Thursday, June 30, 2011

Time for the Red, White, and Blue

One of my favorite holidays of the year is the 4th of July. I love feeling patriotic. I love fireworks. I love swimming. I love barbecuing. I love red, white, and blue desserts. Every year I see some creative 4th of July cupcakes. Remember cupcake kabobs two years ago? Awesome. This year I found a few more to add to my 4th of July dessert list.

Red, White & Blue Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes from Love From the Oven

Red and Blue Velvet Cake Pops from Taste and Tell

Red, White, & Blue Fruit Pizza from Our Best Bites
(ok, not cupcakes, but still yummy)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Review: Baked by Melissa

I got quite a few recommendations to visit Baked By Melissa, so I made it a priority on my list during my time in New York. Baked By Melissa has four locations in New York City and I visited the Fashion District one.

Baked By Melissa is a unique cupcake shop, in that they only sell mini cupcakes. But these mini cupcakes were different than any I've seen before because they had a smaller base than normal. They reminded me of muffin tops.

Since these were mini cupcakes, I decided to get one of each! I actually love this because I got the chance to try all of them and didn't feel sick to my stomach.

Flavors (L-R, T-B): Cookies & Cream, Cinnamon, Mint Chocolate Chip, Rice Crispy Treat (flavor of the month), Tie-Dye, Red Velvet, Peanut Butter & Jelly, Peanut Butter Cup, Red Velvet (again), Chocolate Chip Pancake, S'mores, Cookie Dough.

Highlights: I loved the salty flavor that the maple syrup brought to the Chocolate Chip Pancake cupcake. The Cinnamon tasted just like a yummy cinnamon streusel cake. The frosting on the Red Velvet had a strong cream cheese flavor. The Peanut Butter Cup tasted just like a melted Reese's. My favorite was the Mint Chocolate Chip which tasted just like my mom's mint brownies. Yum!

Lowlights: There wasn't enough frosting on some of the cupcakes. The Rice Crispy Treat needed to have a fresher treat on top. As you can see, I really didn't have any negative things to say about Baked By Melissa's cupcakes.

I loved the cupcakes from Baked By Melissa! I love that they were small so I could eat all of them. I loved the different flavors. The cake was moist and the frostings were flavorful. The cupcakes start at $1 each, but go down as you order more. My 12 cupcakes cost $10. One of the best parts about New York cupcake shops is that they are open late. Baked By Melissa is open until 10pm on weekdays and 11pm on weekends. I would definitely recommend Baked By Melissa to anyone visiting New York City.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Savory "Cupcakes" to Appear on new LA Food Truck

I love food trucks, but I haven't yet experienced eating from a LA food truck. LA has some pretty awesome food trucks. I mean, a food truck devoted to grilled cheese sandwiches?! Yes please.

Catering company, Heirloom LA, now has their own food truck for roaming around the streets of LA. The reason I'm writing about them is because one of their food items is called Lasagna Cupcakes. Let me explain: they are "individual sized portions of lasagna that hold their shape after being heated up and can be eaten with your hands." They look and sound delicious!!

Meat Lasagna Cupcake Package ($42):
2 Wild Boar and Bolognese and Fresh Mozzarella
2 Short Rib and Robiola
2 Lamb Ragu and Fresh Mozzarella

Vegetarian Lasagna Cupcake Package ($42):
2 Roasted Vegetable Caponata and Ricotta
2 Sage, Brown Butter, and Pumpkin and Smoked Mozzarella
2 Smoked Mac-n-Cheese

You don't have to live in LA to taste these savory cupcakes. Lasagna cupcakes can shipped frozen on dry ice so you can keep them frozen for up to a month. I might just have to search out this food truck so I can try them myself.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Review: Billy's Bakery

My New York cupcake adventures continue! Next stop was Billy's Bakery. I met up with a friend of a friend who lives in New York City. We were both excited to try the cupcakes at Billy's!

Billy's Bakery reminded me of SusieCakes, one of my all-time favorite cupcake shops in California. The shop was filled with old-fashioned cupcakes, cakes, pies, and cookies. Again, I wanted to try one of everything, but my sweet tooth was only going to last so long in New York.

I chose Red Velvet and Vanilla with Chocolate Frosting. Kristy went with a Banana one. The frostings on both of my cupcakes were so creamy, just like SusieCakes. Both the cream cheese frosting and the chocolate frosting were delicious! The problem was with the cake: they were both a little dry. I wanted to love the whole cupcake, but I just couldn't. Kristy's cupcake, on the other hand, was "moist and satisfying." So maybe I just got unlucky with a few dry ones. The proportion of frosting to cake was great: not too much, not too little.

Although my cupcakes weren't perfect, I would still come back to Billy's Bakery to try out their other goodies. And of course I would get another cupcake to see if my original tastings were correct. Cupcakes are $3.00 each.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cupcake Wars: Bollywood Bake-Off

June 21st episode:

"East will meet West when four gifted cupcake makers compete for the chance to have their cupcakes at the center of the opening night party for the Indian Film Festival taking place in the heart of Hollywood."


