Hearts, Sprinkles & the Kiss Me and Sugar Lips Cupcakes – Celebrating Valentine’s with Desserts at Desmond & Beatrice

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Happy long weekend to my fellow Ontarioans!  I know it’s drawing to a close as we speak (t-minus 1 hour and 15 minutes right now) so I hope everyone was able to do something fun or at the very least catch up on some sleep!  While the weekend itself was low-key for me, I celebrated Valentine’s on Friday in style with a morning frolic to Desmond & Beatrice for lots of yummy Valentine’s sweets and treats!  The shop was adorably decorated with paper chain hearts in the windows and a smattering of Valentine’s sprinkles, candies and colours on their cookies and cupcakes.

valentinescollageTheir exclusive menu for the occasion included sugar cookie hearts, sugar cookie ex-boyfriend voodoo dolls (haha!), giant Date Night cookies chock full of chocolate, toffee, potato chips and popcorn (no joke!  Perfect for those who love snack foods and salty-sweet combinations), Message Me vanilla on vanilla cupcakes with classic conversation hearts, Chocolate Love double chocolate cupcakes with foil wrapped chocolate hearts, Love of Mayan chocolate chili cupcakes with chocolate frosting and cake, Kiss Me vanilla on chocolate cupcakes with showered with heart sprinkles and finally, Sugar Lips cinnamon sugar cupcakes with cinnamon sugar frosting and cake with gummy lip candies in addition to their selection of brownies, cookies and other cupcakes including red velvet, salted caramel and strawberry.

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It was such a happy visit: photo snapping, inhaling a mini red velvet cupcake, finally meeting D&B owner, Amanda, in person *waves* and walking out with a big box of Valentine’s treats to take home.  In my box were two sugar cookie hearts, two cookies n’ cream cookies, a giant brownie, a Kiss Me black and white vanilla on chocolate cupcake with heart sprinkles and a Sugar Lips cinnamon sugar cupcake.  With the exception of the brownie which I bought exclusively for my dad and brother (they’re chocoholics), I tried some of everything and while I loved it all and drool at the mere thought of it all (I dunked my sugar cookie hearts in almond milk and just thinking about it makes me wiggle with glee), the happiest surprise for me was the Sugar Lips cinnamon sugar cupcake!

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Now, I really like cinnamon (especially apple cinnamon, cinnamon toast cereal, and snickerdoodle cookies) but let it be known that I don’t enjoy cinnamon buns, one of the most popular cinnamon desserts and baked goods on the planet (no, I’m not crazy!) so for me, picking the cinnamon sugar cupcake was a toss-up.  I wanted to try something I wouldn’t normally be able to try (part of me really wanted the cute Message Me vanilla on vanilla cupcake but I convinced myself not to since I already had vanilla frosting on the Kiss Me one and the Love of Mayan one called out to me as well with its uniqueness but I decided against it in the end) but hemmed and hawwed over the thought of it being like a cinnamon bun.  I’m so happy I ended up choosing it because it tasted just like a cinnamon coffee cake with the best sweet and creamy cinnamon sugar frosting ever.

I’m ecstatic that I got to visit them on Valentine’s and enjoy so many of the yummy sweets they had on hand for the day because truthfully, I had been eyeing their menu online for weeks and promised myself that I would make every effort to make it to the shop on that day so I could celebrate and take photos for you guys.  Happy belated Valentine’s!

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Desmond & Beatrice Bake Shop and Cupcakery is located at 750 Queen Street East, just one block east of Broadview Ave. in the Riverside District.  They are open 7 days a week from 10am-7pm.  You can visit their official website at https://desmondandbeatrice.com/ and follow them on Twitter @dandbcupcakes

Creamy Chicken Soup & Saucy Curry Rice & Smoked Haddock Kedgeree with Poached Egg – Warm & Delicious British Flavours at The Oxley!

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Okay, who else has been glued to the television (or their laptop or tablet or phone) watching the Olympics this week?!  My brother and I love watching sports.  Always have, always will.  It’s a very special thing that bonds us together as siblings so when the Olympics roll around every 2 years (summer and winter, don’t forget!) it’s like a sports and television party in our living room.  We’re fascinated by the events, we’re captivated by the speed, the crazy flips and spins, and down-to-the-tenth-of-a-second finishes, and we love the feeling of celebration and pride for our team and athletes.  We stay up late watching recaps from the day and we catch whatever coverage we can early in the morning before leaving the house.  It’s so much fun and I love it.

