The Cupcake Connection, Vol. 005 – Apple Cupcakes Edition! The Beginnings of Fall & Apple Orchard Season

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You might be wondering why there was no mention of my delicious apple caramel cupcake from City Cider in my post yesterday.  After all, I certainly wiggled the bait a bit with my sneak peek photo Sunday night!  I didn’t forget and I swear I wasn’t trying to be a meanie by witholding scrumptious information (who posts a photo of a drool-worthy cupcake and then doesn’t say another word about it for 2 days?!  Er, me).  There’s a good reason for the wait: this delightful tender morsel of sweet cake and apple fruit, along with the apple cinnamon caramel cupcake from Yummy Stuff, was the inspiration behind this latest edition of The Cupcake Connection: Fall Apple Edition!  I am beyond giddy about this one!  A whole post dedicated to cupcakes and apples.  And apples in cupcakes.  And apples in cupcake frosting.  I LOVE APPLE CUPCAKES! 

It’s one of the ways I get to kick my apple allergy in the pants while still maintaining a healthy dose of cupcake in my life.  It wasn’t until I ate my apple caramel cupcake at City Cider that it dawned on me: there are so many different cupcake bakeries in and around the city that go full out on fall flavour using juicy, sweet apples come September.  Just think, there’s apple cinnamon, apple caramel, apple-pear, apple spice, apple and nuts, the list goes on.  And it’s beautifully represented in both cupcake and frosting form!

Fall is the season, to me, that never lasts long enough.  Winter always drags on and on.  Spring can get a little too muddy and wet.  And summer?  Well, let’s just say this past season made me reconsider how much I truly adore those hazy days.  But fall?  I love dearly.  And the prominence of apples in sweets, baked goods, and in food in general at this time, makes me love it that much more.  Thanks to Savera’s Pretty Sweet: A Mobile Cupcakery food truck at City Cider, I was totally inspired to compile all the different apple cupcakes available in shops and on cupcake menus throughout the city! 

Let it be known though that I had no idea this adorable, super pretty cupcake truck existed until I went to City Cider on Sunday.  I was totally smitten!  Donning shades of pink, red, brown, white, and turquoise, it looked exactly like a fairy tale cupcake truck, ready to make the magic of cupcakes that much sweeter and yummier.  Because it’s a mobile, moving entity, the only way to really follow Pretty Sweet is via their Facebook page and Twitter where locations for the day or week are posted, flavours are listed, and events the truck will be at announced.  The Pretty Sweet Toronto website is still under construction, but you can still access contact info and some really beautiful photos through the original custom cake business website at Pretty Sweet Cakes HERE.

And we can’t have an apple cupcake discussion without gushing about the apple bourbon caramel cinnamon (say that 5 times fast!) cupcake from Yummy Stuff!  Both the apple caramel from Pretty Sweet and the apple bourbon caramel cinnamon are SO delicious and unique in their own ways.  The apple caramel from Pretty Sweet had much more of a sweet and sticky toffee pudding taste and feel to it with soft apple spice cake, creamy cream cheese frosting, and generous portion of caramel sauce on top.  This is the type of cupcake that doubles as a dessert in the sense that it doesn’t scream, “I’m a little cake with frosting on it!”, but rather, you can envision this as a non-cupcake dessert dish.  It’s fabulous!  

The apple cupcake from Yummy Stuff on the other hand was more like apple pie with mouthwatering frosting on top!  It was stuffed with apple chunks and a bourbon caramel sauce filling and topped with the most amazing sweet and creamy cinnamon frosting!  Oh man, THIS is cupcake frosting at its finest!  As a note though, it’s ideal if you eat theirs with a fork just because the apple chunks may fall out and get messy if you eat it straight out of the wrapper with your hands.  This cupcake at Yummy Stuff is the special September flavour, so definitely try your best to get your sweet teeth on one before the month is over!  I really do hope it stays around for the whole season though because it’s just so good.  We’ll see; they kept their S’mores cupcake for longer than a month so there’s hope!  

Look out for other apple cupcakes at these cupcake and sweet shops around the city!

