Pink & Black Balloons, Mini Cupcakes, and Lots of Sprinkles – It’s a Cupcake Party in Short & Sweet’s New Digs!

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Those gorgeous, colourful glass bottles of cake sprinkles might as well have been happy pills because happy is definitely what was in the air last weekend at Short & Sweet Cupcakes new shop on Avenue Road!  To celebrate their relocation and successful move, Short & Sweet threw a fabulous cupcake party chocked full of giveaways, free drinks, and free cupcakes last Saturday afternoon as a way of thanks to everyone who has supported the cupcake bakery since its sweet beginnings back in 2009. 

The new shop looks great and I’m so happy I get to show you all some photos of their new space!  For one thing, it’s bigger.  Gone are the squish-squishes and apologetic “excuse me’s” as you elbow a fellow customer.  I would discourage you from doing cartwheels in the shop, but just know that it’s physically possible to do so now with the increase in square footage.  There’s much more standing room and to my delight, there’s a bit of seating now!  A few tables with chairs in Short & Sweet’s signature bright pink are available outside and inside should you wish to enjoy your cupcake on the premises. 

And believe me, you can bet I’m going to take advantage of this for photography purposes!  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve run around in vain, in general, with a cupcake (or more) trying to find a suitable location to photograph it before it 1) melts or 2) gets squished or lopsided in transit.  I’ve been really lucky in finding some great spots to model my cupcakes during for their photoshoots and runaway frosting shows, but I’ll always take the seating in the cupcakeries themselves over all other options any day.  I know, I lead a tough life. 

 

As well, you can now admire their ever-changing window displays up close.  The old location had a half-wall type of glass barrier around it due to the shop’s tighter space; no fear of accidentally crashing it into now!  Finally, you can pick up a drink while you’re here and puruse through some of Short & Sweet’s kitchen and cake decorating wares on a floor-to-ceiling shelf filled with cupcake dishes and table accessories, rows and rows of bottled sprinkles in every colour of the rainbow, and some non-cupcake goodies including chocolate covered Oreos with sprinkles!  Short & Sweet has been experimenting with some new products and the cellophane wrapped packages of chocolate covered, decorated Oreos are the first to make their appearance.

Not only was I here to join the party, but I was also there to get my first taste of Short & Sweet on a weekend.  This was the first time I visited the shop on a Saturday so I got to see so many cupcakes I hadn’t seen prior to that day!  They have the largest selection of flavours on Saturday with Friday and Sunday following closely behind, so I was the given the joy of drooling over the Bugs Bunny carrot cupcake with cream cheese icing (and a very cute icing carrot!), the sweet and sticky Dolce de Leche, the gorgeous sweet and citrusy Lemon Drop with its lemon cake, raspberry frosting, and lemon jube-jube candy, and the caramel-filled Caramela Soprano cupcake with its decadent caramel drizzle.

As weird as it sounds, being here on the weekend for the first time reminded me of my time working at Claire’s years ago.  To many managers’ chagrin, it was required for all managers to work one Sunday a month (as assistant, I often came in two Sundays a month) and the reasoning behind this was so that all workers would be acquainted with how business was on a Sunday versus the expected busyness of a Saturday, and the routine run-of-the-mill work week.  In a nutshell, the arrangement is meant to gather information on sales and differences between different days of the week. 

Given how I had never been to Short & Sweet on a weekend before, there was definitely a different buzz in the shop, one that I hadn’t been accustomed to until that point.  I’m sure the party had something to do with the excitement billowing around, but everything was faster-paced as the door kept opening and closing and as cupcake stands were refilled moments after they were refilled before.  I’m sure a lot of you understand the feeling I’m talking about if you’ve ever stuck to a particular time of day or part of the week for certain activties.  It was very cool being part of the weekend crowd and if their selection of cupcake is any indication, I’ll have to set some time aside to make more trips on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays!          

It was a beautiful, warm day and the shop was hopping with people enjoying the party both inside and outside, sipping drinks from the Jones soda booth, noshing on platters of mini frosted cupcakes (vanilla, carrot, red velvet, and apple cinnamon), and taking away a Short & Sweet jar of special pink and black sprinkles as a souvenir.  You can see why I had to play it safe at the Vegetarian Food Fair earlier that day now, right?  It was a balancing act of epic proportions, but I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way because I got the chance to enjoy two very amazing foodie events, on the same day no less.

