Check Marking My Way Through the Cupcake Shop Directory into 2012 – The Cupcakery on St. Clair West, Part I!

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The Toronto and GTA cupcake shop exploration continues on into the new year!  2011 was a fantastic cupcake year from top to bottom.  Not only did I get the chance to visit bakeries I never even knew existed prior to the start of the year, but I also engaged in some full-blown cupcake baking marathons at Le Dolci where we icing sugar queens baked over 400 minis on some days!  It’s been a joy photographing them, scrapbooking my adventures, and of course, eating them!  It was so much fun following monthly and weekly flavour specials, trying out combinations I never thought I would enjoy (my aversion to all things mint chocolate did a 180 as soon as my sweet teeth got cozy with the Mint Everest cupcake from Short & Sweet!), getting a handle on vegan cupcakes, and becoming friends with the masters and bakers behind these sweet local businesses. 

My favourites in 2011 include the fluffy sweet Strawberry cupcake from Flour Studio, the Lemon Drop cupcake from The Cupcake Shoppe, the Black Velvet from Sweet Escape Patisserie, the Cookies n’ Cream vegan cupcake from Bunner’s Bake Shop (blog post and photos forthcoming), the lemon sugar cupcake from Bake Sale on the Kingsway (thorough blog post also forthcoming!), and the Mint Everest cupcake I mentioned up top from Short & Sweet Cupcakes.  My goal was to visit as many cupcake shops as possible and I think I did a smashing job showing off some of the prettiest and tastiest in the city so far.

I have a very long way to go before I check every cupcakery off of the “cupcake directory”, but I don’t mind because it means there’s a whole world of tiny cakes with frosting waiting for me.  I’m determined to visit every shop on Queen Street East (what I dub as Toronto’s cupcake roadway), to show you all what’s available in Markham (aside from Old Firehall Confectionery), and to start a new series of flavour groupings here and there.  It’s going to be another fabulous cupcake year in 2012, so to kick things off, a Part I picture post of The Cupcakery on St. Clair West!

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The Cupcakery is located at 1034 St. Clair West Ave., right at the corner of St. Clair and Glenholme Ave. between Oakwood Ave. and Dufferin St.  The Cupcakery is open from Wednesday-Sunday at 11am-5pm Wednesday-Friday, 10am-5pm on Saturday, and 10am-4pm on Sunday.  They are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.  You can check out their official website here, ‘Like’ their Facebook page here, and follow them on Twitter @tcupcakery.

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One Lemon Raspberry and One Ballerina Tutu Strawberry! Cupcakes at The Sweet & Pretty Lilac Flour Studio, Part II

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It’s a day to celebrate with cupcakes!  Honestly though, I’m in the mood for cupcakes almost every day, not just my birthday 😀  Thank you so much for the sweet messages and birthday wishes, everyone, I feel so blessed and happy and all sorts of lucky.  I’ve been celebrating all week, getting together with friends, spending time with my boyfriend, with my family, getting a little retail therapy in, and of course, eating lots of great food!  Even though today is my cake and candles day (as my friend Jen loves to say), I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I’ve eaten 3 cupcakes over the past week.  Forget having a cupcake-filled DAY, I’ve had myself an awesome cupcake-filled WEEK!  And to cap it all off, here’s part II of my two-part post on Flour Studio, the beautiful cupcakery located at 883 Eglinton Ave. West.  I hope you all enjoyed the teaser photos I posted yesterday in Part I because there’s plenty more where those came from!

Flour Studio is, in a word, pretty.  If you like purple (like me!), Flour Studio will make your heart flutter with its pale lilac, scalloped edge storefront awning, purple cupcake labels, and pale purple painted walls.  It appeals to the giddy fairy princess in me with its chandeliers, bright pastel coloured cake stands, and cupcake accessories and trinkets.  They have shelves of cards, stationery, and baking accessories along one of the walls, and a shelf of glassware on another.  Flour Studio is a cupcakery that functions as part gift shop and part dessert cafe, offering a selection of cookies, tarts, and other desserts alongside their famous perfectly-frosted cupcakes.  I just want to stare at their cupcakes all day long.  I have never seen cupcakes so perfectly frosted in this particular style.  They remind me of adorable little frosting domes with its wide swirls, and the texture of it looks like a cross between airy cotton candy and marshmallow fluff! 

