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.

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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.