Sundays Just Got a Whole Lot Sweeter – The $2 Cupcake, Tart, Square, & Cookie Bonanza at Desmond & Beatrice!

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You might think of Sundays as quiet, peaceful, lazy days.  Many shop owners choose Sunday to have their day off, traffic on the road is a little lighter save for the long weekends, and places aren’t open as late as they are during the rest of the week.  At Desmond & Beatrice on Queen Street East in Riverside though, Sundays might as well be the new Friday!  *NEWS BULLENTIN*  Sundays at D&B are $2 bonanza days!  $2 cupcakes, $2 tarts and squares, $2 EVERYTHING!  Everything on their edible display counter anyway; no way are we getting away with cute $2 aprons!  I have no idea how long D&B has had this promotion (*note to self: ask next time!), but boy does it get people extra kooky-crazy for their delectable, delightful desserts!  It sure did that to me.  I passed by their bake shop before they had opened, glanced at the front window, and almost got whiplash when I whipped around to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating.  $2 Sundays?!  No speciality cupcakery with the exception of Dessert Lady in Yorkville, who sells their vanilla and chocolate ones for $2, sells their wares for that price. 

And apparently, I was a little late to the party because when I came back when they were open later on in the day, they had been wiped clean!  The only thing that greeted me was a dish of peanut butter and banana cupcakes.  I should have known better.  Sundays might be a little on the quieter side (although you’d never know it taking the bus; it is crowded and packed early in the morning!  And by “early”, I mean 9am by bus schedule standards), but so many people are out and about in the city, whether it’s for a festival, a sporting event, a concert, or just good old fashioned weekend brunch.  Anyway, lucky for me, D&B had enough sense and hindsight to keep their delicious cupcakes coming and before I knew it, full, fresh, beautiful batches of red velvet, vanilla, and double chocolate were before me, waiting to be chosen like the crown jewel in a treasure chest.  And my precious cupcake of choice this time?  Double chocolate!

If you can believe it, chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting are something I don’t have very often.  If you were to go through my eleventy billion cupcake posts on the blog, you’d find less than 5 devoted to chocolate on chocolate.  And it’s not because I don’t like chocolate – I love chocolate!  It’s simply because I want to paint a more diversified portrait of the cupcake flavours available in the city and now that I have a steady foundation of posts (I believe this post here will be Cupcake Chronicles’ 90th!), I can feature more classic flavours here and there to round things out.  This double chocolate cupcake post is inspired and dedicated in part to both my boyfriend and my brother, two chocolate lovers whom I hold very dear to me, and given how my brother can take or leave cupcakes, I’m determined to find him the best of the best to really wow him.  And this one right here from Desmond & Beatrice has to belong on everyone’s Top 3 Most Amazing Chocolate Cupcakes because it is out of this world and RIDONKULOUS.  Yes, that’s right, ridonkulous.

Chocolate cupcakes are either really great or really bad.  Some can fall in the so-so category, but more often than not, they’re love it or hate it.  Some are way too dry, too powdery (a little too much of that cocoa powder taste), or too dense to the point where it just tastes like thick, goopy chocolate muck.  D&B’s amazing double chocolate delight is what EVERY chocolate cupcake should aspire to be like.  I was shocked out of my skirt because I couldn’t believe how damn delicious this was!  It is a fudgy, creamy embodiment of a brownie in cupake form.  It tastes like chocolate brownie fudge with fluffy cake.  It is so moist, so creamy and so decadent.  The frosing is as smooth as it gets and eating it with a fork makes you feel like you’re digging into a special chocolate birthday cake with, quite possibly, some of the best chocolate frosting in the world.  If you’re head over heels over brownies, this cupcake is the answer to your prayers, in addition to D&B’s crazy $2 Sunday sale!  I don’t think anybody needs an incentive to go to D&B, but this promotion sure is a mighty sweet deal so take advantage of it if you’re in the area! 

*****

Desmond & Beatrice Bake Shop and Cupcakery is located at 750 Queen Street East, just one block east of Broadview Ave. in the Riverside District.  They are open from Tuesday-Sunday (closed Mondays), from 12pm-6pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 11am-7pm on Thursdays and Fridays, 10am-5pm on Saturdays, and 11am-5pm on Sundays.

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Home Sweet “Cupcake” Home – Whoopie Pies & Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes at Sweet Bliss Baking Company, Part II

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Sweet Bliss Baking Company is one of the cutest, sweetest, most adorable country chic bake shops in the city.  Each time I visit a new cupcake bakery, I think I’ve seen it all.  But as soon as I skip on over to the next cupcake shop on the master cupcake list (or just whichever new bakery that just happens to be in the vicinity), I’m met with an entirely different atmosphere and feel.  Some cupcakeries go sweet and colourful, some go haute couture cupcake style, and others keep it low maintenance and simple. 

