Like a Cupcake Lounge – A Photo Spotlight on Short & Sweet Cupcakes’ Vaughan Location & Megan’s Mocha Madness!

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While working on my big Cupcake Chronicles feature page today behind the scenes, I realized I never shared my photos of Short & Sweet Cupcakes’ Vaughan location or my photos of their amazingly delicious Megan’s Mocha Madness cupcake with you guys after all this time!  I know this post is a little on the late side given how it’s been about a year since Short & Sweet opened their second location, but Ate by Ate just wouldn’t be complete without a post showcasing their York Region arm in all it’s beautiful cupcake lounge-like glory!

Located at Major Mackenzie Drive West and Dufferin St. within the Eagles Landing complex, the shop boasts a spacious, airy seating area near the back as well as a lovely hot pink seating lounge right by the front window, perfect for enjoying your cupcakes with friends!  They have colourful cupcake artwork on the walls, giftware to purchase up at the front and a big display case for their many flavours of cupcakes.  It’s a fun and fresh space and I really enjoy taking photos of the cupcakes here because the big window lets a lot of nice natural light in.

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And speaking of light, today’s photo spotlight is for one of my Top 5 faves from Short & Sweet, the Megan’s Mocha Madness which is a Friday-only specialty.  I have waited so long to have this.  I have had so many Fridays pass me by without this cupcake in my life because of either work or school or just not being in the area so you can imagine my squealing happiness over this morsel of decadence when I finally got around to having it.  It’s a chocolate cupcake with mocha coffee frosting and chocolate curls on top.  The frosting is one of the most delicious frostings I’ve ever had and this is coming from a girl who doesn’t even drink or like coffee!  It’s one of their best because the chocolate cake is fudgy and moist and the frosting is extremely flavourful and creamy without being overpowering with that bitter coffee aftertaste or too sweet and lacking in depth.

I think they hit the nail on the head with this one and  I wish so much that this was part of their every day roster as opposed to just being available on Fridays because this is a flavour that I could go for time and time again.  Even though I didn’t take these particular photos at their Vaughan location (there’s a reason for that, read on), I wanted to share them anyway since it’s been so long since my last Short & Sweet post.

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So, you’re probably thinking, “well, that’s terrific that your favourite cupcake shop opened a location in York Region where you live!”  You’d think that.  But after careful calculations and an experiment with my best friend, I have discovered that it is actually easier for me to get to their Avenue Road shop instead of the one on Major Mackenize!  At least during the weekends.  It’s easy-peasy during the week, but the timing doesn’t jive with a work schedule and boy is it ever awkward on a Saturday.  Unless there’s a car involved or a random weekday I have off, getting here on Saturday would require taking 2 buses (which isn’t the most practical because there’s some doubling back involved) and then walking for another half hour and then finally walking on the side of the road to get into the complex because no sidewalk exists.  But all of this mumbo-jumbo?  Because the most straight-forward transit route to the shop doesn’t run on weekends.

Sigh.  That’s York Region transit for you.

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Regardless of the confusing transit issue, I love the Vaughan location for its larger space and I can definitely appreciate the fact that both Ginza Sushi and Yummy Market are both a hop, skip, and jump away!  I’ve been working really hard on the Cupcake Chronicles since Ate by Ate started and it’s been a joy profiling so many shops and tasting all the variety the city has to offer.  I’m hoping to fill in some more holes this year so that we can have photo spotlights on Short & Sweet’s Blueberry Yum Yum in May and Tropic Thunder in June at the very least.  Look out for Valentine’s Day cupcake posts in the coming weeks!

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*****

Short & Sweet Cupcakes serves two locations in the GTA: 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.  You can also find their cupcakes at some Aroma Espresso Bar locations!

