Will We Ever Meet Again? My Box of “Goodbye” Macarons From Cake Royalty Boutique, Cake Opera Co. on Eglinton West

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My beautiful box of macaron treaures

I have some bad news.

I know, how could anything concerning macarons be bad news?!  No, I didn’t drop a box and smash them.  Or come across any that I disliked.  Or lose my photos.  Nothing like that.  It’s worse.  Trust me, I was debating on making this post at all but figured it couldn’t hurt because no matter what, someone will most likely enjoy it or find it useful in some way.  If anything, I posted photos for everyone to admire and drool over!  It’s one of the reasons why I made the photo spotlight post on Cake Opera earlier in the week.  Okay, so back to the bad news.  It’s bad news when you find some of the yummiest macarons ever and find out that it will most likely be the only time you’ll ever get to eat them because the day you bought them is the last day they’ll ever be sold in their beautiful display cases.

It’s hard to say goodbye…

I don’t know what it is with my timing and luck lately!   Cake Opera has been on my mind and in my sights for months upon months and each time I passed by the boutique, I’d say, “I’ll come back” or “next time, really!”.  I finally made the commitment to visit the majestic cake and confections shop on Eglinton West last week, only to find a giant sign hanging in their front display window saying that October 13 would be their last day selling retail sweets and treats.  That October 13 would be the last day to enjoy their shortbread cookies, their petit gateaux, their cupcakes, and their macarons outside of catering events and custom orders.  That, in essence, Cake Opera was no longer going to operate as a retail bakery but instead, solely as a cake boutique specializing in custom orders, event catering, and wedding consultations.  Which means no spontaneous drop-ins for a cupcake or a box of macarons.

I cannot believe my rotten luck.

1st column on the left, top to bottom: pistachio, roasted hazelnut, vanilla orange blossom. 2nd column on the right, top to bottom: coffee, vanilla orange blossom, raspberry rose.

I mean, I know it would have been inevitable.  My going to Cake Opera earlier on in the year for their petit gateaux and macarons wouldn’t have prevented this from happening.  But I do feel awful because at least if I had visited the shop earlier, all of you would have known about it sooner and maybe would have had the chance to try them yourself.  But it’s too late now.  Sigh.

So, what’s the silver lining in all of this?  Well, this certainly promotes Cake Opera as a viable wedding and catering resource!  And just look at how absolutely gorgeous and stunning the boutique is!  It’s like walking into a space inspired by and dripping with royalty, luxury, and Marie Antoinette.  And just think, Cake Opera does custom macaron and cake table designs for special events so if you’re looking for a look that’s very artistic, classy, beautiful, and/or avant garde, their style and designs would be perfect.  I know many people who really dig the macaron trees and having them incorporated into centerpieces, sweets and buffet tables, and displays.

The macarons at Cake Opera, priced at only $2 each, are bathed in shades of red, peach, ballet slipper pink, and crisp white with luscious, creamy fillings.  Their macaron menu consists of 8 flavours: dark chocolate, dulce de leche & cinnamon, pistachio, salted caramel, vanilla orange blossom, raspberry rose, roasted hazelnut, and coffee.  On that last day of retail bliss, Cake Opera’s pastry Jessica had 5 of the 8 flavours whipped up and I helped myself to one of each with a duplicate to create my pretty box of six: pistachio, vanilla orange blossom (x2), raspberry rose, roasted hazelnut, and coffee.

Cake Opera’s macarons are so incredibly delicate and crisp on the outside and so creamy and generous in filling on the inside!  I don’t think I’ve ever had macarons with such so much amazing filling.  Every bite was truly like a bite of heaven and out of the 5 flavours that I had, hands down, the vanilla orange blossom was my be-all, end-all favourite.  You will never come across another flavour like it.  It was bright, fresh, citrusy, sweet, and creamy with vanilla.  Comparing it to a creamsicle doesn’t even do it justice.  And right behind the vanilla orange blossom would be the coffee and roasted hazelnut flavours followed by the raspberry rose which tasted like sweet and fruity floral rosewater.  These are truly exceptional macarons and while I know we can’t go into the shop to grab little boxes of them anymore, hopefully some of you will have the opportunity to try them some time in the future if you decide to consult them for an event.  Enjoy the photos!