  • Bobbette & Belle, 1121 Queen Street East: Apple Spice ($2.95) – apple spice cake with Canadian maple buttercream frosting.  Seasonal flavour, daily rotation; cal ahead to find out (416-466-8800).
  • Crumbs & Co./Pink Lemon Bakeshop, 10220 Yonge Street in Richmond Hill (as well as 2 other locations including their newest in North York at 399 Old Orchard Grove off of Avenue Road): Apple Pie ($3.00) – apple cupcake with honey and spice frosting.  Daily rotation; call ahead to find out (905-237-6406).
  • For the Love of Cake, 171 East Liberty Street: Caramel Apple ($3.00) – apple spice cupcake with caramel filling, caramel frosting, and topped with a caramel chew.  Daily rotation; call ahead to find out (416-306-6446) or check out their selectiom via Twitter @4theloveofcake 
  • Old Firehall Confectionery, 170 Main Street in Unionville, Markham: Apple Cinnamon ($2.89) – vanilla cupcake with apple cinnamon frosting and apple crisp and nut crumbles on top.  Seasonal, currently available.
  • Short & Sweet Cupcakes,1945 Avenue Road: Apple Cinnamon ($2.90) – apple cinnamon cupcake with caramel filling, vanilla frosting, and caramel drizzle.  Available during the month of September.
  • So Into Cupcakes, 2060 Ellesmere Road: Apple Cinnamon ($2.50) – cupcake stuffed with brown sugar apple filling and topped with cinnamon cream cheese frosting and cinnamon sweet apples.  Available during the month of September.
  • The Social Cupcake, 129B Lakeshore Rd. East in Mississauga: Apple Cinnamon ($3.00) – apple cupcake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting.  Daily rotation, call ahead (905-271-7612) or follow them on Facebook and Twitter @social_cupcake

Feel free to leave a message here if you know of any other cupcake shops that are dishing out the luscious apples!

The Fall Harvest Series: Like Apple Pie in a Muffin – Apple Almond Muffins With Cinnamon Sugar Topping!

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It’s Friday, it’s Thanksgiving weekend for us Canadian folk, and the weather is absolutely gorgeous.  It’s true that I prefer the cooler weather (remember how many times I whined about the gross humidity and heat this past summer?), but for this weekend, I’ll make an exception because it truly is beautiful out and I can’t even begin to express how excited I am about the next few days.  I’m visiting some amazing farmers’ markets, enjoying some sunshine, taking photos, and enjoying everything I’m thankful for.  And one of those things is food.  Baked goods, more specifically.  And baked goods with apples in them. 

For all of you who have the same fruit allergies as I do, there is hope!  I am going to town with the apples this fall and considering how allergic I am to the raw variety, even I’m surprised by how many different ways I’ve used and eaten them this season.  I know I’ve been going honky tonky with the apples for the Fall Harvest Series, but I promise that I have some awesome pumpkin goodies in the mix coming soon!  In the meantime though, I have another fabulous fall recipe to share with you all: apple almond muffins!  I thought the apple lemon poppyseed muffins I posted earlier in the series was a great fall recipe, but this…oh, this.  Do you like apple pie?  Fresh, hot, apple pie?  You do?  Then these are perfect for you because these apple almond muffins with cinnamon sugar topping are like apple pie in a sweet, sugary, moist tea muffin.  And yes, they do deserve the bold and italics because they are that delicious.

This is actually the first time I used a recipe I found online.  Call me traditional, but I hug my cookbooks and love my paperbacks and hardcovers to pieces.  Even though I know there’s a wealth of amazing recipes online and in blogs (hello, some of my most awesome friends have cooking blogs with recipes!), I’ve been somewhat resistent to using the internet as a crutch when it comes to this because of this. 

