Nola: Cairo’s Favourite Cupcakes Still Going Strong in Korba, Heliopolis
Despite the unfortunate closure of its Zamalek branch, Nola Cupcakes has going strong in Maadi, and more recently, at its Heliopolis branch, located in the architecturally stunning Korba district.
Instantly recognisable by Nola’s uniform vintage floral logo, the shop stands out from the more demure cafes and eateries on the street. Stepping in, we had trouble manoeuvring through the crowded ground floor where the massive cupcake counter occupies most of the space. With only a few high tables and barstools offered for customers eating in, the walk-in orders far surpassed those wishing to be seated and we hadn’t waited long before the barista turned his attention to us.
While none of the cupcakes on display were clearly labelled, the assistant was well-informed on their flavours. We ordered a wide variety of the treats on display, making up a box of six cupcakes containing the infamous red velvet (10.50LE), one blueberry cheesecake (10LE), an apple pie inspired option (11LE), a heavenly all-chocolate cake (12LE), chocolate peanut butter (12LE) and a cinnamon roll creation (13LE).
Each cupcake was impeccably presented, and each has frosting unique to the special ingredients of each individual cake. With creamy whipped frosting sprinkled with red powder, the red velvet cupcake was incredibly moist and light, with immensely flavourful frosting highlighting each mouthful. Thick and viscid, the chocolate and chocolate peanut butter cupcakes were heavier than we had originally perceived and, while good on their own, they were obviously not baked to be eaten in succession.
The most interesting, in both texture and flavour of the batch, were the unusual apple pie and cinnamon roll cupcakes. Filled with gooey, warm apple and cinnamon filling, the apple pie was a fantastic treat perfect for the winter months. The cinnamon roll was adorned with a miniature version of the pastry atop a thick cinnamon swirl. While there were no surprises baked within the cupcake, the sweet dessert was a tasty replica of the popular breakfast option.
The blueberry cheesecake was also decorated with what you’d typically find on a pie; a sweetened cheese frosting with a blueberry jam. While not entirely special, the cupcake was sweet without being sickly.
Nola has a powerful presence in Cairo, adhering to the cities’ dessert cravings. Though not the best ever, all the confectionaries baked in Nola’s oven are unique in taste and are obviously lovingly created.