*****

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.

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Even Better Than a Donut – The Rainbow Bright Sprinkler Cupcake from Short & Sweet Cupcakes!

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“Donuts, is there anything they can’t do?” asks Homer at the end of Marge vs. the Monorail.  I love this Simpsons episode to pieces (who doesn’t?!) and although I enjoy donuts and have quite a few favourites and weaknesses, I have to counter that question and respond with a “yes”.  Because a donut can’t be a cupcake and it certainly can’t be the Sprinkler from Short & Sweet Cupcakes!  You all know that Short & Sweet is my holy grail for cupcakes in Toronto and you all know I have made many a visit since my first one in the spring.  However, there are still cupcakes that I haven’t actually seen in person and this is because their cupcake selection operates on a routine rotating basis.  Wait, routine and rotating in the same sentence?  How does that make sense?  Let me explain.

Short & Sweet has a slightly different selection of cupcakes every day during the week and they go ALL OUT on the weekends, nearly doubling their selection compared to, say, Tuesday.  What you see on Tuesday is what you will see EVERY Tuesday.  And what you see on Thursday, for example, is what you can expect to see the next Thursday.  Followng me so far?  There are certain cupcakes that are available every day and certain ones that only make their appearance once a week or during the weekend. 

Depending on which day(s) you frequent the shop then, there could be cupcakes that you’d miss completely and this has certainly been the case for me.  I’m accumstomed to visiting the shop during the week, most of time in the middle of the week on Tuesday or Wednesday (they’re closed on Mondays).  This is why, on this particular Thursday back in July, I finally saw the Sprinkler up close and in person and there was no way I was going to leave the shop without this pretty little thing.  A cupcake that looks exactly like a rainbow sprinkled, technicolour donut?!  YES PLEASE.

Everyone feels differently about sprinkles though.  My dad, for instance, hates sprinkles with a passion because he has bad teeth.  He’s had issues with his teeth for years now and because of their current condition, things like sprinkles get stuck between them and I think they’re even susceptible to cracking given how crunchy sprinkles are!  Some find them messy and others are kind of indifferent about them.  I, on the other hand, LOVE sprinkles and I always have.  Tubular ones, tiny round balls, crystal sprinkles, cute shapes, I adore them all and I think that they add so much character and fun to desserts.  I get rainbow sprinkles and chocolate sprinkles on my ice cream and soft serve, I adore sprinkles in my shortbread cookies, and I get giddy at the thought of dunking a frosted cupcake into a bowl of sprinkles and having the sprinkles stick all nice and pretty to it.

If you love sprinkles and you’re a fan of sprinkled donuts, this was made for you.  This is like a sprinkled donut only, in my opinion, 10x better!  The vanilla cupcake is soft, moist, and sweet and the frosting with the sprinkles is just out of this world.  You know how sprinkled donuts have that layer of sweet frosted glaze that helps the sprinkles stay on?  Imagine that sweetness but in the form of a thick, super creamy, lickably good frosting.  The kind of frosting that makes you want to dip your finger in it and go to town.  The Sprinkler is like a donut, birthday cake, and whipped frosting straight from the mixing bowl all wrapped in one.  I made an absolute mess of myself with the frosting drooping down my cupcake and some of the sprinkles bouncing away after the first bite, but it was so worth it.  It’s fun, colourful, and so perfect for the kid in all of us.

I know I haven’t posted pictures of the new shop since Short & Sweet moved and I’m sorry for that!  I have new photos, but I just need to formulate a cohesive post dedicated specifically to the new location.  The photos I have of the Sprinkler (and its coordinating scrapbook layout which, by the way, was a blast to make) are the last batch from the days of their old shop, so I am ready and raring to go with new location material!  I’m really excited because this Saturday on the 10th, Short & Sweet will be holding their grand re-opening party to celebrate their successful move to their new location 3 blocks north.  From 1pm-4pm, they’ll be holding a cupcake party with drinks, giveaways, and of course, plenty of their amazing cupcakes!  You can bet I’ll be there 😉

*****

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.

Scrapbooking materials used: to be added.

Short & Sweet Cupcakes Has Found a New Home on Avenue Road!