This changed though when I made a boo-boo buying ingredients.  Long story short, I bought one too many bags of ground almonds, thinking I had used up my supply from before only to have my mum unearth 3 bags of the stuff from my baking ingredient bags.  Oops.  Needless to say, I need to use up some of those ground almonds, and fast.  Enter the interwebs.  Thanks to a recipe I found for apple almond muffins on Eleanor Snare’s blog, The Magic Square Foundation, I was able to use up some of stash and I came away with some of the most delicious muffins I’ve ever had in my life.  I made adjustments to the recipe though (converting some of the measurements, for example), so this recipe is the one I ended up with after the adjustments.  If you want to see the original, the link is at the bottom of the post.  Looking for a knock-out fall or Thanksgiving dessert or snack?  Here it is:

Recipe for Apple Almond Muffins With Cinnamon Sugar Topping (yields 24 tea muffins if apples are cut into small chunks, 18 if apples are grated)

Ingredients for muffins

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 sticks of butter (1 cup), at room temperature
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 4 small apples (*Deb’s note: I used Gala apples)
  • 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 ground almonds
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk (*Deb’s note: honestly, I just eyeballed it when I poured milk into the batter.  I’d say anywhere from 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup should be good)

Ingredients for cinnamon sugar topping

  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds (*Deb’s note: it’s completely up to you how much sliced almonds you want on the muffins, so if you love them, add more and if not, add less or omit them entirely).
  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line 2 12-cup cupcake or muffin pans with paper liners (or any amount of pans that will equal to 24 spaces for 24 muffins).
  • Cut the butter into small pieces and beat together with both the brown sugar and the white sugar in a large mixing bowl until creamy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
  • Cut the apples into small chunks (or grate them if you wish) and add the chopped apples to the wet mixture.  Don’t beat the apples in, just mix them in with a mixing spoon.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, add the flour, ground almonds, cinnamon, and baking powder.  Mix gently with a spoon until everything is evenly distributed.  Fold this into the wet apple mixture by hand.  Slowly mix in the milk.
  • Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling each cup until it is full.  Sprinkle sliced almonds on top.
  • To make the cinnamon sugar topping, mix the brown sugar with the cinnamon until combined and sprinkle over top the almonds and muffin mixture.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean.

*****

This recipe was adapted from The Magic Square Foundation and the original can be viewed here.

The Fall Harvest Series – Sweet Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes and Chai Lattes on Main Street Unionville

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Hands cupped around a warm mug.  The smell of baked goods and comfort food wafting through the air, with the tastes enveloping your tastebuds in happy delight.  The sight of reds, oranges, yellows, and golds just bursting before your eyes.  The feeling of coolness and crispness in the air as you listen to the crunch of fallen leaves under your feet.  When I think of fall, I envision sights, smells, and tastes that tickle my inspiration; fall is a beautiful season that ignites the senses.  It makes me think of my first trip to the apple orchard as a kid, all the times I skipped through leaves at the park, the family trips I went on to see the changing colours, the pumpkins I carved with my aunt and uncle, and of course, the food!  I’ll never forget the amazing Thanksgiving feast my aunt put out when I was 10, the apple cider and warm drinks I had in the company of friends, and my memories of eating pumpkin pie for the first time.  In a nutshell, fall for me is comfort and nostalgia at its finest. 

One of my favourite neighbourhoods to enjoy the fall season in is Main Street Unionville in Markham, where I live.  Having lived in Markham for 13 years, I have memories of doing fun things here from every season and I will never grow tired of strolling through the old-town, Victorianesque streets, visiting the library, and ambling through the parks and pond.  When I think about taking photos of colourful leaves in the area, it gets me all excited because it’s just that beautiful.  I am so lucky to have such a scenic neighbourhood nearby to enjoy both the green (or rather red, orange, and yellow this time of year!) space and the yummies!  Photographing pretty trees, curling up with a hot drink, and having a sweet treat – now that’s the kind of fall day I love!

After going bananas during my first visit to Old Firehall Confectionery back in August, I was dying to see whether or not there were seasonal treats.  I know, I know, it’s a mecca of sugar and spice and everything nice so of course they would have seasonal desserts!  But I had to be sure.  So I went.  And internally squealed.  Fall desserts!  Pumpkin pie tarts, maple pecan tarts, maple cupcakes, and apple cinnamon cupcakes!  YES!  Where you find new flavours of cupcakes, you will find Deb.  That’s just how it works.  The devil on my shoulder wanted one of everything, but the angel on the other shoulder rolled her eyes and said no because dinner was coming in another two and a half hours.  I picked out one apple cinnamon cupcake ($2.89).  So the angel won.  This time.  The cupcake needed a friend though, so I paired it up with a nice warm drink from Timothy’s World Coffee down the street.  I plan these things out.  I’m nothing if not resourceful.

