You can customize your coffee and your pizza, and in April, Tiffany Lightfoot brought endless options to cupcakes as well when she opened her new shop, My Cake Theory (325 Seventh St. SE). The DC Native and Food Network champion (she won 2020’s Holiday Wars before competing on Candy Land) calls her concept “flavors to frills.”
Customers can select from up to six different types of cupcakes, including chocolate, lemon, red velvet, vanilla, and strawberry with additional flavors rotating monthly. They can then choose one of six fillings to be injected right into the sweet heart of the cupcake; a frosting to crown it, a drizzle or syrup and then up to two of a variety of toppings, including fruit, crumbled Oreo and gummy bears –to name just a few. Cupcakes run $3.75 each; extra toppings are only a quarter.
The many options allow for endless flavor combinations in one delicious cupcake. But it is not just something to eat; it is something to do. Lightfoot is a self-taught pastry chef who not only developed the cupcake experience, but she has also developed a reputation as well. She is known for her beautiful, ornate custom cake creations that astound the eye as well as the palate and take hours to complete.
“People eat with their eyes first,” she said. “I like people to visually be pleased when they see my cakes so their stomach will say, “yes, feed me.”
My Cake Theory lets the customer enjoy the creative process as well. “This way I get to turn the tables on them and let them go as wild as they like,” Lightfoot said.
The flavor to frills process is intended as an experience from entry to exit. Your first sight is the colorful bubbles that are a variety of cupcake flavors behind glass, followed by a rainbow of treat toppings on the countertop in candy jars, like a scene from Willy Wonka. At the end, Lightfoot carefully places the cupcake in a transparent box, and then into a string bag. It is a sweet gift you create yourself.
Grab-and-go cakes are also available in 4- and 6-inch sizes, decorated to Lightfoot’s specifications. “That is usually a little over the top,” she laughs. You can also pick up prepared cupcakes if you want the flavors and don’t have time for the experience. Or take advantage of Lightfoot’s creativity by pre-ordering a custom cake at the shop, starting at $200.
My Cake Theory is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday, and closed Mondays and Tuesdays. A website is in the works at mycaketheory.com; call the shop at 202-544-8000 or follow them on Instagram @mycaketheory or Twitter @MyCakeTheory1