*****

Cake Opera Co. is a cake boutique that brings macarons, cakes, and French pastries to life through art and design.  They are located at 1136 Eglinton Ave. West., just several blocks east of Eglinton West subway station on the north side of Eglinton Ave.

Step Into a Realm of Gilded Confections & Luxurious Riches at Cake Opera Co.

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Charm the senses with featherlight touches, the gentle sweet taste of macarons and petits gateaux, and a halo of creative light as you feast your eyes on the grandest of cakes and confections in a palette of petal pinks, pure whites, royal purples, powder blues, and antiques golds.  Beautifully baroque and undeniably luxurious, Cake Opera embodies the art of confectionery brought to life.  Step inside and marvel at the splendor…

*****

Cake Opera Co. is a cake boutique that brings macarons, cakes, and French pastries to life through art and design.  They are located at 1136 Eglinton Ave. West., just several blocks east of Eglinton West subway station on the north side of Eglinton Ave.  Full length post coming soon!

The Fall Harvest Series – Getting to the Root of Great Food With Weekend Brunch, Butternut Squash & Beets at Hotel Gelato

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I’ll never forget the moment I felt my mouth start to quiver, my breathing grow shallow, and my eyes tear up.  This could not be happening, I thought.  Not again.  My Veggielicious hopes crushed and my plans for Veggielicious bliss foiled right before my eyes on the last weekend of an event I had been looking forward to for over a year.  The timing couldn’t have been worse.  I was stunned and rendered speechless, sputtering my discontent in sighs of frustration.  I couldn’t believe my rotten luck.  Right then and there, I wanted to throw in the towel on blogging anything altogether.

Melodramatic?  Maybe a little.  Heartbreaking?  To a foodie like myself, positively absolutely.  But!  Let’s remind ourselves though that, like any great drama, there can still be excitement and joy amidst the angst and turmoil.  So get comfortable because this is a story of initial heartbreak gone right, silver linings, the bright side, and new doors opening after others close.  This is the story of the Veggielicious that never happened and, given the circumstances, just wasn’t meant to be.  This is a story of food at Hotel Gelato.

Let’s rewind to last weekend, the last weekend of Veggielicious 2012.  I was so excited I was almost skipping down the street.  After my plans for Veggielicious at E.L. Ruddy had fallen through the weekend prior, all cylinders were raring to go and my sights and tastebuds were set on Hotel Gelato and their Veggielicious menu: spinach and kale salad with chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes and tahini dressing, quinoa and sweet potato chili, and lentil cakes made with red lentils and zucchini with a root vegetable salad.  I was salivating even before I walked in.  My heart was pumping a bazillion clicks a minute and I was beyond ecstatic.  And then, the world came crashing down around me when I was delivered the news: because of weekend brunch, Veggielicious was only going to be around from 3pm onward over the weekend.  On any other day it would have been available during the day, for lunch, what have you.  But for the weekend?  Not so much.

I wanted to cry.  Again.

On the way to Hotel Gelato…

The unthinkable had happened.  I had messed up both Veggielicious plans and there was nothing I could do about it.  I couldn’t come back for dinner because I had promised my mum I’d come home for a great meal she had in the works.  And I wasn’t going to pack up and leave.  I adored Hotel Gelato and the thought of up and leaving didn’t seem…right.  So I sat down in my seat, moped for all of a few minutes, and snapped out of it.  Okay, so Veggielicious was no longer within my grasp.  But by golly, there were shiny pumpkins on their mantle and I thought, come hell or high water I’m going to enjoy my weekend brunch here and make the best of it!

And I did.  With one of the most fabulous vegetarian fall salads EVER to grace my tastebuds!

