Friday, April 30, 2010

People Shot in Face with Cupcakes in Super Slow Motion

It's pretty funny to see what pops up in my Google Alerts for "cupcake." The title says it all: "People Shot in Face with Cupcakes in Super Slow Motion." Thanks Gizmodo!

Video: Gizmodo

Featuring: Dainty Cupcakes LA

The newest trend in the food world is food trucks. I'll admit it...I love them. Unfortunately though, I've only tried the meal trucks (Louks To Go [you must try the honey feta fries!] and Kogi BBQ). A cupcake truck is right up my alley, but there aren't very many of them.

When I read about Dainty Cakes LA on food is my nish, I was excited to see another cupcake truck besides Sprinkles roaming around the LA area! Their website lists the flavors available (45 of them!) and prices ($3), but it's not up to date with the schedule. Also, food is my nish didn't give a great review, but said that she needs to review again to be certain of her opinion.

I think the key to being a successful dessert truck is teaming up with another food truck and working the same locations together. I'm pretty sure people would be crowding a cupcake truck after chowing down on some Kogi BBQ tacos.

I wish Dainty Cakes good luck and I hope they make it down to Orange County in the future.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Manchester United Cupcakes

Cupcakes and Manchester United. That's how I get the attention of my brother-in-law. He's a huge soccer fanatic who gets up in the wee hours of the morning to watch soccer live from Europe. He is also a lover of all things sweet (even though he claims he is on a diet).

Spotted these Manchester United cupcakes on sugar crawler blog and knew that I had to post just for him. Enjoy! And for the sake of my sister, let's hope Manchester United does well for the rest of the season.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Review: The Cake Cottage

Last month I was contacted by The Cake Cottage to sample their cupcakes. I had never heard of them before, so I was more than excited for the chance to try something new!

Let me start by telling you a little about The Cake Cottage. Susan Carberry, the owner, is an expert cake decorator who recently took first place in an episode of TLC's Ultimate Cake Off. Susan recently opened her new store, The Cake Cottage, to "provide the best retail cake decorating supplies, provide specialty 'Sugar Art' classes, and produce beautiful and unique designer cakes." Although Susan's primary focus is cake decorating, she has begun selling cupcakes in her store. I was lucky enough to get to try them!

When I got my cupcake and sweets delivery, the first thing I noticed was how beautiful everything looked. One of my co-workers commented that they were almost too pretty to eat (almost). One thing I've noticed about cupcakes over the past few years is that the ones that look the prettiest usually don't live up to their appearance. Here is where The Cake Cottage is different.

It's hard to tell from the photos, but these cupcakes are huge! Sometimes that's a good thing (like on this day when I was sharing with six other people), but sometimes it's a not-so-good thing (like when I'm on a low-sugar diet). I certainly wasn't complaining about that.

The cupcake I was most excited about was the Kahula Cream Cheese. My favorite pie flavor is the Kahula Cream Cheese from Marie Calendar's, but this was the first time I've seen it in cupcake form. In case you haven't tried this goodness before, it is a Kahula flavored chocolate cake, topped with Kahula flavored cream cheese frosting. Oh boy, it definitely lived up to it name! The frosting was smooth and creamy and the flavors were exactly what I had hoped for. I couldn't get enough of this cupcake!

My second favorite cupcake was the Chocolate Raspberry. Usually I'm not a fan of fruit cupcakes, but this cupcake changed my mind. It was a chocolate cake with raspberry filling, swirled with chocolate mousse and dipped in a dark chocolate truffle. I loved that this cupcake was dipped. It definitely gave it a unique quality that I will remember.

The other flavors I tried were Red Velvet, Caramel Apple, Vanilla Chocolate, and Lemon Filled. Everyone had their favorites. My brother loved the Red Velvet, my sister enjoyed the Caramel Apple, and my husband devoured the Lemon Filled. You can read about these flavors and the other available flavors on The Cake Cottage's website.

Cupcakes weren't the only sweets in my care package from The Cake Cottage. I also got to sample their petit fours and see more of Susan's beautiful decorating skills. I'm pretty sure this was my first time eating a petit four. I wasn't even sure what it was. The trusty Wikipedia informed me that they are tiny cakes covered in fondant or glace icing. I found them quite enjoyable. I especially loved the size, perfect for an after-dinner treat.

