Even Better Than a Donut – The Rainbow Bright Sprinkler Cupcake from Short & Sweet Cupcakes!

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“Donuts, is there anything they can’t do?” asks Homer at the end of Marge vs. the Monorail.  I love this Simpsons episode to pieces (who doesn’t?!) and although I enjoy donuts and have quite a few favourites and weaknesses, I have to counter that question and respond with a “yes”.  Because a donut can’t be a cupcake and it certainly can’t be the Sprinkler from Short & Sweet Cupcakes!  You all know that Short & Sweet is my holy grail for cupcakes in Toronto and you all know I have made many a visit since my first one in the spring.  However, there are still cupcakes that I haven’t actually seen in person and this is because their cupcake selection operates on a routine rotating basis.  Wait, routine and rotating in the same sentence?  How does that make sense?  Let me explain.

Short & Sweet has a slightly different selection of cupcakes every day during the week and they go ALL OUT on the weekends, nearly doubling their selection compared to, say, Tuesday.  What you see on Tuesday is what you will see EVERY Tuesday.  And what you see on Thursday, for example, is what you can expect to see the next Thursday.  Followng me so far?  There are certain cupcakes that are available every day and certain ones that only make their appearance once a week or during the weekend. 

Depending on which day(s) you frequent the shop then, there could be cupcakes that you’d miss completely and this has certainly been the case for me.  I’m accumstomed to visiting the shop during the week, most of time in the middle of the week on Tuesday or Wednesday (they’re closed on Mondays).  This is why, on this particular Thursday back in July, I finally saw the Sprinkler up close and in person and there was no way I was going to leave the shop without this pretty little thing.  A cupcake that looks exactly like a rainbow sprinkled, technicolour donut?!  YES PLEASE.

Everyone feels differently about sprinkles though.  My dad, for instance, hates sprinkles with a passion because he has bad teeth.  He’s had issues with his teeth for years now and because of their current condition, things like sprinkles get stuck between them and I think they’re even susceptible to cracking given how crunchy sprinkles are!  Some find them messy and others are kind of indifferent about them.  I, on the other hand, LOVE sprinkles and I always have.  Tubular ones, tiny round balls, crystal sprinkles, cute shapes, I adore them all and I think that they add so much character and fun to desserts.  I get rainbow sprinkles and chocolate sprinkles on my ice cream and soft serve, I adore sprinkles in my shortbread cookies, and I get giddy at the thought of dunking a frosted cupcake into a bowl of sprinkles and having the sprinkles stick all nice and pretty to it.

If you love sprinkles and you’re a fan of sprinkled donuts, this was made for you.  This is like a sprinkled donut only, in my opinion, 10x better!  The vanilla cupcake is soft, moist, and sweet and the frosting with the sprinkles is just out of this world.  You know how sprinkled donuts have that layer of sweet frosted glaze that helps the sprinkles stay on?  Imagine that sweetness but in the form of a thick, super creamy, lickably good frosting.  The kind of frosting that makes you want to dip your finger in it and go to town.  The Sprinkler is like a donut, birthday cake, and whipped frosting straight from the mixing bowl all wrapped in one.  I made an absolute mess of myself with the frosting drooping down my cupcake and some of the sprinkles bouncing away after the first bite, but it was so worth it.  It’s fun, colourful, and so perfect for the kid in all of us.

I know I haven’t posted pictures of the new shop since Short & Sweet moved and I’m sorry for that!  I have new photos, but I just need to formulate a cohesive post dedicated specifically to the new location.  The photos I have of the Sprinkler (and its coordinating scrapbook layout which, by the way, was a blast to make) are the last batch from the days of their old shop, so I am ready and raring to go with new location material!  I’m really excited because this Saturday on the 10th, Short & Sweet will be holding their grand re-opening party to celebrate their successful move to their new location 3 blocks north.  From 1pm-4pm, they’ll be holding a cupcake party with drinks, giveaways, and of course, plenty of their amazing cupcakes!  You can bet I’ll be there 😉

*****

Short & Sweet Cupcakes is now located at 1945 Avenue Rd., south of Wilson Ave.  If you take public transit like me, the easiest way to get here is to get off at Wilson subway station and take the 96 bus to Avenue Rd. and walk south.  You can also get here by getting off at York Mills subway station and taking the 165 Weston Rd. North bus to Wilson Ave. and Avenue Rd. and walking south, or getting off Yorks Mills subway station and walking west to Avenue Rd. from Yonge.

Scrapbooking materials used: to be added.