Introducing Hotel Gelato’s fluffy fall-inspired quinoa salad ($13) with butternut squash, beets, arugula, roasted shallots, and toasted pine nuts, tossed in a fresh lemon basil dressing and topped with some crispy beet chips on top!  Talk about getting to the “root” of fabulous food!  Fall vegetables with a light as air, crisp and clean dressing with an equally light as air quinoa?  Perfection.  What a fantastic salad and brunch dish.  As part of Hotel Gelato’s permanent weekend brunch menu, it had such an air of lightness to it, like it was only meant to be enjoyed during a peaceful zen moment.  The quinoa was fluffy and the vegetables, which were mostly diced, were beautiful in colour, taste, and texture.  There was crunch from the nuts, juiciness from the squash and beets, air pockets from the quinoa, that great peppery, leafy bite from the delicious arugula, freshness from the dressing, and warmth, coziness, and savouriness from the roasted shallots.

Here’s a very important tidbit to know though about this dish: the online menu says sweet potato in the salad but when you’re dining in, the menu clearly says butternut squash and it is butternut squash that you will receive!  Just by looking at them, sweet potatoes and butternut squash look nearly identical in appearance, especially when the flesh is scooped out and diced.  But, based on taste and texture,  it’s obvious when you eat it which one is being used in the salad.  Sweet potatoes have a much higher content of starch whereas butternut squash is juicier.  I am definitely not complaining about the difference in dine-in and online menu though because butternut squash floats my boat so finally, some good vibes coming my way!

And this was by no means a piddly serving.  This was a ginormous dish!  The salad was served on a huuuge square serving dish with a salad gift that just kept on giving!  I brought home leftovers, shared them with my mum who’s an absolute fiend for beets, and she loved it so much she wishes we had 10 more plates of it!  THAT is how wonderful this brunch salad is.  The colours and flavours scream fall and comfort and it has to be one of the healthiest, most satisfying vegetarian and vegan brunch dishes.  For those who love cheese there’s an option of adding crumbled goat cheese for $3 and grilled chicken for $4 for the meaties.

I was so, so happy and relieved in the end.  A heart-sinking moment of dread turned into a memorable, delicious dish that I would come back for in a heartbeat.  Veggielicious or not, I got the chance to try a vegetarian and vegan dish I had never tried before and I got to eat some butternut squash which is so fitting for fall!  What seems meant to be sometimes isn’t and sometimes, the best things are right under your very nose.

*****

Hotel Gelato is located at 532 Eglinton Ave. West just west of Heddington Ave. between Avenue Rd. and Bathurst Street.  They serve breakfast and lunch every day from Monday to Friday with a weekend brunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays.  Their breakfast menu is available from 8am-11:30am and lunch all-day.

Baked Omelettes With Asparagus, Roasted Red Pepper & Goat Cheese – Checking into Hotel Gelato for Breakfast!

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I LOVE finding new breakfast, brunch, and lunch places!  The thought of relishing a good meal in a comfortable cafe makes me feel all dreamy and floaty on the inside.  And if you can believe (which I think you all can), I spent a good deal of time last week circling spot after spot in one of my Toronto magazines of all the places that offered breakfast and weekend brunch.  Aside from cupcakes, sushi, and pasta (my three great food loves), nothing gets my engine running more than a great breakfast and lunch cafe. 

I love the vast array of menu items, I love the feeling of freshness during the day (and admittedly, it makes my life easier taking photos in the daytime), and I just love the idea of sitting down to a great sandwich, brunch dish, and/or cafe drink with dessert.  I enjoy dinner, yes, but as Daphne Oz on The Chew reiterated on one of the more recent episodes, “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper”.  Although in my case, I’d change that to a queen and a princess.  But you get the idea.  And it does, in fact, ring true for me.  I eat dinner almost out of necessity rather than want.  The star of the show is my breakfast and lunch and I sure as hell eat like it.  So, what’s my latest breakfast/brunch escapade?  Hotel Gelato on Eglinton West!