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Ooh La La! The Ravishing Raspberry Red Velvet at Short & Sweet Cupcakes

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red velvet cupcake

For all ravenous red velvet lovers: this is for you!  No really, this is truly for you.  The folks who reserve red velvet cupcakes for super special occasions (think Penelope from Criminal Minds).  The folks who will clean out a cupcake bakery’s one-day supply and scrape and claw others for a bite of this vibrant hued confection (you know who you are).  And the folks who won’t eat any other dessert because everything else just pales in comparison (“c’mon, THERE’S CREAM CHEESE FROSTING, OH EM GEE!”).  I just had a coworker tell me this week that he doesn’t eat dessert (dude, do we even co-exist in the same universe?!) but that when he tried red velvet, it made him crazy and now he can’t get enough of the stuff!  I can’t relate.  I have a sweet tooth like nobody’s business but I can’t consider myself a part of this demographic.  Because I’m actually not the biggest fan of red velvet.

*cue crickets chirping*

Short & Sweet Cupcakes

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Don’t all chuck things at me at once!  I know, I know, I’ve posted about red velvet cupcakes from The Cupcake Shoppe and Sweet Escape Patisserie.  And I admit, red velvet things are gorgeous and captivating to look at.  The cream cheese frosting makes me salivate too.  But between red velvet cake and lemon or vanilla, there’s just no contest.  I’d swipe a vanilla cupcake before I’d stick my face in a red velvet.  And it’s not because I hate it!  I just always felt red velvet, as a flavour, was a giveaway in the sense that some folks and places can get away with doing a crappy job knowing the popularity and novelty of it will sell itself.  And I think that’s shitty.  Because trust me when I say I’ve had bad, bland, flavourless red velvet before and experiences like those make you wonder why the heck  you even wasted the calories on it in the first place.

But!  There is always a bright side and for me, the red velvet bright side shines oh-so-bright from Short & Sweet Cupcakes’ side of the pond.  And I know you may think, “oh, well of course it would because you love Short & Sweet!”  Not necessarily.  Let it be known that their Lemon Drop is my least favourite out of their line-up and from my perspective, their weakest out of all the ones I’ve tried.  And this is coming from a person who could live off of lemon anything.  So you know that when I say something kicks ass or is not so hot, it’s coming from the bottom of my heart.

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Their “Ooh La La!” red velvet ($2.90 each) blows it out of the water.  We’re talking thick, creamy, rich cream cheese frosting on top of some of the moistest red velvet cake you’ll ever sink your teeth into and that is due, in part, to the RASPBERRY FILLING!  Raspberry filling.  In a red velvet cupcake.  With cream cheese frosting.  That is just pure fabulousness.  This cupcake hits every profile you could ever want.  Decadent, creamy, juicy, tart, sweet, you name it.  When you get a red velvet from here, you know you are getting a fan-freakin’-tastic cupcake, plain and simple.  They do its novelty and popularity justice 10 times over and it leaves you wanting so many more.  I went into it thinking I’d just give it a shot considering it was one of the ones I still hadn’t tried from Short & Sweet yet (it’s an everyday cupcake so you can get them any day from Tuesday to Sunday if you fancy) and I came out of it genuinely loving it to pieces.

So to all red velvet enthusiasts: you need these luscious confections in your life, pronto.

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*****

Short & Sweet Cupcakes serves 2 locations:

  • 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.
  • 1480 Major Mackenzie Dr. West at the corner of Major Mackenzie and Dufferin Street in Vaughan.  They are open from 12pm-7pm Tuesday-Saturday and 12pm-6pm on Sundays.  This location is also closed on Mondays.

The Cupcake Connection, Vol. 008 – Scrumptious New Flavours, Giving Back to the Community & More! Part I

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spring cupcakes at Short & Sweet Cupcakes in Toronto

After a good month of macaron munching in March, we’re diving straight back into cupcake mode!  It’s been months since my last Cupcake Connection post and while I’ve continued eating cupcakes (c’mon, it’s ME we’re talking about here), I couldn’t take photos of a few of them (I know, foreshame.  It was late and dark when I was eating them and one of them even got squished!  Very delicious, but so not sexy) and I have a bit of backlog going on with the ones I did take photos of so bear with me while I sort everything out over the next month.