It was unbelievable how much detail went into the decorations of this Easter bunny cupcake. And if you look closely, you'll notice that the cupcake is not contained in a wrapper, but an edible chocolate cup! I couldn't watch as my husband dismantled this cupcake for tasting.

My Overall Opinion: Yes, these cupcakes are great! I would definitely recommend these cupcakes: the cake is moist, the frosting is proportional and perfectly sweet, and the quality is an "A". The prices range from $3.00 (for most cupcakes) to $4.95. Considering the jumbo size of the cupcakes, the prices match. Also, if you're interested in cake decorating classes, Susan is the person to go to.

The Cake Cottage
39429 Los Alamos Rd, Suite D
Murrieta, CA 92563
Become a fan on Facebook: thecakecottage

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Oreo Cupcakes Revisited

This is certainly not the first time I've posted a recipe for Oreo cupcakes (see below),

Oreo Cupcake Genius
Cookies-N-Creme Cupcakes
Cookies and Cream Cheesecakes

and it will most likely not be the last. There must be something about Oreos in cupcakes that people love because Beantown Baker's most requested cupcake is this Oreo Cupcake. I think the reason this recipe is so appealing to me is because of the whole Oreo on the bottom of the cupcake. It's like the cupcake has it's own crust. Yum! You can find the recipe here.

Monday, April 26, 2010

I Cupcake LA t-shirts

Love this t-shirt from Dots Cupcakes!

I really need to get to their store soon, as I've already found out that I love their cupcakes.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Giveaway Winner Announced!

Thanks to all of who entered the giveaway for the Strawberry Cupcake Necklace. I'm excited to announce the winner is: Bryann! Congrats, please email me so I can get your necklace sent to you. And of course a big thank you to Alessandra Zincolas for providing the prize from her etsy store, Zincolas.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Guest Review: Sweet Tooth Fairy

Utah is exploding with cupcakes!! Don't believe me?...Just ask Becky from Utah Loves Cupcakes. If I had to live in Utah just eating cupcakes, I would be one happy girl.

Unfortunately (or fortunately for all of you Utes), one of the best cupcake shops exists in Utah. I reviewed Sweet Tooth Fairy when I visited Utah last winter. Only two words need to be said about it: AMAZING CUPCAKES!

Last month I reported on Sweet Tooth Fairy's expansion. Since I haven't been able to attend the new shop, I got the next best thing: a guest review! My good friend Kristin is a writer for the South Valley Journal. She was more than happy to do some research for me. Here's her review for Sweet Tooth Fairy's new location in Draper, Utah:

The Sweet Tooth Fairy Bakeshop just opened in Draper, Utah and as a lover of all things sweet, I was delighted to be asked by Elise to review its newest location.

As soon as you enter, the decor screams out to sweet lovers that they have found a new home. Written right on the wall is a message that reads... "Our bakeshop is a HAVEN for people who share a common belief in the MAGIC OF SWEETS."

Brittany, the manager of the Draper store, provided me with an array of different cupcakes and delicious baked goods to sample. It was a tough job, but someone had to do it! We sample a variety of cupcakes and some Cake Bites (which received national acclaim on the Rachael Ray show).

My Cupcake Appraisal

Cutting right to the cake, the standouts here are their fruity cupcakes. Lots of bakeries can do chocolate and peanut butter, but can't always master fruit-themed cupcakes. In most cases I found I loved the fruit flavors over all others with only one HUGE exception. If you find yourself here, go right for the fruit flavors, you won't be disappointed.

Here is my breakdown on the treats, in order of my interest in them:

Dulce de Leche
: Even though I said fruity flavors stand supreme at The Sweet Tooth Fairy, the exception is the Dulve de Leche, it's hands down my number one selection. This scrumptious cupcake consisted of a tender crusty outer layer which seals in the chewy, milky, caramel goodness. This is the sweetest moistest cake you'll ever eat.

Strawberry Shortcake
: The cake is so moist you can almost ring it out. The frosting tastes like a strawberry milkshake and is generously portioned, but leaves you wanting more. It's topped with a fresh chocolate dipped strawberry.

