Fluttering Into the Thick of Summer – Juicy Lime Vanilla and Fairy Pink Cupcakes at Bakes & Goods

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Light and sweet and pretty – just as a cupcake should be!  Bakes & Goods has fluttered into the thick of summer with their soft and creamy cupcakes decked out in sweet flowers, ballerina pinks, and fruity summer flavours that taste even better than fruit juice.  With so many new cupcake shops cropping up, so many I need to make return visits to, and so many I still haven’t been, cupcake duty has turned into quite the triple threat!  Each season brings new and exciting flavours to try and decorations to admire; heck, some cupcake bakeries even dish out the shiny and new once every month so it’s dizzying and fun keeping up with everything that comes out. 

I made a return visit to Bakes & Goods in Yonge-Eglinton and my eyes lit up the second I walked into the little shop.  Fluffy pink flower lanterns!  Pink butterflies!  Pink flowers!  And…is that a lovely new white bench I can sit on to eat my cupcake over there?!  I want to take this moment to say that I love their newly added bench.  I buy single cupcakes all the time and more often than not, I just want to eat my cupcake right then and there.  It’s much easier to take photos, there’s waaay less room for handling catastrophes (did I tell you all about the time I knocked my cupcake box over in a shoe store at the mall and nearly burst into tears?  Well, now you know!), and it feels nice sitting in a happy place like a cupcake shop as opposed to a concrete slab by the side of the road.  And it’s also fun seeing people coming in and out of the shops, seeing what flavours they choose and demonstrating just how enjoyable the cupcakes are when people glance over and see me stuff my face.  With the combination of pretty decor and a seating arrangement, I felt jubilance coming out of my ears and everything inside was so pretty it made me momentarily forget how hot it was outside and that much more giddy over my afternoon cupcake break.         

In addition to the regulars such as cookie crumble, chocolate ganache, and lemon meringue, Bakes & Goods had a slew of new flavours on hand that day that screamed summer fun in the sun including a chocolate mango (come to mama!) and my pick for the day, a delightful fruity tutti lime on vanilla!  I don’t know what it is about sour citrus fruits that make me so happy, but I can’t get enough of lemon and lime desserts.  Any time I can get my hands on a lemon or lime cupcake, I’m on it like a bad rash, especially lime since lemon flavours and combinations are a little more common at cupcake shops than its green sister.  If my memory serves me right, aside from the Lime n’ Licious from The Cupcake Shoppe down the road, I think this is the only other time I’ve had a lime cupcake and I was beside myself when I saw that they had this one.  The cupcake ($2.75) was vanilla and lime in cake and lime buttercream in frosting adorned with Bakes & Goods signature flower candy on top, this time in sunny yellow.

The cupcake looked very cool since the cake was tinged with green from the lime and the buttercream was so bright and cheerful.  I know the texture of soft, whippy buttercream isn’t for everyone (my boyfriend doesn’t care for it but my mum loves it) and at times, it’s a hit or miss even for me, but luckily, this time was a hit and I really enjoyed it and thought it was delicious.  The lime flavour was fruity without being overpowering or too sour (or artificial for that matter) and it was SO soft and fluffy.  The part that really struck a chord with me was the combination of the lime buttercream and the very top of the cupcake.  I could have sworn I imagined it, but it was there and unmistakeable: a golden vanilla graham cracker texture and taste.  My tastebuds nearly did a double take.  The cake itself was light as air but when I bit into the top of the cupcake right where the buttercream met the cupcake, I was met with this warm, sweet slightly graham crumb texture and made the cupcake taste like a key lime pie!  I couldn’t believe it.  I don’t know if this was a lucky result or intentional, but either way, it made for one very fab cupcake that I happily scarfed down!

I hope all my fellow Canadians who have the Civic Holiday long weekend are enjoying their time off immensely and having a lot of fun!  I’m actually laying low and enjoying some much needed sleep, quiet scrapbook time, Olympics watching all day long (I’m so proud of Team Canada!), and working on a ton of blog housekeeping.  Happy weekend, everyone!         

*****

Bakes & Goods is located at 2523 Yonge Street in the Yonge & Eglinton neighbourhood.  The bake shop is situated on the east side of Yonge Street between Sherwood and Keewatin Ave., several blocks north of Eglinton Ave.  They have recently moved into this new home from their original Bathurst and Ranee location (around the Lawrence West area) and are open 6 days a week (Monday-Saturday) at 11am.

The Strawberry “Pinkalicious” Cupcake & The Not-Quite-So-New Cupcakery – Bakes & Goods by Yonge & Eglinton!