There’s a LOT to catch up on, so much so that it feels overwhelming at times.  So many cupcakes, so little time!  Luckily for me, I have the support of many of my favourite cupcake shops giving me the goods to pass along to all of you so we’ll never be at a loss for great cupcake news.  We have quite a bit to cover (this is Part I of II!) so let’s jump right in and get started!

You’ll Need a Wheelbarrow to Carry All of These – New Flavours and Flavours of the Month

mini cupcake box from Prairie Girl Bakery in Toronto

Just when I think I’ve made a little bit of headway in trying the many cupcakes and flavours in Toronto, I get whip-lashed with a whole truckload of new and exciting flavours!  Seriously, it’s 1 step forward, 5 steps back!  But tis the spice of life and I wouldn’t want it any other way because without new fun and creative flavour combinations, the cupcake scene would get boring real fast and that’s the last thing any of us want.  Let’s start with Prairie Girl Bakery.  Talk about busting out the sweet treats!  Prairie Girl has unleashed 7, count ’em, SEVEN new Treats of the Week flavours ($2.95 for regular size, $1.75 for minis) to their rotating menu!  HOLY MOTHER OF PEARL.  These 7 flavours include:

  • Blueberries & Cream (Golden Buttermilk Cupcake with a swirl of Real Blueberry Icing and a swirl of Classic Cream Cheese Icing, topped with a Chocolate Blueberry)
  • Chocolate Coconut (Dark Cocoa Cupcake with Vanilla Bean Icing topped with Toasted Coconut)
  • Chocolate Flake (Red Velvet Cake with Vanilla Bean Icing topped with Chocolate Flakes)
  • Grasshopper Pie (Dark Cocoa Cupcake with Green Mint Icing topped with Cookie Crumble)
  • Malted Milk (Dark Cocoa Cupcake with Malted Milk Icing topped with a Maltesar)
  • Neapolitan (Dark Cocoa Cupcake with a swirl of Real Strawberry Icing and a swirl of Vanilla Bean Icing)
  • Tiramisu (Golden Buttermilk Cupcake with Tiramisu Icing, Marsala Wine Syrup topped with Chocolate Flakes)

Treats of the Week web page at Prairie Girl Bakery in Toronto

I would inhale all of these, but the ones I am most excited about are the Blueberries & Cream, Grasshopper Pie, and Malted Milk.  Prairie Girl has rolled a few of these out already this month so if you’ve missed them, don’t fret – their Treats of the Week operate on a rotating menu so they’ll always come back and you can know in advance now on their website where they list their upcoming Treats of the Week 4 weeks in advance which I ABSOLUTELY LOVE!

Next on the list?  Yummy Stuff on Queen Street West.  Their April Flavour of the Month ($2.75) is an ultra cool, psychedelic Cherry Almond Cake!  And I do mean psychedelic.  We’re talking bright turquoise vanilla frosting topped with juicy red maraschino cherries on cherry-studded almond cake.  I could float up to cupcake heaven right now.  I LOVE almond baked goods and this sounds and looks amazing (you can check out the photo Yummy Stuff posted on their blog HERE).

For the Love of Cake cupcakes in Toronto in Liberty Village

Lemon Meringue cupcakes from For the Love of Cake cupcake bakery in Liberty Village in Toronto

Taken in 2009, well before the birth of Ate by Ate! For the Love of Cake’s amazing Lemon Meringue cupcakes.

A little further south you’ll find For the Love of Cake, where they’ve brought back their classic S’mores and my beloved Lemon Meringue cupcakes ($2.65) for the month of April (and if demand is high, possibly for even longer!).  The Lemon Meringue was the very first flavour I tried at For the Love Cake back in 2009 (can you believe it’s been that long?!) and it remains, to this day, one of my favourite cupcakes.  Annnnd speaking of S’mores, my dear  Short & Sweet Cupcakes has added two mouthwatering flavours ($2.90) to their permanent menu on Fridays (Boston Cream!) and Sundays (S’mores!).  It pains me that I haven’t tried either of them yet so let’s hope that I can sink my sweet teeth into at least one of them in the coming months!