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Ice Cream Bonanza & Rainbow-nanza at Marble Slab Creamery, Part I

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Okay, so it might has been a teeny bit teeth-chattering when I went out today.  And the weather network is forecasting the coldest weekend of the winter thus far for tomorrow and the day after.  The kind of cold that would most likely cause my eyelashes to stick together causing rapid blinking and weird stares from other people.  So I yes, I am a little loopy in the head for posting pictures of ice cream.  But really, tell me that you don’t love eating ice cream any time.  That if someone were to wave a bowl of it in your face you’d decline.  Well, I sure wouldn’t!  So Marble Slab ice cream it is for today!

To me, Marble Slab may not be your go-to place for ice cream on a frequent basis simply because of the larger portions and the higher-end price range (Marble Slab’s branding strategy offers gourmet ice cream, so you’re looking at around $5-$7), but it screams FUN!  The colours, the variety of mix-ins, the waffles cones and bowls; it’s just pure fun to be able to choose your ice cream and go to town with fun add-ons for whatever sweet tooth mood you might be in. 

There are pre-selected, “put together” menu items that you can order off their menu, as well as the choice of creating your own unique ice cream creation using cones, waffle bowls, different combinations of ice cream, and of course, all the toppings your heart desires.  Tasty Creations (the menu items that are already predetermined in composition) include white chocolate raspberry, s’mores, cookies and cake, rocky road, and a slew of others.  In addition to the classic Marble Slab ice cream creations, they also serve items such as sundaes and banana splits among others. 

If you would prefer creating your own ice cream masterpiece, you can choose a waffle cone, one type of ice cream, and one mixin for a flat price ($4.99 for a regular and $5.99 for a large), with additional mixins coming in at an extra $0.79 each.  It’s a splurge, an indulgence, and a total treat.  I have a huuuge weakness for rainbow sprinkles, (who doesn’t get squealy over sprinkles?!) so I chose the Rainbow-nanza icecream off the Tasty Creations menu ($5.78): sweet cream ice cream mixed with rainbow sprinkles and M&Ms!

Cue the scooping of ice cream, the plop plopping of sweets, and the metal clang-clang of ice cream being made right in front of your very hungry eyes!  Yup, how the ice cream concoction is created is what sets them apart from other ice cream parlours (other than Cold Stone Creamery who use a similar technique and concept): the ice cream and mix-ins are mixed and folded on a frozen marble slab, resulting in a generously creamy ice cream 😀  The frozen surface keeps the ice cream from getting mushed and melty, and the folding allows the candies and sweets to be fully incorporated.  It’s quite fun to watch!  Believe me when I say it’s a technique that really needs to be done with care and patience because it’s not just swirling ice cream around till it’s mushy!

The sweet cream ice cream was fabulous (think vanilla but richer and creamier and with more of a cake batter taste to it) and rainbow sprinkles are always up my alley, but in hindsight, I would have chosen something without the M&Ms.  I love M&Ms to death (they’re my favourite chocolate candies!), but to me, they felt misplaced in the ice cream.  It’s almost as if they interrupted my ice cream eating, if you understand what I mean.  I think if mini M&Ms had been used it would have worked out a little better because the regular-sized ones just didn’t provide the fluidity and cohesiveness that you would want in an ice cream dish.  Textures and flavours are tough things to balance out and sometimes combinations work and sometimes they don’t.  The ice cream was good and it was fun, but I’m looking forward to trying other mixins and ice creams to really get a wider breadth of flavours and textures.

Marble Slab has been around town for awhile now with new locations opening up periodically – I think the newest one is on Yonge St. right by the Eaton Centre – but my first time going was actually just this past summer!  The first location I knew of was the one by Promenade Mall (which is the location I went to for this ice cream trip) and several years later one opened up in Markham on Major Mackenzie Dr. E and Markland St., just east of the 404 Highway exit.  My family might not be as heavily into dessert stuffs as I am, but I blabbed on and on about the creamy ice cream and fun mix-ins enough for them to be intrigued.  So we went and all got ice cream just for fun.  Deb -1, family – 0.  Win win! 😉

*****

Marble Slab offers ice cream and cakes, and has 2 locations in Toronto as well as one in Markham and one in Thornhill:

  1. 330 Yonge St. (near the intersection of Yonge & Dundas, just north of Dundas)
  2. 2032 Queen St. E (in the Beaches neighbourhood, across the street from the KEW Gardens)
  3. 11 Disera Drive (near the intersection of Bathurst and Centre St., just west of Bathurst)
  4. 735 Markland Street (on Major Mackenzie Dr. E, at the plaza by Canadian Tire, Swiss Chalet, and Montana’s)