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DC vs. Istanbul, Round 2: Cupcakes

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Exhibit A: Cupcakes are adorable. These ones are from Minnesota

Whoever decided cupcakes were in is a genius. Seriously, what on earth is better than a cupcake (unless they’ve invented a pie version, because I am firmly on Team Pie)? It’s a miniature, individual cake! With extra frosting! While I was overseas, cable television even started airing multiple TV shows focused on the cupcake industry. Burası America.

Washington, D.C.
: Not only home to Georgetown Cupcakes annnnnd DC Cupcakes, both featured on their own TV shows, DC is home to a multitude of cupcake shops. And they are open late. And they cater to a wide variety of flavor preferences and food restrictions. Oh yes, it is possible to get a vegan, gluten-free white velvet cupcake at 10 p.m. on a Sunday. And that cupcake will be delicious, even if you don’t happen to be vegan or gluten-free. What a city.

Istanbul: I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: the conception of sweets in Turkey is just not quite the same as the conception of sweets in the US. Cupcake options in the ‘bul are pretty limited. They include mini cupcakes at Starbucks (something chocolate-caramelly and a second option I can’t remember) as well as an expat-helmed cupcake-of-the-month club. I’d file the latter under “brilliant ideas,” because who on earth doesn’t want 4 cupcakes to show up at their house once a month?

Winner: DC. Cupcake-of-the-month and all, Istanbul is kind of a cupcake desert. I’d rather have a cupcake dessert, which I can get in almost any neighborhood of DC. Plus the variety is crazy amounts better Stateside. For cupcakes, it’s got to be Washington, D.C.


3 responses »

  1. I feel that this is unfair to Istanbul dessert culture and Turkish dessert culture more generally. They may not do cupcakes, but there are many delicious items to choose from that are reasonably priced compared to most high-end cupcake shops. Also, those gleaming dessert palaces are often open late. Some of my best memories in Turkey are dessert related. Platters of kunefe, Hamsikoy sutlac, boxes full of fresh baklava… And always followed up by a tulip-shaped glasses of tea. Just saying, I don’t think you’ve given it a fair shake here.


    • I wasn’t really trying to put Turkish/Istanbul desserts up against American/DC desserts — just cupcakes. As I alluded to above, I find a lot of Turkish desserts to be incredibly, incredibly sweet. I quite enjoy a piece of baklava with tea every once in awhile, or güllaç or balkabak kaymak, and once I find DC’s version of those I’ll have to do another DC-vs-Istanbul post.
      Unless DC can top Baraklava ( though, I think Istanbul’s a runaway favorite for the baklava round.

  2. For the best cupcakes in Istanbul try
    They don’t have a shop but they do deliver & have quite a variety of cupcakes


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