Hotel Gelato is a beautiful sit-down breakfast, lunch, and gelato cafe with an open, airy, inviting atmosphere.  Located on Eglinton West in the Upper Village neighbourhood, iIt’s exactly the type of place you envision yourself relaxing in during an easy Sunday morning or afternoon brunch, a midday coffee break, or a bright and refreshing weekday lunch with your best friend.  With its sleek black and white decor and upholstery, it’s pretty and fancy pants without being overly frou-frou and pretentious. 

In all honesty, I was taken aback when I stepped inside.  I knew it was pretty from the photos I saw on their official website, but I was not expecting it to be THIS pretty.  Chandeliers clothed in sheer black, clear plexi tables and chairs, comfy black upholstered chairs by the cafe’s front window, black and white wall decor, a beautiful fireplace mantel with candles, orchid flowers, and a sleek espresso bar and machine in acid bright turquoise!  In a nutshell, Hotel Gelato is NICE.

I was overjoyed when I viewed their menus online.  In addition to the gelato that makes them famous (and oh boy is there ever a ton of gelato goodness to devour!) and the cafe drinks and desserts that can ordered up at the front, they serve weekday breakfast from 8am-11:30am, weekend brunch, and all day lunch.  Although a number of their daily breakfast items appear on their weekend brunch menu, their weekend brunch menu does have some very special items that are not available from Monday-Friday including their challah French toast and their – wait for this – LEMON RICOTTA PANCAKES!  I almost bounced off the walls when I found out they served this.  Weekend brunch would have to wait though as I decided to stick to their daily breakfast menu first. 

Menu items include breakfast sandwiches with either peameal bacon or smoked salmon with eggs, flavoured mayo, and different cheeses, baked eggs, waffles, breakfast parfait, smoked salmon and cream cheese with bagels, and more.  Prices range from $8-$12 for most items, with a separate set of prices ($3.50-$5) for extra sides including daily scone, basket of mini almond, chocolate, and apricot croissants, peameal bacon, and toasted ciabatta with butter and preserves.  As much as I wanted to inhale a breakfast sandwich or smoked salmon (and, come to think of it, their waffles), I went with their baked omelette because I got to choose my fillings and toppings! 

The baked omelette ($8) is made with three eggs and herbs and comes with crusty bread to go with it.  Filling and toppings ($0.75 each) include aged cheddar, goat cheese, Jarlsberg, portobellos, sauteed spinach, smoked ham, bacon, asparagus, and roasted red peppers.  Wanting to inject some veggies into the meal, I chose asaparagus (how very spring-like!), roasted red peppers, and goat cheese because I love goat cheese like crazy. 

T0 my surprise, my omelette and bread were accompanied by a dish of fresh fruit (how sweet!) and my omelette, just like the menu said, was literally baked!  I don’t know why I forgot about that detail, but I was delighted when my breakfast was brought to my table.  The omelette was baked into a small baking/casserole dish, almost like a skillet or casserole and the fillings dotted my baked eggs like a beautiful mosaic.  It was piping hot and so unique to any egg dish I had ever had.  And I was also pleasantly with how much bread I was given – almost like a little mini sliced loaf of delicious crusty bread!  I know the menu specifically said grilled flatbread as opposed to crusty French baguette, but frankly, I didn’t care because the bread was so good and so darn cute!

The asparagus was crisp and flavourful and the goat cheese in the omelette was to die for.  There were creamy, tangy pockets of goat cheese throughout the entire dish and it truly went a long way in making the omelette burst with flavour and dimension.  The eggs were light as air and so, so fluffy.  Keep in mind though that the eggs for this particular dish are baked and thus well done and thoroughly cooked.  If you’re like me and you like your eggs a little runny, just mention it to your server because the dish is cooked well done by default. 

It’s really just based on preference because my mum, for example, reeeeally doesn’t go for runny eggs and prefers hers cooked from top to bottom.  If you love your eggs the way my mum does, no sweat.  If you like yours the way I do, ask them if they can undercook them just a tad and if they can’t (which I can’t imagine them not being able to do, but for the argument’s sake let’s just throw that our there), just choose another menu item.