Watching the Olympics take place in Sochi totally inspired me to do a little research on Russian food and Russian food in Toronto and while I’ve found some very cool options to check out, I really don’t think I’ll be able to go to them and then post before the Olympics are over, but at the very least it’s given me some creative juice to work with.  So even though I don’t have any Russian cuisine to share with you guys, I do have overseas eats for you all today: British food from The Oxley!

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Aside from the photo spotlight post I did on my British cookbook, this is the first post on Ate by Ate about British food and I’m so excited!  Going to London is on my bucket list of places to visit at some point in my life.  I salivate at the thought of visiting Twinings, Harrods and Hummingbird Bakery so until I can fly across the Atlantic and park myself down at one of the many afternoon tea spots, bakeries and pubs there, indulging in some British fare here in the city will have to soothe those daydreams for the time being.

The Oxley, located on Yorkville Ave. in Yorkville in a drop-dead gorgeous two-storey cherry red brick house, is the sister restaurant to The Queen and Beaver in downtown Toronto, a popular English pub and watering hole that serves both British and Scottish food.  The Oxley is all sorts of fabulous.  During the summer, it’s like being around an English courtyard and in the winter, it warms you up and makes you feel so cozy with its part English pub, part bar, part home living room vibe.  You should see the place inside.  I had the luxury of sitting and eating upstairs (a food blogger needs her natural light by the window!) and it’s unlike any other dining area I’ve ever been in.  With its long bar with leather bar stools, mahogany tables, hard-wood flooring, black armchairs, deep purple cushioned seating, floral wallpaper, paisley patterned rugs and Union Jack by the bar window, the upstairs dining room is like a scene out of Sherlock Holmes novel.  And I got to have a corner seat by the window all my by myself.  I LOVED IT.

This is prime real estate, folks.

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Their menu is so full of warmth and British character and flavour.  I will preface this next part though by saying that if you’re looking for an inexpensive meal, look elsewhere.  I think The Oxley is an amazing place to have a special lunch or dinner but if you’re just looking for something simple and casual money-wise, you’re not going to find it here simply because many of their mains come in between $16 -$24 (with appetizers $8 – $14, sides a la carte for $6, bar menu bites $8 – $12, and bar menu mains $18 – $26).  Which is fine with me!  I’m not made out of money but I’m constantly considering and evaluating what means the most to me and what would give me the most happiness so I don’t mind putting down the dough to enjoy a meal here because it’s worth it to me every once in awhile.  But I know others may feel differently so I want to be completely honest with you guys so you don’t get the impression that this is something you can do every day!

The menu is chock full of British classics including rabbit and potato pie, fish and chips, Stilton and mushrooms on toasts, Huntsman’s pie, venison and mushroom suet pudding, and fish pie and peas.  I went all out on the winter comfort food with my choices: Cream of Chicken with Tarragon Soup ($8) and Smoked Haddock Kedgeree with Poached Hen Egg ($16).

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Let’s start by talking about the dishes.  Yes, the things we put our food on.  I wanted to squeal out loud.  They are SO pretty.  Tea dishes!  Beautiful china with flowers and patterns and scalloped edges.  My heart wanted to burst from happiness just by looking at them.  Meals come with bread and butter which I happily devoured as I had foodgasms over my cream of chicken with tarragon soup to start.  The soup is so delicious and creamy and not overly salty or seasoned or rich in the least.  It was perfect and so savoury with just the right amount of thickness to it.  With a bright green chive on top, it was both bright and comforting at the same time.  And honestly, along with the bread, it would make an incredible light meal all on its own, it’s THAT good.

And now for the smoked haddock kedgeree with poached hen egg.  In it’s stripped down essence, kedgeree is a rice dish with boiled fish and eggs rooted in Indian-British colonial culture and history, with lots of room for many different interpretations and spins on it.  Could this be any more perfect for me?!  This dish has Deb written all over it because it incorporates all my favourite foods, textures and flavours.

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The Oxley put their signature on it with their mouthwatering, scrumptious version: hot rice bathed in curry sauce and spices, chunks of flaked haddock fish, toasted sliced almonds, bright green peas, and a beautiful and pristine poached egg on top.  There is so much to adore.  The rice is saucy, the almonds give the dish crunch, the smoked haddock fish provided savoury meatiness, the peas give it colour and homeyness (and I just love peas!) and the delicate poached egg just takes the whole thing to another level once you poke it, allowing the sunny yellow yolk to make the rice even more creamy and saucy – if that’s even possible!  It’s gorgeous to look at and even more satisfying to eat.

