The Cupcake Connection, Vol. 002 – Wedding Cupcake Decorating Classes, Summer Flavours, & Ice Cream Cupcakes!

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Ice cream flavours and cupcakes – how sweet it is

Welcome to the second installment of The Cupcake Connection, your humble resource to some of the sweet and tasty frosted happenings in Toronto’s cupcake world!  First up, new bake shop alert!  Some of you may already know this if you’re very tuned in to social media and its cupcake whispers, but for those of you who don’t and aren’t, I have some fantastic news for all vegans with a sweet tooth: Tori’s Bakeshop on Queen Street East! 

Tori’s Bakeshop, located at 2188 Queen Street East, is a vegan, organic, all-natural bakery that just recently opened and boy does it ever boast a boatload of treats!  Cinnamon buns, pies, tarts, scones, muffins, cookies, biscotti, and of course, cupcakes!  Much like Bunner’s Bake Shop, Tori’s Bakeshop offers a huuuuge selection of egg-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, and gluten-free products.  Since I’m still planning my first visit to this great new shop in the east end, I decided to give them a call to ask them about their cupcakes and while it completely slipped mind to ask about prices (whoops!), I did get all the informatin on their flavours and selection.  On any given day (they’re open from Wednesday to Sunday during the week), they have 6 cupcake flavours to choose from: cherry, coconut, lemon, strawbery, peanut butter, cookes and cream, mint, and the classic chocolate and vanilla.  I absolutely can’t wait to come here and try their lemon, coconut, and cherry cupcakes especially.

Lime – perfect for summer!

Now, onto summer flavours!  We know how much fun it is using seasonal fruits and treats as inspiraton for our cooking, baking, and artistic endeavours and cupcakes are right in the thick of it all!  There are so many juicy, delicious summery flavours on hand right now at many of the city’s cupcake bakeries.  Short & Sweet Cupcakes is currently busting out their June flavour of the month, Tropic Thunder, a fruity mix of pineapple, banana, and coconut frosting and cake, The Cupcake Shoppe goes citrus this season with their summer seasonal Lime n’ licious cupcake, and Liberty Village’s For the Love of Cake has JUST doled out their special summer cupcake flavour, key lime pie!  I’ve been meaning to go back to For the Love the Cake for ages and this just gives me an even more delicious incentive – I see both the key lime pie cupcake and my beloved lemon meringue cupcake in my future this season! 

And of course, what’s a summer without ice cream?  Yummy Stuff is enticing our summer cravings with their June flavour of the month: the vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry Neapolitan cupcake!   This was exactly what I was referring to in Friday’s Yummy Stuff post when I was gushing about art imitating food imitating more food.  Not only did I take advantage of their Neapolitan decorated sugar cookie, I also snatched up their ice cream flavour inspired cupcake. 

With moist, fluffy, soft-as-a-pillow strawberry cake and thick creamy vanila and chocolate swirled frosting, the cupcake tasted EXACTLY like Neapolitan ice cream – without the freezer burn!  The cupcake was literally oozing with baked strawberries (no joke, I had to catch some of the strawberries as I bit into it to keep them from falling on my pants!) and their vanilla and chocolate frosting were bang on.  Yummy Stuff seriously makes some of the best chocolate frosting in the city and it was such a fun, summery cupcake to have for the month of June.

Since we’re on the topic of ice cream and cupcakes, why not have real ice cream together with cupcakes?  That’s right, folks, Cold Stone Creamery isn’t the only spot in town that makes these decadent treats!  The Cupcakery on St. Clair West has 6 different ice cream cupcake flavours to choose from including, each for $2.50 for 6 for $13:

  1. Ice Queen – vanilla cake topped with vanilla ice cream and pink vanilla buttercream
  2. Chocolate Sundae – chocolate cake layered with caramel sauce and Skor toffee bits, topped with chocolate ice cream and chocolate buttercream
  3. Cookies and Cream – vanilla cake layered with crushed Oreo cookies topped with vanilla ice cream and vanilla buttercream
  4. Chocolate Mint – chocolate cake topped with chocolate ice cream and mint buttercream
  5. Creamsicle – vanilla cake topped with vanilla ice cream and orange buttercream
  6. Banana Rama – chocolate cake topped with chocolate ice cream and banana buttercream

Learn how to make your cupcakes look as beautiful as this wedding cake at one of Le Dolci’s decorating classes!

Okay, so we’ve covered the new bake shop alert, slammin’ summer cupcake flavours, and ice cream cupcakes that are perfect for summer.  What’s that I hear?  Dum-da-dum-dum-dum-dum.  Ooo, wedding bells!  We can’t talk about summer without mentioning the bustling, topsy-turvy wedding season and Le Dolci has every sweet tooth covered with two very special Introduction to Wedding Cupcakes decorating classes this summer!  The first one will be held on Friday, July 6th from 2pm-4pm and the second one will be held in August on Sunday, August 5th from 2pm-4pm.  Each class is priced at $80 +HST/person and at the end of the class you get to take home a dozen awesomely yummy vanilla cupcakes beautifully decorated by you!  The wedding cupcakes decorating classes will focus on intricate fondant design – think bridal magazine! 