And then there’s Dessert Lady in the heart of Yorkville.  They’ve expanded their selection to include 3 NEW flavours ($3):

  • Double Chocolate Cupcake with Hazelnut Crunch Buttercream
  • Passionfruit Cupcake with Caramelized White Chocolate Buttercream
  • Sweet Corn Bacon Cupcake with Salted Caramel Popcorn Buttercream (SAY WHAT?!)

And here I am thinking maple bacon cupcakes were way out there – this 3rd flavour knocks it out of the park!  If you love wild and wacky flavours, especially sweet and savoury combinations, I think you’ve met your match and I dare you to try it and report back!

Community and Cupcake Shops – Giving Back

Second Harvest Logo

Cupcake shops are more than just lace and frills.  Many establishments are partnering with different organizations in and around the city to make a difference in their communities.  Prairie Girl Bakery and So Into Cupcakes in Scarborough have both formed relationships with charitable organizations and programs in an effort to help others and to further deepen their growing engagement within the food community.  Prairie Girl Bakery and Second Harvest are joined at the hip via ongoing donations, and are also affiliated with the following causes:

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And more recently, So Into Cupcakes has partnered with Toronto’s Fresh City Farms!  I found out about this through their Facebook page and it’s wonderful as more and more people are signing up to have fresh, local, organic produce delivered to their homes.  These memberships not only support our farmers, they provide ongoing support to local food co-ops and local food organizations.

Phew!  That was a lot to get through and we’re not even close to being finished.  Thankfully, there’s always room for Part II so stay tuned for more delicious cupcake news!

The Cupcake Connection, Vol. 006 – The Fall Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice Edition!

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October is truly the month of the pumpkin!  With pumpkin breads, pies, tarts (Dufflet owns this one with their famous pumpkin cream tarts!), roasted seeds, soups and the traditional Halloween carving of jack-o-lanterns, there’s no shortage of ways to use this friendly orange fall gourd and vegetable.  Cupcake bakeries across the city are very much in the thick of things, whipping up batches of pumpkin spice, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin and cream cheese frosted cupcakes to celebrate the pumpkin-loving month.
While I love the texture of pumpkin pie filling and the versatility of pumpkin in both sweet and savoury dishes, I really feel that pumpkin cupcakes are one of those love-it-or-hate-it, hit-or-miss type of confections.  It’s just hard to do well!  It’s not hard to give the impression of warmth and comfort or to mimic the flavour of pumpkin pie and pumpkin spice.  Rather, it’s difficult to get the texture of the cake just right.  Even though I haven’t come across a pumpkin cupcake I disliked or thought was incredibly awful per say, I will point out that some have been more forgettable than others.  The misses always seem to manifest themselves in the cake portion of the cupcake, either being too dry and crumbly or much too dense; I want to eat a yummy cupcake not feel like I’m holding a hockey puck!

Mmmm, yummy cinnamon frosting…

I’ve tried 4 pumpkin cupcakes from 4 different bakeries (Bunner’s Bake Shop, Flour Studio, Short & Sweet Cupcakes, and So Into Cupcakes) and my favourite so far has been the moist pumpkin spice cupcake with the soft cinnamon frosting from So Into Cupcakes.  The cake is the softest here and I love the texture of the frosting.  Anything with cinnamon in it and on it is fine by me!  In a close second would be Flour Studio’s pumpkin spice with cream cheese frosting just because I really felt like the cake captured that mild, earthy pumpkin flavour without being too spiced in flavour (you know, the type of flavour that screams, “I’m from a can!”  Even if it is, it shouldn’t be obvious!) and the cream cheese frosting was truly delicious.  I would definitely recommend taking a few bites of cupcake just on its own though to truly get the full effect as the cream cheese frosting can overwhelm the cake.

Pumpkin Spice from Flour Studio!

Decked out for Halloween: Pumpkin Spice at Short & Sweet Cupcakes!

And here I’m going to get on my soapbox: I’m never going to stop wishing for a cupcake that has pumpkin frosting!  Cake is wonderful, yes, but I also want to see (and taste!) a cupcake topped with pumpkin frosting, just to switch things up and to try something new and different since we’re pretty accustomed to pumpkin cakes with vanilla or cream cheese frosting.  Something like a pumpkin mousse frosting would be fabulous, or a thick, creamy pumpkin frosting swirled with vanilla and sprinkled with graham crumbs!  I can dream.