Strawberry Cheesecake
: It was almost like eating a piece of cheesecake out of a cupcake paper. The flavor was perfect, as was the texture which was moist and dense. The crumbled grahams on top really tied it all together.

Raspberry Lemonade
: Downright chewy cake, but not like a brownie...much, much lighter. You can absolutely taste the REAL raspberries inside the bright pink cake. The iridescent sugar sprinkles atop the lemonade-flavored frosting make the whole cupcake glisten.

: Similar to the Strawberry Shortcake, but with orange cake and orange frosting. It was very moist and chewy. Another fruity stand-out for sure!

Chocolate Cheesecake
: A marble cake, I enjoyed feeling the difference in texture between the two flavors of cake. The frosting is where the cheesecake flavor jumps out at you. The chocolate fudge drizzle on top ties it all together like a little tiny present.

: Best chocolate cupcake I've ever eaten by a mile! It's tastes strikingly similar to a Girl Scout Thin Mint cookie.

Vanilla Milk Chocolate
: Best basic cupcake, hands down. If you have a child with you...this is the one for them. No whistles or bells, just a very, very good vanilla cake with chocolate frosting topped with chocolate chips.

Double Fudge
: If chocolate reigns superior in your world, this is your cake. It was a lot of chocolate for me, but chocolate lovers won't mind that at all.

Red Velvet
: This just tastes fancy. Very super-duper moist cake...does it have a hint of cherry in it? Or is that almond extract? The frosting was a surprise, not cream cheese frosting like you might expect with red velvet.

German Chocolate
: Cake so wet, yet it still holds together perfectly. The cake has a hint of coconut in a very mild chocolate flavor. I almost didn't even taste chocolate in the light brown cake. The frosting was excellent especially the dash of coconut pecan frosting on top.

Toasted Coconut
: I am a huge coconut person. I was so excited to try this cake. I thought it tasted more almondy than coconutty (to be fair, I just got back from a trip to Maui and my idea of coconut is really pina-colada which this was not). I am told that this is one of the flavors people love and rave about.

Vanilla Squared
: This was not what I was expecting in a vanilla cupcake. I tasted lots of almond extract flavor. It was a little too sweet for me, but I know some people love that. This also is one of the flavors that made them famous, so perhaps I just didn't get it.

Another Sweet Tooth Fairy original is their Cake Bites. I sampled each of the flavors and rate them in this order:

1. Coconut

2. Chocolate Mint

3. Peanut Butter

4. Double Fudge

5. Lemon

6. Strawberry

I thought it odd that I enjoyed the Cake Bites in almost opposite order of how I enjoyed the cupcakes. I must say that the Coconut Cake Bite was out of this world! But at a dollar a piece, they better be...ouch!

Sweet Afterthoughts About the Experience

I appreciate their cupcakes are regular-sized, like the ones you bake at home, rather than the oversized cupcakes sold at other bakeries which give you too large a portion, leaving you guilt-ridden if you eat the whole thing. ONE cupcake is the perfect portion size, you don't need two to be satisfied, although it is fun to sample more than one flavor. I recommend going with a friend, as I did, and sharing different flavors.

I don't have any nutrition information, and maybe it's best that I don't. Here is what I can tell you about the nutrition...I am a member of Weight Watchers. Every time I have eaten two cupcakes in the same week, I have not liked the number I see at my week weigh-in.

Thank you Kristin for your in-depth review. Now I'm drooling all over my desk. I remember loving that Dulce de Leche cupcake too. One of my favorite cupcakes of all time! Maybe, if I'm lucky enough, Sweet Tooth Fairy will expand all the way to Orange County. A girl can wish, can't she?

Don't forget: today is the last day to enter the giveaway for the Strawberry Cupcake Necklace.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Whoopie Pie Cupcakes

One of the most popular desserts I make is for Red Velvet Cookies, which are essentially red velvet whoopie pies. It's a perfect vehicle for getting frosting and cookies in my mouth at the same time.