Sweet Bliss Baking Company?  As warm and fuzzy as it gets.  It feels just like a cottage country, hometown bakery with its numerous shelves of homemade jams and preserves, wooden crates and accents, decorative mason jars, sweet daisies, and homey country decor.  It fits so perfectly in the Leslieville neighbourhood and as one of many cupcake and bakeshops on the Queen Street East, it totally holds it own and sets itself apart.  As well, Sweet Bliss is a great little shop to pick up cute gifts such as vintage trinkets and cinnamon bun candles!  Come for a sweet treat and come for some gift shopping!  I love it.  I love the soft colour palette, I love the happy, sunshiney outlook the shop has, and of course, I love the mountains of delicious desserts!  Sweet Bliss caters to every sweet tooth with their assortment of cupcakes, tarts (butter and lwild blueberries from Nova Scotia), cake loaves and squares (got lemon?), brownies, cookies, pies, scones, cinnamon buns (tooted as the best in the city by some!), whoopie pies, and cheesecake bars, in addition to savoury tarts (spinach) and coffee and tea drinks. 

While they do sell much of their product in single servings, they sell many of their of their products in what I like to call, “sweet and hungry packs”.  They have baskets full of multi-cookie bags such as raspberry jam-filled cookies, brownie bliss cookies, and ginger cookies among others.  Their prices for baked dessert items range from $1.90 to $$6.95, with “sweet and hungry packs” coming in at the latter price.  Cupcakes, specifically, are priced at $2.50 each which is phenomenal because there are very few cupcakeries now that have stuck with the $2.50 price point.  Most have either bumped it up to $2.65 or $2.85 for the most part, so Sweet Bliss earns extra brownie points for keeping things affordable!  As much as I wanted to inhale a juicy tart lemon bar or blueberry cheesecake tart, I held off on getting one and opted to stick with what I came into the shop for: the reigning cupcake.

Sweet Bliss has a variety of flavours to choose from including a pretty pink frosted vanilla, a carrot cake, a red velvet, a double chocolate, two types of coconut, and several others, and they keep their cupcakes cool in their sliding fridge along with their monstrously huge chocolate whoopie pies which are priced at $3 each.  They’re actually one of the very few bakeries I know of that keep their cupcakes cool in a fridge.  Aside from Miss Cora’s Kitchen in Kensington Market, nobody else does that and I have to say, given how we’ve had some ridiculous heat in the city so far this summer, it’s something I really appreciate it.  I know some people think refrigerating cupcakes is a sin, but we’re not talking about putting them into the deep freeze, we’re just talking about keeping them cool and keeping them from melting right off the bat. 

Their chocolate coconut cupcake looked amazing so I snagged one of those as well as a giant chocolate whoopie pie with pale blue marshmallow cream filling.  They looked too delicious to pass up!  And I mean it when I say that their whoopie pies are huuuuge.  The whoopie pie was almost the size of my entire hand!  And I know I don’t have the biggest hands in the world, but still!  Not only was it big and fat and round, but it was also stuffed with the yummiest looking pale blue marshmallow cream frosting.  The chocolate whoopie pies are SO fudgy (seriously, you have chocolate fudginess stuck to your fingers while you’re eating) and the marshmallow cream is so smooth, light, and airy with the delicious taste of vanilla cream.  It was wonderful because the lightness and airiness didn’t translate into thinness; the marshmallow filling was creamy with just the right amount of thickness and density to keep it from being runny or mushy.  It was delightful and so worth it.   

And the cupcake!  OH.MY.GOD.  You would also think that after all these cupcakes I’ve eaten, I’d feel nonchalant towards flavours that are relatively common.  Chocolate and coconut are flavours we see all the time on and in cupcakes but that certainly didn’t stop me from salivating it over the chocolate coconut cupcakes when I saw them through the glass door.  This chocolate coconut cupcake is NOT your average cupcake.  The chocolate cake was cocoa-y and fudgy, yes, but what makes this cupcake ridiculously amazing and delicious is the frosting and shredded coconut on top.  You’re used to having buttercream on a cupcake in either the soft, whippy state or in the thick, sweet, and creamy one.  Sometimes you even get some with the swiss meringue or ganache dip.  How many chocolate coconut cupcakes do you know of that have CREAM CHEESE FROSTING ON TOP?!  Holy mother of pearl!  This cupcake was like a fudgy chocolate creamy coconut cheesecake!  The cream cheese frosting on chocolate with shredded coconut was unbelievably delicious and every bite was like heaven.   

Two amazing sweets from one very fabulous bake shop and worth every penny for the wonderful quality, and not to mention, size!  Sweet Bliss has terrific product, a sweet shop with so much character, and incredibly nice people working in it.  It took me awhile to finally check it off my master cupcake shop list, and it lived up to all my sweet expectations, and then some.  I can’t wait for all the follow-up trips I plan on making in the future.

*****

Sweet Bliss Baking Company is located at 1304 Queen Street East in Leslieville, two blocks east of Leslie St.  Sweet Bliss Baking Company offers an assortment of sweet treats including cupcakes, tarts, cookies, and brownies, as well as coffee drinks, gifts, and more.  Hours and days of operation to be posted!