Regardless, there are just as many pumpkin cupcakes that do taste great and it’ll be my mission to get to as many as possible before the season is over.  There are plenty of options (including vegan ones!) to choose from to figure out which one(s) take home the crown of most delectable pumpkin cupcake.

Bunners Bake Shop’s vegan pumpkin cupcake with their famous vanilla frosting!

Seasonal pumpkin cupcake goodies from Wanda’s Pie in the Sky!

  • Bobbette & Belle, 1121 Queen Street East: Pumpkin  ($2.95) – pumpkin spice cake with cream cheese buttercream frosting.  Seasonal flavour, daily rotation; call ahead to ask (416-466-8800).
  • Bunners Bake Shop, 3054 Dundas Street West in the Junction, just west of High Park Ave.: Pumpkin ($3.25) – vegan pumpkin cupcake topped with their premium vegan vanilla frosting and a pumpkin seed.  Seasonal flavour; daily rotation; call ahead and ask (647-352-2975).
  • Desmond & Beatrice, 750 Queen Street East: Pumpkin Spice ($2.75) – pumpkin spice cake swirled with a brown sugar cream cheese frosting.  Seasonal flavour, daily rotation; call ahead to ask (647-352-2257).
  • Flour Studio, 883 Eglinton Ave. West: Pumpkin Spice ($3) – pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting, sprinkled with nutmeg.  Seasonal flavour, daily rotation; call ahead to ask (416-789-0222).
  • For the Love of Cake, 171 East Liberty St. #117: Pumpkin Pie ($3) – pumpkin spice cupcake topped with fresh whipped cream sprinkled with nutmeg.  Seasonal flavour, daily flavour; call ahead to ask (416-306-6446)
  • Short & Sweet Cupcakes,1945 Avenue Road: Pumpkin Spice ($2.90) – pumpkin spice cupcake with cream cheese frosting.  Available during the month of October as their Flavour of the Month.
  • So Into Cupcakes, 2060 Ellesmere Road: Pumpkin Spice ($2.50 for regular size, $1.50 for mini) – pumpkin cupcake topped with cinnamon cream cheese frosting.  Seasonal flavour, available during the month of October.
  • The Wedding Cake Shoppe, 859 College Street: Pumpkin Pie ($2.65) – pumpkin pie with buttercream frosting and pumpkin candy garnish.  Seasonal flavour, daily rotation; call ahead to ask (416-916-2253).
  • Wanda’s Pie in the Sky, 287 Augusta Ave. in Kensington Market: Pumpkin – pumpkin cake with frosting and a pumpkin-shaped chocolate garnish sweet treat on top.  Seasonal flavour, call ahead to ask: (416-236-7585)
  • Yummy Stuff, 1660 Queen Street West in Parkdale: Pumpkin ($2.75) – pumpkin cupcake with brown butter frosting and candied nut topping.  Seasonal flavour, available during the month of October.

The Cupcake Connection, Vol. 004 – Short & Sweet Birthday Celebrations, Fashion’s Night Out & New Cupcakeries!

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Cupcakes like these would sweeten anybody’s back-to-school week!

New month, new school year, new season just around the corner, new Cupcake Connection!  I have to tell you, I am SO looking forward to fall and the end of the summer season.  Wearing summer dresses has been nice, but I’m ready to move on to fall flavours, clothes, and refreshing walks through colourful crunchy leaves with a warm cup of tea.  My mind and appetite have already shifted to pumpkin and squash meals, apple desserts, fall markets, and of course, seasonal delights at all the cupcake bakeries!  September is here and that means a whole slew of cupcake news to share to kick off the month and the beginning of the end of the hot and hazy days of summer, so let’s hop to it!