Since this was my first time visiting Flour Studio, I can’t report back with their entire menu of flavours just yet but on that day they had lemon raspberry, peanut butter chocolate (nut allergists beware, Flour Studio does use nut products in some of their sweets, so use your discretion and judgment when eating here and ask questions!), vanilla on vanilla, vanilla on chocolate, double chocolate, dark chocolate fudge, Oreo cookies n’ cream, mint chocolate, and strawberry. 

Their prices are very average in the context of cupcakeries in Toronto, ranging from $2.50 for classics (such as vanilla and chocolate varieties, for example) and $3 for other flavours.  I’ll definitely get back to you all with another post outlining which flavours fall in particular price points, but for the time being, just know that their pricing operates the same way Dessert Lady in Yorkville does, on tiered system.

A lemon raspberry cupcake along with a strawberry vanilla cupcake were lovingly packed away for me in a box with a pretty purple Flour Studio sticker and placed in an equally pretty Flour Studio paper shopping bag.  I enjoyed my two cupcakes so much but for entirely different reasons.  I love lemon cupcakes and desserts like nobody’s business (as I’ve reiterated ad nauseam, ha!) and the lemon raspberry cupcake had a sweet, creamy frosting with a light and fresh lemon flavour.  Not an in-your-face sour lemon flavour, and not so much a sweet lemon sugar flavour, but more so an “airy” lemon flavour.

Surprisingly enough though, it was the raspberry part of the cupcake that I thoroughly enjoyed!  The cupcake was adorned with a fresh raspberry atop the frosting and the vanilla cake was studded with raspberries.  Thus far, I’ve never had a raspberry cake at any cupcakery (raspberry frosting, yes, but raspberry cake?  Nope!)and this cupcake turned out to be a tangy and fruity morsel of yummy cake.

Onto my strawberry vanilla cupcake.  It’s really weird, but I’ve noticed that I rarely eat strawberry cupcakes.  Given how I like strawberries, this black hole in my cupcake nom-noming is a head-scratcher.  I kept this in mind as I chose my 2nd cupcake and I am so happy I did.  It made me want to prance around in a ballerina tutu in a happy daze!  Just look at it.  It’s a thing of beauty.  I mean, yes, Flour Studio’s cupcakes are gorgeous, but this strawberry one is so darn cute and girly and pretty and it was SO delicious.  I look at it now and I want to hug and squish it because of its cuteness.  It’s like the embodiment of Pokemon’s Jigglypuff but in cupcake form.  For this cupcake, the frosting does the talking.  The strawberry frosting is so creamy and so fluffy and it has that perfect sugary taste that makes me think of cotton candy melting in your mouth.  Oh, and imagine strawberry Pocky.  That’s what this strawberry cupcake tastes like, only better!

After visiting a number of cupcake shops in Toronto and realizing just how many there are in and around the city, I liken my cupcake shop touring in Toronto (and beyond) to my sushi eating, in the sense that cupcake bake shops boil down to 3 things: identity and branding, creativity, and interpretation.  It’s one of the reasons why I still get excited about trying vanilla cupcakes at different shops.  Sure, flavours like vanilla seem ho-hum in the grand scheme of things, but it’s because each one will interpret the design of the cupcake and execution of flavour differently that makes things interesting and so much fun.  Flour Studio is a beautiful shop with very sweet people and great cupcakes I’d come back for in a heartbeat.

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Flour Studio is located at 883 Eglinton Ave. West, west of Bathurst St.  They are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays (appointments are exceptional), and are open from 10am-6pm Wednesday-Saturday and from 1oam-3pm on Sundays.

Scrapbook materials used: lavender, grape, and eggplant purple cardstock (Recollections); bubblegum pink, buttercup yellow, and pale yellow cardstock (Recollections); sweets and desserts patterned cardstock (The Sweet Stack by DCWV); alphabet stickers (Make It Special Crafts); baking embellishments (Jolee’s Boutique and Recollections); magenta felt; purple adhesive gems; medium scallop circle paper punch (ek success); black felt tip Sharpie marker.