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I thought I was so savvy.  I thought I was one of the first people to know.  I thought I was on the cutting edge of something totally new, and I couldn’t wait to share the news with all of you!  Then my bubble kind of burst and I felt kind of silly.  So, what eaxctly has gotten me into this topsy-turvy tizzy?  Cupcakes.  I know, I know.  “Oh, Deb, only you would zero in on a cupcake sign on the sidewalk like a honing pigeon, race into the new shop squealing like a fangirl, and leave your friend behind”.  It’s true.  I couldn’t help myself.  Let me explain. 

Last Saturday, I was out and about with my dear friend Wini around the Yonge & Eglinton neighbourhood.  We walked north on Yonge Street, stopping along the way to browse at cute housewares, and to drool over the cupcakes at The Cupcake Shoppe.  And then it happened.  I saw the pink and brown sandwich board sign with its swirly cupcake image, looked up and over to see a cupcake shop I had never seen before, and lost all control.  And I mean all.  My breath caught in my throat (to save face I could tell you it was because of the heat, but we all know the truth), I let out a high-pitched, “ohmygodisthatanewcupcakeshop?!”, and left my dear Wini behind as I raced in.  Call it seeking refuge from the heat, call it cupcake insanity – my body went on autopilot, my eyes were locked in tunnel-vision, and there was no stopping me.

Bakes & Goods, located at 2523 Yonge Street, north of Eglinton Ave. between Sherwood and Keewatin Ave., is bake shop that sells nut-free cookies, cupcakes, cakes, shortbread cookies, and customized foodie gifts.  They create special order cakes for birthdays, baby showers, weddings, and seasonal occasions, as well as special giant, pull-apart cookie pies, cookie bouquets, and and cookie baskets!  They also have an adorable selection of decorated sugar and shortbread cookies available for purchase ($2.99 each, and on a stick!) on their retail shelves by the front of the store, similar to those at Yummy Stuff

Now, I’m always excited when I see cupcakes but I was extra excited because I thought for certain I was seeing and walking into a brand spankin’ new cupcake shop in town.  I thought to myself, “YES!  An honest-to-goodness discovery!”  Little did I know that Bakes & Goods was actually not a brand new cupcake shop but an already-exisiting bakery that had simply relocated. 

While I was perusing the cupcake selection, I eagerly asked them if they were new and I was told that they had just moved in from their Bathurst location.  I smiled and congratulated them on the move but on the inside, I was dying a little.  How.  Embarrassing.  And here I thought I had made some miraculously discovery!  Previously in the Bathurst and Lawrence West vicinity, Bakes & Goods moved into their new Yonge & Eglinton home (with adorable heart shaped exterior to boot) last Saturday and are fitting in quite swimmingly – the gentleman in front of me bought 2 dozen cupcakes on the spot!

Bakes & Goods has about 7 or 8 cupcake flavours to choose from on a daily basis including red velvet, cookie crumble, cafe mocha, choco ganache, and others.  While their selection isn’t particularly kooky-crazy, their flavours encompass many of the classics that cupcake lovers fall back on time and time again.  If you love the unique, the different, and the out-of-this-world, it might not be for you.  However, if you’re a diehard red velvet devotee, a committed chocoholic, or a lemon lover, the shop is definitely worth a looksee. 

To me, if you genuinely love cupcakes, there is absolutely nothing that will deter you from trying out a new shop or a shop you’ve never tried, even if the flavours are ones you’re extremely familiar with and accustomed to.  Much like sushi, everyone has a different interpretation of the classics and it’s worth it to see (and taste!) the differences and to experiment.  I am definitely going back to try their cookie crumble, lemon, mocha, and maybe their red velvet.  I’m not the biggest fan of red velvet (please don’t throw things at me), but like I said, it’s worth it to give it a whirl because you never know when you’ll be unknowingly surprised by something awesome.

At $2.75 a pop, their cupcakes rank mid-range on the cupcakery price ladder and their cupcake sizes are very decent and reasonable for the prices they charge.  Being the strawberry and pink lover that I am, I chose their very special Pinkalicious cupcake!  Their Pinkalicious cupcake is a vanilla cupcake topped with strawberry buttercream and a pretty little hot pink edible candy star. 

Knowing the topping was a buttercream, I anticipated the flavour to be very subtle but I was incredibly and pleasantly surprised at how fruity and sweet (and I don’t mean cloying or disgustingly sweet) and yummy the buttercream frosting was.  The buttercream didn’t leave that greasy film behind that so many people complain about and it definitely lives up to the strawberry flavour.  The whole cupcake from top to bottom was so light and fluffy and it was an absolute joy to eat.  This is such a great cupcake for spring and summer and definitely fit for all of us cupcake princesses out there.

*****

Bakes & Goods is located at 2523 Yonge Street in the Yonge & Eglinton neighbourhood.  The bake shop is situated on the east side of Yonge Street between Sherwood and Keewatin Ave., several blocks north of Eglinton Ave.  They have recently moved into this new home from their original Bathurst and Ranee location (around the Lawrence West area) and are open 6 days a week (Monday-Saturday) at 11am.