Even though I consider myself a wuss in the presence of a hot drink (I’m the one who sits there and gingerly pokes at the mug or cup to see if my fingertip gets hot before taking a tiny cautious sip), there’s nothing like the feeling of holding a warm drink in your hands with the sun shining at you through a window.  A drink that smells so good it makes you forget how afraid you are of hot liquids.  Enter the apple chai latte!  Timothy’s has two new fall drinks on their fall seasonal menu, including the apple chai latte and the chocolate pumpkin spice lattebene (I KNOW, holy schmoly.  You can bet I’ll be coming back for that one).  Back in August, I made it a mission to try as many fall-related drink out there once all the seasonal stuff hit, so there I was happily sprinkling ground cinnamon and nutmeg into my mug and taking careful sips (or maybe slurps) as I admired my apple cinnamon cupcake. 

Delicious drink with an even more delicious cupcake!  After all these years, I’ve never actually taken advantage of seasonal drinks much, so I was really happy that this one was so yummy.  The chai flavour came out crystal clear with a zing and it smelled divine with the addition of cinnamon and nutmeg.  If you’re looking for a flavour comparision between apple cider and the apple chai latte, the chai latte is a lot less tart and the apple flavour is more blended and nuanced in it.  It’s wonderful.

And the cupcake!  The lemon cupcake I had during my first visit was yummy, but jeebus, the apple cinnamon one blew that experience out of the water.  This cupcake was SO creamy and moist and I almost shoved the whole thing in my mouth.  I like to savour my food and make my food last by taking small bites, but all resolve was lost on this sweet morsel of goodness.  The frosting was amazing.  It was thick (not thick as in paste-like, but thick as in not whippd cream-like), rich, and creamy with the perfect amount of cinnamon spice and apple flavour.  The cinnamon flavour wasn’t overkill and there were some apple crisp and nut crumbles on the frosting that give the cupcake a scrumptious bite of crunch. 

It’s a season that I relish in, not just for its natural beauty, but also for the happy nostalgia it brings.  Looking back makes me that much more excited to look forward to even more awesome things to come.

*****

Old Firehall Confectionery is located at 170 Main Street in the historic Main Street Unionville neighbourhood between Carlton Rd. and Hwy 7.  The dessert haven is located between Carlton Rd. and Fred Varley Drive.  Main Street is located just east of Kennedy Rd.  Timothy’s World Coffee is located just a few shops down the street from Old Firehall Confectionery.

The Fall Harvest Series: It’s Like Biting Into an Apple Orchard – Apple Cinnamon Buckwheat Pancakes at Sadie’s Diner

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It’s a crisp, sunny fall day.  You want a warm, healthy meal in a sunny atmosphere, and you feel bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and ready to take on the day.  Get pumped because we’re having breakfast at Sadie’s Diner!  As one of Toronto’s most beloved vegetarian and vegan all-day breakfast diners, Sadie’s serves up vegan French toast, breakfast burritos, omelettes, huevos rancheros (egg and tofu varieties!), pancakes, smoothies, fresh fruit juice, and plenty of lunch and dinner options for later on in the day. 

It’s been months since I’ve been back; my first visit was during this past April’s Veggielicious and I was so happy and excited to finally come back for seconds!  Choosing my next meal here was no easy feat.  Sadie’s serves up different veggie omelettes all throughout the week (they tweet their specials on Twitter!), the breakfast burrito on the menu was whistling at me, and part of me just wanted to go to town with the vegan huevos rancheros dish I had for Veggielicious.  That, and the tofu scramble.  When I skimmed the menu online though, I knew exactly what I wanted and knew how perfectly it would fit into the Fall Harvest series: apple cinnamon buckwheat pancakes!

