Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sugar Rush: a cupcake extravaganza!

This definitely is the year of cupcake events and I love it! The next cupcake competition I will be attending (and judging) is Sugar Rush: a cupcake extravaganza!

Sugar Rush
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Piecemaker's Parking Lot
1720 Adams Ave.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

It will be an afternoon full of cupcakes, a cupcake competition, food, activities for kids and adults, music, shopping, and lots and lots of sugar! All proceeds from the event will benefit the Orangewood Children's Foundation.

If you're interested in being a vendor or would like to compete in the cupcake competition, you can contact:

Shastin: 714-641-3112


I will post more information as the event gets closer!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Review: Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery

This year I've done quite a few reviews of cupcakeries that I've never been to. All thanks to my wonderful husband. I guess it's a good consolation prize for him traveling so much this year.

I was super excited when I found out he was going to New York. New York is cupcake heaven! But I didn't know where to send him. So before he left on his trip I asked my readers for suggestions. Thank you so much for those! He was able to get cupcakes from two places, both suggestions from your comments. The first stop: Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery.

Sugar Sweet Sunshine was around long before the cupcake craze started. They opened their doors in New York City in 2003. My husband brought me three cupcakes from their shop. I knew by looking at them that I was going to LOVE them. YESSSS!!!

Sunshine Cupcake: yellow cake with vanilla buttercream
Normally I would have thought that this cupcake was too boring, but not today. The surprising part was the cake flavor. I want to say it had cranberries in it. The website doesn't list this, so I'm not sure if this is how this cupcake normally is or if this was a special flavor. The frosting was my favorite part: sweet, thick buttercream frosting. My absolute favorite kind!

Strawberry?: vanilla cake with strawberry buttercream
They don't list a starwberry flavor on their menu, but this cupcake definitely had strawberry frosting. The cake was vanilla, with a hint of strawberry in it too. The buttercream frosting was delicious.

Pumpkin: pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing
This was my favorite cupcake of the day! The pumpkin cake was a very moist spice cake with a taste similar to carrot cake. I wouldn't call the frosting icing, but I would call it a perfect cream cheese frosting. Yum!

Summary: I absolutely loved these cupcakes! They were similar to cupcakes you would find at SusieCakes, one of my favorite all-time cupcake shops. These cupcakes were very simple, but delicious. They had a good frosting to cake ratio. The cake was moist and the frosting was perfect. After I've proclaimed my love for them, would you believe that these cupcakes are only $1.50 each?! A bargain! I will definitely be visiting Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery when I make it to New York City.

Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery
126 Rivington St.
New York City, NY 10002

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving in Cupcakes

Photo: LA Weekly

Who votes for cupcakes only for Thanksgiving? ME! ME!

Yummy Cupcakes is offering special Thanksgiving Day flavors this week. So instead of eating your regular Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, how about some Turkey Gravy & Cranberry cupcakes, Marshmallow Yam cupcakes, Lime Jellos cupcakes, and Pumpkin Pie cupcakes. Now that's a great Thanksgiving dinner spread!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What are you baking for Thanksgiving?

Of course I'm in charge of desserts for Thanksgiving...I'm practically the only one in my husband's family that likes desserts. I know, they're weird.

Since I'm going to be the only one going light on dinner so I have more room for dessert, I'm making my favorite desserts. This includes Pioneer Woman's Caramel Pumpkin Gingersnap Cheesecake. It's wonderful, it's heavenly, it's the perfect Thanksgiving dessert, and it's way better than just plain old pumpkin pie.

What are you baking for Thanksgiving dessert? I am still looking for one more addition to my collection.

Monday, November 22, 2010

More Thanksgiving Turkey Cupcakes

I mentioned on Friday that I am out of town to spectate my husband's Ironman race. Wow, what a day! I had no idea that spectating would be so tiring! I am so proud of my husband. He is an Ironman!

We are taking an extra day off to travel home without a rush so today's post will be a little short. I absolutely LOVE these turkey cupcakes from Our Best Bites. Very simple to make. All you need is: chocolate cupcakes, chocolate frosting, brown sprinkles, candy corn, large white sprinkles (or almond bark), and black food coloring gel (or melted chocolate). Check out the tutorial on Our Best Bites.

Friday, November 19, 2010

My Future Ironman!

Sunday is the big day! What big day, you may ask?...The day my husband becomes an Ironman! That means he will swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and run 26.2 miles and I will be there cheering him on!

Triathlon and cupcakes are the balance in my life. I'm not going to deny it, I train and race to eat sweets. Triathlon is a sport that my husband and I share. Although we usually race together, I've opted out of this race. I'm going to be his support crew.

His Ironman journey began a year ago when he signed up for the race (yes, you have to sign up a year in advance!). Over the past 12 months I was watched him train and become an amazing athlete. He is truly an inspiration to me!

