When the two pink boxes arrived at the Food section last week, the computer-tanned crew here was drawn to the Georgetown Cupcakes with the inexorable force of a tractor beam, half wondering why the store felt the need to make us confront our human weakness for afternoon sweets.
As soon as we opened the box, we learned why: The cool dozen cupcakes were covered with postage stamp-sized fondant advertisements for the Royal Wedding. TLC, the cable channel that hosts “DC Cupcakes” about the sisters who run Georgetown Cupcake, decided to piggyback on the bakery’s popularity to promote its own massive line-up of Royal Wedding programs (including “Extreme Royal Collectors,” which probably isn’t as hardcore as it sounds).
“This is the best-tasting billboard I’ve ever had,” I quipped to no one (and everyone) in particular after sampling one of these freebies.
Few of us could believe that Georgetown Cupcake would actually sell these gaudy advertisements at its two stores, including the Georgetown Cupcake in, well, Bethesda. So I reached out to one of the sisters, Sophie LaMontagne, to find out what was up with these royal treats.
LaMontagne e-mailed back to say that Georgetown Cupcake will have the royal treats, but just not the ones shipped to us from TLC. Whew! Wrote LaMontagne:
Yes — we will have “Royal Wedding”-themed dozens available at the shops next week. Customers can pre-order them all week or order them at the front counter on Thursday & Friday. They are also available for nationwide shipping at TLCStore.com. I think the cupcakes you received from TLC had their “TLC Royal Wedding” logo on them, but the ones in the shop will have fun fondant like Kate’s engagement ring, flowers, and the initials for William & Catherine. (See attached rendering.) The dozen will have 4 chocolate & vanilla, 4 red velvet, and 4 vanilla & buttercream. Just a fun twist with the fondant decorations for anyone who is having a Royal Wedding party at home! :)
The cupcakes will be available only by the “Royal Dozen,” LaMontagne says, and will cost the standard $29. But the TLC box runs an extra $10.95 per dozen, plus $20 for shipping, which means buying it online will cost you more than twice what you’ll pay in Georgetown or Bethesda. Would that be a royal scam?