Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Blog Award

Ice Cream Before Dinner is my kind of blog! You can find posts for so many kinds of desserts: Katherine Hepburn brownies, Rainbow cookies, Canolli ice cream, and much more! It in one of my favorite blogs in my google reader.

Last week Ice Cream Before Dinner bestowed upon me a Kreativ Blogger award. I am so excited to receive this award, as it is my first blog award. I'm so happy that people are enjoying my blog, as I really enjoy writing it.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Stanley Cupcakes

With the Anaheim Ducks this close to being in the play-offs (Go Ducks), I was excited to come across this article about a women's hockey team called the the Stanley Cupcakes who want to be part of the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. They don't want to compete in the Olympics, but they want to volunteer to be skating performers for the opening and closing ceremonies.

The Stanley Cupcakes team was formed about a year ago and consists of hockey moms who just want to have fun. Most of the players are beginners. The logo on their uniform is a Stanley cup with a cupcake and cherry on top. Cute name and logo.

Friday, March 27, 2009

I Love a Sugar Rush (Cupcake)!

I was recently introduced to Sugar Rush Sweets & Bakery Treats by a family member who had received a few cupcakes at a church gathering. I had never heard of Sugar Rush Sweets before, so I contacted the owner, Stacy de la Vega, to arrange a formal testing of her cupcakes. I was surprised to find out that her company is based out of Yorba Linda, CA, my hometown.

I had the privilege of trying her red velvet, devils food, and white cupcakes. Let me first say that I have never had a cupcake taste so moist! Moistness makes a huge difference in taste for cupcakes. Thumbs up!

Second, all of the cupcakes were topped with "Sugar Rush Signature" butter cream frosting. Stacy let me know that she normally frosts the red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, but these particular cupcakes were part of another order that did not call for that. To me, the frosting tasted like a semi-whipped butter cream frosting. It was very tasty!

The best part was the surprise in the middle. Each cupcake was filled with a little bit of frosting in the middle (the red velvet actually had cream cheese so I was able to taste how wonderful that frosting was). I love cupcakes with frosting in the middle. Frosting is my favorite part and it can really make or break the cupcake.

Sugar Rush Sweets & Bakery Treats is a made-to-order bakery that doesn't only sell cupcakes, but cakes, cookies, and other baked goods. According to the brochures I have, the decorated cupcakes sell for $24 for a dozen ($2 each) and the desserts cupcakes (see below) sell for $30 for 15 cupcakes (also $2 each). For more information or if you would like to place an order, contact Stacy de la Vega at sugarrushsweets at yahoo dot com. You won't be disappointed!

Coconut Cream Cupcakes

German Chocolate Cupcakes

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Elvis Donuts

One of my new favorite websites is "This is why you're fat." At first I enjoyed the site to see the horrible food that people eat. Then I began to hear myself saying, "I could totally eat that" to some of the items.

Although not cupcake related, these "Elvis Donuts" sure do look tasty. Description: Peanut butter glazed donut topped with bananas and bacon.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cold Stone Cupcakes Staying Around

If you were worried that you would miss the new Ice Cream Cupcakes at Stone Cold Creamery (originally available until March 31), fear not! It seems that Cold Stone is having so much success with the cupcakes that they are making them a permanent item on the menu.

Thanks to info from the Food Frenzy blog, we also know that Cold Stone will be trying out a new item this summer which involves Jell-O pudding. The word is that Cold Stone will be offering ice cream flavors inspired by Jell-O pudding, BUT the ice cream will be a different consistency than it normally is. When the ice cream melts, it will have the consistency of Jell-O pudding. Count me in!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

More Cupcakes Coming to Orange County

Remember that episode of Seinfeld where Elaine's former boss decides to open a muffin shop called "Top of the Muffin To You?" Well, Divine Desserts, which opened today in Laguna Niguel, is expanding on that idea.

Thanks to a tip from the Fast Food Maven, I browsed Divine Desserts website to find that, not only will they be selling muffin tops, but cupcakes and cookies are in the mix too!

Cupcakes and muffin tops will be sold for $3 each and the cookies are $1.50. Divine Desserts is located at the Plaza de la Paz Center in Lagune Niguel. Today they are handing out free cupcakes. If only I lived closer....

Let me know if you try them out and hopefully I will get a chance to visit soon!