When I came up with the idea to have a Fall Harvest series for the blog, I wanted to incorporate all the traditional fall foods that we know and love so much.  Things like apples, pumpkins, squash, maple, and comfort foods such as stews and chilis.  I started brainstorming and I started researching.  I wanted the series to be fun, and to include all different kinds of food and meals while at the same time keeping the posts creative in their content.  And talk about creative!  I hit pay dirt when I found out Avocado Sushi had Japanese pumpkin on their menu (read: yesterday’s post) and that really inspired me to find different things around the city that utilized these tradtional fall favourites in interesting and delicious ways.  Enter Sadie’s Diner and their apple cinnamon buckwheat pancakes.

This was the very first time I had buckwheat pancakes.  Although I’ve had buckwheat (soba) noodles numerous times, I was completely in the dark about buckwheat pancakes until these babies showed up at my neon aqua table nice and piping hot.  Contrary to its name, buckwheat actually does not have wheat in it; rather, it’s a fruit seed closely related to rhubarb, making it the perfect alternative to grains for those who have Celiac disease and gluten intolerance.  In other words, THIS MEAL IS GLUTEN-FREE AND AWESOME!  I know how difficult it can be for a lot of people to eat out and to find ways to make gluten-free meals for themselves at home without falling into a rut because I have friends who necessarily follow a gluten-free diet.  I’m definitely going to try extra hard to add to this category of gluten-free options, so for the time being, keep a mental sticky note that Sadie’s has buckwheat pancakes with different flavours and fillings.

This meal was so nice and warm and comforting.  It was so perfect for a sunny fall morning and you could really taste the freshness, juiciness, and moistness in every bite.  The apple cinnamon buckwheat pancakes comes with three large pancakes, thinly sliced apples, cinnamon, powdered sugar, and three veggie sausages.  The buckwheat pancakes are SO different from your traditional “cake” pancakes.  The flavour is much more savoury as opposed to sweet, with a slight tang and I know this might sound weird, but I actually really enjoyed these pancakes more as they got colder throughout the meal!  Warmth is obviously a good (and necessary!) aspect in a meal like this, but I felt the flavour was even more enhanced after they had cooled down in combination with the cinnamon, powdered sugar, syrup, and apples. 

Now, if you’re accustomed to eating the “cake batter” type of pancake, it’s a flavour that might take some getting used to just because it’s not sweet.  In my opinion though, it’s perfect for those who love the juxtaposition between sweet and savoury because the maple syrup, cinnamon, and powdered sugar totally kick the buckwheat pancakes in the pants and enhance the flavour SO much. 

You need to eat the pancakes with the apples and the sweet accents simaltaneously though if you want the best of all flavours.  If you eat the pancakes all on their own, the savoury tang might be too overwhelming for those who aren’t accustomed to buckwheat.  I have friends who aren’t into breakfast foods like waffles and pancakes because they’re just not into “sweet” breakfast food, but in this case, it’s the perfect balance, especially with the veggie sausage alongside it.  The pancakes are moist and juicy and incredibly easy to eat; it’s a hearty meal that doesn’t make you feel like you’ve eaten a house!

My absolute favourite part of the meal was the sliced apple.  Oh my gosh, the apple truly takes this meal to the next level.  It absolutely shines.  The thinly sliced gala apples were so bright, clean, and fresh in its flavour and so full of sweet juiciness.  The apples were baked into the buckwheat pancakes and on top of the pancakes, making them perfect for me to eat!  Hello, I’m allergic to the raw flesh of apples (among many other fruits) and need to have them baked and cooked in order for me to eat them and not swell up like a blowfish.  So hurray for baked juicy sliced apples on buckwheat pancakes!  I loved the apple so much and it made my day knowing I could still taste the natural sweetness of it without having it sacrificed in cooking.  When I was eating the apples with my pancakes, I felt like I had bitten into an apple orchard.  This is the fall harvest, on a warm breakfast plate, at its finest.

*****

Sadie’s Diner is located at 504 Adelaide St. West and Portland Street, just east of Bathurst St.  They are open for business at 7:30am from Monday-Friday, and at 9am on weekends.  They are open until 10pm and they serve all-day breakfast along with lunch and dinner.  Sadie’s is vegetarian and vegan with a number of gluten-free options.

