Fluffy mountains of pink frosting, bright red rosettes, heart shaped sprinkles and decorations adorning every corner and surface, and the intoxicating smell of fresh baked cupcakes that smell and taste like sweet spun sugar. It’s Valentine’s pandemonium at Short & Sweet Cupcakes! Having sorely missed out on the holiday festivities back in December (I’m still recovering from the heartbreak), I’m back with a Valentine’s Day venegeance! Short & Sweet has two very special Valentine’s Day promotions going on: the February Flavour of the Month, “Lady in Red” (cue Chris DeBurgh’s ’80s hit and the image of me slow-dancing with a giant cupcake) and the Valentine’s Day “Love Pack”!
For those who want to pick up a quick Valentine’s cupcake on the go, the stunning strawberry Lady in Red ($2.90) is at your service! If you want something a little more extravagent and a little more razzle-dazzle, the Love Pack, featuring 12 delicious Valentine’s cupcakes is ready and willing to sweep you and your loved one(s) off your feet. The Love Pack ($40) includes 4 different flavours x 3 of each: 3 Lady in Red strawberry cupcakes, 3 chocolate, 3 vanilla, and 3 red velvet, all topped with Short & Sweet’s signature lickably sweet frosting and giant fondant heart toppers, sugar heart decorations, and sprinkles! They’re also available to purchase as singles (with an extra $2 charge for the cupcakes with the great big heart fondant toppers) or in half dozen packs.
One of the best things about Short & Sweet is their ever-changing storefront window display. Aside from the delicious, groan-inducing cupcakes, their gorgeous and elaborate window display is one constant that has followed Short & Sweet from their old location on Old Orchard Grove into their new location 3 blocks north on Avenue Rd. The window display reflects changes in season, special holidays and occasions, and new products such as their edible toppers, jumbo cupcakes (perfect for birthdays as a giant cupcake birthday cake!), and custom designed creations.
My favourite displays since I started coming here have been the Easter display (Easter dishes out my favourite colour palette) and the current Valentine’s Day one. The Valentine’s one is so gorgeous and the whole concept is a cross between “I’m enjoying cupcakes and champage in a romantic sudsy, bubble bath” (check out the mini pink frosted cupcakes sitting daintily in the champagne flute-like glassware with silver edible pearls!) and “I want to celebrate everything lovey-dovey in red, pink, and white with hearts and roses”. The displays are always beautifully thought out and just mesmerizing to look at.
Now, a Short & Sweet post wouldn’t be a Short & Sweet post without a closer look at least one of the cupcakes. We’re cozying up with the fabulous Lady in Red cupcake and I do mean fabulous! Out of all the Flavour of the Month flavours I’ve tried, I loved the mint Oreo Mint Everest cupcake the most, but after devouring Lady in Red over the weekend, that Flavour of the Month favourite is now at a dead tie.
Lady in Red is AMAZING. It’s a strawberry cupcake with strawberry frosting and a cute little red candy heart on top. I know, I know. It’s “just” strawberry. It’s not something exotic like durian. But it’s the simplicity itself that knocks it out of the park. Just like lemon, the strawberry flavour can take on a number of different nuances. It can be tart, it can be juicy, it can taste more like strawberry ice cream, it can taste like strawberries and cream, it can be approached from so many angles.
If Flour Studio’s strawberry cupcake tastes like strawberry Pocky and cream, Short & Sweet’s Lady in Red is a mesh of strawberries, vanilla, jam, sweet sugar, and shortcake. Even though the cake isn’t airy, the cake is very moist and full of flavour. The vanilla cake base looks like a mosaic of golden cake, strawberries, and jam and the thick frosting has this delicious, bold, sweet strawberry flavour that isn’t tart in the least. I like to think of it as a bolder, in-your-face version of strawberry shortcake.
If it was up to me, I would have both the Mint Everest and the Lady in Red added to Short & Sweet’s permanent rotating menu because they are THAT amazing. Lady in Red has shot right up into my Top 3 favourite Short & Sweet cupcakes and it’s such a shame that it’s only around for the month of February. Maybe if I toot my horn loud and long enough, it might make an appearance on the permanment menu in the future, but for now, I can only look forward to the last two and a half weeks of the month and pine for the delicious strawberry cupcake after that.
Short & Sweet Cupcakes is now located at 1945 Avenue Rd., south of Wilson Ave. They are open from 11am-6pm Tuesday-Saturday and 11am-5pm on Sundays. They are closed on Mondays. If you take public transit like me, the easiest way to get here is to get off at Wilson subway station and take the 96 bus to Avenue Rd. and walk south. You can also get here by getting off at York Mills subway station and taking the 165 Weston Rd. North bus to Wilson Ave. and Avenue Rd. and walking south, or taking the 61 Avenue Rd. North from Eglinton subway station.