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I’m excited to pass the word along that Short & Sweet Cupcakes has successfully moved to their new home, 3 blocks north of their old location.  Previously on Old Orchard Grove off Avenue Rd., they are now operating all shiny and new at 1945 Avenue Rd. and I am really looking forward to seeing the new place and of course, picking up a cupcake or two!  To celebrate, here’s a look back at their old location where I found my holy grail cupcakes in the city.  When I first embarked on this cupcake tour of mine, never did I think that I would find a cupcake shop that has made me feel more welcome and at home than Short & Sweet.  Coming here has become much more than just getting a cupcake or sugar fix; it has become a muse for me, and a place where I have made genuine relationships that I can only see growing as time goes on.  To Short & Sweet, congratulaions on a successful move and to everyone else…get yourself some awesome cupcakes 😉  To view all my past Short & Sweet scrapbook layouts and to relive all the Short & Sweet cupcake love, click here.

*****

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.

Zesty, Fruity, Creamy,Chocolatey – The Orange Chocolate Chip Cupcake and Its Friends From Short & Sweet, Part II

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For all you chocolate orange fans, this is for you!  And of course, us cupcake lovers 😀  I love the way places keep things new and exciting by changing things up and introducing new products into their menus.  That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy everyday staples, but it’s really nice knowing that businesses make an effort to keep their clientele and patrons engaged and coming back for more.  Whether it’s through seasonal promotions or cooking up new flavours, it keeps the creative juices flowing. 

In addition to maintaining the permanent rotating menu at Short & Sweet Cupcakes, the cupcakery kicks off each month with a brand spankin’ new cupcake flavour known as their “Flavour of the Month”.  This new flavour is available every day for the duration of the entire month and then taken off the cupcake stands temporarily where a new flavour takes its place.  Now, I know what you’re thinking.  ‘But, but…if I love the flavour so much, I’m going to be heartbroken when they take it away!’  I thought the same thing too.  And I’m feeling the pressure.  I feel terrible for not being able to get my photos developed and scrapbooked in time to keep their “Flavour of the Month” timely, but alas, I am a one-woman show and all I can really do is pass along the “Flavour of the Month” through my blog and twitter.  Not to fret though.  They do custom orders and they bring back old favourites and best sellers every so often.  Case in point: their salted caramel was brought back because of popular demand.  So if you LOVE a particular “Flavour of the Month”, let them know!

There are flavour combinations that everyone is familiar with like the back of their hand.  Combinations like raspberry chocolate, chocolate mint, peanut butter and jelly, the list goes on.  I know for a fact that are MANY who are gaga over chocolate orange.  You know who you are.  You’ve been on the Terry’s chocolate orange bandwagon since the beginning of time (or maybe just since it became popular worldwide) and you pound those balls of chocolate like you’re unleashing a fit of hysterical fiery.  I’ve been there.  The kitchen countertops didn’t work for me so I attempted to crack my Terry’s chocolate orange on my kitchen tiles.  My parents were scared shitless that I would crack the ceramic with my animalistic attacking.  So for those of you who fit that description, you will looooove the “Flavour of the Month” Short & Sweet released in April: orange chocolate chip!

Let me tell you, Short & Sweet continuously and consistently delivers with quality.  You are not biting into some artificial pool of flavour when you eat their cupcakes.  Their orange chocolate chip is so full of body and substance.  The cake base is studded with large chocolate chips with the body and volume resembling a chocolate chip muffin, only less crumbly and, well, better.  Their cakes are fantastic because of the way they are able to sustain their own weight.  I’ve had other cupcakes that have tasted fantastic, but teetered on the brink of cupcake suicide as soon as I took the wrapper off!  Taste is exceptionally important in a cupcake (of course it is – who wants to eat a cupcake that’s dry or stale?), but the form of the cake is just as important.  You want to enjoy the cupcake as whole, not in crumbly bits before you’ve even had a chance to take two bites out of it.  And the frosting.  Oh man, the frosting.  You can literally SEE and TASTE the fruity orange zest in the sweet creamy vanilla orange frosting and the whole shebang is topped off with dark chocolate curls.

