Santoni’s Marketplace “Gourmet” Cupcakes

I used to pass Santoni’s Marketplace & Catering (Glyndon, MD) every day on my way to and from work and think, “I should stop and pick up something for dinner or dessert.” They have a great deli and homemade dessert selection, but since I was often eager to get home I rarely went in. Now I still pass by once or twice a month, on my way to a playgroup meet-up, so when Crusader Stacy reminded me that they have cupcakes I thought, “Now I really need to stop in!”

The selection of mini cheesecakes, mousses, pastries, and other baked goods made it difficult to concentrate on the cupcakes (yes even for me!), but I redirected my focus to the selection. I was originally just going to pick up a couple, but the cupcakes looked impressive, so I ended up choosing 4 of the 6 flavor options.

Peanut Butter Chocolate:
If you don’t already know, the Crusaders’ husbands are big fans of this combination, which is one of the reasons we frequently review peanut butter chocolate cupcakes.


(In the display case the candies looked like they were coated with sugar, however upon closer inspection, they were just old. Eww. I didn’t eat them.)

While the chocolate ganache frosting on this cupcake was really good, I was extremely turned off by the condition of the peanut butter candies on top. My only thought as to why they looked the way they did is that maybe the cupcakes had been refrigerated at some point and then condensation built up on the candies when they were being brought back down to room temperature, causing the cracked-crystallized effect. The cake was also dense and dry and didn’t have much peanut butter flavor.

Cookies ‘N Cream:
All the cookie pieces in the frosting made me believe this cupcake would pack a big cookies ‘n cream flavor, unfortunately it did not.


(Looks tasty, right?)

The frosting was very sweet and just tasted like your standard American buttercream and the cake was dry and crumbly. I really wanted to like this cupcake, but sadly it just didn’t impress me.

Key Lime:
Key lime cupcakes are another favorite for my husband and me, so while I was a little worried by the bright green color, I decided we should give Santoni’s a try.


(The bright frosting definitely makes a statement!)

This cupcake was probably one of the best from the selection. Although the bright green frosting proved to be a warning for artificial lime flavor, it was tangy and had a nice creamy texture and the cake was very moist and fluffy.

Cookie Dough:
Any cupcake with half a cookie on top (and one dipped in chocolate, no less) is a strong contender in my book.


(It’s like two treats in one!)

Like the Peanut Butter Chocolate cupcake, I believe this cupcake was a little old. After biting into it, I noticed that the outside of the frosting was darker than the inside (and had that hard coating that frosting gets after awhile) and didn’t have much flavor. The chocolate cake was also dry and crumbly. Although I didn’t finish the cupcake, I did try the cookie center, which was tasty and could have been the redeeming quality, had the rest of the cupcake been good.

After sampling these cupcakes, I won’t be getting any in the future from Santoni’s. I suspect that some weren’t baked fresh that day, which could have led to the poor quality. While I think their other market selections are good, the cupcakes just didn’t live up to the gourmet name, despite their appearance.

I also think I’m becoming a little bit of a cupcake snob. ;)

- Posted by Cupcake Crusader, Jenn (Westminster, MD)

Due to comments, we thought we should offer a close-up example of the old candies on the Peanut Butter Chocolate cupcake. I’m not even entirely sure how this could happen, go unnoticed, and still be put out for sale:

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8 thoughts on “Santoni’s Marketplace “Gourmet” Cupcakes

  1. Let me begin by saying I recently, like Jenn have sat and tried some of Santoni’s gourmet flavors. I however really enjoyed the cupcakes and was shocked to see Jenn’s review. It sounded as if she went into each cupcake expecting and wanting to find something to complain about. “I also think I’m becoming a little bit of a cupcake snob.” was the most appropriate ending to this “review” that I could ever of fathomed. The most hysterical part to all of this is that you put this “review” (or as I like to think of it a list of nit picking complaints) above the pictures of the homemade cupcakes done by the individuals who go by the name CUPCAKE CRUSADERS, as if you all even have the right to complain about another persons cupcake. Please leave the blogging to the serious and disobey the motto of we won’t rest, until we’ve tried them all………… Rest

    • MasterCupcake, we are always happy to hear our readers’ opinions so thank you for your response! I’m not sure why you believe that I “went into each cupcake expecting and wanting to find something to complain about,” when it was quite the opposite (stating that Santoni’s has a great deli and homemade dessert selection). We keep a very open mind, even having tried Walmart cupcakes! (http://cupcakecrusaders.com/2012/03/01/walmart-cupcakes-sometimes-you-just-need-a-quick-fix/).

