Hallowe’en is just a week and a half away, we’re in the thick of fall, and the Fall Harvest Series has been up and running for 3 weeks now! Although the weather here hasn’t been co-operating (can you say doom and gloom and rain? I thank my lucky stars that I started photographing the fall farmers’ markets at the end of September as oppsed to trying to do it now!), it’s been so much fun immersing myself up to my eyeballs in fall themed foods and scrapbooking. I love scrapbooking seasonal stuff and as I mentioned on my Twitter, the very first 8×8 scrapbook album I did was a Christmas one that will always be a special favourite in my collection.
What’s also been amazing? Eating through the seasons at some of my favourite places in the city! Ate by Ate will be celebrating its first birthday at the end of November and we’ve almost come full circle with many of my frequent noshing spots, hitting the seasonal menus and special seasonal flavours. I am THISCLOSE to going 360 at The Cupcake Shoppe by Yonge and Eglinton; all I need to do is hit them up during the Christmas holidays! However, after all the visits I’ve made to The Cupcake Shoppe, there are still cupcakes I haven’t even seen, much less tried! Their cupcake selection operates on a system of rotation where different flavours will make their appearances at different times. The arrangement here doesn’t work quite the same way as Short & Sweet Cupcakes though. At Short & Sweet, the flavour selection is fixed based on the days of the week whereas as at The Cupcake Shoppe, it’s much more random.
Depending on the luck of the draw, there may be cupcake flavours that you will never come across or eat. I’ve never even seen Sleepless in Toronto (the coffee mocha one), nor have I seen Lime n’Licious or Candy Cane Lane, both pf which are seasonal flavours. And up until this past September, I hadn’t even laid eyes on the maple Eh? cupcake. But that all changed on a cloudy day during the first week of September.
I was SO excited when I went to the shop and saw shiny orange pumpkins, chocolate cupcakes with bright orange frosting with cherry red candies, and a giant acorn in the front window display. Fall was here and the cupcake shops and bakeries were decorating to the nines. My heart fluttered even faster when I went into the shop and saw the maple buttercream cupcake! YES! A flavour I had never seen or tried! Granted, even though I know the name of the cupcake is meant to be tongue-in-cheek, it still makes me wrinkle my nose and grit my teeth. For the record, as a Canadian, I do not say “eh” after all my sentences. ANYWAY. Both my brother and my boyfriend love maple things to pieces, so this was extra special. And because I just love eating my way through all the flavours, there was no way I was passing up this baby!
This cupcake knocked it out of the park! Remember how I ticked off my 3 favourite cupcakes from here awhile ago? How I professed my undying love for the Lemon Drop, Cookie Dough, and Red Velvet cupcakes with the Naughty n’ Spice one hovering close by? The maple Eh? cupcake kicked Little Miss Red Velvet out and is now happily occupying a spot in my Top 3. This cupcake is SO.DAMN.DELICIOUS. I say this often whenever I write up a post about The Cupcake Shoppe, but it’s worth repeating: I know so many people who have a love-hate relationship with the cupcake frosting here. It’s either amazingly scrumptious or it flat-out misses the mark. The Eh? cupcake doesn’t associate with those that miss the mark. It hangs out with the “I-want-to-shove-this-entire-cupcake-in-my-mouth-because-it’s-so-yummy” crowd.
I opened the box to eat mine and as soon as I did, the smell of maple literally HIT me in the nose and face. It wafted out and it was one of the most mouthwatering smells. The frosting sits on a vanilla cupcake and it’s the frosting that makes this cuppycake a real winner. It’s not the buttery, whippy buttercream that some have an issue with. The maple frosting is thick and creamy and it makes you want to eat it by the spoonful and shudder in “mmm”ness.
This maple cupcake smells and tastes EXACTLY like maple syrup and pancakes. Imagine a cold winter morning. Imagine coming down the stairs of a lodge or cabin of some sort with the fire on and the warm, fragrant, sweet smell of fresh, fluffy, golden brown pancakes tickling your nose and rumbling that hungry stomach. Now take that image and stick it into this sweet morsel of a cupcake. Amazing. The vanilla cake is like the pancake and the rich, maple frosting is the syrup dribbling down the stack and when you have a mouthful of this cake and frosting in your mouth, it’s heaven.
Now, I normally wouldn’t outright encourage everyone to start eating cupcakes for breakfast, but I have to tell you…if you want a sweet, delicous alternative, this works quite well. And if you’re lucky, you’ll step into the shop with a whole cupcake stand of them waiting for you.
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.
Scrapbooking materials used: chocolate brown, orange, burnt orange, red, cherry red, and goldenrod yellow cardstock (Recollections); gold foil alphabet stickers (Sticko); fall leaves stickers (Recollections); fall embellishment (K&Company); medium scallop circle paper punch (ek success); black finepoint Sharpie pen.