It lives up to its name and it caters to so many sweet tooths out there.  It caters to those who adore chocolate chip muffins, it caters to the orange chocolate obsessed, and anyone who enjoys a mix of zesty, fruit, creamy, and chocolatey.  Oh, and for those of you who have taken a particular interest in the photos and who might be wondering how I took these considering the fact that the shop doesn’t have seating…well, I’ve learned to be very resourceful as a food photographer.  When in doubt, improvise.  And walk around your surroundings.  My little cupcake photo shoot was actually taken at the nearby Starbucks 😉

*****

Short & Sweet Cupcakes is located at 399 Old Orchard Grove, right off of Avenue Rd. south of Wilson Ave. and north of Lawrence Ave. West.  It’s actually a little closer to Wilson than it is to Lawrence, and if you’re taking 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.  Old Orchard Grove is on the east side of Avenue Rd.  You can also get here by getting off at York Mills subway station and walking west to Avenue Rd. from Yonge.

Scrapbooking materials: olive green and buttercup yellow cardstock (Recollections); patterned paper (The Green Tea stack by DCWV); cooking and baking stickers (Studio18 and Recollections); cupcake embellishments (Jolee’s Boutique); orange slice sticker (Sticko); “Lollipop” alphabet stickers (Autumn Leaves at Creativity Inc.); black and white polka dot alphabet stickers (atd by Momenta).

Zesty, Fruity, Creamy, Chocolatey – The Orange Chocolate Chip Cupcake and Its Friends From Short & Sweet, Part I

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This may sound silly and child-like, but loving cupcakes and cupcakeries makes you realize how astronomically big this world really is.  I have many goals in life and visiting as many cupcakeries as humanly possible is one of them.  I want to visit oodles of cupcake shops, take pretty pictures, eat yummy and different flavours of cakes and frostings, and live to tell about all my grand cupcake adventures without succumbing to a sugar coma and staying relatively healthy and trim.  I can’t even imagine eating all the flavours at Short & Sweet Cupcakes in a lifetime.  It takes time, you know.  So my “cupcake shops for life” aspiration is a tall order to fill, but it’s a happy dream that I’ll continue to fulfill for as long as I’m living.  Knowing how much you all enjoy the cupcake posts, there’s nothing better than sharing the cupcake love then.  I have lots of photos to share, so this is a teaser post of what’s to come in the next post! 

Flavours shown in the half dozen box, top row from left to right, and then bottom row from left to right: my boyfriend’s favourite, Diamonds & Pearls (vanilla cupcake with white chocolate chunks and frosting), So Fresh (chocolate cupcake with mint frosting and white dot sprinkles), Black & White Affair (marble cupcake with chocolate frosting and a little flower frosting candy), May’s Flavour of the Month (vanilla cupcake with fresh juicy blueberries and a vanilla blueberry frosting), April’s Flavour of the Month (orange chocolate chip, with chocolate chip cake and vanilla and orange zest frosting and dark chocolate curls), and the BBM (banana butterscotch cupcake with maple frosting).  Enjoy the photos and keep an eye out for the Part II with a new scrapbook layout and photos of the amazing orange chocolate chip cupcake 😀

P.S.  Good lord, I do not eat the half dozen boxes of cupcakes myself!  I share the wealth ^_^

*****

Short & Sweet Cupcakes is located at 399 Old Orchard Grove, right off of Avenue Rd. south of Wilson Ave. and north of Lawrence Ave. West.  It’s actually a little closer to Wilson than it is to Lawrence, and if you’re taking 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.  Old Orchard Grove is on the east side of Avenue Rd.  You can also get here by getting off at York Mills subway station and walking west to Avenue Rd. from Yonge.

In Honour of the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate – Royalty Love Cupcakes Too, Right?

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Oh gosh, I just had to share these photos with you all! 😀  I went to Short and Sweet Cupcakes today (I know, in the gusting wind blowing around like a whirlpool of air!) and in honour of the royal wedding, they have special cupcakes just for today and tomorrow!  I think it’s adorable and wanted to post these pictures as quickly as possible, not just because it’s timely, but also in case anybody wants a piece of memorabilia to commemorate this special event. 

There have definitely been different opinions voiced about the royal wedding, the role (or lack thereof) the monarch plays in our society, and the media attention that it has garnered since the wedding date was announced.  Just think about it, this is the first royal wedding that is being facebooked, tweeted, Iphoned, Ipadded (did I just say that?  Oh gosh), and blackberried, and really, it’s quite the spectacle. 

