Guest Review | Dessert Affairs Kiosk | Columbia, MD

I couldn’t ask for a better co-worker than today’s Guest Reviewer (and fellow blogger), Deidre. She not only loves sweets as much as I do, but she often acts as a taste tester for my kitchen creations and never objects when I bring a cupcake in, hoping she’ll share with me so I can have a partner in crime. If you love fashion and sewing in addition to sweets, you should check out her blog, Sew Hot Mommi. Today, she has taken a break from threads and patterns to share her review of Dessert Affairs, a cupcake kiosk at the Columbia Mall located in Columbia, MD. Thanks Deidre!

One of the side effects of working with a cupcake blogger is a heightened awareness of the confection. When “cake-to-frosting” ratio is a part of the normal office banter, you can’t help but become hyper sensitive to their presence. And with the explosion of bakeshops specializing in the diminutive treats, I see them literally everywhere.

Now normally when out shopping at the mall, I’m on a mission, in and out as quickly as possible, mainly out of respect to my wallet. However, recently I was in the mall, with my power-walk going, when I’m stopped dead in my tracks by of all things…a cupcake kiosk. Who knew! Evidently Dessert Affairs did because they’ve taken up residence in Columbia Mall. Now as a self-professed sweet-aholic, I felt compelled to stop and was greeted by one of the friendliest bakers I’ve met. When I do a little blog name-dropping, i.e., that I’m pals with the Cupcake Crusaders, the red-carpet is rolled out and I get star treatment.

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So let’s start! For a satellite location, they’re pretty well stocked. Owner, Atiba de Souza, rattles off 11 flavors for starters and lists several more that are back at his store in Rockville. I decide on a half-dozen including: Cinnamon Caramel Apple, Strawberry and their signature Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake. Of course I go right for the signature cupcake and I must say, it was yummy!

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(Signature Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake)

The frosting was superior! Not too much and not too sweet. Even a sweet-aholic has her limits. The chocolate cake was moist, which is an absolute must in my book. My only comment would be on the filling. I was hoping for something more…hmm…homemade as the strawberry filling was more of a gel. Guess I was hoping for bits of fruit, but it wasn’t distracting so I enjoyed it all the same. Next to cross my palette was the Cinnamon Caramel Apple.

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(Cinnamon Caramel Apple)

Flavor wise, this was in the yum buckets category too. However, I would classify it as more of a breakfast treat as the cake was denser than anticipated, which wasn’t a bad thing. I could imagine sipping tea with this to the side. Frosting was a wee sweet for me though, but the texture was surprisingly smooth.

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(Strawberry)

Last tasting honors were given to the Strawberry cupcake. Decent enough, nothing that wouldn’t satisfy the urge for dessert, but wasn’t quite as memorable as the other two.

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Now because this is a kiosk, I’ll end on giving them kudos for décor. There were enough eye-catching props to invite you in. Final analysis, I would have to say, well done Dessert Affairs, well done.

MAIN STORE: Rockville, MD (by appointment only for design consultations)
MALL LOCATION:  Columbia Mall, Columbia, MD

– Review by Guest Crusader Deidre (Maryland)

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2011 Cupcake Tour: 5th (and final) Stop – Cake Dreams

After our stop at Frosting, the already small “tour group” dwindled down to just Elisa and I. The others put in a good effort, and the baby had a long day, so without the rest of the team Elisa and I headed to Cake Dreams (a little out of our way) in Rockville, MD.

Cake Dreams came recommended by a reader and after hearing that they won an episode of Cupcake Wars, there was no way we couldn’t check them out while we were down in that area. (Living in Baltimore, we don’t go down that way very often). When we went in, I was a little disappointed to see that there was no seating, but the shop was still nice with cute messages written on the walls, like the one above, and a display filled with tasty looking cupcakes.

We immediately asked if they had any of the cupcakes from their episode of Cupcake Wars, and they said they had one, the Orange Cannoli cupcake. There was no way Elisa and I weren’t going to get the cupcake that won, so we each got one and then I ordered a Pumpkin Pecan (have I mentioned I love anything fall flavored?) and Elisa ordered a German Chocolate. We happily took our cupcakes and were on our way home.

After getting home, I cold barely wait until after dinner, but held off and finally tried the Orange Cannoli later that night.


This cupcake was SO GOOD. One of the things I hear them discuss on Cupcake Wars is to make sure that all the flavors are still present in the cupcake. This cupcake did just that. Elisa, being somewhat of a self proclaimed cannoli expert, was a little hesitant at first when they said that it was orange and cannoli flavors combined but was easily won over. In fact, she thinks that it could be one of the best cannoli products she’s ever had. She said that, “The ricotta cheese filling was superb, in fact I wish I could eat an entire bowl of just the filling… but married with the sweet orangey cake, chocolate and icing really rounded out this fantastic multi-layered and multi-flavored cupcake. I felt like the flavors unfolded in your mouth to create one smooth and cohesive taste.” I couldn’t agree with her more. Look at this wonderful filling:

A couple days later I decided to have somewhat of a “pumpkin cupcake challenge” and I ate the pumpkin cupcake I got from Georgetown Cupcake and the pumpkin pecan one from Cake Dreams.


If I’m being 100% honest, while this cupcake was really tasty, I preferred the one from Georgetown Cupcake. BUT, I loved the addition of the pecans to Cake Dreams’ cupcake, and the cake was still really moist and delicious. I think that for me, the one from Georgetown just seemed to have more pumpkin flavor, while this one was a little more on the “spice” side. That said, I would still order this cupcake and be quite happy with it and I still ate the entire thing with a smile on my face. (That’s saying a lot too, because at this point, after all the cupcakes I had eaten on Saturday and brought home with me, if it was only okay, there was no way I was eating the whole thing.)

The last cupcake from Cake Dreams was Elisa’s selection, the German Chocolate.

Elisa really enjoyed this cupcake, so I’m just going to share with you her review on it: “Super moist deep dark, rich chocolate cake with the traditional coconut icing. This was one of my highlights! I could not be happier that I chose this cupcake. German Chocolate Cake is one of those things I love, but NEVER make or even order/purchase. This was my first encounter with the GCC in cupcake form and if Cake Dreams were closer, I’d be going back weekly just for this one. You’ve really got to like coconut though, so don’t try this if the texture makes you squeamish.”

Overall, our experience with Cake Dreams was great. The staff was super friendly, they were able to answer our questions and had great personalities, and the cupcakes were fantastic. It’s no wonder why they were on Cupcake Wars and why they won. I’m so proud of our Maryland cupcakeries!

Cake Dreams was a great way to end the day on a high note. I’m so glad that the cupcake tour went well. Now it’s time to start planning for next year… I’m thinking of going to Philly. If you have any ideas or suggestions, we would love to hear them!

– Posted by Cupcake Crusader, Stacy (Baltimore, MD)