Party-ready cake and cupcake stands, sweet-as-can-be cupcake tags and decorations, and fresh flowers in water at every table – The Wedding Cake Shoppe is a bright and fresh wedding cake and cupcake emporium with enough whimsy and happiness to brighten even the cloudiest of days. The Wedding Cake Shoppe, as a wedding cake decorating company, has been in operation for 7 years, while the retail storefront located on College Street just west of Ossington Ave., is celebrating its 3rd in Toronto later on this month. Sisters Cindy and Sarah Coelho are the pastry chefs, artists, and brains behind the business and I was lucky enough to chat with Cindy during my time at the shop where we talked about cupcakes (surprise, surprise!), our passions and work, and swiss meringue buttercream!
Although the shop is known for its beautiful, larger-than-life wedding cakes, cupcakes happily share some of that limelight. Awash in pastels, cute polka dots, and swiss dots, the shop has over 20 different rotating flavours of cupcake cake and frosting to satisfy every kind of sweet tooth. Chocoholic? Check. Fruity tooty? Check. Coffee drink addict? Check, check, and check. What sets The Wedding Cake Shoppe’s cupcakes apart from many other bakeries in the city is its use of different buttercreams and frostings. While many shops and businesses mainly stick to one or two types of frosting, Cindy and Sarah use a mix of cream cheese frosting, chocolate ganache, and swiss meringue buttercream to frost their cupcakes, making their cupcakes more fluffy, whipped, and airy as opposed to thick and sickly sweet.
In a nutshell, swiss meringue buttercream is a frosting that requires more time, technical skill, and careful observation to prepare than American buttercream (icing sugar + butter) because of its use of egg whites. Egg whites are whisked into a bowl of granulated white sugar (notice the absence of icing or confectioners sugar; big difference!) set over a simmering pot of water. The sugar and egg white mixture is then whisked in a mixer to create a meringue base. This meringue base is then mixed with butter and flavouring (fruit, extracts, whatever your heart desires) to form a smooth, velvety, swiss meringue buttercream.