Monday, April 29, 2013

Cupcake Quotes

I admit it: I'm an emotional eater. Maybe that's why I can totally relate to these cupcake quotes. Thanks Mom!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sprinkles Secret Menu

I love secret menus! Some of my favorite foods are only found on secret menus: Animal-Style French Fries (In-N-Out), Red Gummy Bear Smoothie (Jamba Juice), and Zebra Hot Chocolate (Starbucks).

Did you know Sprinkles Cupcakes has a secret menu? It just launched yesterday and has just one cupcake on it....for now. I snapped some photos of their Facebook post announcing it because, true to their word, the post disappeared 48 hours later.

The first flavor to debut on the Sprinkles secret menu is Neapolitan. It doesn't have a description, but it looks like a vanilla cupcake with strawberry frosting and dipped in chocolate ganache. I want this! Neapolitan is available starting today, but you have to ask for it by name, as it won't be on the menu. Can't wait to try it and see what's next on the secret menu!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Cupcake Measuring Spoons

My friend gifted me with these adorable cupcake measuring spoons and I love them! I wasn't sure where she got them, but after a little research I found them on Amazon. I've already used them to bake, but not cupcakes yet. Guess I need to get baking!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Cupcakes from Taste and Tell

I've always been scared to make an ice cream cake. Why? Because you have to work with an ingredient that is a bit temperamental: ice cream. 

But Taste and Tell makes it look so easy with these Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Cupcakes. The basic gist is this: use a chocolate cupcake recipe and only fill the wrappers 1/3 of the way. Once the cupcakes have cooled, add a scoop of ice cream, and top with whipped cream. And eat immediately! Thanks Taste and Tell!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Will We Ever Solve the Cupcake Shipping Problem?

I was contacted by Angela of  Making That Cake last month to try out her cupcakes. Angela has had her cupcake business for 6 years and is a winner of Food Network's Sweet Genius. She is located in New York and I'm 3,000 miles away in California. Not a problem, right?

She offered to ship some St. Patrick's Day cupcakes to me. I couldn't have been more excited! And this was a first for me: I've never received cupcakes through the mail before.

The cupcakes arrived!!

But what I feared most was a reality: the cupcakes didn't survive. Well, they did make it but it wasn't pretty. I felt so bad because I knew I couldn't review the cupcakes when they weren't in their perfect state. BUT just because the cupcakes didn't look pretty doesn't mean I didn't eat them.

Yes, I ate the cupcakes and they were delicious! These chocolate cupcakes had a mint buttercream and a Bailey's filling. They were perfect for St. Patrick's Day. 

So here's a side-by-side comparison of how the cupcakes looked before they shipped and how they looked after. Not even recognizable. 

The cupcakes didn't survive the mail, but it didn't surprise me. Bakers all over have been trying to figure out the best way to ship cupcakes without having them fall apart during the shipment. The solutions I've seen are: shipping cupcakes in a jar, Cakes-Away postable cupcake boxes, and Cupcake Express. Will this problem ever be solved?

On a side note, the next time I visit New York, I will definitely be trying more cupcakes from Making That Cake. I want a second shot to taste these cupcakes fresh and perfect as they should be. Thanks Angela!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Casey's Cupcakes Opens New Location

Casey's Cupcakes is expanding! On April 6th the Irvine Spectrum became home to their 5th location, their 4th in Orange County. They had a special red carpet event to celebrate the opening, with ribbon-cutting, live DJ, giveaways, and autographs with Casey.

This is not the first cupcake shop to open at the Irvine Spectrum. Sweet Lorraine's came and went in 2008 and was awful. Not surprised to see them close. SweetSpot Baker's Workshop quickly followed and stayed for a few years, but eventually closed too. 

BUT I think Casey's Cupcakes will do well in spite of the previous closings. Casey's has a great following and their cupcakes are pretty good too. I haven't done an official review yet, but from the few I've tasted, they were worth going back for. Good luck to them!

Casey's Cupcakes is located at 59 Fortune Drive, Suite 330, Irvine, CA 92618. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Not just because I'm a runner, but because I'm an American and a human being.

Income Tax Cupcakes from Cupcake Project

In my non-cupcake life I am a tax accountant. Super exciting, right? So you can imagine how excited I am that today is April 15th! Well, actually I'll be more excited tomorrow. Anyways, I couldn't pass up sharing this recipe from Cupcake Project for Income Tax Cupcakes

I learned that Income Tax Cupcakes are derived from the income tax cocktail, which has gin, vermouth, Angostura bitters, and orange juice. Cupcake Project says these cupcakes don't have a strong taste of alcohol, which is good for a person like me who doesn't drink.

Enjoy your day. I know I certainly will!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Sprinkles Introduces New Flavor and Brings Back a Favorite

Sprinkles Cupcakes, "the world's first cupcake bakery," has introduced a new flavor. Introducing: Cuban Coffee. This cupcake is made with Belgian light chocolate cake topped with dark roast coffee frosting and hints of cinnamon and cocoa. I'd love to try to, but I don't think it will be my favorite.