I’m so happy I finally got to visit The Oxley (I’ve been wanting to go since last summer!).  The staff was so nice to me, allowing me to sit by the window like I wanted and being so attentive and gracious and I felt like I was in another peaceful world sitting in their upstairs dining room looking out at the grey sky and Yorkville streets below.  The food was wonderfully delicious and the experience felt…special, like something you couldn’t have anywhere else.  And that was the real beauty of it.

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The Oxley is located at 121 Yorkville Ave. at the corner of Hazelton Ave. in Yorkville, between Bay Street and Avenue Rd.  They are open 7 days a week serving lunch, dinner and weekend brunch: Monday to Friday 11:30am to 3pm for lunch, 3pm to 5pm Bar Menu, Monday to Saturday 3pm to 11pm for dinner, Sunday 5pm-10pm for dinner, and Saturday & Sunday 10:30am to 3pm for weekend brunch.  You can visit their official website at http://theoxley.com/

Capturing my Cupcake Heart – The Chocolate Raspberry Rapture & Valentine’s at The Wedding Cake Shoppe

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Valentine’s is two days away and all I can think about is chocolate frosting on a cupcake.  Not fancy dinners or movies or flowers or presents.  Just chocolate frosting.  (And of course my sweetie and having a girls day out with my best friend over the weekend, but that kind of goes without saying).  I’m a beast.  There have been times when I’ve thought, “holy jeebus, there is way too much freakin’ chocolate on Valentine’s” but not this year.  No, this year I’m embracing the chocoholicness of the occasion and having myself a chocolate cupcake party on Friday.  (And by party I mean, like, two cupcakes.  You gotta have your limits.)  I don’t care if we’re expecting snow, I am getting my tooshie out there and celebrating because it’s fun, it’s pink, it’s sweet and heck, it’s the Friday before a long weekend and I am taking it.

Taking into account all the cupcake posts I’ve done over the years though, you’d think there would be more than a handful that coincide with the official day of hearts and flowers and all things pink and frilly and sweet.  Surprisingly, this is not the case.  After browsing through the posts in my “Be My Valentine” series, I realized I only had three that pertained to cupcakes: The Cupcake Shoppe, Short & Sweet Cupcakes and Le Dolci.  Aw.  I mean, I know it’s a silly thing to agonize over considering how difficult it is to get out on Valentine’s for a cupcake on a workday or a school day if you don’t have the day off, but I really thought I would have more to show for than that.  Hence the reason for my recent visit to The Wedding Cake Shoppe.  My last visit had been during the summer, I had never been to the shop during Valentine’s and by golly I just wanted a cupcake from there (and if you’re reading this, Cindy, it’s also because it’s fab seeing you too!)

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The girls do such a beautiful job decorating the shop with their themed cakes and window display.  For Valentine’s this year, there’s a giant tissue paper heart suspended in wire mesh from the ceiling in the middle of the display (or at least what appears to be a tissue paper heart.  I didn’t want to touch it!), flanked on both sides by round hat boxes and cake boxes, frosted tarts, cupcakes, sprinkles, napkins, and dishes in shades of peach, cream, ballet slipper pink interspersed with pops of punchy red and hot pink.  And of course, their jaw-dropping cakes including a 3-tiered cake decorated with fondant zigzags and hearts and a 4-tiered cake masterpiece covered entirely in pastel conversation hearts!

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Even though it was yet another cold, chill-down-to-your-bones winter day, it was sunny and relatively dry out so I thought it would nice to take the College streetcar straight across town from Yonge to Ossington.  I could sit back and relax, see the sights out the window without freezing my bum off, and enjoy a nice ride through a neighbourhood I hadn’t been in in awhile.  And when I got to The Wedding Cake Shoppe, it was so nice sitting down to a delicious cupcake before hopping back on the streetcar to run my next errand.  I love that I can sit here and enjoy a treat with a hot drink.

It’s those quiet moments in the middle of the morning or afternoon that I love because you get to slow down a bit before and after dealing with the hustle and bustle of rush hour, when you’re left alone to zone out with your own thoughts.  When I look back at all the great memories I’ve made on Valentine’s past, there are many of them and I guess it’s also for that reason that I wanted to do more this Valentine’s because I enjoy savouring the memories when everything so often seems to go by in a blur.

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This time around, I sat down to The Wedding Cake Shoppe’s Raspberry Rapture cupcake ($2.75), a chocolate cupcake with raspberry frosting.  I’m not kidding when I say that I’ve discovered a new favourite from their shop!  This cupcake was so yummy it skyrocketed straight to the top in my book, sitting right up there with Wedding Cake Shoppe’s Baked Raspberries & Cream Cheese.  Um, can you tell I love my raspberry?!  The Raspberry Rapture embodies the PERFECT chocolate raspberry flavour combination and I loved the soft, creamy, sweet and fruity buttercream frosting like nobody’s business.  It was so light and so delicate yet so flavourful at the same time.  And on top of the fudgy, brownie like chocolate cake?  CUPCAKE HEAVEN!

