The Best Red Velvet in Dubai: The Battle of the Cupcakes

Last weekend, news broke out about "troubled" actress Amanda Bynes locking herself up in a cupcake shop. Articles called her "mentally disturbed", saying she was having a "nervous breakdown".

What? I would totally lock myself up in cupcake shop! I say they are mentally disturbed.

My favorite cupcake is undoubtedly the red velvet. It looks innocent enough, but it holds seductive power over me. My red velvet cupcake craving holds no bounds. Once I'm done eating a red velvet, it's not a pretty sight with red cake coating my braces, which I'm pretty sure makes me look like a demented vampire; I don't really care though, because if I were a vampire, I'd probably have all my blood in the form of red velvet cupcakes.

But I'm sort of getting off topic. I noticed people in Dubai were always declaring the best cupcake, or the best cupcake store, so I tweeted about doing research on who had the best red velvet cupcake in Dubai.

 People started taking sides, battle lines were drawn. At last count, 5 said Magnolia's had the best red velvet, 3 for Hummingbird Bakery and other favorites were Kitsch, Hey Sugar! (formerly Sugar Daddy's, a name I loved.) and Sugaholic.

So I cajoled my sister, Kasica, into taking me to 10 different cupcake stores to pick up 10 different red velvets.

What took place will henceforth be called "The Battle of the Cupcakes". One night, 2 girls, 10 cupcakes, 1 winner. They all fought valiantly but only one could truly be known as "The Best Red Velvet Cupcake in Dubai".

And so began my quest.

When I go to Dubai Mall I usually bypass Cinnabon but always notice its sign.
It had upside down cupcakes too, don't know why they got rid of those, they were a nice touch.
Cinnabon's Red Velvet on the bottom left.
I was hoping this would be the dark horse. Unfortunately. It proceeded to poison us both with its artificial and awful taste.

Price- 10 Dhs. (Cheapest)
Taste- Sucked
Appearance- Deceiving (It was massive), However, I did like the unpretentious paper bag it was given to us in. If that's how they cut costs and give us cheaper cupcakes, who cares?!
Verdict- 0/5 stars. Cinnabon should stick to its rolls.

Hey Sugar was located at my former university so at first I thought I would become obese eating cupcakes every day. However, I quickly realized that I wasn't a fan. However, many people are, so we decided it would be one of the contenders when we picked up one from Jumeirah.



Price- 14 Dhs.
Taste- The cake was a bit hard, to be honest. I know it was nighttime so they probably weren't as fresh as they were, had we eaten them in the morning. But seriously, muffins are more of a breakfast food than cupcakes. Cupcakes are for indulging in, and you usually indulge after a long hard day at work, or during a night out. Sorry, Hey! Sugar, I'm not listening to any excuses. The frosting was grainy and too sweet. We hated this cupcake.
Appearance- Pretty regular, sweet red sprinkles. Nothing special. 
Verdict- 1/5.

I pass by Project Cupcake quite regularly. Being strategically placed near all the girly stores was clever, after all that mall walking and bag holding, we do deserve a little cupcake to take the edge of!
Lovely! 
Price- 14 Dhs.
Taste- We both found the frosting grainy (A texture we don't much care for in our red velvets).
Appearance- No question, the prettiest cupcake with a tower of cream cheese frosting. The cake was vibrant and the casing was a bright metallic hot pink. Pwetty. The cake was spongy and nice.
Verdict- 2/5 Stars, definitely not the best red V.

Sweet Stuff is a little hard to spot, but it's a cute little shop in the corner of Jumeirah, located near a couple of shops. A nice secluded place to sit down and have a cupcake (or six).
Aww...


Price- 14 Dhs.
Taste- Had the strongest chocolate cake of them all. Unfortunately its frosting was a bit too sweet and frosting-like (aka grainy). 
Appearance- The box was the worst. A clear plastic, the cupcakes would just slide around getting messed up. Not practical, not pretty. The cupcake looked cute, pretty standard for a red V.
Verdict-1/5

Don't know how we passed by Sweet Lane all the time when we'd go on a Kitsch cupcake run. It's totally right next to Kitsch!


Price- 14 Dhs.
Taste- The cake is a little dry and it's not exactly the nicest flavor. The frosting tastes quite buttery and creamy, it's different, not exactly cream cheesey. 
Appearance- The cake's not very red, looks quite chocolate. Maybe you don't really care about it but I mean, it's called RED velvet for a reason. 
Verdict- 1/5

Ground floor of Dubai Mall is basically the most convenient place to buy cupcakes with 3 popular cupcake shops. Magnolia Bakery in Bloomingdale's is one of them.