A Cupcake Wonderland (Philadelphia, PA)

Cupcake (Minneapolis, MN)

Passions Pastries (Studio City, CA)

Icing Makes the Cake

Baking with Indian flavors has got to be a bit difficult, but I bet when done right the cupcakes would taste amazing. And how about the team that used all 12 ingredients...maybe a little too ambitious. What did you think of this episode?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Truffle-Stuffed Cupcakes from Cakespy

I love cupcakes, but I don't love them all equally. Stuffed cupcakes are my favorite kind. Cakespy posted a recipe on Serious Eats for chocolate cupcakes stuffed with Godiva Gem truffles. that's a chocolate splurge. You can find the recipe here.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Review: Cake and Shake

New York City! What a place! I love food, so it was heaven for a week. I knew I would be eating lots of cupcakes, so I had to pace myself. I made a little map and referred to it often as I traveled around the city.

On my first real tourist day, I spotted a cupcake stand setting up as I came out of The Met. Since I wasn't in a hurry, I watched them set up and was the first person in line when they were ready.

Cake & Shake sets up their cart in front of The Met daily. They have been at this location for about nine months. They feature 5 of 20 cupcakes daily, along with 3 of 8 shakes.

You know me...I always have a hard time deciding what to get. Although I wanted to try them all, I didn't want to be sick on my first day. I choose Whoozeewhatsit. This cupcake with a unique name had milk chocolate cake, caramel mousse, and nougat frosting.

I have lots of good things to say about this cupcake. The cake was moist and delicious. Because it was milk chocolate cake, it was sweeter than I expected. Caramel had seeped into the top of the cake making it oh-so-good! The proportion of cake to frosting was just right. This unique cupcake was easily my favorite of the whole trip.

Beside the location at The Met, Cake & Shake also has a location at Washington Square Park. If you are ever in New York, you must find Cake & Shake to taste a delicious cupcake and maybe a shake too. Their cupcakes are $3 each.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Rainbow Cupcakes from The Sweetest Kitchen

So I'm pregnant and I've had a handful of cravings so far: pickles, soup, salsa, mozzarella cheese, ginger salad dressing, and now gummy candy. So when I saw these Rainbow Cupcakes from The Sweetest Kitchen, I really, really wanted them! I already love cupcakes, but add the Airheads Extreme Gummy Belts on top and I'm sold.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Food Network's Cupcake Wars is Back

Last night was the season premiere of Season 3 of Cupcake Wars. The "Kentucky Derby" episode had four bakers competing to have their cupcakes featured at the red carpet event at the Kentucky Derby.

Goodie Girls (Los Angeles, CA) - I tasted their cupcakes at the LA Cupcake Challenge in February.

Brown's Bakery (Lexington, KY)

Sugar Kneads (Loganville, GA)

Just Cupcakes (Virginia Beach, VA)

Did you watch last night? What did you think?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

This Cupcake Family is Home

I made it to Magnolia!

What a week! I had an awesome time exploring New York City and tasting their cupcakes. And let me tell you that I saw cupcakes everywhere! I didn't want to come home, especially since I have a mound of paperwork waiting for me at my office. But life goes on.

Thank you for all of the congratulations! My husband and I are thrilled and enjoyed discussing possible baby names on our trip. We will soon find out the gender and then the serious discussions will begin.

I got to visit quite a few cupcake shops, as well as tasted some other yummy desserts. I can't wait to share my adventures with you shortly.

(By the way: please excuse my ugly shoes. After a whole week of walking all day, my feet needed some comfort.)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Cupcake In the Oven

I made it no New York!! Even though I've only been here less than a day, I LOVE it! I am going to be busy the next couple of days trying out LOTS of cupcakes.

My posts may be a little scarce while I'm here, but to keep you occupied, let me share a little secret I've been keeping for the past 15 weeks....

....a mini cupcake will soon be joining my husband and I. We are so excited and can't wait for the next 25 weeks to fly by.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Special Father's Day Cupcake Offered at Sugar Blossom Bake Shop

A year ago I announced the opening of another cupcakery in South Orange County. Sugar Blossom Bake Shop is located in downtown San Clemente, CA and sells cupcakes, along with cookies and cinnamon rolls (Sunday only).

In honor of the upcoming Father's Day, Sugar Blossom is offering a Chocolate Guinness Stout Cupcake from June 10-19. This cupcake is an ultra-moist, stout-infused chocolate cupcake topped with torched Guinness meringue. Sounds like a cupcake any dad would love! The cupcake will be selling for $3.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Can't Wait to Eat My Way Through NYC

Seriously, you guys are awesome! Thank you so much for the suggestions. I am so super excited to be going to New York in 3 days!! Sorry for the lack of cupcake posts this past week, but I've been busy planning, packing, and shopping. I've been so busy that I haven't even looked up the weather yet. But I promise that my lack of cupcake posts will be made up for with the large amount of cupcake detective work I'll be doing in New York City.

Surprisingly, even though I've never been to New York, I've tried cupcakes from five New York cupcakeries. My question is: do I try them again? A few were awesome, but some were not so great. Do I give them a second chance? Do I just stick to cupcakeries I've never been to?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

New York City -- Here I Come!

You guessed it. I'm going to New York City! Can you believe this is my first time visiting NYC? I know, crazy.

So I need your help. I will be in NYC for six days and of course there are a ton of things I want to do and see. Help me organize my chaos! Where are the best places to eat? What touristy places must I visit? And most importantly....WHAT CUPCAKE SHOPS DO I NEED TO VISIT?! Suggestions please. Go.


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