The Fall Harvest Series – Apple Lemon Poppy Seed Teatime Muffins!

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Happy Friday everyone!  I am so excited to officially start the Fall Harvest series and I can’t wait to show you all the photos and posts I have planned for the next week or so.  I’m starting the series off with some homemade baked goods because I really think it epitomizes what fall comfort is all about: the warmth and love of homemade food, chilly mornings warmed up by some yummy baked goods, and lots of fall harvest fruits and colours.  Introducing my beloved apple lemon poppy seed teatime muffins! 😀  They’re so perfect for breakfast, an afternoon tea, or just for a midday snack to tide you over until dinner.  Stuffed with juicy chunks of apple, they show off one of fall’s best loved fruits.  As well, it just so happens that our Jewish friends are currently celebrating Rosh Hashanah (Jewish new year) and apples are one of the several foodie symbols of sweetness and prosperity for the new year, so this recipe  nicely performs double duty!

I know I’ve been on a cookie baking kick for months (check out the Cookie Jar!), happily baking my way through Joanne Fluke’s Hannah Swensen foodie murder mystery novels.  I thought it would be fitting to do muffins though and I’m so glad I did.  The muffins turned out even better than I expected because they’re so fragrant, so moist, and just bursting with flavour, and they taste even more amazing the day after they’re baked and even a few days after that!  The flavour just seems to intensify and they’re wonderfully yummy.  The lemon makes these muffins smell and taste divine, the apple gives the muffins its interior juiciness, and the poppy seeds give the muffins a great texture and appearance.  They come out with lovely golden brown tops and there’s a special ingredient in the recipe that I think really heightens the flavour and moistness: yogurt! 

I tweaked the recipe a bit to suit what I had on hand though so there are some differences between mine and the one in the recipe and book.  It actually includes a recipe for mint syrup to drizzle over top of the muffins, but I wasn’t feeling it so I didn’t make it.  You’ll see why I think mine are even better than the ones in the book based on the changes I made 😉  And the book in question is my beloved apple cookbook!  I bought this at the Blue Banana market in Kensington Market and I love it because it helps me, as a person with apple and fruit allergies, learn how to cook and do different things with apples other than biting into them raw.  Yay for baked apple goods!

Recipe for Apple Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins (yields 18 tea muffins if apples are cut into chunks, 12 if apples are finely chopped)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature (1 stick)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (*Deb’s note: I didn’t have any plain yogurt so I used a small container of vanilla and a small container of vanilla cinnamon, and just eyeballed it to make the total amount 1 cup or 250 ml.  Because I was using vanilla flavoured yogurt though, I only used half the amount of vanilla extract the recipe called for).
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped (*Deb’s note: I didn’t have any Granny Smith apples, so I used two small Red Delicious apples instead).

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.  Line a 12-cup muffin or cupcake pan with paper liners (*Deb’s note: I had to line 18 spaces when I realized I had more batter because of the larger cuts of apple I had).
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, poppy seeds, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  • In a separate medium bowl, beat butter and sugar until smooth and creamy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well between additions.  Add lemon zest, yogurt, and vanilla extract, beating until well combined.
  • Stir in flour mixture, mixing until just combined.  Fold in apple.  Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling each cup 3/4 full. 
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean (*Deb’s note: Mine baked for 20 minutes because my oven at home runs a little hot).
  • When muffins are ready, transfer to a wire rack and let stand 10 minutes before taking muffins out.  Let cool and enjoy!

*****

Recipe adapted and taken from Sarina Jackson’s Apples.  New York: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., 2010.  Photographs taken by me.  The recipe can be found on page 46.

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice…Or Naughty! Spice Cupcakes and Baked Apple Tea from David’s Tea

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Sugar and spice and all things…naughty?!  Oh no no, eating cupcakes is not naughty at all 😉  Indulgent and delicious, yes, but not naughty.  It just so happens that my cupcake from The Cupcake Shoppe was named Naughty n’ Spice (how cheeky!) and it was all sorts of creaminess and yummy.  If carrot cake had a spunky sister, this would be her.  To brighten up a dreary fall day late last year, I enjoyed The Cupcake Shoppe’s seasonal special, Naughty n’ Spice, with creamy cinnamon vanilla buttercream frosting adorned with little red sprinkles, and moist spiced cake with lots of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.  It was light and fluffy and the spices really came through in the cake.  The combination of creamy buttercream and moist carrot cake-like cake just made me devour it and that’s saying a lot because I eat really slow!