What made the cupcake even more fab were the chocolate-covered sunflower seeds on top.  YES, chocolate-covered sunflower seeds!  Bathed in minty green-robin’s egg blue, they were crunchy and sweet and gave the cupcake that extra bit of sass.  So different and so very cool!

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I’m really excited to start on a Cupcake Chronicles feature page for The Wedding Cake Shoppe so I’m hoping to have that ready sometime next week.  In the meantime, I hope every gets the chance to enjoy something sweet for Valentine’s over the next few days!

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The Wedding Cake Shoppe is located at 859 College Street, just west of Ossington Ave.  They are open 6 days a week (closed on Tuesdays) and their weekday hours are from 11am-7pm, weekend hours from 11am-5pm.  You can check out their official website here, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

A Winter Lunch of Harvest Salad, Sourdough & Clam Chowder – Keep Toasty at Earls Kitchen & Bar

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Winter pro: I learned how to use our snow blower this year and am pushing and dragging that thing around like a winter warrior.  Winter con: there is so much freakin’ snow outside my house you can’t even see me behind the damn mountain of it.  Granted, I’m short (coming in at a generous 5 foot 2 inches) but our mountain of snow is so tall it even obscures my brother who’s 6 feet tall!  It’s been a loooong time since I’ve experienced a winter like this.  And this is coming from a girl who was born and bred in Canada and would lay in the snow inside a snow fort as a kid and just look up at the sky without a care in the world.  What can I say?  We’ve been a little spoiled the last few years here in Toronto so being slapped with so much snow and such bitterly cold temperatures all at once week after week has taken a bit of getting used to.

And I’ll be honest, it’s been especially stymying for me generating blog content.  I’ve never cancelled and switched around my plans more than I have this winter and the cold weather has really pushed me to get creative with the logistics of my outings.  I don’t fare so well in extreme temperatures (hot or cold) as both give me bad migraines so at any given moment I need to hop indoors to warm up to keep myself from being exposed for long periods of time.  Thus, the cold weather has, unfortunately, prevented me from taking those long exploration walks around the city that I love so much, relegating me to the more retail-oriented parts of town.  Which is not necessarily a bad thing!  But let’s be frank: malls get boring real fast and they do me no favours in the food blogging department.  And you all know how much I thrive on variety!

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So I’ve had to put my thinking cap on and figure out how to go about taking photos and trying new places still staying relatively close to the indoors and I think I’ve come up with a few pretty good solutions for myself.  One such outing led me through the underground PATH downtown (which is one of my favourite things in the city) through the Sun Life financial building and straight into the warm and welcoming arms of Earls Kitchen & Bar on King Street West and York Street.  Who would have thought I’d be walking through an insurance building to do food blogging!

Earls Kitchen & Bar is a place I’ve been meaning to try for years and while having a case of cabin fever isn’t exactly the best reason for finally going, I’ll take it.  Because it’s a wonderful place and a place I’d be happy to go back to for meals and meals to come.  If you haven’t been, make the effort because the food is delicious, the staff is so friendly and accommodating, and the restaurant is beautiful and lovely inside.

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Located at 150 King Street West in the financial district hubbub, Earls has a gorgeous outdoor patio out front (which I will be sure to enjoy come summer!) and two large dining areas inside including the large bar and adjoining dining room, making it quite the haunt for the business lunch crowd.  The dining room makes you feel like you’re eating inside a log cabin.  It’s so warm and cozy and nice.  And their menu has warm and cozy written all over it.  While it offers lots of pub fare such as appetizers (calamari, prawn and mango rolls, dry ribs, chicken and wontons), burgers, tacos and sandwiches (angus beef on brioche, chicken tacos, chicken with brie and fig on ciabatta, roasted portobellini and red pepper on sourdough), it offers just as many dishes that will warm you all over on a cold winter’s day such as meaty steaks and seafood, ribs and chicken, roasted root vegetables, curry and pasta (I’ve heard fantastic things about their fettuccini!) and what I had for lunch: sourdough, soup and salad!

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Their chicken and field mushroom fettuccini was calling out at me like a foghorn but I really wanted to try something more lunch fare-ish and I don’t post nearly enough about soup so I jumped at the chance to try Earls salad, soup and sourdough meal ($13.75).  The meal comes with your choice of Caesar or Harvest salad, Earls Famous Clam Chowder or featured soup (which was cream of mushroom at the time), and sourdough bread.  What better way to celebrate the season than with harvest salad and cozy clam chowder?!