Best job ever!

Price- 14 Dhs.
Taste- The cake was soft and spongey, but it had an undeniable "egg-y" taste. Sigh, and the frosting had the loathed "grainy" texture. (I need synonyms for "grainy", don't I?)
Appearance- Lovely bright, nearly fluorescent red cake and soft looking frosting in a cute rectangular box with space for 2 cupcakes (let's face it, on most days who really buys only ONE cupcake?!)
Verdict- 2/5 I know I'm being mean but seriously, this cupcake was seriously over-hyped.

Another store that received a lot of buzz upon opening was The Hummingbird Bakery. Probably because people from the UK were just dying to taste a cupcake as good as the ones in London (I don't know, I've never tried a cupcake from London, but I've heard they're to die for).
Loved the Andy Warhol style cupcake  art  decor.


Price- 14 Dhs. 
Taste- The frosting was gr-dare I say it one more time-ainy. Grainy. Maybe people like their red velvets to have the frosting-like texture of other frosting, but I don't. However, the cake was moist even though it wasn't chocolate-tasting enough.
Appearance- Darling. It was so pretty and I fell in love with the box. It came in this little Chinese take out container! The shop's quite adorable too.
Verdict- 2.75/5

I don't know why there are so many cupcake stores located in Jumeirah and in Dubai Mall, but if you want to get doped up on cupcakes, I guess those are the places to go. We headed to an old favorite of mine, Kitsch.

Star decorations replaced the old hearts, cupcake innovation at its best!
Price- 14 Dhs.
Taste- The texture of the cake is a little heavier than most. It's packed pretty tight. Also the cake was not chocolate enough. The frosting was creamy and sweet though and quite delicious.
Appearance- The pretty pink sugar stars did it for me. However the box was a little poorly designed. The store name should be on the top so that we know not to overturn the cupcakes, instead it's on its side! Also, the store always feels a bit lonely instead of intimate. I don't know why.
Verdict- 3.5/5 Frosting is seriously important to me, what can I say?

Sugaholic just recently opened up in Karama and it's quickly gaining in popularity through social media through Facebook competitions and what-not. But could it be something more?



Price- 11 Dhs. (The fairest priced)
Taste- Even though it was a little too sweet for me, the frosting's texture was lovely; Smooth, creamy and had that little zingy cream cheese flavor I love so much. There was also a LOT of it (Score). However, the cake wasn't chocolate-y enough and it was a bit dry.
Appearance- Pretty standard, but the box was practical and had the inner cupcake holder thing which I just love.
Verdict- 3.5/5 for being cheap (Well, cheap-er than most) and quite delicious.

Bloomsbury's has quite a reputation, being the maker of the most expensive cupcake in the world. An evil little princess nicknamed "The Golden Phoenix". One day, I swear I'm going to devise a plan (Operation Golden Phoenix - what else would I call it?) and break into their top secret cupcake vault and STEAL THAT CUPCAKE!
1000 dollars and it literally took me a day to realize that the cupcake is the thing in the center and not on the right.
Gorgeous decor.
Simple and unassuming
Price- 12 Dhs. Pretty reasonable considering these are the makers of The Golden Phoenix.
Taste- Okay, the first battle cry is heard! The first bite is a pure delight of smooth, creamy frosting. The reason I love red velvets is that its frosting isn't like other cupcakes. The cake was moist and soft and had the right amount of chocolate flavor. It's also not too sweet.
Appearance- Simple and unassuming, it looks like every other red velvet. It comes in the worst box ever though. On the outside, it looks like a lovely box but since it's not a square, the walls cave in and squash the precious cargo inside. Watch out for that if you're driving home with your cupcakes!
Verdict- 5/5 stars and The Best Red Velvet Cupcake in Dubai.

Hope you enjoyed this post. I love reading your comments, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter or remember to drop a comment here to defend your cupcake warrior! If you want, you can also send me some cupcakes to sample ;)


Disclaimer:- Some of the pictures of the red velvets were not taken by me. I got hungry with all the running around, and hence, slightly impatient; I forgot to take individual pictures of the cupcakes. Hey, I'm learning that food blogging isn't easy!


Links to the top 3:
http://ilovebloomsburys.com/boutique.html
http://sugaholic.com/
http://www.kitschconcept.com/

22 comments

  1. This is such an interesting post!
    I live in Saudi Arabia, and we have a bakery here called "Munch". I hope you get to try it some day because their Red Velvet is A-MAZING! I haven't tasted as many red velvets as you have but from whatever I've ever tasted, Munch tops the list for having the best one!