I am so excited to be able to cheer him on. This weekend will be a whirlwind of events, but I'm hoping to find a cupcake shop or two to check out while we're in the Phoenix area (a little birthday treat since today is my birthday!). If you have any suggestions, leave a comment here. And don't forget to pass along some good vibes to my husband for Sunday!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Review: Molly's Cupcakes

My husband has been to Chicago twice and I still have not been yet!! Chicago is a great city to find cupcakes in, so of course I asked him to find some cupcakes for me on his latest business trip. And being the awesome husband that he is, I got a whole box of cupcakes to try.

I have a list of cupcake shops I would stop by if/when I travel to Chicago. Swirlz Cupcakes is on my list, as my husband brought me cupcakes from their shop last year. But now I have a new one to add -- Molly's Cupcakes.

The staff of Molly's Cupcake did a great job of picking out a variety of flavors for me to try. The hard part is figuring out where to start.

First up, Peanut Butter Nutella: peanut butter cake, Nutella filling, buttercream Nutella frosting.

The thing that scared me the most about these cupcakes were the sprinkles. Those sprinkles are the ones that I remember from childhood, topping cupcakes and cakes from the grocery store (yuck!). Fortunately, I was able to push back those memories and focus on the task at hand. The peanut butter cake was delicious, like eating a moist peanut butter cookie. The nutella filling was a nice little accent to the cupcakes. But the frosting was my least favorite part. It was a whipped buttercream, not my type.

Next, Classic Vanilla: self-explanatory.

I've never been a big fan of a plain vanilla/vanilla cupcake. It's like the cupcake hasn't lived up to it's potential yet. But this vanilla cupcake was very decadent. The buttery flavor of the heavy buttercream frosting was amazing. If I had to eat another vanilla cupcake, this would be the one I would eat.

Not sure who Ron Bennington is, but the next cupcake is named after him: chocolate cake, peanut butter filling, chocolate ganache, crushed butterscotch topping.

I LOVED the frosting on this cupcake. Sometimes a fudgy frosting just hits the spot. And I like how this cupcake technically had two frostings -- fudgy chocolate and chocolate ganache. The butterscotch topping (which I suspect is crushed Butterfingers), brings out a nice salty flavor to the cupcake. The combination of the chocolate, peanut butter, ganache, and butterscotch made this cupcake a winner. Yum!

Last, but definitely my favorite, Cookee Monster: vanilla chocolate chip cake, raw cookie dough center, buttercream, mini chocolate chip cookie.

My husband carefully watched me as I took my first bite of this cupcake. It was like he was waiting to see how much I would love this cupcake. But before I tasted it, I was a bit skeptical. Let me explain. Before I took my initial bite, I took a quick swipe of the frosting to confirm what I feared: whipped buttercream frosting, my least favorite frosting of all time. So of course I was expecting not to like this cupcake. It's funny how my opinion changed so quickly.

I cut into the cupcake and used my fork to get the perfect bite of all of the ingredients of the cupcake. I made sure there was enough cake, frosting, and filling. Then I tasted it.....delicious! Even though the frosting wasn't what I'd normally like, it was perfect for this cupcake. If the frosting would have been any heavier, it would have overpowered the rest of the cupcake. This was the first time I've eaten a cupcake with cookie dough in the center and I now know that it needs a light frosting to balance it out.

Summary: My husband told me that the staff was friendly, the store was nice, and the selection of cupcakes was plentiful. The cupcakes survived an airplane trip from Chicago to Orange County, so the packaging did it's job. The cake was moist on all cupcakes and most of the frostings were delicious. The flavors had good combinations of ingredients (check out their menu for other flavors). And the price for most of the cupcakes is $3.75. Not bad, but certainly not cheap. My recommendation: go to Molly's Cupcakes! I can't wait to visit their shop one day myself.

Molly's Cupcakes
2536 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60614




Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Drive Out Hunger Celebrity OC DinDin-A-GoGo is Tonight!

Tonight is the night! Be a part of Orange County's first mobile canned food drive to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank.

20 celebrities

19 gourmet food trucks

Silent Auction

Admission is free. Parking is free. Get into the celebrity autograph area by bringing 10 canned foods or other non-perishable food items.

Get all the details here. See you tonight.

Turkey Cupcakes

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Do you know what you're baking yet?

How about these Turkey Cupcakes from What's New Cupcake? Came across this Turkey Cupcake from Saucy's Sprinkles via Party Cupcake Ideas. Super cute, but I just don't have the time to decorate something as detailed as this. But that's just me, I'm impatient.

