Dubai's finest sponges have been put to the test this week. Our team of intrepid eaters test cupcakes…
Kitsch Bakery Presentation: 5/7 There’s nothing fancy about the decoration of these fluffy edibles; basically, it’s a cream swirl atop a cake – in other words, pretty standard. However, the frosting has an appetisingly creamy look, and the styling – tough basic – is very neat. Variety: 5/7 There may not be a heck of a lot of cupcake flavours to choose from, but it doesn’t much matter, as all your favourites – including coffee, peanut butter (Little Nutter) and carrot cake (dubbed Funky Monkey) – are available. Plus, Kitsch may be one of the only stores in Dubai to also specialise in bubble tea. Frosting: 7/7 Buttery and flavourful, it is the frosting that makes this cupcake. Cake: 4/7 This, alas, is where Kitsch stumbles. The cake is a bit dense to make this confection the king of the lot. Overall score: 5/7 Kitsch Cupcake (04 395 6963). Jumeirah Beach Road, Villa 611. Open 10am-11pm
Sugar Daddy’s Bakery Presentation: 3/7 Sugar Daddy’s cupcakes have a certain messy charm, as if the frosting was slapped on. They also get extra points for the occasional garnish (sprinkles, nuts, or even half an Oreo). Variety: 6/7 Any cupcake you can think of, they pretty much have, and even a few more. Plus, they’re introducing new flavours all the time. Their cupcakes also have cute monikers (i.e. Fake Blonde, 24 Carrot and Café au Play). Frosting: 6/7 The frosting is good an’ creamy, though some at Time Out found it a tad sweet at times. Still, we love how they make everything from scratch and only use fresh ingredients: you can definitely taste the difference. Cake: 7/7 The airiest you’ll find in Dubai. The secret? It’s in the flour, though they’re reluctant to say which brand they use. Regardless, these little cakes float, making Sugar Daddy’s a staff favourite. Overall score: 6/7 Sugar Daddy’s, Village Mall, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 344 8204; www.sugardaddysbakery.com). Open Saturday-Thursday 9am-10pm
Sprinklez Cupcakes Presentation: 7/7 Cupcakes do not get better looking than the concoctions at Sprinklez. Sugar flowers, swaddled babies, polka dots, polar bears – pretty much any design you desire to have on your cupcake, the folks at Sprinklez do. Variety: 6/7 There were so many options on the Sprinklez menu, we weren’t even sure if we were reading the right section. Not only does Sprinklez offer a variety of frostings and cake flavours, it also offer provides cupcake fillings, including raspberry, caramel, chocolate, and anything else you can fathom. Unfortunately, the fillings are a bit hit-or-miss. Some are, like the raspberry, are lovely, while others, like the caramel, are a bit flavourless and oddly watery. Frosting: 2/7 Perhaps it is because Sprinklez cupcakes are so intricately decorated that their frosting is so stiff. It lends itself to being chewy, which is a tad strange for a cupcake. Cake: 3/7 Like many of Dubai’s cakes, this was a bit on the dense side (perhaps they should switch over to using foreign flour, like Sugar Daddy’s does). Regardless, Sprinklez is great for the sheer wow factor. Overall score: 4/7 Sprinklez Cupcakes (050 633 9018). Order in advance
Dean & Deluca Presentation: 2/7 Again. D&D offers pretty basic-looking cupcakes, which it occasionally augments with a handful of sprinkles and shredded coconut. They loose points for offering up some very garish colours (toxic green, anyone?) Variety: 4/7 Cupcakes are not D&D’s sole focus, so they don’t invest too much energy in making a great variety of them. Frosting: 4/7 The shop uses a basic sugar frosting, which is sweet and creamy, if a tad saccharine. Again, they loose points for creepy colours. Cake: 2/7 These babies are dry, dry, dry. Sorry Dean & Deluca. Rest assured, we still love you in New York. Overall score: 3/7 Dean & Deluca (04 420 0336). Souk al Bahar, Old Town, near Burj Dubai. Open daily 11am-10pm
House of Cakes Presentation: 6/7 These cakes definitely have the artist’s touch. Billowy clouds of coffee frosting take on a Seussian quality, while pink cakes with beautifully drawn lilies are a little more Monet-esque. Variety: 6/7 There seems to be no limit to the designs HOC will put on their cakes: babies, balloons, bears, Dora the Explorer – you name it. Flavours don’t seem to vary quite as much. Frosting: 2/7 As is the case with Sprinklez, the frosting tends to be a bit stiff, chewy and not particularly forthcoming in terms of flavour. Cake: 4/7 Cakes aren’t as moist as they could be, and in some cases take on a bit of a gingerbread quality. Still, they’re gorgeous to behold. Overall score: 4/7 House of Cakes (www.houseofcakesdubai.com; email@example.com). Order four to five days in advance
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Sara Jul 26, 2011 05:13 pm
I just want to know if Dubai allows a person to sell cupcakes and cakes to the public without a valid trade license from the Dubai Economic Department. The reason why Kitsch, Magnolia and Sugar Daddy are charging more because of their overhead costs?
Mizmoh Oct 24, 2010 07:26 am
@Mark - You are right. Sweet Stuff undeniably bakes with Betty crocker cake mix.
Sweet Tooth May 04, 2010 06:28 pm
I have only tried Suggar Daddy's, Kitsch and Magnolia's cupcakes and this is what i think for what it is worth. I love Magnolia's shop interior, but that's about it. I thought the topping was far too sweet and nothing too special about the cake. I love Sugar daddy's cake, but i agree the topping can be abit sweet. I love kitsch's topping it's just perfect .
So i would go with Magnolia's shop interior, Kitsch's topping and Suggar Daddy's Cake. Everyone is different and has different expectations to what should be that perfect cupcake. Atleast we have a big enough choice to select from.
As for price out of the three places above. Magnolia's was priced at 10 - 12 dhs, Sugar daddy's 12 dhs and Kitsch at 14 dhs each. Well that's what i was charged.
I'll be sure to try out Lyly's Cupcakes and Scrumptious Cupcakes.
fatema ( abu dhabi) Mar 03, 2010 12:27 pm
I always found cupcakes to be very sugary,tried a few cupcake outlets in dubai and the most talked about sugar daddy's..i found their cupcakes to be very sweet with a certain smell and taste..it wasnt all that and nothing to what i have been looking for...
A thumbs up and five star to magnolia bakery cupcakes;just the perfect consistency of cream,sugar and chocolate which tastes perfect...not too much sugar and the cake dough tasted and smelled cupcake...
that makes me conclude orignal recipe's will always be the best because baking cakes requires the love,skills,ingredients and passion to blend them into the perfect cupcakes....
Sarah Kaye Nov 23, 2009 09:06 am
I always head to Sweet Stuff next to Jumeirah Mosque on the Beach Road- primarily because their cake is much lighter and i always find people, esp kids, can never get through the kitsch or sugar daddyz cupcakes as they find them quite dense. Sweet stuff also do mini cupcakes which are really well priced- at least in comparison to most of the big ones- 24 little ones for 100AED- so perfect for taking to a party/dinner for dessert.