, which he also enjoyed.

If I'm brutally honest, I'd say that we each enjoyed two of the cupcakes -- the lemon cupcake and the peach cupcake -- better than the ones we had from Hello Cupcake, and the other two a little less. Still, it was a pleasant experience, and we're looking forward to visiting them again.

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Further impressions:

The peach topped with meringue is a taste treat, not cloyingly sweet and great peach flavor. Because it has a filling under the meringue, it is not sturdy and you have to eat it quickly or use a utensil.

The passion fruit-pistachio also has great flavor and so far is my favorite.

I did not like the chocolate peanut butter as much as the one from Hello Cupcake. Lavender Moon's peanut butter frosting tastes more like cream cheese than peanuts.

If you get a box to go, be warned that unlike Hello Cupcake, there is no box insert to stabilize the cakes. So they likely will slide around in the box a bit.

Bottom line: the fruit flavors are Lavender Moon's strong point and I will return to enjoy them again, either with milk (available on site) or with coffee from Grape + Bean next door.

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I had my first Lavendar Moon Cupcake today following a delightful Lickity Split Lunch at Eve. I was very glad that I got soup instead of the Birthday Cake. I had the triple chocolate cupcake and it was PERFECTION!! The cake was moist and tender. The frosting was light and buttery. Hands down, way better than Georgetown Cupcake or Hello Cupcake- neither of which serves moist cake and both of which over mix their batter (as evidenced by peaked tops and tunneling). I was also impressed by their interesting flavor choices, including one made with fresh peaches and a meringue "frosting". My only complaint, they are small-ish cupcakes and at $3 each seem a little pricey, $2.50 seems more reasonable.

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I just got word that a coworker is having a birthday today. ooops, we're unprepared.

I was planning to stop by Lavender Moon and try and pick up a dozen mixed.

I do wish they had a listed phone number - with all the reports of inconsistencies regarding their being open or not open, I would really prefer to call first.

If this is a no-go, can anyone direct me to another place in OT where I might buy a cake without having ordered it?

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I just got word that a coworker is having a birthday today. ooops, we're unprepared.

I was planning to stop by Lavender Moon and try and pick up a dozen mixed.

I do wish they had a listed phone number - with all the reports of inconsistencies regarding their being open or not open, I would really prefer to call first.

If this is a no-go, can anyone direct me to another place in OT where I might buy a cake without having ordered it?

I believe that they are open today -- go for the fruit flavors! You could also call Restaurant Eve to see if they have enough "extra" mini birthday cakes to let you take some out :lol:

ETA: I may be changing my opinion of the other flavors -- we had a vanilla one and a chocolate almond one the other day -- both rich and delicious! Not too sweet, but juuuuust right.

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I just got word that a coworker is having a birthday today. ooops, we're unprepared.

I was planning to stop by Lavender Moon and try and pick up a dozen mixed.

I do wish they had a listed phone number - with all the reports of inconsistencies regarding their being open or not open, I would really prefer to call first.

If this is a no-go, can anyone direct me to another place in OT where I might buy a cake without having ordered it?

When I walked by the weekend before last, there was a schedule posted on the door. I'm pretty sure they open at 11:00 am and close around 7ish (if not later). The hours may be similar to their neighbor, Grape and Bean.

ETA: from the WaPo info Hours: Opens at 11 a.m. Wednesday-Sunday -

they were one establishments rated in the "Cupcake Wars" this week.

If you don't have any luck at LM, Firehook, a few blocks away on Union Street, should have cakes. Bittersweet, on King at the corner of Alfred, also has cupcakes - a smaller variety, but they usually look pretty tasty (can't say I've tried them). Bread and Chocolate, on King Street just below Washington, should also have pre-made choices available.

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Success at LM!

No line (I went in right after 11), a mixed dozen, and a happy birthday girl and office.

The chocolate peanut butter was definitely the winner, although I didn't think any was a slouch. blood orange, I think one called peppermint patty, triple Caillebaut chocolate, umm, Mexican vanilla, some chocolate pudding thing I think, s'mores - I did not take notes and got a little confused by the end. They were all pretty darned yummy. We were cutting them up and taking tastes from each.

For me, these seemed to be what I thought the cupcakes at Cake Love promised but failed to deliver. My first experience with those was wow, they look so good. But I found they tasted less than good - the cake was bland and the buttercream was greasy and overabundant. All smoke, no fire.

The LM cupcakes were a nice blend of flavors between cake and frosting. Sometimes delicate, but never tasteless. Thumbs up. At $30 for a dozen, this is about what I would have spent (maybe a little more) on a nice birthday cake for my (pretty small) office. Not a bad price for something made locally that morning.