Cupcake Distraction at Work

Recently I was raving around the banana cupcakes that I tried at SusieCakes and someone asked if I had tried the banana cupcake from Sprinkles Cupcakes. Unfortunately, I haven't tried all of the flavors at Sprinkles yet, but I knew this would be next on my list.

The other day my sister stopped by Sprinkles and brought me back a banana cupcake. She brought it to me at work, but I was determined to wait until that night to eat it. It stared at me all day, but I held strong.

I must say that it was somewhat of a disappointing banana cupcake, especially compared to SusieCakes banana cupcake. Sprinkles banana cupcake was pretty much banana bread in the shape of a cupcake, topped with vanilla frosting. I expected it to taste a little more like cake instead of bread. The frosting was good, but it didn't seem to match well with the banana bread. Don't get me wrong, I love banana bread, but I had just hoped for something a little more.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Irish Car Bombs via Cupcakes

Last Tuesday I celebrated my first real St. Patrick's Day! I always wear green, but my celebrating has never gone beyond that. This year I was introduced to corned beef and cabbage courtesy of friends Dave and Tanya, who invited my husband and I over for dinner.

Leprechauns were very sneaky and turned all of the beverages green. Dinner was great and dessert was even better.

Somehow Dave found time to make Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes, a recipe that I posted on my blog a few weeks ago. Keep in mind that Dave has never made cupcakes before. So for his first attempt he chose to use a difficult recipe which involved making the cupcakes from scratch, a ganache filling, and frosting.

Notice that even the milk was green!

Talk about rich! The ganache center was the best part! And to top it off, the frosting was delicious, thankfully not whipped cream. Dave did a great job. He can make cupcakes for me anytime!

Real Irish car bombs were guzzled by the brave. St. Patrick's Day is not that bad of a holiday once you get to know it.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Sugar-free Jello Cupcakes

One thing my husband taught me is that sugar-free anything is bad because the sugar is probably being substituted with a sweetener. But I came across this recipe for cupcakes made with sugar-free Jello instead of vegetable oil. Interesting concept, but what about the taste? Melody, blogger of Cheat Day Cafe has made a claim that they taste good. I'm a little skeptical though. Cupcakes are intended to be bad for you or else they wouldn't taste so good.

Coming Up: St. Patty's Day celebration and new cupcakes review!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cupcakes by Mail

I love getting packages! Sometimes just the anticipation is more exciting than the actual item arriving. I have heard about cupcakeries shipping cupcakes, but I have a hard time believing that the cupcakes arrive intact and not stale.

Crumbs Bake Shop has recently begun shipping their baked goods. I have never had a cupcake from Crumbs, but they sure look tasty. You can order their cupcakes in three different sizes, but you can only have the Taste and Signature sizes shipped to you.

Has anyone had cupcakes shipped to them? How did they taste? How expensive was the shipping?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I love Sprinkles Cupcakes and all of their celebrating! Grab a Belgian dark chocolate cupcake topped with Baileys Irish cream cheese frosting and a cute shamrock sprinkle. I'd rather get drunk on sugar than anything else!

Monday, March 16, 2009

LA Cupcake Challenge

Do you know where I want to be on March 29? The LA Cupcake Challenge! This is the second year that the event is being held. The purpose of the event is to determine who has the best cupcake in Southern California.

The event is being held at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel on March 29 from 1:00-4:00pm. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased here. There will be samplings of cupcakes from many different bakeries, several that I have never even heard of before. The event is sponsored by Nesquik, so there will also be plenty of chocolate milk to enjoy with your cupcakes!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Cupcake Craze Comes to Utah

Check out this article published in the BYU Daily Universe. "Cupcake Craze Comes to Utah" talks about how cupcakeries are sprouting in the state of Utah. Charlotte Chen, the author of this article, interviewed me last week and a few of my quotes are featured in this article.

I have reviewed a few cupcakeries in Utah, so I have some knowledge about the cupcake culture in Utah. (See my reviews for Twenty Five Main and Diva's Cupcakes.) I'm happy to see that cupcakes are gaining success in Utah.

Recently, a new cupcakery opened in Provo, Utah called Sweet Tooth Fairy. They have been featured on many cupcakes blogs and even the Rachel Rey show. Next time I visit Utah, I will definitely be stopping by to check out this store.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

5-Step Plan for Cupcake Avoidance

I recently came across a humourous article from Glamour by Sarah Jio. She lists five ways to get over a cupcake craving. We have a similar problem. We both love cupcakes, but realize how bad they really are. Enjoy!

