The Galleria: Paying It Forward One Cupcake at a Time

The Galleria: Paying It Forward One Cupcake at a Time

Story by Jeanette Wages | Photography Courtesy of Denise Acosta

For Denise Acosta, opening a cupcake business was not a childhood dream or venture she ever really expected. Coming from a world where people baked for boyfriends and loved ones, Denise spent most of her life burning boxed cakes and not having the patience to cream butter. Now with a thriving cupcake business that has served WebMD, Yelp, Redskins Park, numerous weddings, and the Wounded Warriors Christmas dinner, she couldn’t imagine doing anything else. “Mistakes were certainly made, and unfortunately many cupcakes ended up having to be sacrificed to the entrepreneur gods. However, they are constantly evolving and as the saying goes, ‘With practice comes mastery. With mastery comes knowledge. With knowledge comes strength.’”

“Weddings have quickly become a favorite industry for me to be a part of. Every wedding is different and that’s what makes it so special.” While there are a great variety of delicious flavors available on the online menu, wedding cupcakes (or any order) never stop there. If you can think up a flavor, Denise will do her best to make it happen. And she always nails it - think Cannoli cupcakes, or cupcakes based on an Old Fashioned cocktail.

The one thing you won’t find on Denise’s cupcakes is fondant. While fondant is beautiful and easily used to create any look, she still uses buttercream for all of her cupcakes. To Denise, it is all about the flavor. “A buttercream that has restored faith in some non-buttercream believers. You’ll have to try it out for yourself, I suppose!”


'My vision for Cupcakes: The Galleria is to be very community based/involved... Paying it forward one cupcake at a time.'

Denise Acosta


Cupcakes: The Galleria is more than just one of the best fully custom cupcakes in Northern Virginia, it’s also a way to give back to a community Denise loves so much with her “Tip it Forward” program, which is dedicated to a new charity every month bringing light and money to causes near and dear to her heart. “My vision for Cupcakes: The Galleria is to be very community-based/involved and, therefore, looks to support local charities that can benefit from a little spare change, be it through the campaign, hosting events or volunteering. While I may not be leaving a significant footprint in their efforts to help the community, I hope to at least be a small step in aiding their efforts. Paying it forward one cupcake at a time.”

With every delicious bite of these handcrafted, creative cupcakes, she is bringing smiles and child-like joy to people’s weddings, events, and everyday lives.


The Galleria

(703) 951-7547 |

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