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Earls’ Harvest Crunch salad is a beautiful, bright and refreshing mix of baby greens, purple kale, watermelon radish (possibly the prettiest vegetable to grace the earth), sunflower seeds, slices of pear (which I sadly couldn’t eat because of my allergy but it was lovely to look at nevertheless and thankfully there weren’t too many slices so I didn’t have to feel awful for leaving them on my plate) and dried fruit (apricots and cranberries) dressed in citrus vinaigrette with shaved parmesan.  I was all over it like peanut butter on jelly – I hardly ever see watermelon radish in salad!  I love crunch and texture in my salads and the fruit, seeds and radishes made it so enjoyable to eat, not to mention the parmesan gave the salad that yummy hit of saltiness, balancing out the sweetness from the dressing and fruits.  It was a such fab presentation of the winter bounty in salad form.

And the clam chowder and sourdough bread.  You will never look at clam chowder and sourdough the same way again after you have it here at Earls.  For starters, it was presented beautifully on a wooden serving board.  Second, the clam chowder was hearty and scrumptious, chock full of diced tomatoes, celery, carrots, potatoes and meaty clams in a smooth and creamy broth sprinkled with freshly chopped parsley.  It filled me without making me feel like I ate something too creamy or too saturated.  It was just SO DARN DELICIOUS.  It was so full of substance and it ate like a meal, pairing beautifully with the sourdough bread beside it.

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The gigantic wedge of sourdough knocked it out of the park.  It was golden to perfection with a crunchy crust on the outside, a moist and buttery inside and this amazing sweetness from the little bit of honey that was drizzled over top.  I couldn’t believe my tastebuds.  I sat there chewing on my sourdough thinking, “what the heck is this delicious taste that I am tasting?!”  It was sweet and light and unlike any sourdough I had ever had and then it dawned on me that there was a bit of honey on it.  It was fabulous on its own and as a dunker for the clam chowder.

This first visit to Earls made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside for more reasons than one and I’d love to go back to try at least ten other dishes!  Given how winter isn’t going away any time soon, I just might take advantage of the cold and make a return trip before the season is over for more winter comfort eats.

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Earls Kitchen & Bar is located at 150 King Street West at York Street in the financial district in downtown Toronto.  They are open 7 days a week at 11:30am Monday through Sunday, with weekend brunch service on Saturdays and Sundays.  Earls Kitchen & Bar serves multiple locations in the GTA and across the country.  Visit their website at http://www.earls.ca/ for more info on their menus and locations.

The Cupcake Shoppe

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cupcake shoppe collage 3The Cupcake Shoppe

Address & Hours of Operation: 2417 Yonge Street (north of Eglinton Ave.) in Toronto; open Monday to Sunday from 10am-7pm Monday to Friday, 10am-6pm Saturday, 11am-6pm Sunday || 9340 Bathurst Street (at Rutherford Ave.) in Vaughan; open Monday to Sunday from 11am to 7pm Monday to Saturday, 11am to 6pm Sunday

Prices: $2.85 per cupcake

Ate by Ate’s Top 5: Lemon Drop, Cookie Dough, Lime n’ Licious, Confetti, Eh? (maple)

  • The James Brown Cupcake & Red Velvet Cupcake || “Everyone, Meet James Brown & Little Miss Red Velvet From The Cupcake Shoppe!” posted December 2, 2010 || Features the James Brown cupcake, a chocolate cupcake with chocolate buttercream and the Red Velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting.
  • The After Ate Cupcake || “After Ate on Ate by Ate – The Cupcake Shoppe’s Minty Chocolate Cupcake” posted December 16, 2010 || Features a 2-page scrapbook layout and the After Ate cupcake, a chocolate cupcake with mint buttercream and chocolate sprinkles.  Also features David’s Tea Creme Caramel rooibos tea.
  • The Naughty n’ Spice Cupcake || “Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice…Or Naughty!  Spice Cupcakes and Baked Apple Tea from David’s Tea” posted January 30, 2011 || Features a 2-page scrapbook layout and the Naughty n’ Spice cupcake, a spice cake with cinnamon vanilla buttercream.  Also features David’s Tea Baked Apple tea from the winter 2010/11 collection.
  • Valentine’s Day Cupcakes || “Valentine’s Day Sweetness – A Rendition of “All I Want Are Cupcakes & Sugar Cookies!” posted February 15, 2011 || Features the vanilla on vanilla Yonge n’ Eligible cupcake and James Brown cupcake decked out in Valentine’s decorations.
  • The Cookie Dough Cupcake || “My Version of Milk and Cookies: Cookie Dough Cupcake and Warm Spicy Chocolate Rooibos with Milk” posted March 9, 2011 || Features a 4-page scrapbook layout and the Cookie Dough cupcake, a chocolate chip vanilla cupcake with cookie dough buttercream and chocolate chips.  Also features David’s Tea Spicy Chocolate rooibos tea.