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finally go myself to old town for a visit to lavender moon cupcakery.

i'm honestly seriously confused by this cupcakery. the name? the somewhat garish wall paint color? the utter lack of anything in the spacious store (i wish grape+bean would switch spots with lavender moon, as g+b seems as if it would fill the space better)? the seemingly foot-dragging in terms of obtaining a telephone, website, tables and chairs, credit card machine, general promotion? i'm being nitpicky, i know, but it seems that opening any restaurant in the dc-md-va area is such a time-consuming process i'm amazed that lavender moon can exist with such bare minimums. i'll admit i was remiss in not chatting up peter durkin more, but the somewhat evasive explanations he was giving me when i inquired about what sorts of frosting he used rather shut down further conversation.

in any event, all cupcakes are $3, cash only ($2.75+sales tax). the saturday i visited there were 11 cupcakes on offer (flourless dark chocolate with almonds and sea salt; vanilla bean lemon curd; buttermilk with mexican chocolate pudding; vanilla vanilla; devils food vanilla; devils food peanut butter; s'mores; triple callebaut chocolate; pumpkin + fennel; caramel apple; roasted fig and blood orange) - i walked out with 6.

buttermilk cupcake with mexican chocolate pudding: the cake was sponge-y and dry with a flavor that, upon reflection, was a buttermilk cupcake but not discernibly. the mexican pudding filling was drowned out by the cinnamon in it, but the milk chocolate frosting receives big thumbs up. it was rich with good consistency but not tooth-achingly sugary.

vanilla bean lemon curd: if you put enough lemon curd on anything it's going to taste fabulous and the generous filling inside this cupcake made it for me. the vanilla bean-flecked cake was not particularly flavorful of remarkable but had a nice, dense crumb (particularly compared to the buttermilk). the cream cheese-based vanilla bean frosting was subtle - the vanilla bean would have shined without the cream cheese.

roasted fig and blood orange: when i was going over the cupcake flavors i had to grab another bite of this cupcake because i couldn't taste the fig - it's just a very earthy taste in a very densely layered cake, with a blood orange cream cheese frosting that is again overpowered by the cream cheese.

pumpkin and fennel: a lightly pumpkin cupcake that gives way to a noticeable fennel flavor just as you start to find the pumpkin flavor. this is perhaps the only cupcake where the cream cheese frosting rounds the cupcake out.

s'mores: at the bottom of the cupcake liner is a graham cracker crust that thrills the s'mores-lover in me. the graham cracker adds texture to the cupcake but not flavor, which is okay because the ridiculously moist, rich chocolate cake shines here. the meringue marshmallow topping dissolves into the bite of cupcake, leaving you with a sugar rush that actually borders on tooth-aching. skip the frosting if you're not ready for the sugar but don't skip the chocolate cake!

devils food peanut butter: tastes more old-fashioned chocolate than devil's food, a sadly boring chocolate cupcake. a puff of peanut butter meringue hides under a skin of chocolate ganache that is fun to uncover. the peanut butter is intense and the meringue gives it a lighter-but-nougat-y texture which just overwhelms the cake. if they dialed back the amount of peanut butter and gave it a little more ganache this cupcake might satisfy nicely.

overall - meh. i wanted to love the delicious-sounding flavors but lavender moon's cupcakes didn't deliver. as someone cupcake obsessed, it pains me to say i'd rather spend my $3+ next door at grape & bean on a cup of coffee and a chocolate bar.

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vanilla bean lemon curd: if you put enough lemon curd on anything it's going to taste fabulous and the generous filling inside this cupcake made it for me. the vanilla bean-flecked cake was not particularly flavorful of remarkable but had a nice, dense crumb (particularly compared to the buttermilk). the cream cheese-based vanilla bean frosting was subtle - the vanilla bean would have shined without the cream cheese.

devils food peanut butter: tastes more old-fashioned chocolate than devil's food, a sadly boring chocolate cupcake. a puff of peanut butter meringue hides under a skin of chocolate ganache that is fun to uncover. the peanut butter is intense and the meringue gives it a lighter-but-nougat-y texture which just overwhelms the cake. if they dialed back the amount of peanut butter and gave it a little more ganache this cupcake might satisfy nicely.

I tried a vanilla-iced vanilla and a chocolate-iced pumpkin today (still $3). I liked the icing in both, although I thought the cake itself was doughy. But that's not why I'm writing...

What's interesting to me is why Lavender Moon sells hot chocolate and apple cider, but not coffee. I have to think that they're either good friends with Grape+Bean, or else they're being strong-armed by them. :lol:

And I LOVE the painting they have in there for sale, called "I Do What I Want." Pity about the price tag.

Cheers,

Rocks.

P.S. Don't forget the $3 price includes tax. And in a very refreshing gesture, the pleasant lady behind the counter (owner?) politely declined to accept a dollar tip from me. I guess I've gotten so used to throwing money in the tip jar at Starbucks Murky Grape+Bean that I habitually assume it's universal. Not so here.

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