I am so, so looking forward to coming back because there’s so much more to try!  There’s the gelato (hello, creamsicle and strawberry shortcake oh my god), the drinks (teas, pumpkin spice lattes, and pot of hot chocolate?!), the lunch paninis and sandwiches, and yes, the multitude of breakfast and weekend brunch items waiting for me!  Like those lemon ricotta pancakes.  It’s only a matter of time.

*****

Hotel Gelato is located at 532 Eglinton Ave. West just west of Heddington Ave. between Avenue Rd. and Bathurst Street.  They serve breakfast and lunch every day from Monday to Friday with a weekend brunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays.  Their breakfast menu is available from 8am-11:30am and lunch all-day.

A Burst of Spring Colour & Sugar – Cupcakes & Adorable Accessories at Flour Studio, Part I

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Spring colours and pastels are out in full force in Toronto’s cupcake bakeries!  I haven’t been able to snag myself anything Easter related yet (I’m currently daydreaming about a chocolate cupcake with robin’s egg blue frosting and chocolate shavings), but I blame that on my “how many macarons can I eat in a day/week” fest a week and a half ago and sadly, I’m still thinking of when I can stage a redo so I can do it all over again.  Hopping around town for macarons was more fun than I expected and for the first time ever, cupcakes were completely off the radar for the week.  Macarons will definitely be making themselves more noticably present on the blog as the weeks and months go on, but they won’t ever eclipse cupcakes – cupcakes will be always be my greatest love!

I’m slowly chipping away at Toronto’s cupcake scene but I have to say, even though it’s so much fun, it’s insanely difficult!  For every one new cupcake shop that I visit (new to me, not necessarily to the city), another one opens up!  Either that, or I find out about an already-existing shop I never even knew existed!  A new patisserie, Bo Bon, just opened up on Bathurst in North York and there are plenty of other shops on Queen East and in the west end that need my attention.  At least I can say with certainty that TO’s cupcake scene is far from boring!

This month I spent a little more time in the Eglinton West neighbourhood and I came away from my walks with some exciting new food prospects and discoveries!  Some patisseries, a jaw-dropping brunch menu from Hotel Gelato, a potentially fab sushi spot, a nice tea place, and so much more.  Being in the neighbourhood obviously, for me, meant a stop at Flour Studio as well!  Flour Studio is one of my favourite spots not only for their soft and delicious cakes, but also for their giftware.

I paid them a visit earlier this month to get some spring and Easter photos (and yes, a cupcake) and I was ecstastic to see brand new accessories and cupcake merchandise on their shelves.  They had a rainbow of ceramic cake and cupcake stands in pastel shades, adorable decorative cupcake boxes (perfect for that single cupcake!), beautifully decorated cupcake shaped sugar cookies (which you can see at the very top of the first photo), and to my utter delight, gorgeous little yellow bird cages!  How cute would it be to house a little cupcake in it like a carrier?!  Or even just as a decorative piece on the table for tea time or beside a vase of spring flowers.

I hope you all enjoy the photos because there’s plenty more waiting in the wings.  Tomorrow’s part II post will be celebrating one cupcake from Flour Studio in particular, one that contains a special cookie that just happens to be blowing out 100 candles this year!

*****

Flour Studio is located at 883 Eglinton Ave. West, about a block 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.  In addition to cupcakes, the shop sells baking accessories, cupcake themed items, stationery, and giftware.

Bidding Farewell to the Outdoor Markets and Cozying Up Inside – Veggie Pies & The Eglinton Park Farmers’ Market!

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We’re nearing the end of October and many markets and summer events are closing up shop for the year, either to head indoors or to map out plans for next spring.  Leslieville’s last market is this Sunday (the day before Hallow’en), we’ll be saying goodbye to the market by East York Civic Centre next Tuesday, and Kensington Market’s last Pedestrian Sunday of the year is taking place on Sunday. 

