The Cupcake Connection, Vol. 004 – Short & Sweet Birthday Celebrations, Fashion’s Night Out & New Cupcakeries!

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Cupcakes like these would sweeten anybody’s back-to-school week!

New month, new school year, new season just around the corner, new Cupcake Connection!  I have to tell you, I am SO looking forward to fall and the end of the summer season.  Wearing summer dresses has been nice, but I’m ready to move on to fall flavours, clothes, and refreshing walks through colourful crunchy leaves with a warm cup of tea.  My mind and appetite have already shifted to pumpkin and squash meals, apple desserts, fall markets, and of course, seasonal delights at all the cupcake bakeries!  September is here and that means a whole slew of cupcake news to share to kick off the month and the beginning of the end of the hot and hazy days of summer, so let’s hop to it!

Short & Sweet Cupcakes is all over the cupake news circuit this month!  Not only are they official sponsors for Toronto’s very first Fashion’s Night Out this Thursday, September 6th, 2012 from 6pm-11pm (FNO, a global consumer initiative celebrating its 4th anniversary this year, is dedicated to making shopping an even bigger social and socializing event, creating excitement over fashion collections, designers, and the industry through different shopping events in different cities around the world, and aiming to restore consumer confidence in an economy drowning in recession woes), but they are also celebrating several different milestones of their own! 

This Saturday, September 8th, Short & Sweet will be raising a toast to their 1st birthday at their new location on Avenue Road, their 3rd birthday as a cupcake shop in Toronto, AND the birth of their soon-to-be 2nd store location opening later on this month, located in York Region!  Things have never been more exciting and hopeful for the team, so join in on the celebration and pop on by this Saturday for a cupcake party celebration!  You can view the photos from last year’s grand opening party HERE!

And funny enough, since we’re talking about Short & Sweet, you’ll never guess the type of business that recently moved into their old location at 399 Old Orchard Grove!  Or maybe you will since I’ve made it kind of obvious.  That’s right, a brand spankin’ new cupcake bakery has set up shop in Short & Sweet’s old residence!  Small world, right?  Introducing, Pink Lemon Bake Shop!  As a sister cupcake and cake shop to York Region’s Crumbs & Co., Pink Lemon Bake Shop opened their doors in Toronto for the first time this past June.  I haven’t been to the shop yet (I will get there eventually!), but flavours like blueberry champagne, fudge sundae, brownie fudge, and pink lemon will draw me there soon enough! 

And if that’s not enough to get your heart fluttering, another cupcake bakery and patisserie has waltzed into Toronto this past year (also located in North York), at 3543 Bathurst St., south of Wilson Ave. and the 401.  Walk into Bo-Bon, an East Coast American import from New York and New Jersey, specializing in cupcakes, gourmet marshmallows, meringues, chocolates, and Parisian macarons – all Kosher-certified!  If you’re a fellow “Cupcake Crusader”, definitely check out both shops and check them off your list if you’re looking for more cupcake goodness in Toronto!  It’s only a matter of time before I hit both, so sit tight because posts on both of them will come!

September also means the return of TIFF, the Toronto International Film Festival, and in true glamourous, red-carpet ready style, Le Dolci is holding a special TIFF themed cupcake decorating class on Sunday, September 9th from 4pm-6pm!  I had just started my adventures at old icing sugar towers around the time this class had happened last year and I still remember seeing adorable cupcakes decorated with fondant to resemble movie reels, popcorn buckets, directors’ clapboards, and other cute movie and TIFF related things!  There’s space available, so if you love movies and cupcakes, this class is perfect for you! 

Finally, a new month and a new season just around the corner means new products at DuffletFor a limited time, enjoy two new giant cupcakes at all Dufflet bakeries and cafes: a filled Coconut Dulce de Leche and a filled Luscious Lemon!  Both sound amazing and both are two of my favourite flavours ever!  Not to mention they have fillings!  Dufflet cupcakes are $2.85 each.  Dufflet’s fall beginnings and back-to-school newsletter can be found HERE where a listing of new products and promotions await you!  That’s all for this post, but I’m already so super excited about scoping out fall flavours and seasonal treats for the next Cupcake Connection!

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The Cupcake Connection! New Locations & Shops Plus Flavour Updates From Cupcakeries Around the City

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I love finding out about special cupcake flavours, new cupcake shops, and new locations of already-existing cupcakeries opening up elsewhere in the city, so The Cupcake Connection is my way of pooling together a ton of different bits and bobs and keeping all of us in the know!  There’s a lot of information ping ponging all over the place and it can be pretty cumbersome lily pad hopping from site to site, looking out for each and every single new flavour, location, and event update.  I do it because I love looking at cupcakes all day long and because I’m little crazy like that.  So enjoy my cupcake craziness!

