Decadent Desserts of Columbia: Velvet Cupcake

Lemon Raspberry Cupcake

Cost: $2.75

Taste: 4.0/5.0 – Featuring melt-in-your-mouth sweet icing plus a tart raspberry kick, this cupcake had a bold mix of great flavors.

Uniqueness: 3.5/5.0 – The cupcake flavor itself isn’t anything new or different, but the taste and look help set it apart from any other lemon raspberry cupcake.

Quality for the price: 5.0/5.0 – You really can’t beat a gourmet cupcake for only $2.75.

Overall rating: 4.0/5.0 – I would happily go back and eat this cupcake again someday.

A small shop connected to the Tiger Hotel, nestled away from bustling 9th Street in downtown Columbia, is the home to some seriously sweet treats. But what they’re best known for is in their namesake: cupcakes.

The Velvet Cupcake has been open for a year and three months now, as I overheard an employee telling another customer. Cupcakes seem to be the latest trendy dessert, but I’ve never been the biggest fan. Regardless, I thought I’d give one a whirl this week.

I walked into Velvet Cupcake and was overwhelmed with the cupcake flavor choices I could pick from. You won’t find any boring chocolate or vanilla or strawberry flavors. Instead, you’ll see flavors like red velvet, wedding cake, rocky road and more.

After an actual 5-minute debate in my head, I settled on the lemon raspberry cupcake. It was half an hour before the place closed, and the lemon raspberry cupcake was the only one of its kind left in the display case. It looked lonely, so I was happy to provide it with some company…in my stomach.

I took my artsy cupcake to a table, peeled the wrapper back and attacked it with my fork. My expectations for the dessert were that it would be another average cupcake that anyone could make. I thought it would be slightly dry, too sugary and nothing special. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

This cupcake was nothing short of phenomenal. Personally, I hate icing of all kinds. I was one of those kids who would annoyingly scrape the icing off of everything I ate. But the sweet yellow icing on the lemon raspberry cupcake made all the difference to me.

Petals of sweet icing with a raspberry on top hide a deliciously tart cupcake underneath. Photo by Natalie Rooney

The icing took the shape of flower petals atop the cupcake with a whole raspberry resting right in the very center. Somehow, the icing seemed to melt in my mouth with a soft and sweet flavor.

The cupcake itself was equally as delicious. The consistency wasn’t dry at all; in fact, it was almost perfect. When I took my first bite of the cupcake part, I was surprised to discover raspberries buried inside of it. The tart raspberry flavored countered the sweet cake very well and added a new dynamic to the dessert.

With the dense, raspberry-loaded cupcake and the sweet, creamy icing, this cupcake far surpassed my expectations. I think I have been converted to an icing believer and might be willing to try other icings after all. I look forward to my next trip back to the Velvet Cupcake and hope I’ll have an equally satisfying experience with one of their other cupcake flavors.

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