To commemorate the very last outdoor farmers’s market in Eglinton Park tomorrow, I’m dedicating this post to everyone who’s helped make this market a fabulous success this year!  Even though the market may have caused a bit of confusion for foodies and locals alike throughout the year with its revolving door of locations and times, you know a market has been successful when it needs to move around to accomodate the crowds!  The farmers’ market by Yonge and Eglinton has been ping-ponging back and forth between several different locations and I think it’s kind of cute that they needed to do that because it’s highly indicative of the overwhelmingly positive response the market has had over the past number of months. 

Let’s start from the beginning.  When I first found about the market back during the spring, the Eglinton Market was located behind the North Toronto Memorial Community Centre in Eglinton Park where it took place every Thursday from 3pm-7pm.  Much like Dufferin Grove, the green space had an adorable community garden for everyone in the neighbourhood and vicinity to pitch in, learn about, and enjoy.  It was green, it was peaceful, and it felt homey as I perused the market tables bursting with bright yellow tomatoes, chocolate chip muffins, and summer fruits and vegetables.

Fast forward to the depths of summer in August.  The Eglinton market moved it fruits, veggies, baked goods, and other yummies to a much more high-traffic location smack dab on Yonge St. in the Pedestrian Square by Northern District Public Library.  Organizers of the market upped the anti by extending market hours from 3pm-7pm to 11am-7pm to attract lunch crowds and morning market birds like me!  At this location, the market was able to cater to the throngs of summer passersby around Yonge and Eglinton and you can bet it had the vibrant street feel to it!  The grill was fired up, market goers sat out on patio tables having lunch, there was music playing, and it was all hustle and bustle.  

The market then entered the crisp, chilly days of fall in October where it said goodbye to Pedestrian Square and headed back to the greenery of Eglinton Park and its original 3pm-7pm hours.  We’re now looking at our very last outdoor market in the park tomorrow before it heads into warmer headquarters indoors to the North Toronto Community Centre beside the park starting November 10th.  From then on, the market will operate every other Thursday from 3pm-7pm.  So we’re looking at going to market on November 10th, November 24th, December 8th, December 22nd, and so on.  I’ll definitely miss the weekly markets, but I already feel very lucky to have a market to go to in one of my favourite parts of town.  And the way I see it, having it indoors in the community centre means I’ll get to know more about the activities and programs that are offered inside which is a great thing.

One of the things I love most about the Eglinton Market is the presence of The Canadian Pie Company!  Their storefront is located on Queen Street East, just east of Broadview on Boulton Ave. and I am so looking forward to going sometime and eating inside their shop.  To my knowledge, this is the only market they’re currently a part of, so this makes the market even more special.  (Oct.27th: Scratch that, Canadian Pie Company also makes their appearance at the Leslieville Farmers’ Market.  That’s okay, they’re still super special).  We’re not just talking about the run-of-the-mill fruit pies and dessert pies – oh no, we’re talking warm, savoury, delicious pies that you could eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!  Because I eat pie for breakfast.  Let me rephrase that: I don’t actually eat pie for breakfast like it’s part of my daily routine or diet, but I would if the opportunity arose. 

They have a delicious selection of meat pies and vegetarian pies and by george, I am all over their vegetarian pies.  They sell them in large sizes and small ones and the small ones make me squeal because they’re cute and they perfect size for me as a dinner.  I want to stuff my face into all of their vegetarian pies: spinach and goat cheese, cheddar and asparagus, wild mushroom, and everything other veggie pie they have.  Much like chili, I prefer veggie over meat kinds.  Just thinking about them now is making me hungry.  If I can get myself to the market tomorrow, I am so picking one up for dinner.  And eating it on the subway ride home.

*****

The Eglinton Appletree Market will be having its last outdoor market TOMORROW in Eglinton Park behind North Toronto Memorial Community Centre at 200 Eglinton Ave. West from 3pm-7pm.  Starting November 10th, the market will be held indoors in the community centre every other Thursday from 3pm-7pm.  Check out the Appletree Market website here for specific dates and for more information.

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.

*****

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.