If You Like Pina Coladas, and Getting Caught In the Rain… – The Creamy Pineapple Cupcake at Prairie Girl Bakery!

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“If You Like Pina Coladas” is one of my favourite songs to sing along to on the radio and I’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity to use a song lyric from this song for ages!  If there’s any opportunity for me to use a song lyric or two in a post title, I’ll take it!  Getting the special pina colada cupcake from Prairie Girl Bakery this month was exciting in and of itself, but to have a pina colada cupcake sunbathing under a tiki umbrella while actually carrying my little square cupcake box in the rain?  It was truly meant to be! 

In all seriousness though, my love for cupcakes is worthy of a chuckle and an amused eye roll and I am grateful to everyone (especially my sweet boyfriend) who humours my obsession.  When I have a hankering for a cupcake, which is truthfully almost every day, I will get one rain or shine.  On this particular day, I looked like an absolute mess with my hair tucked into my hoodie as I trotted across the downtown streets of TO in the misty rain with Prairie Girl cupcake box in hand.  And I have to say, the creamy, fruity, toasty cupcake was well worth the temporary disheveled appearance. 

The Pina Colada Treat of the Week featured a golden buttermilk cupcake topped with big generous swirls of creamy pineapple frosting, toasted shredded coconut, and an adorable tiki umbrella in your choice of colour!  The cupcakes were so cute with the little umbrellas sticking out of them and because I was able to choose which colour umbrella I wanted, I chose a bright green one because it reminded me of breezy palm trees.  The pineapple frosting had a great mix of fruitiness and tartness to it and the toasted coconut added an incredible amount of crunchy, toasty texture to the creamy richness of the frosting.  The best part though?  The golden vanilla buttermilk cupcake was so soft and moist on the inside and literally golden yellow brown and toasty around the edges of the cupcake hood on the outside.  That outer edge was so delicious and the crispness of it added so much more depth in flavour.  You had the light airiness from the moist interior and the warm, bold vanilla flavour on the outside.

Photographing cupcakes around the city can sometimes be a challenge when tables and chairs aren’t available inside the shop, but sometimes hunting down the perfect spot to snap photos can also be fun.  It trains you to think on your feet, to improvise, and to utilize your surrounding environment.  What better spot to the photograph a tropical themed pina colada cupcake than around tropical plants?  Just to be a tease, I’ll let you all figure out the exact spot I took these photos inside First Canadian Place!  I set my cupcake down near some tropical bromeliad flowers and plants and made a little tropical cabana backdrop for it.  It was fun and I think they turned out cute!   

Since my last Prairie Girl cupcake post in September, there’s been some exciting news and changes!  For starters, Prairie Girl opened up their 2nd location in First Canadian Place back in November!  Their underground PATH location is smack dab in the middle of the hustle and bustle of FCP’s Marketplace food haven and you should see the crowds and line-ups!  Prairie Girl is one of my favourite cupcakeries in the city and I’m so happy that they’ve been so successful that they opened a second location. 

In addition to the new location, Prairie Girl has also added even more fun and flavour to their menu!  Aside from their permanent daily flavours of cupcakes and frostings, Prairie Girl would always feature a special Treat of the Week, available for 7 days in both mini and regular sizes.  Every week there would be a new and different cupcake flavour and depending on the response, Prairie Girl would sometimes bring back popular favourites for the Treat of the Week over time.  Instead of having only one Treat of the Week, there are now TWO Treats of the Week – a special flavour on the Golden Buttermilk vanilla and a special one on Grandma’s Dark Cocoa. 

I absolutely love this new arrangement!  I love keeping up with all the creative flavours and themes on a weekly basis and the pina colada cupcake was one that I couldn’t pass up.  Pineapple and coconut?  Amazing.  Tiki umbrella?  Even more fabulous.  A delicious pineapple coconut cupcake with tiki umbrella in the rain while humming Jimmy Buffett’s lyrics?  Priceless. 

*****

Prairie Girl Bakery is located at Suite 106, 18 King St. East off King St. E and Victoria St.  The cupcake shop itself actually faces Victoria St., so it’s just a smidge north of King on Victoria St.  They are open 6 days a week from 10am-6pm from Monday-Saturday.  They are closed on Sundays and statutory holidays.  Their new 2nd location is located in the underground PATH in First Canadian Place in the Marketplace food concourse.  The FCP location is open from 8am-6pm, Monday-Friday.

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What We’d All Love to Sit By the Fire With – The Sweet Creaminess of the S’more Cupcake at Prairie Girl Bakery!

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If you’ve been following some of my tweets on Twitter, you might have noticed how giddy I’ve been over paper food as of late!  Paper food…wait, what?  No, I haven’t been sticking paper in my mouth (I love food but I’m not that desparate!), but I’ve been instead making my own scrapbooking embellishments for my scrapbook layouts!  I have a hefty collection of scrapbook supplies with everything from alphabet stickers, ribbons, embellishments, adhesive jewels, and everything in between.  But every once in awhile, I plan out some scrapbook layouts knowing I either don’t have certain supplies for them or not enough of a particular item.  No matter though – I would just go out and pick up one or two things and I’d be good to go.  When my bank of disposable income was a little larger, I would even order things online without batting an eye.