Short & Sweet Cupcakes is all over the cupake news circuit this month!  Not only are they official sponsors for Toronto’s very first Fashion’s Night Out this Thursday, September 6th, 2012 from 6pm-11pm (FNO, a global consumer initiative celebrating its 4th anniversary this year, is dedicated to making shopping an even bigger social and socializing event, creating excitement over fashion collections, designers, and the industry through different shopping events in different cities around the world, and aiming to restore consumer confidence in an economy drowning in recession woes), but they are also celebrating several different milestones of their own! 

This Saturday, September 8th, Short & Sweet will be raising a toast to their 1st birthday at their new location on Avenue Road, their 3rd birthday as a cupcake shop in Toronto, AND the birth of their soon-to-be 2nd store location opening later on this month, located in York Region!  Things have never been more exciting and hopeful for the team, so join in on the celebration and pop on by this Saturday for a cupcake party celebration!  You can view the photos from last year’s grand opening party HERE!

And funny enough, since we’re talking about Short & Sweet, you’ll never guess the type of business that recently moved into their old location at 399 Old Orchard Grove!  Or maybe you will since I’ve made it kind of obvious.  That’s right, a brand spankin’ new cupcake bakery has set up shop in Short & Sweet’s old residence!  Small world, right?  Introducing, Pink Lemon Bake Shop!  As a sister cupcake and cake shop to York Region’s Crumbs & Co., Pink Lemon Bake Shop opened their doors in Toronto for the first time this past June.  I haven’t been to the shop yet (I will get there eventually!), but flavours like blueberry champagne, fudge sundae, brownie fudge, and pink lemon will draw me there soon enough! 

And if that’s not enough to get your heart fluttering, another cupcake bakery and patisserie has waltzed into Toronto this past year (also located in North York), at 3543 Bathurst St., south of Wilson Ave. and the 401.  Walk into Bo-Bon, an East Coast American import from New York and New Jersey, specializing in cupcakes, gourmet marshmallows, meringues, chocolates, and Parisian macarons – all Kosher-certified!  If you’re a fellow “Cupcake Crusader”, definitely check out both shops and check them off your list if you’re looking for more cupcake goodness in Toronto!  It’s only a matter of time before I hit both, so sit tight because posts on both of them will come!

September also means the return of TIFF, the Toronto International Film Festival, and in true glamourous, red-carpet ready style, Le Dolci is holding a special TIFF themed cupcake decorating class on Sunday, September 9th from 4pm-6pm!  I had just started my adventures at old icing sugar towers around the time this class had happened last year and I still remember seeing adorable cupcakes decorated with fondant to resemble movie reels, popcorn buckets, directors’ clapboards, and other cute movie and TIFF related things!  There’s space available, so if you love movies and cupcakes, this class is perfect for you! 

Finally, a new month and a new season just around the corner means new products at DuffletFor a limited time, enjoy two new giant cupcakes at all Dufflet bakeries and cafes: a filled Coconut Dulce de Leche and a filled Luscious Lemon!  Both sound amazing and both are two of my favourite flavours ever!  Not to mention they have fillings!  Dufflet cupcakes are $2.85 each.  Dufflet’s fall beginnings and back-to-school newsletter can be found HERE where a listing of new products and promotions await you!  That’s all for this post, but I’m already so super excited about scoping out fall flavours and seasonal treats for the next Cupcake Connection!

Mountains of Pink Frosting and Red Roses – Slow-Dancing With ‘Lady in Red’, and Valentine’s at Short & Sweet!

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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.

Hallowe’en Headquarters – A Frosted, Sprinkled Party of Orange, White, Purple & Black at Short & Sweet Cupcakes!