Don't forgot: Tonight is the celebrity edition of Drive Out Hunger's OC DinDin-A-GoGo. Come join the 20 celebrities, 19 food trucks, and top food bloggers as we help raise money and bring in donations for Second Harvest Food Bank. Admission is free, parking is free, 10 cans or other non-perishable food items will get you into the celebrity autograph area. If you don't live in the area, you can still help out by giving virtual donations here. See you tonight!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What to do with leftover Halloween Candy

Let me guess...you still have leftover Halloween candy. Growing up, I ate my candy consistently and it lasted for several months! If you're like me, you might have some Reese's Peanut Butter Cups left. If so, you've got to try this recipe from Just JENN.

Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Cupcakes

Brownies in cupcake form with Reese's Peanut Butter cups in the middle. Enough said. Here's the recipe.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Cupcake Events This Weekend

Of course there are multiple cupcake events happening on the weekend I will be out of town. --sigh-- But that's ok because I will be cheering on my husband at the hardest race of his life (more details to come in a few days).

Mark your calendars for Saturday, November 20. This is the day you can eat lots and lots of cupcakes. First event: Cupcake Camp LA

Cupcake Camps are popping up everywhere! The OC version took place in August and I recently attended the one in the Inland Empire. So it only makes sense that there would be a Cupcake Camp in LA soon. Well, it's this Saturday at The Music Room in Hollywood from 12p-5p. Tickets are $15 each, which entitles you to 5 tastings (cupcakes). Proceeds will benefit Angel Acres Horse Haven Rescue, InvisiblePeople.tv, and American Tortoise Rescue. You can buy tickets here.

After you check out the cupcakes at Cupcake Camp LA, you can cruise down to Fountain Valley to attend Eat.Drink.Pink!, a dessert competition that highlights local caterers, bakeries, and restaurants. This charity event will be completely PINK to bring more awareness to Breast Cancer Research. For $10, you can receive full tasting and voting privileges to help determine the best PINK-themed treat. The event takes place at Access Group Media in Fountain Valley from 6p-10p. You can buy tickets here.

Have a fun weekend and eat lots of cupcakes!

An Early Birthday Present

Although I would like to forget that I'm almost one year closer to being 30 (ahhhh!), my birthday is approaching. Since I will be out of town on the actual day, my family threw me a birthday party last night. My mom gave me a lot of cupcake-themed items, perfectly appropriate for The Cupcake Activist, including this adorable apron that she made! I love it and can't wait to wear it soon. Thanks Mom!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cupcake Camp IE: The Cupcakes!

Cupcake Camp Inland Empire was a success! Not just because there were so many delicious cupcakes to taste, but because they were able to raise $8,400 for the Susan G. Komen Inland Empire Affiliate in just three hours! You can read more details on Cupcake Camp IE's website. Great job everyone!

Now you've read about the event, met the judges, and saw the winners. Let's get to the most important part: the cupcakes!

There were so many delicious-looking cupcakes at Cupcake Camp IE. I had to hold myself back from eating cupcakes before the judging started (I didn't want to be too full!). I've included a photo from each booth that was present at the event. Enjoy the photos and wipe that drool off your desk!

I had a great time at Cupcake Camp IE and plan on attending again next year! Hope to see you all there!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cupcake Camp IE: The Winners

I gave an event summary and you met the judges, but I'm sure you're more excited to see the winners of the cupcake competition!

Professional Competition

Best Pink Ribbon/Breast Cancer Themed Cupcake
Ah How Sweet/Loriann Serna: Save Second Base

Most Unique Ingredient
Truly Madly Sweetly/Cathryn Howard: Creamy Dreamsicle

Tastiest Cupcake of Cupcake Camp Inland Empire
The Cake Mamas/Janelle Copeland & Fabiola Gomez: Autumn Apple

Amateur Competition

Best Pink Ribbon/Breast Cancer Themed Cupcake
Desiree Massei: Pink Velvet Cupcakes

Most Unique Ingredient

Sue Ann Molina: Ube and Macapuno Cupcake

Tastiest Cupcake of Cupcake Camp Inland Empire

Stephanie Starbuck: Chocolate Cupcake w/Chambord Buttercream

Cupcake Activist's Pick for Best Cupcakes
Truly Madly Sweetly

My thoughts: I was very surprised at how many delicious cupcakes were entered in the competition. There always seems to be one or two yucky ones that sneak in, but this time I had a hard time not eating the whole cupcake! Congrats Inland Empire!

Before the competition started, I had a chance to walk around the room and view all of the booths. One booth really stuck out in my mind, not because of the display or fancy decorations, but because I somehow knew these cupcakes were going to be good. The cupcake shop is called Truly Madly Sweetly. Before I went home I was able to sample five different flavors of their cupcakes and I fell in love! The biggest winner of the event (to me) was Truly Madly Sweetly. Although their store is in Murrieta, I want to visit it soon so I can share their cupcake goodness with others!

My pick for first runner-up was
The Cake Mamas. Their Autmun Apple cupcake was awesome, especially the brown sugar frosting. They recently opened a shop in Glendora. I hope to visit their shop soon too.


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