      We never intend to come off as “nit picking,” however we’ve promised our followers honest reviews and believe our detailed descriptions of our cupcake experiences is what keeps them coming back…the good and bad. As a reminder, here are some of the positives from my review:

      - “It was tangy and had a nice creamy texture and the cake was very moist and fluffy.”

      - “Any cupcake with half a cookie on top (and one dipped in chocolate, no less) is a strong contender in my book.”

      - “The chocolate ganache frosting on this cupcake was really good…”

      Despite some of the positive things, these cupcakes still just didn’t impress. Perhaps I went on a bad day when they hadn’t been baked fresh and you were fortunate enough to have gone on a good day? What are some of your favorite flavors?

      We never like to give bad reviews, but unfortunately it does happen. When we’ve had below average reviews in the past, some bakers/owners will contact us privately, thanking us for our honesty and asking us to come back again so that we can see/taste changes that have been made. We are always eager to give them a second chance, and we would welcome Santoni’s to do the same, if they are interested in having an updated review. But in the meantime, all we can do is be honest, because we’ve promised that to our readers and we owe it to them.

      Based on appearances alone, Santoni’s cupcakes are far superior to any decorating we could do! However, we don’t call ourselves crusaders for our baking and don’t pretend to be bakers or a baking blog by any means. We call ourselves crusaders because we’ve tried so many cupcakes throughout the nation. In fact, we have over 100 tips on Foursquare for places we’ve been (https://foursquare.com/cupcake_crusade). Aside from our credentials, this is a blog based on something that we get joy from…cupcakes! Although we don’t make any money from this blog and we do it because we love it, we do consider ourselves serious bloggers and we definitely won’t be resting anytime soon! ;)

      • I’m shocked you had such a bad review. All of my experiences with Santoni’s have been great. I don’t think it is fair to completely count out a bakery, especially since you mentioned you may have just got them on a bad day. Santoni’s is great and is known for that. I hope there is no personal vendetta that sparked these comments.

      • Comments such as “personal vendettas” only serve to make Santoni’s, or one of the employees, seem as though they are up to something and only have the opposite effect of what is trying to be accomplished. We were actually ready to give their cupcakes a second chance but the personal attacks now have us completely turned off and any further comments of that sort will not be approved. We are tempted to delete the current comments attacking us, but under no circumstances will we delete the post because it is valid representation of our experience, bad day or not. Business is all about consistency and 3 out of the 4 cupcakes we had were bad, not even just 1. Customers should be able to go in any day of the week and be provided with the same quality you all claimed to have had. This is a blog about cupcakes. We aren’t paid and we do it because we like trying cupcakes and telling people where they can get good ones. Any other accusations about why we do this are absurd.

        The fact still stands that 3 out of 4 cupcakes I had were bad and most likely old. If that’s the case then Santoni’s owners/management should be made aware of it, so that the issue can be corrected and improved upon. Aside from letting cupcake fans know where they can go for good cupcakes, this is an opportunity for Santoni’s to make needed changes so that ALL of their products are good. As we said in our review we were excited to try the cupcakes because their deli and bakery do have such a good reputation. I’ve tried selections from each and remember being pleased with the product, however this is purely a cupcake review, and sadly the cupcakes didn’t stand up to the other products.

    • I am also very surprised by such a negative review. Recently, I tried some of Santoni’s cupcakes and commented about how they were the best I have ever had. I had the strawberry and it was great! Santoni’s definitely deserves another
      “review.” I wouldn’t want the good name of Santoni’s bakers to be tarnished by three woman who blog about cupcakes.

      • Cuppycake, I doubt Santoni’s reputation will be tarnished by one bad review. If they really are as great as you and “MasterCupcake” claim, then that wouldn’t be possible. I’ve looked on other review websites, such as Yelp, and have not seen any review of the cupcakes, but the reviews of Santoni’s other services are still good. If I had only had 1 cupcake that was bad, then I would be more open to trying them again. However with 3 of the 4 being bad, and visibly old (and the 4th one still not great, but at least fresh!), I don’t feel comfortable spending money and taking that gamble when there are other bakeries providing better cupcakes. Unless Santoni’s contacts us, promising a better product when we come in, I just can’t bring myself to do it. I’ve even updated my post to show a close-up of the candies on the Peanut Butter Chocolate cupcake, just to try and show how off-putting it was. If Santoni’s owners and management do see this review (no quotes…it is a REAL, legitamate review) I hope it encourages them to make some changes to provide a more consistent product to their customers.

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