The Ultimate and Definitive Guide to Qatar Cupcake Heaven
And take our poll - to win a feast at your favourite cupcake cafe!
By Shabina S. Khatri. Photos by Shabina S. Khatri & Omar Chatriwala.
A fabulous array of cupcakes from Amazing Cupcakes!
It takes time for trends to reach the tiny Gulf country of Qatar. But that's ok, because when they finally arrive, they always get the most whole-hearted welcomes. Case-in-point: the cupcake craze.
In the past year, the number of places to buy cupcakes here has proliferated so quickly that even the most devoted foodie can't keep up.
Are all of these cupcakes worth our love? According to my extensive research, some of them are, and some of them are not. Read on to see which places make the cut, and weigh in with your thoughts by taking our poll at the end!
These cupcakes are pretty. And there are a lot of different kinds to choose from. But I give it mixed reviews because many of the cupcakes lack flavor and moisture, particularly disappointing at QR15 a pop.
Here, the cake is moist and the frosting is a rich, sugary buttercream. So sweet that it makes it kind of difficult to finish the whole thing. But if you think that's going to be a problem, bring a friend, because for a whopping QR20, I recommend not leaving a single crumb behind.
This trendy shop does frosting well red velvet is the pride of its cupcake collection, and the cream cheese-infused icing tastes just right. The frosting on the hazelnut chocolate cupcake also delighted, boasting a nice, light and sweet flavor.
But what lies under the window dressing is a lackluster cake - a bit dry, overly sweet and lacking a certain depth of flavor. And at QR17 each, the price is definitely on the high end.
Still, if you're in the area it's probably worth popping in to try these cupcakes. On the last Saturday afternoon of every month, the cafe does a "cupcake extravaganza," where people can decorate their own treats or some other fun cupcake-related event.
Amazing Cupcakes (see image at top of page): This shop opened in March 2011, making it the newest kid on the cupcake scene in Doha. The owner of the bakery flew in Rosalind Miller of Peggy's Cupcakes fame from the UK to teach her staff how to make a proper cupcake, with promising results. Amazing aptly describes the presentation of these treats the creations are almost too pretty to eat. But this is also a downside, as the texture of fondant frosting was a bit off-putting. Stick to the QR10 cupcakes that come with regular frosting, and enjoy the flavorful cake that rests beneath it all.
Amazing's, which also does cake pops, is located a bit far from central Doha in Al Rayyan, but you can also order over the phone. And there's free delivery for orders of a dozen cupcakes or more.
The people who work here are among the friendliest, happiest employees I've encountered in Doha. And with good reason - they're selling great cupcakes at decent prices, all at a great QAR4. My daughter prefers the tiny Elmo cupcake.
The frosting tastes lighter than buttercream, with a slight hint of lemon, but not in a bad way. These cupcakes are great if you're looking for a mini-treat that won't damage your waistlines or your wallet. Little Bites is located inside the Lulu Gharafa complex.
This boutique-style shop that offers cute desserts used to be the only place Doha residents could turn to for cupcakes. But it's not just popular for nostalgia's sake - their treats taste good and look beautiful.
With flavors like marshmallow, lemon and chocolate peanut butter, there's a cupcake to satisfy every palette. The frosting is rich, but the cake itself isn't as moist and flavorful as it could be. Cupcakes range in price from QR5 (for the small bites) to QR15 (for the fancy ones). I thought the ones in the middle price range (QR10) tasted best.
Tasmeem is located at the Centre and in the Mall and has a 20% off promotion until April 9 for Mother's Day.
Normally, cupcakes would not be the ideal moviegoer's treat. Choowy Goowy, located next to the cinema in Villagio Mall, knows this and focuses its offerings on cookies and brownies.
But the bakery does make a few different kinds of cupcakes, and they are worth getting your hands sticky and dirty for. For QR10, I was definitely willing to trade in my popcorn for this moist, well-frosted treat.
D's makes her cupcakes in her kitchen, and the quality control that comes with this small-batch baking really shows. The cupcakes are moist, the frosting rich and flavorful, and the presentation astounding.
D's is not a brick and mortar shop, and she's gotten pretty selective about the online orders she takes. But if you can convince her to fill your order, you are in for a world of happiness.
These wonderful treats made their debut earlier this month at the Doha Food Festival.
They are a win in terms of all three essential cupcake criteria: attractive, moist and smothered with the delicious goodness of fattening frosting. They are also affordable, ranging from QR8 to QR12 each, depending on size.
The bakery is taking orders online (for pickup and delivery), and set to open its store in Souq Waqif in April 2011.
A British mother/daughter team who really know their cupcakes runs this shop. Their cupcakes are a perfectly calibrated combination of moist, flavorful cake and a frosting that was sweet but not too heavy.
I recommend Spice-So-Nice and Lemon, part of the normal collection that cost QR15 per cupcake. Specialty cupcakes are also for sale, but can run you up to QR20 to QR25 each. The only downside is this shop's out-of-the-way location off of Salwa Road. But if you're really craving a quality cupcake, this is definitely worth the trek.
View Cupcake eateries in Qatar in a larger map
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