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I’ve posted about The Cupcake Shoppe and their cupcakes twice in my blog since I started writing and I’ve been visiting this lovely cupcakery for over half a year now.  I’ve tried a number of their sweet little cakes and do I ever have my favourites!  So far I’ve tried After Ate (mint chocolate), Coco Loco (coconut buttercream with shredded coconut on vanilla or chocolate cake), Cookie Dough (cookie dough buttercream with vanilla chocolate chip cake), Lov’n Lemon (lemon buttercream on vanilla or chocolate cake), Mango Madness (mango buttercream on vanilla or chocolate cake), Opposites Attract (chocolate frosting on vanilla cake), and finally, Red Velvet (cream cheese frosting on red cake).

Out of all the ones I’ve tried, my top 3 are 1)  Red Velvet, 2) Cookie Dough, and 3) Naughty n’ Spice.  I loved this cupcake and you can bet I’m excited to eat some more of them come next fall!  Not to mention the seasonal aspect of the cupcake and tea made this scrapbook layout so much fun to craft and it totally gave me an excuse to play with my cute cookie alphabet Martha Stewart stickers, and fall apple stickers! 😀

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Because David’s Tea is only several shops away from The Cupcake Shoppe, I have become quite accustomed to toting a cupcake to the tea shop and ordering a tea to go with it, and I have an old friend of mine who I used to nosh with to thank for this as she eagerly sparked this idea over half a year ago.  I then sit there and eat it and guzzle down my tea.  And then waddle out the door with my tummy full and my bladder the size of a watermelon.  Tea and cupcake times are absolutely lovely 😀

Funny thing is, I often don’t scrap my cupcake photos.  Most of them time I slip them into a photo album and admire them from there, but getting cupcakes from The Cupcake Shoppe and having them with a tea from David’s Tea is incredibly enjoyable and makes for some really inspiring scrapbook layout ideas!  I’m a total nerd when it comes to this because the same way I match my accessories to my outfit, I match my cupcake to my tea.  It’s true!  I’ll walk into the tea shop and either find something I like that complements the cupcake, or I’ll choose something that matches the cupcake flavour.  And what goes amazing with spice cake?  Apples!  Apple cinnamon is a tried and true combination that just works in so many desserts dishes whether it’s pie, crumble, or granola and cereal.

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It was a chilly fall day and I wanted to take advantage of David’s Tea‘s new seasonal winter tea list and as luck would have it, they had an apple tea!  So I ordered the Baked Apple tea to go with my Naughty n’ Spice cupcake and had myself a jolly good time!  And as the cupcake shot into the top 3 of my Cupcake Shoppe list of favourites, so did the Baked Apple Tea.  I mentioned here in my first David’s Tea post that my favourite tea thus far was the Crème Brulée and the Baked Apple quickly claimed the top 2 spot.  I had mine iced and it was like sipping sweet apple pie.  At times, some of the teas can come across as a bit diluted in flavour when iced, but this one is fantastic iced.  It was a yummy way to spend a fall afternoon; apple tea + spice cupcake certainly equals everything nice 😉

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The Cupcake Shoppe is located in the Yonge and Eglinton neighbourhood at 2417 Yonge St., north of Eglinton on the east side of Yonge St.  The Eglinton David’s Tea location is only a hop, skip, and step away from the cupcakery at 2389 Yonge St.  David’s Tea is located at 4 other locations in and around Toronto, Scarborough, and Thornhill.  Click here for a list of the other locations.

Scrapbooking materials used: mint green cardstock (Recollections); poppy red construction paper; apple and apple tree stickers (Sticko); cookie alphabet stickers (Martha Stewart Crafts); crystal adhesive gems (Studio 18); metallic gel pen; black Sharpie marker.