This time around, things didn’t go exactly as planned.  I had been meaning to go to Michael’s for weeks, but my timing, for a lack of a better word, stunk.  I wasn’t willing to wait around any longer to do my layouts so I did the most logical thing: make them myself.  My days of making food out of construction paper date all the way back to the age 6.  There I was at my kiddle table with my first pair of pink scissors and my first pack of construction paper, so excited to cut and paste to my heart’s content.  Guess what I did with my first stack of construction paper and my first pair of scissors?  I made eggs out of the beige construction paper, bananas out of the yellow, and ham out of the pink.  Paper dolls?  Pish, I was making my own supermarket.  Two decades later, I’m still snipping away making my own paper sprinkled donuts, and marshmallows and s’mores for today’s Prairie Girl Bakery post! 😀

The first Prairie Girl post I did was back in July and it featured their juicy lemon frosted golden vanilla buttermilk cupcake from their everyday, permanent menu.  This post features one of their many Treats of the Week!  Prairie Girl has a permanent menu available every day from Monday-Sunday in both regular and mini sizes, but they also have a weekly Treat of the Week that changes every Sunday.  I’ve already developed a routine every Sunday where I check their website to see what their weekly treat will be!  These special flavours are only around for a week until they decide to repeat it at another point in the year and although I’m not certain how often they repeat special flavours, I know for a fact that they have brought a few back for another Treat of the Week stint. 

Obviously, if you work or live nearby, you could feasibly snatch every Treat of the Week and believe me, I ache for the opportunity to do that but it’s just not possible for me.  I’m going to try my darn hardest to try as many as I can though!  Some of their past Treat of the Week cupcakes include peanut butter and jelly, cafe au lait (coffee), pumpkin and cinnamon, cotton candy, and cherry cheesecake.  I’m still heartbroken over the ones I’ve missed and because I’m still bitter, I’m not saying which ones! 

This particular Treat of the Week is the kind you’d happily eat and eat over and over again as you sit by a toasty fire: the amazingingly fudgy, creamy, get-it-all-over-your-hands-and-mouth s’more cupcake!  The special s’more cupcake was outfitted with lots of creamy graham cracker flavoured frosting, mini marshmallows, and a crunchy piece of chocolate biscuit chocolate bar on a fudgy, dark cocoa cupcake known as Grandma’s Dark Cocoa cake – cute, right? 

I know I described their sizes in my first Prarie Girl post, but it’s worth mentioning again.  These cupcakes eat like a meal.  I’m not kidding.  If you intend to eat this after your lunch or dinner, I’m warning you, you’re going to have a massive food baby so if you care about your level of comfort, decrease the amount you eat during your lunch or dinner.  Because the cupcake is worth every bite and you’ll want to eat the whole thing 😉  There are a number of places in the city that price their cupcakes for $3 and I am telling you, Prairie Girl’s are the most bang for your buck at that price point.  The cupcakes are big, they give you ample frosting (so much so that I have to make sure it doesn’t dribble down my chin as I’m eating), and their boxed packaging is really great because it’s 1) recyclable and reusable and 2) it does the job because the cupcake(s) fit snugly in their slots.

The dark cocoa cake is extremely moist and soft with a rich fudgy flavour to it and their s’more frosting was out of this world.  It was more than just a “graham cracker flavoured frosting”; it tasted like sweet cookie dough ice cream married with sweet graham crackers.  You know that taste that hits the back of your tongue when you eat a graham cracker and you let the cookie melt in your mouth a bit?  Imagine that mixed with those sweet cookie dough balls in cookie dough ice cream and you have this frosting.  It tasted amazing with the dark chocolate cake and was super creamy. 

However, a frosting is just a frosting and if you’re going to execute a s’more cupcake the right way, you need that crunchy texture somewhere in there.  Ah, that’s where the crunchy chocolate bar biscuit piece comes in.  Atop all the s’more cupcakes were 3 mini marshmallows and a crunchy chocolate bar piece and this rounded out the theme and flavour of the cupcake really well.  And even though I think my 2-point perspective drawing is a bit off, I think my paper s’more does it justice ^_^

*****

Prairie Girl Bakery is located at Suite 106, 18 King St. East off King St. E and Victoria St.  The cupcake shop itself actually faces Victoria St., so it’s just a smidge north of King on Victoria St.  They are open 7 days a week from 10am-6pm from Monday-Saturday, and from 11am-5pm on Sundays.  A special thank you to Jean for allowing me to take photos in the shop, it is very appreciated.

Scrapbooking materials used: to be added!

