Inspired by a Red Scalloped Cake Stand – Scrapbooking Sweets From Yummy Stuff on Queen Street West in Parkdale

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Scrapbooking materials used: bubblegum pink, neon green, forest green, white, and cappuccino cardstock (Recollections); dessert themed cardstock (The Sweet Stack With Glitter by DCWV); patterned paper with giant rainbow coloured circles (Michaels); die cut pink “Sweet” cardboard embellishment (Winners/Homesense); “Spring” sticker embellishment (K&Company); pink metallic foil alphabet stickers (Recollections); flowers and tree foil stickers (atd momenta); red felt forest animals stickers (Friendly Forest by Colorbok); lime green wavy felt borders (Forever in Time Scrapbook Collection); medium scallop circle paper punch (ek success); corner rounder paper punch (ek success); scalloped edge decorative scissors (Provo Craft).

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Cupcake Heaven in My Mouth – Sweets, Fillings, and Boston Cream & Lemon Cupcakes at Yummy Stuff, Part II!

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You know a cupcake and dessert shop has you in the palm of their hand when it makes you weak in the knees and abnormally impulsive.  A minute after I walked into Yummy Stuff, I was piecing together a scrapbook layout in my mind’s eye even before I had even taken my camera out to start snapping and immediately after I enjoyed the heavenly blissfulness of their cupcakes, I wanted to hightail it on back to the shop!  You’d think that one cupcake shop trip would suffice for the day, but I was thisclose to disrupting my afternoon errands for the purposes of going back and let me tell you, the cupcake fanatic in me was fuming when I walked the other way and ultimately decided to save the second trip for another day.  Willpower, my lovelies, WILLPOWER.

Yummy Stuff, with their iconic bright green mixing whisk logo, is located in a neighbourhood that is surprisingly accessible.  It wasn’t until I started walking around and getting my geographical barings that I realized how easy it was to connect the dots around the city.  First off, it’s on Queen Street West so you have the Queen streetcar at your service to and from the sweet shop.  Second of all, it’s a hop, skip, and step away from Roncesvalles Ave. which is an open door to exploring the revitalized foodielicious Roncesvalles neighbourhood (remember my post about Seventh Sister Bakery?), a neighbourhood that holds so much Polish history and culture among many other gems.

And given how walkable the “downtown core” streets are northbound and southbound (basically, everything south of Bloor and on) you can easily walk south to Liberty Village, and northeast to Dundas West (Brockton Village and Little Portugal), Little Italy and the west end of College Street, and Dufferin Mall and Bloordale/Bloorcourt Village.  The exploration options are endless!  Sometimes my cupcake trips are spontaneous (the hankering never really goes away), but most of the time, they’re planned and if you want in on a little secret, it’s acually how I plan my days.  That’s right.  I plan my activities and routes around what cupcake shop I want to visit on that particular day.  Crazy?  Maybe a little.  Effective?  Very.  Madly in love with cupcakes?  Totally.

Yummy Stuff is a space that is similar to that of The Wedding Cake Shoppe in that their workspace, station, and design studio is somewhat visible from behind the counter.  They are purely walk-in and take-out only though – no tables and chairs here, so be prepared to eat your treats elsewhere.  And they have MANY treats!  In addition to their custom designed cakes, cupcakes, and decorated sugar cookies, they have canisters full of giant cookies (snickerdoodles, chocolate ginger, chocolate chip, and peanut butter among others), lemon squares and tarts, brownies, peanut butter chocolate squares, and other special cookies including shortbread, lintzer cookies, and chocolate toffee butter cookies! 

Selection will vary daily and weekly, but rest assured that there will never be a shortage of options!  Prices range from $1-$4 for most treats.  I want to go back as soon as I can so I can try one of their chocolate ginger cookies, a decorated sugar cookie (they have sugar cookies decorated and in the shape of cupcakes and ice cream cones, oh my god), and of course, many more cupcakes!

Cupcakes come in two sizes: regular ($2.75 each, $15 for half a dozen) and mini ($1 each) and on the day I went, they had 8 flavours to choose from.  Like many other cupcake shops, their cupcakes operate on a rotating system which means what you see one day may not be there the next.  Classics such as vanilla, chocolate, and red velvet would be present on a daily basis but all other flavours are fair game on any given day.  Their menu (taken straight off their website) includes banana, carrot, chocolate, coconut, lemon, mango, vanilla, raspberry, red velvet, and a special flavour of the month.  This month’s decadent treat?  BOSTON CREAM!

I picked up a lemon cupcake and a Boston Cream (wouldn’t you?!) and oh my goodness, they were both heavenly, especially the lemon one!  Both cupcakes had a vanilla cake bottom and while the lemon cupcake was swirled with frosting, the Boston Cream was covered in a chocolate ganache with chocolate sprinkles.  AND they both had fillings!  Not all bakeries make their cupcakes with fillings.  Some might have a few with fillings for special occasions, but off the top of my head, For the Love of Cake in Liberty Village is the only cupcake shop who bakes every single one of their cupcakes with fillings in them. 

The Boston Cream cupcake was filled with creamy custard and had a moist, vanilla sponge-cake like texture to it.  Even though it sounds extremely rich, it’s really not and it’s actually relatively light in comparison to the donut!  It’s not heavy at all and I think it’s a great cupcake that would appeal to people who want something decadent but who don’t necessarily want to feel heavy or gluttonous afterward.