Let's go one step further and make a Whoopie Pie Cupcake. That's what Jessie Oleson from Cakespy did. Essentially you make cupcake batter, but bake as cookies (on a baking sheet) and cupcakes (with liners in a cupcake pan). Add frosting to the cupcakes and top with the "cookies." The best part is that you can make any flavor. Happy baking!

Find the full recipe on Serious Eats.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Kellogg's Version of Cupcakes

Kellogg's Rice Krispie treats are one of my favorite desserts. I don't know anyone who doesn't love them. And there are so many different version of Rice Krispie treats, like the Avalanche Bark I featured on here a few weeks ago.

Photo: Kellogg's

Came across this recipe for Crunch-A-Bunch Cupcakes (via CTTC). Basically the recipe makes Rice Krispie treats, which you scoop into cupcake liners. (I would place the liners in a cupcake pan so that the treats can harden in the correct shape.) Last, you decorate the tops of the treats with frosting and sprinkles.

The Crunch-A-Bunch Cupcakes look like cupcakes, but they taste like Rice Krispie treats topped with frosting. Yummy! The best thing about this recipe is that you can improvise with whatever ingredient would would like: peanut butter, chocolate chips, white chocolate....

P.S. Don't forget to enter my giveaway for the Strawberry Cupcake Necklace. Giveaway ends on Friday at midnight.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Giveaway: Strawberry Cupcake Necklace

I survived! Tax season was crazy (as usual), but thank goodness it's over! I recovered by spending a relaxing weekend with my husband in Santa Barbara, where I was able to find some yummy cupcakes (look for the review coming soon)!

To celebrate the end of tax season, I've decided to host a giveaway! I recently came across an etsy store callled Zinicolas, which sells cupcake, cake slice, candy, pastry, and pie necklaces. The owner, Alessandra Zinicola handcrafts each piece of jewelry, so no two pieces are alike. Of course I was attracted to this jewelry because of the adorable cupcake necklaces.

Alessandra has graciously offered to donate a strawberry cupcake necklace as a giveaway on my blog! The item is a vanilla cupcake pendant with pink frosting and strawberry fruit topping. It is strung on a 0.9mm silver-plated 18" long chain.

How can you enter to win this strawberry cupcake necklace? It's easy!

To Enter: Go to the Zinicolas etsy store. Check out the other pieces of jewelry she sells and leave a comment on my blog telling me what your favorite item is. That's it! (Oh, and an extra entry for tweeting about the giveaway!)

Rules: One entry per day per person. The giveaway ends on Friday, April 23 11:59pm PST. Open to US residents only. Good luck!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My Race Reward

A few weeks ago I raced in my second Half-Ironman race (California Ironman 70.3). Although it was one of the hardest races I've ever completed, I had a great day. I improved my time from last year and recovered sooner. Of course, after the race all I could think about was getting over to Elizabethan Desserts to claim my prize--a Monkey Business cupcake!

We got there just before closing time and thankfully I was lucky enough to get the last Monkey Business cupcake. Phew! I also picked up a few cupcakes to share with my family.
Cupcake count: Red Velvet (2), Monkey Business (1), Chocolate Raspberry (1), Elvis (2). I also picked up a sugar cookie and wished I didn't have to share with my husband. It was awesome! The frosting was so buttery sweet. I am definitely getting one of those again next time.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Book Baby Shower

The countdown is coming to an end. Less than two weeks to go for my friend Jill's baby! I'm so excited!!

Last week Jill's sister-in-laws threw Jill her final baby shower (if you remember, I threw a baby shower for her a few weeks ago also). I was so amazed by how much detail they put into the whole shower. I was even more surprised when I walked in and saw the backyard filled with cupcakes. Cupcakes everywhere!

The theme of the baby shower was books. Each table had a book with cupcakes to match. Such a cute idea!

Oh, The Places You'll Go!
(crazy-design cupcakes to match Dr. Seuss' crazy books)
The Adventures of Harold and the Purple Crayon
(notice the matching purple swirls on the cupcakes)
Where the Wild Things Are
(the cupcakes to match were eaten too quickly, but they were german chocolate with shredded coconut on top--to look like furry monsters)
In addition to the book-matching cupcakes, the host also hand-stitched mini book as toppers on the other cupcakes.