“Live Life One Cupcake at a Time” – Oodles of Frosting, Buttermilk Cake, & Lemon Cupcakes at Prairie Girl Bakery

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I thank my friend Alex from Vivid Memories for my first visit to Prairie Girl Bakery as I found out about this lovely cupcake shop from her blog.  Prairie Girl’s cupcake shop is so pretty to look at.  The colours are bright, fresh, and pretty (purple, pink, white, and green!) and you should see the inside.  My two favourite things about Prairie Girl, aesthetically, are the painted cupcake tile mosaics on the wall and the cupcake displays behind the counter.  I have never seen cupcake displays like these before.  Normally, you’re accustomed to seeing cupcakes either lined up nice and pretty in a glass display case, or placed on metal cake stands.  Not the case at Prairie Girl.  The cupcakes are placed on sliding drawers *insert cricket chirping*.  I don’t know if they’re plastic, plexiglass, or what, but their beautifully frosted cupcakes are lined up for the world (or in our case, the city) to see on sliding panels.  It looks exactly like those fancy drawers that you place your jewelry in that slide in and out and oh my god, I love it.  Eeee.

The cupcakes come in two sizes – regular and mini – and aside from their special, limited edition flavours that come out every week or so (the Treat of the Week), Prairie Girl has 13 cupcake flavours and combinations to choose from on their permanent menu.  You can follow them on Facebook, Twitter (@prairiegirlbake), and check out their website here to keep up with their updated special flavours and for other news.  Most of the cupcakes are frosted on either golden buttermilk cake or dark cocoa cake, with the exceptions being the red velvet, banana, and carrot cake cupcakes.  Frosting flavours include strawberry, lemon, peppermint, vanilla bean, chocolate cream cheese, vanilla with toasted coconut, and peanut butter. 

Yes, you read right, peanut butter.  Prairie Girl is NOT a nut-free bakery so for those who have nut allergies, PROCEED WITH CAUTION!  For those who don’t (like me), eat as much as you like! 😀  In all seriousness though, Prairie Girl specifically states on their menu that their facility bakes with nuts and I think it’s important to toot this piece of information as loudly as I can because of the prevalence of nut allergies and sensitivities.

These cupcakes are BIG!  You should see the size of the cupcake hoods.  Plenty of space for the ample amount of frosting they give you!  The frosting is beautifully piped (from up top they look like peppermint swirls) and they come in adorable cupcake boxes with “pockets” for the cupcakes to sit in so they don’t move around (yup, even for a set of two) and with clear little cellophane “windows” on top so you can see and proudly display your sweet treats inside.  Minis are priced at $1.50 each, with half a dozen coming in at $9.95 and a dozen at $18.95.  Regular-sized cupcakes are priced at $2.95 each, $16.95 for half a dozen, and $31.95 for a dozen.  Thus, Prairie Girl’s regular-sized cupcakes rank closer to the mid to higher end of cupcake shop prices around the city.  In the context of cupcakeries in the city, the size of their cupcakes is worth the price.  And is the taste?  Yes!

I can’t vouch for the dark cocoa cake yet as I haven’t tried it (trust that I will), but their golden buttermilk vanilla cake is very good and so different from other cupcakes I’ve had.  You know how cupcakes taste, well…cakey?  Not in a bad way, of course (for the good ones), but you know the texture I’m referring to.  Their golden buttermilk cake is different -and delicious- because of how moist it is.  In my opinion, it’s practically like a yellow sponge cake.  You could literally see the lemon zest in the frosting which was deliciously lemon-y, and you could even taste the juicy lemon juice in the lickety good frosting.

These cupcakes were SO much fun to eat.  I know, cupcakes are always fun to eat (duh!), but these cupcakes had my friend Sally and I giggling and laughing because we were making an utter mess out of ourselves!  The cupcakes are swirled with lots of frosting and the consistency is whippy and airy and much less dense than other frostings I’ve tried from other places.  This consistency causes the frosting to slip around and off the cake a little bit easier, but really, these are mega hilarious to gorge on.  Even though my friend Sally and I ate our cupcakes at two different times, we encountered the same giggly situation with frosting dribbling down our chins, us scooping up our fallen frosting, and shoving the remainder of our cupcakes into our mouth before we made any further spectacle out of ourselves! 😀

Prairie Girl’s convenient location off King St. E. and Victoria St. makes it a hot spot for the downtown work crowd and I quite like that there’s a great cupcake shop that is 1) open 7 days a week and 2) so close to the subway, the Eaton Centre, and the underground PATH!  It drives me bonkers that the address misleads people into thinking it’s literally on King St. (because it actually faces Victoria St. and if you didn’t do a bit of looking around, you’d seriously miss it entirely), but I guess I can be a forgiving for yummy cupcakes 😉

*****

Prairie Girl Bakery is located at Suite 106, 18 King St. East off King St. E and Victoria St.  The cupcake shop itself actually faces Victoria St., so it’s just a smidge north of King on Victoria St.  They are open 7 days a week from 10am-6pm from Monday-Saturday, and from 11am-5pm on Sundays.  A special thank you to Jean for allowing me to take photos in the shop, it is very appreciated.

Scrapbooking materials used: violet, grape, neon pink, and neon chartreuse cardstock (Recollections); lime green and bright pink patterned paper (Lime Garden by K&Company); pink plaid patterned paper (Choco Mod Patterns by DCWV); pastel polka dotted cardboard; cupcake stickers/embellishments (Cupcake “It’s a Party” by Autumn Leaves, Creativity Inc.); paper corner rounder (ek success); black felt tip Sharpie marker.