Aside from being creative and getting to indulge in sweet cupcake fun, I think these classes are perfect if you have a friend who’s getting married and you want to give them something truly personal and unique to congratulate them.  And you’ll get to enjoy the class at their brand new studio on Dundas Street West just across the street from Trinity Bellwoods Park – win-win.  That’s all for now, so grab a ice cold drink and enjoy the fruity, summery treats and cupcakes while you can!

The Cupcake Connection! New Locations & Shops Plus Flavour Updates From Cupcakeries Around the City

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I love finding out about special cupcake flavours, new cupcake shops, and new locations of already-existing cupcakeries opening up elsewhere in the city, so The Cupcake Connection is my way of pooling together a ton of different bits and bobs and keeping all of us in the know!  There’s a lot of information ping ponging all over the place and it can be pretty cumbersome lily pad hopping from site to site, looking out for each and every single new flavour, location, and event update.  I do it because I love looking at cupcakes all day long and because I’m little crazy like that.  So enjoy my cupcake craziness!

Short & Sweet Cupcakes are serving up fresh blueberries and moving up north!  Short & Sweet’s May Flavour of the Month is Blueberry Yum Yum, a vanilla marscapone cake studded with giant blueberries bursting with juiciness, topped with a creamy blueberry cream cheese frosting.  I had this cupcake last year but didn’t make a post about it because I didn’t have nice photos  (except for the one you see here, but 1 photo does not make a good or thorough post!), so I’m really looking forward to having it again so I can report back!

FOTM: Blueberry Yum Yum at Short & Sweet Cupcakes

And for those us craving more cupcakes in York Region, Short & Sweet will be opening up their 2nd location in Vaughan (specifically in Maple) at Eagles Landing by Dufferin & Major Mackenzie THIS FALL!  I actually found out about the exciting news MONTHS before they made their official announcement (a little birdie told me), but I kept mum about it because spilling the beans would have spoiled the announcement.  But I – and everyone else – can jump for joy now!  I am so excited because I’ll have the option of getting my beloved Short & Sweet Cupcakes closer to my neck of the woods and not have to use two fares to get them.  Win-win!

Speaking of new locations opening up, The Cupcake Shoppe, Crumbs & Co., and Le Dolci are all opening up new shops and spaces later on this year!  The Cupcake Shoppe will be heading up north to Vaughan and setting up shop at Rutherford and Bathurst (which, to my knowledge, should be near the giant Longo’s supermarket), Crumbs & Co. will be heading south to Avenue Rd. and Lawrence in North York, and our beloved cupcake, macaron, icing sugar towers that is Le Dolci will be moving into a brand spankin’ new studio and retail space on Dundas Street West right across the street from Trinity Bellwoods Park!

Learn to make these posh designer cupcakes at one of Le Dolci’s classes!

Even though I’m no longer an active icing sugar queen at Le Dolci, I still enjoy keeping up with what’s going on at the studio, and this move is so incredibly exciting for Lisa, Miya, and the other girls!  The space is will offer a larger area for cupcake, cake, and macaron classes, there will be retail component to the new space, and Lisa and Miya are also working on offering new sweets and classes to the mix once the move is done.  The Le Dolci team are always updating their Facebook page, Twitter feed,and blog, so you can definitely keep up with news and updates if you follow them on any one of those.  I don’t have exact months or dates on me right now, but I promise to tell you all whenever I know and you can bet I’ll be at the new locations with camera and sweet teeth on hand!

Much like David’s Tea, I think cupcake shops are so smart when choosing new locations to expand.  For those heading into York Region, the market is wide open because for one, there aren’t as many cupcake shops (and the ones that do exist are very far away from one each other) and for another, a lot of York Region is still under development, with new neighbourhoods and districts being formed every year.  There’s Markham, Richmond Hill, Thornhill, Woodbridge, Maple, Aurora, the list goes on.

The Cupcake Shoppe will be opening up shop in Vaughan!

For those who love to try out new flavours, Yummy Stuff on Queen West in Parkdale has a new, fruity flavour for the month of May: the Hummingbird Cupcake!  This is a special pineapple, banana, and coconut cupcake with cream cheese frosting and I specifically found this out because I called them and asked about their May flavour.  I’m not full-blown insane, just dedicated.  And this week’s Treats of the Week at Prairie Girl Bakery and monthly specials at Dufflet are going fruity tutti too!  Prairie Girl is dishing out a raspberry buttercream on their dark cocoa chocolate cake and a lemon and strawberry buttercream on their golden vanilla buttermilk cake for this week, and I think these flavours would pair up amazingly with either their regular lemon cupcake or their regular toasted coconut.

And to celebrate spring and Mother’s Day, Dufflet has come out with a bevy of new cakes, tarts, and cupcakes for the occasion, all of which are available until at least May 21st.  Their newest cupcake flavour is a strawberry shortcake filled cupcake, which fits into their new line of giant cupcakes with fillings!  The cupcakes are $2.85 and are available at all 3 of their Toronto locations.  Dufflet is also hosting their 5th annual Tour de Dufflet bike ride in support of the Toronto Cyclist’s Union from May 22nd to June 30, and will be a part of the Uptown Yonge’s Sidewalk Sale on Saturday, May 12 from 10am-5pm, where they’ll have amazing promotion prices and deals on their products.  Does 2 for $5 cupcakes sound awesome or what?!  For more information, check out their April & May newsletter HERE for all the details!