Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
June 12, 2024

Sistahs' Sweets will satisfy your cupcake craving

By GRETA MARAS | March 18, 2022



Erin (left) and Lena (right) Bowman are bringing delectable and unique cupcakes to Hopkins and all of Baltimore with Sistahs' Sweets.

Every so often, you will find a small black truck with bright pink font sitting on what has unofficially been dubbed the “food truck corner” of Homewood Campus. Inside that truck, you will find two extraordinary young women named Erin and Lena Bowman, who are the co-founders of Sistahs’ Sweets. The Bowman sisters are homeschool graduates who operate their own cupcake truck as a full-time business.

The sisters told The News-Letter that their idea to turn baking into a business stemmed from their homeschooling and passion for the subject.

“Sistahs’ Sweets started out as a hobby out of a passion for baking. We just provided cupcakes to church friends and family members, but then we started to become serious about it,” Erin Bowman said. “Growing up we were homeschooled, so our mom was our teacher, and we would use chemistry to bake as part of our science class. With the help of our parents, we got started with the business.”

The Bowmans post their pop-up schedule for the week on their Instagram, where they have amassed over 12,000 followers, so that followers can learn which flavors to expect and when they will be at certain locations. They set up pop-ups all across the city in parking lots, on street corners, near hospitals and on college campuses.

“We mainly sell from Tuesday through Saturday. We try to have designated days where we bake, but most days we end up selling out, so baking is really an everyday thing,” Erin Bowman said. 

According to Lena Bowman, colleges are among their favorite places to set up shop. 

“We love selling at Towson, Hopkins and Morgan State,” Lena Bowman said.

After noticing from their Instagram @sistahsweets that they would once again be coming to the University, I enthusiastically convinced my friend Andrea Guillén to join my journey to the truck so we could try their flavors of the week. By the time we got there, they had unfortunately sold out of most of their flavors, including my favorite — Cookies N’ Cream. The inclusion of the fried Oreo on top of this selection elevates the delightfully fluffy frosting and moist cake with a burst of added flavor. This week, however, I got to try the Strawberry Lovers flavor. 

I am one of the largest proponents for cream cheese frosting in the world, and there is essentially no one who does it better than Sistahs’ Sweets. The frosting is perfectly light and flavorful, and it complements the strawberry cake upon which it sits so well. The cupcake was complete, with a drizzle of strawberry sauce and a fresh berry that incorporated a welcomed diversity in texture. Strawberry desserts can be very hit-or-miss in my opinion, but “miss” is not a word I would ever use to describe the cupcakes here. Andrea similarly enjoyed her Cinna-Bun cupcake, citing how very closely it replicated Cinnabon’s flavorings. 

Every week the sisters change up their assortment of flavors, rotating through fan favorites like Caramel Cookie Butter Crunch, Fruity Pebbles, Banana Pudding, Cinna-Bun and Fudge Brownie. Using their website, you can also order cupcakes and even book singing telegrams from their truck online. Their menu includes a wide array of sugar-free, gluten-free and vegan options, so the barrier to enjoying their treats could not be lower. They even have a section of alcohol-infused cupcakes for those at 21 years of age and older, which could add a fun dimension to your dessert that you didn’t even know you were missing until now.

Sistahs’ Sweets has plans for expansion currently underway, which will continue to center around their current business model.

“We have a second truck coming soon, so that will be available this spring,” Erin Bowman said. “Our hope is to just have more cupcake trucks. I don’t know about a storefront because we want to continue to be mobile.”

At the ages of 19 and 18, respectively, Erin and Lena Bowman have proven themselves not only as impressive entrepreneurs but also as highly talented bakers. Next time you see that black and pink truck, you should hurry over to get a taste before it’s too late.

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