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  • The Lemon Drop Cupcake & Lov’n Lemon Cupcake || “A Tale of Two Lemon Cupcakes From The Cupcake Shoppe: Lov’n Lemon and Lemon Drop” posted June 3, 2011 || Features a 2-page scrapbook layout and The Cupcake Shoppe’s two lemon cupcakes: the Lemon Drop, a vanilla cake with lemon frosting (FAVOURITE!) and the Lov’n Lemon, a vanilla or chocolate cupcake with lemon buttercream (not so great, hence the title A Tale of  Two Lemon Cupcakes).
  • A Colourful “Gnomey” Summer Cupcake Window Display || “Who’s Your Gnomey?  Frost Me Cupcakes and Garden Gnomes on Display at The Cupcake Shoppe” posted July 7, 2011 || Features a photo spotlight on a summer window display at The Cupcake Shoppe with summer garden gnomes and their Frost Me cupcake, a vanilla or chocolate cupcake with bright coloured frosting and gumball on top, changed regularly.
  • The Eh? Cupcake || “The Fall Harvest Series – Like a Stack of Fluffy, Golden Pancakes & Syrup!  The Eh? Cupcake from The Cupcake Shoppe” posted October 21, 2011 || Features a 2-page scrapbook layout and the Eh? cupcake, a vanilla cupcake with maple frosting and little sprinkles and red coloured sugar sprinkles.
  • The Pretty in Pink Cupcake || “For All the Pink Monsters Out There – The “Pretty in Pink” Raspberry Cupcake from The Cupcake Shoppe” posted June 13, 2012 || Features a photo spotlight on the Pretty in Pink cupcake, a raspberry cupcake (beautiful pink-red!) with raspberry buttercream and Nerd candy sprinkles.
  • The Lime n’ Licious Cupcake & Summer Picnic Window Display || “Summer of Cupcakes – A Photo Spotlight on Cupcake Picnic Displays & the Lime n’ Licious from The Cupcake Shoppe” posted July 17, 2012 || Features a photo spotlight on the summer seasonal cupcake, Lime n’ Licious, a vanilla cupcake with lime and lemon swirled frosting and a summer picnic cupcake window display.

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  • The Sleepless in Toronto Cupcake || “Sweet Dreams & Cupcake Slumbers – The Cupcake Shoppe’s Coffee Buttercream Frosted “Sleepless in Toronto” Cupcake!” posted October 12, 2012 || Features the Sleepless in Toronto cupcake, a vanilla or chocolate cupcake with coffee buttercream.
  • The Triple Chocolate Fudge Cupcake || “Blowing Kisses to my Fudgy Sweet Tooth – Toasted Walnut David’s Tea & the Triple Chocolate Fudge from The Cupcake Shoppe!” posted March 3, 2013 || Features the Triple Chocolate Fudge cupcake, a chocolate cupcake with chocolate fudge frosting and chocolate chips.  Also features David’s Tea Toasted Walnut green tea.
  • The Candy Lane Cupcake & Confetti Cupcake || “The Holiday Cupcake Blitz Begins!  Fudgy Candy Cane Lane & Sweet Vanilla Confetti from The Cupcake Shoppe!” posted December 7, 2013 || Features the holiday seasonal Candy Cane Lane cupcake, a chocolate cupcake with candy cane peppermint buttercream and candy cane piece, and the Confetti cupcake, a vanilla cupcake with sweet vanilla frosting in bright periwinkle and rainbow confetti sprinkles.