  1. Look at the frosting, now imagine all that ooey gooey creamy goop injected into your thighs or belly--because that's where it's going!
  2. Would you want to look like a cupcake? Didn't think so. One Vitamin G reader uses this trick: she avoids foods that she wouldn't want to look like (imagine a greasy pizza).
  3. As soon as you start craving a cupcake, eat a piece of fruit instead. Do it fast, before your brain convinces you that you need the cupcake. Wait 15 minutes and the craving will most likely fade.
  4. In a pinch, turn to a bran or carrot muffin instead--at least you'll be getting some healthy fiber and whole grains.
  5. Still want one? OK have one. But go to the bakery with a pal and make her promise that she won't let you have more than one.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Family Visit to Sweet Spot

Saturday was my sister-in-law's birthday. We celebrated by eating dinner at the Irvine Spectrum. After dinner, we all headed over to SweetSpot Baker's Workshop for cupcakes. The kids all decided to make their own cupcakes and they had a blast. They definitely used enough candy to get their money's worth.

My niece Niki chose a white cupcake with purple buttercream frosting. She decorated it with sprinkles, red licorice, and Fruit Loops cereal.

My niece Alex used a white cupcake and chose pink as her frosting color. She decorated with sprinkles and blue frosting.

My nephew Dane had quite the time decorating. Actually, he didn't really care about the decorating, just licking the frosting off the cupcake. He used a red velvet cupcake and topped with blue frosting (as if you couldn't tell from his face what color his frosting was!). Dane topped his cupcake with red licorice, shamrock sprinkles, and gummy worms.

I opted out of making my own and instead bought a Marble Swirl Cupcake. The cupcake was made of white and chocolate cake and was topped with cream cheese frosting and a chocolate fudge swirl. The cupcake was pretty decent, but not too exciting.

Sliders = New Trend

Your eyes see one thing, but your mouth will taste another. Fellow cupcake lover Lisa Smiley of Smiley's Sweets and Creations posted these "cupcake sliders" that she recently made. These sliders are made out of vanilla and chocolate cupcakes. She used coconut for the lettuce and colored frosting for the ketchup and mustard.

Not only is this a creative idea for cupcakes, but sliders seem to be the big thing right now. I have been reading about many different restaurants and fast food chains that are adding sliders to their menus.

Burger King has recently began selling two kinds of sliders. You can buy the BK Burger Shots or the BK Breakfast Shots.

Jack in the Box is testing out sirloin sliders at a few of their restaurants in San Diego.

Other restaurants are also jumping on the slider bandwagon. You can find sliders on the menu at Polly's Pies, P.F. Chang's, Yard House, Salt Creek Grille, Morton's Steakhouse, and many more. Ruby's Diner is selling turkey sliders that are served on King's Hawaiian rolls. King's Hawaiian rolls are heaven!

Monday, March 9, 2009

More from SusieCakes

I forgot that I had these pictures! Last month I stopped by SusieCakes to pick up a special cupcake to eat after I finished a 5K that I was running the next day. I selected a delicious banana cupcake, which was the flavor of the month (January). It was so good! Good is an understatement because it was AMAZING! I am so bummed that it was only the flavor of the month and the next time I stop by SusieCakes it won't be there.

Enjoy these pictures of SusieCakes!

Celebrate St Patty's Day at SusieCakes all month long

St. Patrick's Day is coming up next week. I can't believe how fast this year is flying! I hear that happens when you get older.

SusieCakes is offering some special holiday goodies and deals this month in honor of St. Patrick's Day. First, let's start off with the goodies. Shamrock frosted sugar cookies, Whoopie Pies with green vanilla buttercream, sugar cookie sandwiches with mint buttercream, and select cupcakes decorated with shamrocks and green jimmies.

I've tried their mint chocolate cupcake before and it was delicious. It was actually the first cupcake I ever tasted at SusieCakes and I fell in love with their frosting-filled cupcakes. You will too!

Second, SusieCakes is offering a different deal for each day of the week:

Mini Mondays
: 3 mini cupcakes for $5. I didn't even know they had minis. Great deal!
Two-For-Tuesdays: 2-for-1 cupcakes after 5:00pm. Bargain!
Whoopie Wednesdays: All Whoopie Pies 50% off. I've never tried their Whoopie Pies. If they are like everything else, then they are good.
Thirsty Thursdays: All milk, soda, and coffee just $1 with purchase.
Freaky Fridays: They will be mixing-up a regular feature. I wonder what this will be?!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Valentino Chocolatier Cafe

Friday night my husband and I went to one of our favorite places for dinner--Whole Foods. Before we went in the store I spotted Valentino Chocolatier Cafe. It was past closing time, but they let me come in anyway.