And the lemon.  OH MY GOD THE LEMON.  Off the bat, this belongs in the Top 5 (possibly even Top 3) Most Amazing Lemon Cupcakes in Toronto.  My first goes to The Cupcake Shoppe’s Lemon Drop (read: the Lemon Drop, NOT the Lov’n Lemon!), then it’s just a kerfluffle of scrumptiousness that I can’t figure out.  There’s the lemon meringue cupcake from For the Love of Cake, the lemon one from Bake Sale on the Kingsway, and this one from Yummy Stuff.  This was SO.DAMN.GOOD.  A sweet, fruity, tangy frosting (read: frosting, not whippy buttercream or mousse) swirled on top of vanilla cake with a lemon curd filling inside.  The texture of the frosting is perfect (not gritty, not thin and watery, and not thick and cracking) and the flavour and taste is bang on.  It’s not cloyingingly or artificially sweet, but it packs BIG flavour that left my friends and I taken aback in the best way possible.  It it truly one of the best tasting cupcakes EVER and I would come back to one a million times over. 

I was curious when I saw Yummy Stuff’s website had a blog so I clicked on their link and happily found out about their special cupcakes of the month!  They have monthly entries on their blog providing updates on seasonal goodies, dessert projects, and new cupcake flavours and I’m really happy they have this as it gives everyone a more personal connection to them and a heads up about new and delicious treats!  I only wish I had come during Christmas because their dessert line-up looked amazing!  Sigh.  You have to start somewhere though and at least now I know how delicious their cupcakes really are and can look forward to eleventy billion more visits to come.   

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Yummy Stuff is located at 1660 Queen Street West in the west end Parkdale neighbourhood, east of Roncesvalles Ave.  They are open Tuesday-Sunday, from 10am-7pm from Tuesday-Friday, 9am-6pm on Saturdays, and 12pm noon-5pm on Sundays.  They are closed on Mondays.  Visit their official website here.

A Cake and Cupcake, Sugar Cookie Wonderland! Bright and Cheerful Yummy Stuff on Queen Street West, Part I

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Walk into Yummy Stuff on Queen Street West in Parkdale and instantly your mood will go from gray to hurray!  Yummy Stuff’s bakery is a wonderland of custom designed cakes, fresh cupcakes, and cute-as-a-button decorated sugar cookies for every occasion.  I know most of Toronto’s cupcakeries are cute and colourful and whimsical, but never have I been inside one that was so happy and full of vibrant colour!  I felt like I was in one big giant Easter basket, frollicking through sprinkles and frostings with flowers and cute animals by the wayside.  I knew the second I stepped inside that this would be a bakery that I would want to come back to again and again, not just for the cupcakes and treats, but to admire the storefront displays and the beautiful pastry work that would undoubtedly change for every season and special holiday. 

Whether or not you would ever have a reason to go out and buy a custom-designed cake is irrelevant; gaining inspiration and learning about trends and new ideas is really beneficial to me because of the scrapbooking I do.  Believe it or not, I actually jot down random notes and take photos of what others would call, “nothing” just so I have something to jog my memory when it comes time to go back to it, like a beautiful colour combination or a mix of prints and patterns that I never considered.  I normally don’t have any issues formulating scrapbook layouts and colour schemes in my head after picking out the right photos, but I have to say, I was already mentally piecing together cardstock for a soon-to-be Yummy Stuff layout because the bakery makes it that easy to be inspired and excited about colour and sweets. 

Case in point: just look at the cakes in the photo up top!  I couldn’t stop looking at them because they were so pretty and unique!  I never even considered attaching decorated sugar cookies onto a frosted or fondant cake but it’s genius because you have a dessert on top of a dessert that just keeps on giving!  Everyone can have a sugar cookie and a slice of cake and have the best of both worlds.  The idea of jazzing up a cake with extras without taking away from it and making the cake and extras work together as one fluid concept is something I’ve definitely noticed in many cake shops over the last year or two.  I’ve seen a number of cakes accessorized with macarons (how luxurious!), but this was the first time I had ever since a cake decorated with themed sugar cookies and I absolutely loved the concept.       

Thanks to my friend and fellow cupcake diehard, Alex, I found out about Yummy Stuff through her blog and tucked away the sweet little nugget of information until I was ready to go (really though, when am I not ready for cupcakes?) and planned my visit around a special lunch date with some friends in the west end.  After this first visit, I was completely and utterly in love.  In love with the happy atmosphere, in love with the artistry, and of course, in love with the cupcakes!  And sugar cookies!  I have cupcake specifics and many more photos to share with you all, so bask in the sweet glow of gorgeous, mouthwatering desserts while I reminisce over my lemon cupcake and Boston Cream pie cupcake (OH YES) and we’ll hop to it with Part II tomorrow!    

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Yummy Stuff is located at 1660 Queen Street West in the west end Parkdale neighbourhood, east of Roncesvalles Ave.  They are open Tuesday-Sunday, from 10am-7pm from Tuesday-Friday, 9am-6pm on Saturdays, and 12pm noon-5pm on Sundays.  They are closed on Mondays.  Visit their official website here.