No matter how people feel about it though, I’m just happy for them.  I wish them a lifetime of happiness, I think Kate is beautiful, I think William has done his late mum proud, and hell yes, I am excited for the Canadian Mint to release their special royal wedding coins for me to add to my coin collection!  That is, if they haven’t released them already…I should really find out.  ANYWAY.  For those who plan on watching coverage of William and Kate’s wedding, make it a PJ day and have fun with it!  And for those who could care less, grab a sweet treat (like a cupcake) and make a toast to the upcoming weekend 😀 

*****

Short & Sweet Cupcakes is located at 399 Old Orchard Grove, right off of Avenue Rd. south of Wilson Ave. and north of Lawrence Ave. West.  The royal wedding cupcakes are only available until the end of tomorrow and in limited quantities, so call ahead if you need to: 416-519-6633.

April Showers Bring May Flowers…and Cupcakes! ‘One Hundred and One’ Ways to Love Short & Sweet Cupcakes

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With the way the weather is panning out, the rain better bring May flowers!  I am making faces at the icky weather outside and missing Short & Sweet Cupcakes because they’ve been closed for the past week for their holiday and they won’t reopen until Wednesday.  I have the worst timing!  It figures I have the biggest hankering for one (or two) of their cupcakes when they’re not open.  And I found this out the hard way when I went last week and saw the sign on their front window saying they were on holiday for Passover from the 19th-26th.  How embarrassing.  Especially considering they have a blog on blogspot with their vacay update.  Face palm moment, sigh.  So meanwhile, I have had to make do with looking at pictures and making a set of colourful spring scrapbook pages to console myself.  I am counting the days and hours till I can sink my teeth into some damn awesome cake and frosting 😀

Single cupcakes are $2.80 each with half a dozen ringing in at $14 and a dozen for $26.  On my quest to try each and every single cupcake of theirs (and to photograph and scrapbook it all), my choice this time around was the ‘One Hundred and One’.  My best guess is that the name is a play on “101 Dalmations” given the black and whiteness of both the puppies and Oreos/cookies and cream!  If you looooove cookies and cream and Oreos like me, you will LOVE this!

Now, the ‘One Hundred and One’ is an Oreo cupcake that resembles and tastes more like the famous creamy Oreo filling than the actual combination of cookie crumble which I think is awesome.  I love anything cookies and cream and Oreo related, but a lot of the time the emphasis is on the cookie and although that’s obviously fantastic, it’s great to see a different kind of interpretation.  The focus here becomes the filling that everyone has come to know and love since childhood.  The cake itself is a mixture of ground Oreo cookie and vanilla cake (hence the speckling), but don’t expect the crumbling cookie texture.  For those who do love crunch, you’re probably better off getting their ‘Chunky Monkey’ cupcake with the chocolate chips in it 🙂  The cake is more uniform in consistency and texture, so you get the flavour of cookie but just not the crumblyness which is perfect for those who don’t like a lot of crunch and prefer a moist flavourful cake.  

And the frosting?  Oh gosh, it tastes like a creamy, delicious mound of Oreo filling.  If you’re the type of person who loves licking the cream filling off the Oreo cookie, you will mop this baby up!  The frosting is buttery smooth (but without actually tasting like butter, ha!) and let me tell you, they are so generous with their frosting.  The ‘One Hundred and One’ is also adorned with a Smartie chocolate on top.  I got the pink one ^_^

This visit to Short & Sweet Cupcakes was so fab because I arrived at the shop right when they opened in the morning and I got to smell the amazing smell of freshed baked cupcakes with their toasty golden brown tops.  I got to watch the cupcakes get frosted, sprinkled, and put out on display and it made me happy just watching the work get done.  After having worked in a flower shop for three years, I knew and understood the pride and joy in creating and crafting and I totally soaked in the busyness and creative energy in the shop that morning.  And I cannot wait to go back again.

*****

Short & Sweet Cupcakes is located at 399 Old Orchard Grove, right off of Avenue Rd. south of Wilson Ave. and north of Lawrence Ave. West.  It’s actually a little closer to Wilson than it is to Lawrence, and if you’re taking 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.  Old Orchard Grove is on the east side of Avenue Rd.  You can also get here by getting off at York Mills subway station and walking west to Avenue Rd. from Yonge.

Scrapbooking materials used: mint green and white cardstock (Recollections); dusty pink cardstock (Choco Mod Patterns stack by DCWV); rainbow colours of cardstock (Recollections); patterned paper (Choco Mod Patterns stack by DCWV); butterfly stickers (Sticko); pink alphabet stickers (Recollections); circle paper punch; brown rope twine for title banner.