Short & Sweet Cupcakes

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short & sweet cupcakes collageShort & Sweet Cupcakes

Address & Hours of Operation: 1945 Avenue Road (south of Wilson Ave.) in Toronto; open Monday to Saturday from 11am-6pm, closed on Sundays || 1480 Major Mackenzie Drive West (at the corner of Dufferin St.) in Maple, Vaughan; open Monday to Saturday from 12pm-7pm, closed on Sundays

Prices: $2.90 per cupcake

Ate by Ate’s Top 5: Mint Everest, Lady in Red, Megan’s Mocha Madness, Ooh La La, One Hundred and One

  • The Mint Everest Cupcake – March Flavour of the Month || “Mint Everest – Your St. Patty’s Day Cupcake from Short & Sweet Cupcakes!” posted March 16, 2011 ||Features the Mint Everest, a cookies and cream studded vanilla cupcake with mint and cookies and cream frosting.
  • The Introduction to Short & Sweet Cupcakes || “Creamy Rich Clouds of Cupcake Heaven – Short & Sweet Cupcakes!” posted March 18, 2011 || Features 4-page scrapbook layout of original Avenue Road location and half a dozen cupcakes including Diamonds & Pearls, Rich in Recession, Short & Sweet, Pierce Brosnan (2nd March Flavour of the Month), Ice Ice Baby, and Penguin Suit.
  • The One Hundred and One Cupcake || “April Showers Bring May Flowers…and Cupcakes!  ‘One Hundred and One’ Ways to Love Short & Sweet Cupcakes” posted April 26, 2011 || Features 2-page scrapbook layout, Easter display, and the One Hundred and One Cupcake, a cookies and cream studded vanilla cupcake with cookies and cream frosting and Smarties candy.
  • Prince William & Kate Cupcakes || “In Honour of the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate…Royalty Love Cupcakes Too, Right?” posted April 28, 2011 || Features Short & Sweet’s Royal Wedding window display.

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  • The Orange Chocolate Chip Cupcake – April Flavour of the Month, Part I || “Zesty, Fruity, Creamy, Chocolately – The Orange Chocolate Chip Cupcake & Its Friends from Short & Sweet, Part I” posted May 29, 2011 || Features photo spotlight on the April Flavour of the Month and half a dozen cupcakes including So Fresh, BBM, Black & White Affair, Diamonds & Pearls, and Blueberry Yum Yum.
  • The Orange Chocolate Chip Cupcake – April Flavour of the Month, Part II || “Zesty, Fruity, Creamy, Chocolately – The Orange Chocolate Chip Cupcake & Its Friends from Short & Sweet, Part II” posted May 30, 2011 || Features 4-page scrapbook layout and the April Flavour of the Month, an orange-vanilla chocolate chip cupcake with orange-vanilla frosting and chocolate topping.
  • Short & Sweet Cupcakes’ Move to Current Avenue Road Location || “Short & Sweet Cupcakes Has Found a New Home on Avenue Road!” posted July 29, 2011 || News update on their move to their now current location, 1945 Avenue Road (original location on Old Orchard Glove several blocks south).
  • The Sprinkler Cupcake || “Even Better Than a Donut – The Rainbow Bright Sprinkler Cupcake from Short & Sweet Cupcakes!” posted September 7, 2011 || Features 2-page scrapbook layout and The Sprinkler Cupcake, a vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting covered in rainbow pareils sprinkles.
  • Short & Sweet Cupcakes’ Relocation Grand Opening Party || “Pink & Black Balloons, Mini Cupcakes and Lots of Sprinkles – It’s a Cupcake Party in Short & Sweet’s New Digs!” posted September 16, 2011 || Features photos from their grand opening party of their now current location at 1945 Avenue Road.

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  • Hallowe’en Cupcakes & The Pumpkin Spice Cupcake – October Flavour of the Month || “Hallowe’en Headquarters: A Frosted Sprinkled Party of Orange, White, Purple & Black at Short & Sweet Cupcakes!” posted November 2, 2011 || Features Short & Sweet’s Hallowe’en displays, cupcakes and the October Flavour of the Month, Pumpkin Spice cupcake, a pumpkin cupcake with cream cheese frosting.
  • Valentine’s Day Cupcakes and The Lady in Red Cupcake – February Flavour of the Month || “Mountains of Pink Frosting and Red Roses – Slow-Dancing with ‘Lady in Red’ and Valentine’s at Short & Sweet!” posted February 13, 2012 || Features Short & Sweet’s Valentine’s displays, cupcakes and the February Flavour of the Month, Lady in Red cupcake, a strawberry-vanilla cupcake with strawberry-vanilla frosting and heart candy topper.
  • The Ooh La La Cupcake || “Ooh La La!  The Ravishing Raspberry Red Velvet at Short & Sweet Cupcakes” posted May 3, 2013 || Features the Ooh La La cupcake, a red velvet cupcake with raspberry filling and cream cheese frosting.

Prairie Girl Bakery

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prairie girl collagePrairie Girl Bakery

Address & Hours of Operation: 18 King Street East (at Victoria St., facing Victoria St.) in Toronto; open Monday to Saturday from 10am-6pm; closed Sundays || 100 King Street West (in the underground PATH in the Marketplace food court in First Canadian Place) in Toronto; open Monday to Friday from 8am-6pm; closed Saturdays and Sundays || 150 Bloor Street West (at Avenue Rd.) in Toronto; open Monday to Saturday from 10am-6pm; closed Sundays except for July and August from 12pm-5pm.