Short & Sweet Cupcakes are serving up fresh blueberries and moving up north!  Short & Sweet’s May Flavour of the Month is Blueberry Yum Yum, a vanilla marscapone cake studded with giant blueberries bursting with juiciness, topped with a creamy blueberry cream cheese frosting.  I had this cupcake last year but didn’t make a post about it because I didn’t have nice photos  (except for the one you see here, but 1 photo does not make a good or thorough post!), so I’m really looking forward to having it again so I can report back!

FOTM: Blueberry Yum Yum at Short & Sweet Cupcakes

And for those us craving more cupcakes in York Region, Short & Sweet will be opening up their 2nd location in Vaughan (specifically in Maple) at Eagles Landing by Dufferin & Major Mackenzie THIS FALL!  I actually found out about the exciting news MONTHS before they made their official announcement (a little birdie told me), but I kept mum about it because spilling the beans would have spoiled the announcement.  But I – and everyone else – can jump for joy now!  I am so excited because I’ll have the option of getting my beloved Short & Sweet Cupcakes closer to my neck of the woods and not have to use two fares to get them.  Win-win!

Speaking of new locations opening up, The Cupcake Shoppe, Crumbs & Co., and Le Dolci are all opening up new shops and spaces later on this year!  The Cupcake Shoppe will be heading up north to Vaughan and setting up shop at Rutherford and Bathurst (which, to my knowledge, should be near the giant Longo’s supermarket), Crumbs & Co. will be heading south to Avenue Rd. and Lawrence in North York, and our beloved cupcake, macaron, icing sugar towers that is Le Dolci will be moving into a brand spankin’ new studio and retail space on Dundas Street West right across the street from Trinity Bellwoods Park!

Learn to make these posh designer cupcakes at one of Le Dolci’s classes!

Even though I’m no longer an active icing sugar queen at Le Dolci, I still enjoy keeping up with what’s going on at the studio, and this move is so incredibly exciting for Lisa, Miya, and the other girls!  The space is will offer a larger area for cupcake, cake, and macaron classes, there will be retail component to the new space, and Lisa and Miya are also working on offering new sweets and classes to the mix once the move is done.  The Le Dolci team are always updating their Facebook page, Twitter feed,and blog, so you can definitely keep up with news and updates if you follow them on any one of those.  I don’t have exact months or dates on me right now, but I promise to tell you all whenever I know and you can bet I’ll be at the new locations with camera and sweet teeth on hand!

Much like David’s Tea, I think cupcake shops are so smart when choosing new locations to expand.  For those heading into York Region, the market is wide open because for one, there aren’t as many cupcake shops (and the ones that do exist are very far away from one each other) and for another, a lot of York Region is still under development, with new neighbourhoods and districts being formed every year.  There’s Markham, Richmond Hill, Thornhill, Woodbridge, Maple, Aurora, the list goes on.

The Cupcake Shoppe will be opening up shop in Vaughan!

For those who love to try out new flavours, Yummy Stuff on Queen West in Parkdale has a new, fruity flavour for the month of May: the Hummingbird Cupcake!  This is a special pineapple, banana, and coconut cupcake with cream cheese frosting and I specifically found this out because I called them and asked about their May flavour.  I’m not full-blown insane, just dedicated.  And this week’s Treats of the Week at Prairie Girl Bakery and monthly specials at Dufflet are going fruity tutti too!  Prairie Girl is dishing out a raspberry buttercream on their dark cocoa chocolate cake and a lemon and strawberry buttercream on their golden vanilla buttermilk cake for this week, and I think these flavours would pair up amazingly with either their regular lemon cupcake or their regular toasted coconut.

And to celebrate spring and Mother’s Day, Dufflet has come out with a bevy of new cakes, tarts, and cupcakes for the occasion, all of which are available until at least May 21st.  Their newest cupcake flavour is a strawberry shortcake filled cupcake, which fits into their new line of giant cupcakes with fillings!  The cupcakes are $2.85 and are available at all 3 of their Toronto locations.  Dufflet is also hosting their 5th annual Tour de Dufflet bike ride in support of the Toronto Cyclist’s Union from May 22nd to June 30, and will be a part of the Uptown Yonge’s Sidewalk Sale on Saturday, May 12 from 10am-5pm, where they’ll have amazing promotion prices and deals on their products.  Does 2 for $5 cupcakes sound awesome or what?!  For more information, check out their April & May newsletter HERE for all the details!