For the month of April, Sprinkles has brought back the popular S'more cupcake. This Belgian dark chocolate cake is lined with graham crackers, filled with bittersweet chocolate ganache, and topped with toasted marshmallow frosting. Yum! I gotta swing by before these are gone again (available April 5-28).

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Rainbow Cupcakes from Bakerella

Sometimes I wonder if I have even one creative bone in my body. I think Bakerella must have gotten my share because she's always bursting with such great decorating ideas!

Her latest are Rainbow Brite Cupcakes. Cute little funfetti cupcakes with fondant rainbows and puffy frosting on top. These cupcakes make me so happy. You can find the instructions and recipe for Rainbow cookies here.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Review: The Original Cupcakery

Work has been taking me all over the country. This time it was Dallas. The cupcake shop I wanted to visit most was Society Bakery, but sadly their hours didn't allow me to visit.

Luckily there was more than one cupcake shop in Dallas. The Original Cupcakery satisfied our cupcake needs while in Dallas. It's located in Uptown Plaza, next to Smashburger. And if we had gotten there 10 minutes earlier, we would have met Toby McGuire. Can you believe that?! Just barely missed him!

The Original Cupcakery had a good selection of cupcakes, with lots of unique flavors. They also had wine and champagne to pair with the cupcakes. We picked seven fun flavors & milk and we carted our goods back to the hotel for devouring.

Mound of Joy: the candy bar is delicious, so why wouldn't the cupcake version be too? Great combo of flavors.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup: I'm always happy to have chocolate and peanut butter together and this cupcake was pretty good. I thoroughly enjoyed the peanut butter frosting, but the cake was dry.

Butterbeer: my least favorite cupcake of the night. I knew I wasn't going to like this one even before I tried it. The frosting just didn't do it for me. I wish it had been heavier and had a stronger butterscotch taste.

Strawberry Shortcake: the strawberry flavor was delicious and I loved the two frostings paired together (strawberry and heavy cream).

Kir Royale (raspberry cake with bubbly champagne frosting): this was our favorite cupcake of the night! The champagne smell was strong and made for a great frosting flavor! I loved that it was paired with raspberry instead of the usually strawberry flavor.

Banana Bomb: this was a special cupcake for the day. It was my second favorite one. The addition of the banana crisps on top made this cupcake a winner.

Oh, My Gosh-Ganache!: the best part was easily the chocolate truffle filling. I ended up digging out the filling and eating alone. The vanilla cake was a bit boring.

Overall The Original Cupcakery was pretty good. Although most of the cakes were dry, the frostings made up for the lack of moistness. The abundance of unique flavors really saved them too -- no vanilla vanilla in sight (thank goodness!). We visited the shop near the end of the day and there were still lots of flavors to choose from. The cupcakes cost approximately $3.50 each. The Original Cupcakery is definitely worth a visit if you're ever in the Dallas area.

The Original Cupcakery
2222 McKinney Ave., Ste. 230
Dallas, TX 75201

Friday, April 5, 2013

[desi]gn cakes & cupcakes WINS Cupcake Wars

Another local-to-Southern-California cupcake shop wins Young & the Restless episode on Food Network's Cupcake Wars! 

I first encountered [desi]gn cakes & cupcakes at Cupcake Camp IE in 2010. Then Desiree won a competition I judged in 2011 called Sugar Rush. Later that year she was a contestant on Cupcake Wars, but did not win.

Now she's claimed redemption! Last week [desi]gn cakes was on Cupcake Wars again and WON! Congrats to a well-deserved win!

They are BIG news right now, as they also had a two-day pop-up shop at Nordstrom's in Fashion Island last week. Sadly, I was out of town so I could not attend, but I'm sure it was fabulous. 

[desi]gn cakes makes one of the most unique cupcakes I've ever tasted -- buffalo chicken. Yes, you heard me right and it's delicious! I gotta get over to their commercial kitchen in Chino soon so I can try it again.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sprinkles Ice Cream Opens in Orange County TODAY!

The day has finally arrived! Sprinkles Ice Cream shop is scheduled to open in Newport Beach today! Wahoo! Now all of us Orange County fans don't have to drive out to Beverly Hills to get a fix. If you remember, I reviewed them last August. That Red Velvet ice cream will never be forgotten. So delicious! If you haven't been yet, now's your chance. Go!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Cupcake Pinata

Desmond's cousin turned 3 and she had a birthday to celebrate. Of course she's into princesses, so she wore a Cinderella dress during the party. She must be loved because she had not one, not two, but THREE pinatas! Yes three! And the third one was a cupcake! Where can I get my hands on one for myself?

Des had a blast in his first bounce house. It wasn't easy for him since he just started walking a few weeks ago, but he didn't care. He loved it!


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