Prices: $3.25 per regular cupcake; $1.99 per mini cupcake; $3.95 per gluten-free or vegan cupcake; $2.75 per mini gluten-free or vegan cupcake

Ate by Ate’s Top 5: Chocolate on Golden Buttermilk, Strawberry on Golden Buttermilk, Lemon, S’mores (Treat of the Week), Pina Colada (Treat of the Week)

  • Introduction to Prairie Girl Bakery & the Lemon Cupcake || “Live Life One Cupcake at a Time – Oodles of Frosting, Buttermilk Cake & Lemon Cupcakes at Prairie Girl Bakery” posted July 2011 || Features 4-page scrapbook layout, intro to Prairie Girl Bakery and the Lemon Cupcake, a vanilla cupcake with juicy lemon frosting
  • S’mores Cupcake – Treat of the Week || “What We’d All Love to Sit by the Fire With – The Sweet Creaminess of the S’more Cupcake at Prairie Girl Bakery!” posted September 25, 2011 || Features 2-page scrapbook layout and the S’mores Cupcake, a cocoa cupcake with sweet graham cracker frosting, mini marshmallows and chocolate bar biscuit wedge (part of their rotating Treats of the Week line-up)
  • Pina Colada Cupcake – Treat of the Week || “If You Like Pina Coladas, and Getting Caught in the Rain…The Creamy Pineapple Cupcake at Prairie Girl Bakery!” posted January 28, 2012 || Features the Pina Colada Cupcake, a golden buttermilk cupcake with pineapple frosting, toasted coconut and a tiki umbrella (part of their rotating Treats of the Week line-up)
  • Pina Colada Cupcake scrapbook layout || “Underneath the Tiki Umbrella – Scrapbooking the Prairie Girl Bakery Pina Colada Cupcake” posted February 8, 2012 || Features a photo spotlight on a 2-page scrapbook layout of the Pina Colada cupcake (Treat of the Week)

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  • Cherry Cheesecake Cupcake – Treat of the Week || “A Photo Spotlight on a Prairie Girl Bakery ‘Treat of the Week’ – Cherry Cheesecake on Golden Buttermilk” posted February 25, 2012 || Features a photo spotlight on the Cherry Cheesecake Cupcake, a golden buttermilk cupcake with cherry and vanilla cream cheese frosting and jelly beans (part of their rotating Treats of the Week line-up)
  • Holiday Minis – Photo Spotlight || “Cupcakes for the Holidays – A Photo Spotlight on Mini Cupcake Mania at Prairie Girl Bakery, Par I!” posted December 4, 2012 || Features a photo spotlight on 3 mini cupcakes: Chocolate on Golden Buttermilk, Peppermint on Cocoa, and Cinnamon on Golden Buttermilk (part of their rotating Treats of the Week line-up)
  • Holiday Minis – Part II || “Deck the Halls with Boughs of Mini Cupcakes!  Chocolate, Peppermint Frosting & More at Prairie Girl Bakery, Part II!” posted December 5, 2012 || Features holiday decorations in the shop and winter/holiday mini cupcakes:  Chocolate on Golden Buttermilk, Peppermint on Cocoa, and Cinnamon on Golden Buttermilk (part of their rotating Treats of the Week line-up)
  • New Treats of the Week Flavours || “The Cupcake Connection, Vol. 008 – Scrumptious New Flavours, Giving Back to the Community & More!  Part I” posted April 17, 2013 || Features the 8th installment of The Cupcake Connection with news of new Treats of the Week flavours and their partnership with Second Harvest

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  • News of the new Yorkville Location || “The Cupcake Connection, Vol. 009 – New Places, Spaces & Faces Featuring Prairie Girl Bakery, Cupcakes Leaside & Le Dolci!” posted April 18, 2013 || Features the 9th installment of the The Cupcake Connection with news of Prairie Girl Bakery’s 3rd location in Yorkville and cupcake photos
  • Spring Mini Cupcakes || “Strike a Cupcake Pose – Spring Has Sprung!  A Photo Spotlight on Prairie Girl Bakery Minis” posted May 6, 2013 || Features a photo spotlight on 3 cupcake minis: Chocolate on Golden Buttermilk, Toffee on Cocoa and Blueberries & Cream on Golden Buttermilk (both are part of their rotating Treats of the Week line-up)