I'm secretly hoping someone will do the exact same thing for me when I get pregnant someday. I'll keep you posted on Jill's baby status.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Review: McDonald's Cupcakes from Germany

One week ago I blogged about the new cupcakes at McDonald's in Germany. I never expected to write a review on them since I (unfortunately) don't plan on visiting Germany any time soon (although I would LOVE to go there!...It's definitely next on my list for Europe). I guess I should learn to expect the unexpected. Tanja, a fellow cupcake lover and reader from Germany, emailed her a full review with pictures of the new cupcakes from McDonald's. See what she had to say about them:

So when you posted that Mc Cafe in Germany was going to sell cupcakes I was very excited and had to try them directly! And of course I had to write a review for you. So here are my opinions.

When I read that Mc Cafe was going to sell cupcakes I had to try them immediately. Especially since cupcakes are nothing that you get here in Germany easily.

So my sweet Boyfriend bought them for me at midnight cause I couldn´t wait till the next day.

BUT unfortunately they aren´t very delicious. The dough of all flavors is very fluffy, but in the same way without any taste. The cappuccino frosting had a little taste of coffee. but when I say little i mean little. The vanilla one didn´t even taste like vanilla. The chocolate one´s say ok. And then there was the strawberry one. Since I couldn´t eat all 4 on one evening, i left two of them for the other night. So when I got up next morning and opened the fridge it smelled like some really old garbage and surprise it was the strawberry cupcakes fault! But the funny point is, that this was the only cupcake that was really good. And the dough was filled with little strawberry pieces. Yummy.

But I really have to say if you have a good cupcake recipe and oven, then please for the love of god, bake your own cupcakes.

I will not buy any cupcakes from Mc Cafe again!

And with 6 Euros (8 Dollars) I think its very expensive.

Oh and I forgot to mention that the size is pretty small.

I would say: Mc Donalds, nice try, but please keep on improving.

Thank you Tanja! Great review (even though the cupcakes weren't great)! I would definitely agree that good cupcakes are hard to find in Europe. Hopefully that will change in the future.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My 5 Favorite Easter Treats

I know Easter has already passed, but that doesn't mean I can't share my favorite Easter sweets with you. My childhood memories of Easter mainly consist of candy, candy, and more candy. And if you know anything about my family, you know that we LOVE candy. Here are my five favorite Easter treats:

(better proportion of peanut butter to chocolate than original peanut butter cup)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

SusieCakes Offers Cupcake Decorating Classes

During the month of April, SusieCakes is offering cupcake decorating classes at three of their locations. The class is $75 and you get to take home the dozen cupcakes that you design. Call the bakeries directly to book your spot.

Brentwood - April 10
Newport Beach - April 17
Calabasas - April 24

Monday, April 5, 2010

Cupcakes at German McDonald's

I'm not surprised to see cupcakes pop up at McDonald's, especially since the introduction of McCafe. As far as how they taste?....I won't find out any time soon, unless I plan on flying to Germany to test them out (which I would gladly do, if someone else footed the bill). These cupcakes are only available at McDonald's in Germany.

Thanks to seriouseats (NY edition), I've learned that these special cupcakes were inspired by New York. Is it because the cupcake trend started in New York? Who knows.

"Central Park" - strawberry
"Chelsea" - chocolate/chocolate
"Soho" - vanilla
"East Village" - cappuccino

While it is nice to see more cupcakes popping up, I have yet to like a cupcake from a fast food restaurant.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Babycakes from The Perfect Circle

Yesterday I introduced Avalanche Bark, a yummy treat that I served at my friend Jill's baby shower. But what would a baby shower be without cupcakes?!

Being in the middle of tax season, I just didn't have the time to make the perfect cupcakes for Jill. Instead, I went for the second best option: babycakes from The Perfect Circle!

I ordered two dozen chocolate coconut babycakes (mini cupcakes). They were the hit of the baby shower and disappeared quickly! Everyone kept asking if I made them, unfortunately I had to tell them the truth.

Babycakes are available from The Perfect Circle for $15/dozen. Order ahead of time because they mostly sell regular-sized cupcakes in their shop.


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