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Just in case your sweet tooth is begging for mercy (I’ve had my share of cookies, cupcakes, and other treats over the past several days; guilty as charged), today’s offering of treats is the last of the bunch in the Hallowe’en Headquarters series and I’m sad to see it end!  I’ve really warmed up to the cutesy header image, background colour, and colour scheme (I’m quite fond of lime green) and it’ll be bittersweet saying goodbye to it.  It was Ate by Ate’s first Hallowe’en and I’ve had so much fun being mummifying and spookifying the blog!  I wish I had another week to post more goodies (or rather, I wish I had just started earlier!), but I’m glad I got the chance to show you all at least a few yummies around the city.  If we’re bidding farewell to the haunted holiday, we’re going out with a bang – Short & Sweet cupcake style!  Like I would let Hallowe’en come and go without a visit to my favourite cupcake shop 😉

Hallowe’en was a big deal for Short & Sweet for a number of reasons.  First, it was the shop’s first major holiday celebration at the new location on Avenue Rd.  Second, Hallowe’en fell on a Monday this year and Short & Sweet doesn’t normally open for business on Mondays, so it was a crazy, whirlwind day on their part!  There are plenty of shops in the city that aren’t open 7 days a week and I can imagine what a pickle it becomes, as a business owner, when you’re faced with the dilemma of wanting to stay open for a specific holiday or occasion on the very day that you’re business is supposed to be closed.  It’s the desire for more business versus possibly being short-staffed, majorly overworked, or just not having enough resources to accomodate.

I’m biased, but I’m happy they decided to open this past Monday!  While I was drooling over Short & Sweet’s special Hallowe’en themed cupcakes and snapping away with my camera, people were picking up orders left and right and I had to tell at least 4 or 5 people who came in after me that I was not, in fact, ordering (yet) and that they were more than welcome to go ahead of me.  I was too busy gawking.  Their selection of cupcakes were all sporting a mixed flurry of frosted, sprinkled orange, white, purple, and black and everything looked so pretty and festive!  Some cupcakes had bright, rich, colourful frosting (Ice Ice Baby had a fiery orange vanilla frosting while Penguin Suit looked dapper in a gorgeous jeweltone purple with sprinkles) while others were dusted with orange, purple, black, and white sprinkles, pumpkin candy toppers, and Hallowe’en trinkets. 

I picked up one for myself (October’s Pumpkin Spice with pumpkin spice cake and cream cheese frosting) and one for my brother (the chocolate, fudgy Rich in Recession with a Hallowe’en appropriate pumpkin candy on top) and good god did my brother ever go to town with his cupcake when I brought it home for him!  Forget trick-or-treating, cupcakes are where it’s at!  My brother is a chocolate fiend and while he was stuffing his face, he managed to mumble out, “Mmm, chocolatey goodness, chocolate frosting is so good” in between mouthfuls of, well, chocolate.

And my cream cheese frosted pumpkin spice cupcake was a mixture of sweetness, tangyness, and thick creaminess, which is a defining feature of Short & Sweet’s cupcakes.  The frostings are thick and creamy and you’ll never find a frosting here that’s airy and whippy.  The cake itself had an earthy, pumpkin flavour and the nice thing about it was that it wasn’t overloaded with the spice component.  I enjoy spice combinations like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, 5-star, anise, etc. but too much makes the pumpkin flavour taste artificial. 

I don’t know what it is about pumpkin that makes the texture of cake so different, but pumpkin cupcakes are so different from the regular vanillas and chocolates.  They’re not fluffy per se, and they’re not like muffins because muffins have more of a crumbly texture to them.  The pumpkin spice cupcake was so full of body.  You feel like you’re eating a loaf cake with frosting and it’s the type of cake you can envision yourself having as a morning breakfast snack, or taking out of your oven in a loaf pan.  I don’t mind one way or another, but if you prefer the “pillow” type of texture, the pumpkin cake probably isn’t for you.  Even though the density of it takes some getting used to, I enjoy the flavour and I’m happy I got the chance to try it! 

Hallowe’en at Short & Sweet was super fun and this whole series was a blast to do.  I hope you all liked the series, as short as it was, and had fabulous Hallowe’ens!  November is now upon us and there’s so much to look forward to.  I’m excited to churn out more Fall Harvest posts and I have a few holiday ideas up my sleeve as well!  If you have any leftover Hallowe’en sweets, enjoy them!    

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Short & Sweet Cupcakes is now located at 1945 Avenue Rd., south of Wilson Ave.  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 getting off Yorks Mills subway station and walking west to Avenue Rd. from Yonge.