After eight weeks, a team of four brave Washington Post souls completed a little thing called Cupcake Wars, where week-by-week they sampled any cupcake they could get their paws on inside the Beltway. The winner: the chocolate ganache cupcake from Georgetown Cupcake, a spot that's only nine months old but already sells cupcakes to cultish proportions (4,000 on Saturdays).
Editor Joe Yonan—who I saw recently and miraculously looked exactly the same size—came up with a Ten Commandments of Cupcakes. Notable laws include:
1. Learn to walk before you run. Perfect the classic vanilla and chocolate cakes with complementary frostings before you step up to other simple combinations, and long before you try something like Summer Peach Meringue Pie Cupcake. Actually, never try Summer Peach Meringue Pie Cupcake...
3. Don't overbake...If you have cupcakes in the oven right now, go check them, because they're probably done—or overdone.
6. Respect your vanilla extract, and respect your chocolate. Vanilla is a flavor, not a synonym for "white."