I love the smell of chocolate stores, and the possibilities....so much to choose from. Imagine my delight when I found out that they sell cupcakes! My choices were red velvet, chocolate, carrot cake, and lemon. You can't go wrong with red velvet, right?

The anticipation of getting home so I could enjoy my cupcake with milk was almost too much. But I'm happy to report that my cupcake was good!

The red velvet had a few surprises mixed in--chocolate chips. I loved the mix of chocolate chips with the moist cake. Next, the frosting was not cream cheese, but it was creamy milk chocolate. I've never had a frosting be so creamy yet so delicious. The frosting was topped with some sugar crystals, always a nice touch.

(In case you were wondering, this is Domo. I bought him to give to my nephew for his birthday. He was a great model for my cupcake pictures.)

Valentine Chocolatier Cafe is located at the Tustin District between Whole Foods and Home Goods. They are open until 7:00pm Sunday-Thursday and 8:00pm on weekends. My cupcake was $3.00, which seems to be the standard price for a cupcake in Orange County. I will be back to try out their other flavors.

UPDATE: Valentino Chocolatier Cafe closed in 2010.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Maggie Moo's Stylicious Cupcakes

Maggie Moo's Ice Cream & Treats announced the introduction of their Stylicious: Hip Cupcakes a la mode. Maggie Moo's is the first company to bring us ice cream cupcakes, even before Cold Stone Creamery. Maggie Moo's is expanding their existing ice cream cupcake line (that is featured on the Food network) to include new designs and flavors. You will also be able to customize with your favorite flavor, topping, and mix-in.

The flavors available in their new Stylicious ice cream cupcake line include:
  • Cherry Chocolate: chocolate cake, chocolate ice cream, chocolate sprinkles, chocolate topping, cherry
  • Cool Swirl: yellow cake, Better Batter ice cream, marshmallow creme, vanilla topping
  • Carrot: yellow cake, carrot cake ice cream, vanilla topping
  • Heart: chocolate or yellow cake, strawberry or Better Batter ice cream, marshmallow creme, pink sprinkles, vanilla topping
  • Pink Flower: yellow, Better Batter ice cream, sprinkles, vanilla topping
  • Snowcap Blush: yellow cake, strawberry ice cream, marshmallow creme, vanilla topping, Sno-Caps
  • Sunflower: yellow cake, chocolate ice cream, vanilla topping, chocolate sprinkles
  • Football: chocolate cake, vanilla ice cream, chocolate fudge topping, vanilla topping
  • Basketball: chocolate cake, Better Batter ice cream, vanilla topping

I have actually never been to Maggie Moo's before. The closest location to me is probably Ladera Ranch or Chino Hills. These cupcakes look like they have more cake in them, something I hear that Cold Stone is lacking. Looks like it will be worth a test taste. Anyone tried one yet?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Cupcake Fail

Have you ever seen Fail Blog? See Exhibit A below.

I made some cupcakes for my nephew's first birthday party. Per the request of my sister, she wanted funfetti cupcakes with green and blue frosting. I decided to make a special big cupcake for my nephew. I had forgotten that the big cupcake wrappers I currently have are quitters. After piling on a ton of frosting and making a 20 minute drive over to the party, the cupcake was a blob. A tasty blob, but still a blob.

Diego (my nephew) didn't care. He shoved his little hand into the cupcake to show his appreciation.

Happy Birthday Diego!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Oreo Cupcake Genius

Milk is my choice of beverage to accompany cupcake indulgences. I came across a blog that incorporates milk drinking with the cupcake. Presenting: Cupcake Project's Oreo Cupcake!

What is this goodness pictured above? Well, it is an Oreo cookie cupcake with Oreo cream cheese frosting and topped with mini Oreos. Still wondering what's in the middle? Here's the answer: chocolate liqueur cup filled with milk!

You get to take the mini Oreos that are on top of the frosting and dunk them in the milk that is contained in the middle of the cupcake!

What could top this goodness? I love it! It reminds me of bread bowl soup where you finish off by eating the bread bowl that your soup is served in.


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