Name: Danielle Buckley
Location: Rockville, MD
Occupation: Government Contracts Administrator by day, Cupcake Blogger and Aspiring Entrepreneur by night.
Why did you start your blog and how did you get interested in cupcakes?
I love traveling around DC area bakeries trying all sorts of cupcakes; I thought it would be fun to have a place to talk about my finds and post the pictures.
I remember being interested in cupcakes way back in elementary school. I’d always look forward to my classmate’s birthdays because their parents would bring in cupcakes for everyone!
Which are your favorite DC cupcakes that you’ve tried so far?
I had the privilege of sampling 5 different flavors of cupcakes from Hello Cupcake, set to open later this summer in Dupont. Definitely the best cupcakes I’ve had. Just talking about it is putting me in a state of cupcake euphoria.
How do you think the DC cupcake scene compares to cities like New York and LA? Is there anything that’s missing from the DC bakeries you’d like to see them offer?
I think DC has definitely been a late bloomer in the cupcake craze, but now that we’re catching up, it’s full steam ahead! NY and LA definitely have more cupcake-only bakeries, while DC mostly has a lot of great bakeries that offer cupcakes. One thing about the DC bakeries I’d like to see more of is room for sitting down and enjoying your cupcake!
You’re about to launch the DC/Metro Area Cupcake Meetup. Why did you start the group and what do you have planned for it? What are you most looking forward to?
I’m so excited about this! I started the group because I knew there had to be other DC locals just as excited about cupcakes as I am, and I wanted to give everyone the opportunity to meetup and enjoy them together. I want to take advantage of this summer weather and have an outdoor social, and of course we’ll be meeting at local bakeries. I’d say I’m most looking forward to meeting new people and trying new cupcakes!
You criticized CakeLove for having bland flavors. What can bakeries do to stand out from the pack?
To make yourself stand out, I think you need to have great presentation (both with the cupcakes and your brand) as well as great taste. The cutest frosting patterns, colors, and decorations aren’t going to mask bad flavor. I think you also need to have something that is uniquely yours. Like an innovative flavor of cupcake or a special way of presenting them. Small touches like that help make customers both remember and recommend you.
What do you think makes for the perfect cupcake?
I’ve met a lot of people who try to say it’s either the cake or the frosting that make the perfect cupcake, but I think it’s both. The cake has to be great on its own and so does the frosting. Also, a nice presentation doesn’t hurt.
And now for some personal questions…
How often do you eat cupcakes?
Too often! Probably once a week on average? I lost some weight on Weight Watchers so I’m always watching what I eat, but cupcakes are the one exception.
What's the best thing about eating cupcakes?
The happy feeling they give you and how they’re perfectly portioned just for me!
What's your favorite type of cupcake?
Carrot Cake, definitely. But I’ll also never pass up a good, classic vanilla.
How do cupcakes compare/contrast to other baked goods for you?
Honestly, with the exception of cupcakes, I’m not a big sweets eater. I do like brownies though; I make an excellent chunky toffee brownie that everyone just goes crazy for.
Is there any innovation you'd like to see made to the cupcake that would improve it for you?
I’d definitely like seeing more cupcakes with surprises baked into them…like delicious fillings or layers.
Do you bake your own cupcakes? Or (even better) have someone who bakes them for you?
All the time! My favorite thing is trying new flavors and of course the decorating. I’ve become the go-to girl for cupcakes among my friends and family. Unfortunately, nobody bakes them for me!
What's your first cupcake-related memory?
When I was little, my mom used to make cakes for children’s birthday parties. My twin sister and I wanted to be in the kitchen with her, so she’d prep a bowl of icing for us and let us decorate a batch of cupcakes while she worked. We always made a mess!
What's the most fun you've ever had with a cupcake?
One night my boyfriend was having a guy’s poker night, and along with the usual chips and dips I decided to bake a batch of Carrot Cake Cupcakes (his favorite) for all of them. The cupcakes practically disappeared! All of his friends were raving about how delicious they were and asked if I could make them for every poker night!