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    1. I'll be sure to check it out if I ever visit Saudi! :D Thanks for the tip :)

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  2. Awesome...love the post, and the dedication! It reminds me of my post on falafels haha.
    I love Bloomsbury's too... the owner Shafeena is lovely, and I've had those cupcakes many times. Haven't actually tried their red velvet though, can you believe it? MUST DO!

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    1. Yes, you must! Thanks, I'm glad you liked the post. Do come again. :D

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  3. Lovely review. Could do with better images. For starters, try switching off the flash and shooting in the automode.

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    1. Hi! Yes, thanks for the honest feedback. In all honesty, my photography skills do suck and I hope to improve!]. I'm glad you liked the review. :)

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  4. Oooh. Thank you for this post. I gotta head to Bloomsbury's soon.

    I have to say, though, that I don't discriminate. If it's a cupcake, I'll stuff it in my face.

    So impartial I am that I even once bought a pack of cheapo cupckes from Lulu (first andl ats time I went there). I ate half a cupcake and spent 3 days in thetoilet. :-p

    Kitsch gals are a little stuck up.. so no, I'm not a fan. :-p

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    1. I used to be a fan of Kitsch but I've completely converted to Bloomsbury and Sugaholic. If you're a fan of mint, like I am, try Sugaholic's After 8 cupcake. So minty and with a gooey chocolate center. In comparison, Kitsch's peppermint SUCKED. (actually, it sucked without comparison too.)

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  5. I so agree on Cinnabon cupcakes. Worst I've ever tasted. Only looks pretty but taste horrible (-1) I prefer Kitsch cause of the icing but Bloomsburys as you voted, tops my list as well. Next post on chocolate cupcakes maybe? I vote Black Bottom by Hummingbird ;)

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    1. Black bottom? Yet another reason I adore cupcakes: the cheeky names! Oh, I just bought a Bloomsbury cupcake voucher of Cobone so I will definitely be sampling some other kinds of cupcakes; I've been eyeing their cookies 'n cream for a while now!

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  6. The red velvet cheescake from Cheesecake factory is heavenly!

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    1. Keep meaning to go there! it's been open for like A YEAR. Must be the only person left in Dubai that hasn't been!

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  7. This post is great,
    Love your style of writing

    Hope one day to go to dubai

    Amelia
    http://ameliamandeville.blogspot.co.uk

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  8. You should try Red Velvet cake from Bake Street Dubai, their Red velvets are out of this world. They are not a shop, they are home bakers but the quality is impeccable! I heard one of them is a Chef. Check out their fb page out www.facebook.com/6bakestreet



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  9. OH MY GOD! For a moment I thought you'd skipped Bloomsbury and I pretty much almost died. Mostly because I'm ADDICTED to red velvet cupcakes myself and over the span of four visits to Dubai and endless cupcake tasting crowned Bloomsbury the Red Velvet Cupcake King! I'm glad I'm not alone ;)

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  10. I have tried almost all outlets mentioned above and found that Bloomsbury was the best until I came across Cupcake Fantasy.All their cupcakes are awesome especially the Red Velvet, It was a steal at AED 12 and I now place orders through them.

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  11. Try Mellow Yellow Bakeshop and Café at Uptown Midriff and you sure will rethink your list... "the proof is always in the pudding" . In this case "Cup cake".. BJ

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  12. Hi, will definitely try Bloomsbury. But if you want a mindblowing home-baked version, you should try my red velvet cupcake. =) Frosting is very important to me too. It's a no-brainer to achieve the perfect chocolate cupcake but a really good cream cheese vanilla frosting is what sets it apart. Would actually be interested in your opinion of my version. =)

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  13. Hi, tried Bloomsbury's version tonight. Yep, mine's better. =) Let me know how I can send you samples, =)

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    1. Now I'm curious! I'm not exactly a food critic or anything but I can't say no to a red velvet, so this is just greed talking! If you ever feel like feedi- ahem - making me taste samples, drop me a line! My email is in the contact section! ;)

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  14. I'm with Hummingbird Bakery as the best in the UAE. I love the flavor above all others. Second are Kitsch and Project Cupcake.

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  15. Wow! Loved your post! I had been wondering where to get the best cupcakes in Dubai for my cupcake-crazy niece who will be visiting us soon. Now I am looking forward to a cupcake-testing spree myself :) Cheers!

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