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!

Inspired by a Red Scalloped Cake Stand – Scrapbooking Sweets From Yummy Stuff on Queen Street West in Parkdale

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Scrapbooking materials used: bubblegum pink, neon green, forest green, white, and cappuccino cardstock (Recollections); dessert themed cardstock (The Sweet Stack With Glitter by DCWV); patterned paper with giant rainbow coloured circles (Michaels); die cut pink “Sweet” cardboard embellishment (Winners/Homesense); “Spring” sticker embellishment (K&Company); pink metallic foil alphabet stickers (Recollections); flowers and tree foil stickers (atd momenta); red felt forest animals stickers (Friendly Forest by Colorbok); lime green wavy felt borders (Forever in Time Scrapbook Collection); medium scallop circle paper punch (ek success); corner rounder paper punch (ek success); scalloped edge decorative scissors (Provo Craft).

Cupcake Heaven in My Mouth – Sweets, Fillings, and Boston Cream & Lemon Cupcakes at Yummy Stuff, Part II!

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You know a cupcake and dessert shop has you in the palm of their hand when it makes you weak in the knees and abnormally impulsive.  A minute after I walked into Yummy Stuff, I was piecing together a scrapbook layout in my mind’s eye even before I had even taken my camera out to start snapping and immediately after I enjoyed the heavenly blissfulness of their cupcakes, I wanted to hightail it on back to the shop!  You’d think that one cupcake shop trip would suffice for the day, but I was thisclose to disrupting my afternoon errands for the purposes of going back and let me tell you, the cupcake fanatic in me was fuming when I walked the other way and ultimately decided to save the second trip for another day.  Willpower, my lovelies, WILLPOWER.

Yummy Stuff, with their iconic bright green mixing whisk logo, is located in a neighbourhood that is surprisingly accessible.  It wasn’t until I started walking around and getting my geographical barings that I realized how easy it was to connect the dots around the city.  First off, it’s on Queen Street West so you have the Queen streetcar at your service to and from the sweet shop.  Second of all, it’s a hop, skip, and step away from Roncesvalles Ave. which is an open door to exploring the revitalized foodielicious Roncesvalles neighbourhood (remember my post about Seventh Sister Bakery?), a neighbourhood that holds so much Polish history and culture among many other gems.

And given how walkable the “downtown core” streets are northbound and southbound (basically, everything south of Bloor and on) you can easily walk south to Liberty Village, and northeast to Dundas West (Brockton Village and Little Portugal), Little Italy and the west end of College Street, and Dufferin Mall and Bloordale/Bloorcourt Village.  The exploration options are endless!  Sometimes my cupcake trips are spontaneous (the hankering never really goes away), but most of the time, they’re planned and if you want in on a little secret, it’s acually how I plan my days.  That’s right.  I plan my activities and routes around what cupcake shop I want to visit on that particular day.  Crazy?  Maybe a little.  Effective?  Very.  Madly in love with cupcakes?  Totally.

Yummy Stuff is a space that is similar to that of The Wedding Cake Shoppe in that their workspace, station, and design studio is somewhat visible from behind the counter.  They are purely walk-in and take-out only though – no tables and chairs here, so be prepared to eat your treats elsewhere.  And they have MANY treats!  In addition to their custom designed cakes, cupcakes, and decorated sugar cookies, they have canisters full of giant cookies (snickerdoodles, chocolate ginger, chocolate chip, and peanut butter among others), lemon squares and tarts, brownies, peanut butter chocolate squares, and other special cookies including shortbread, lintzer cookies, and chocolate toffee butter cookies! 

Selection will vary daily and weekly, but rest assured that there will never be a shortage of options!  Prices range from $1-$4 for most treats.  I want to go back as soon as I can so I can try one of their chocolate ginger cookies, a decorated sugar cookie (they have sugar cookies decorated and in the shape of cupcakes and ice cream cones, oh my god), and of course, many more cupcakes!

Cupcakes come in two sizes: regular ($2.75 each, $15 for half a dozen) and mini ($1 each) and on the day I went, they had 8 flavours to choose from.  Like many other cupcake shops, their cupcakes operate on a rotating system which means what you see one day may not be there the next.  Classics such as vanilla, chocolate, and red velvet would be present on a daily basis but all other flavours are fair game on any given day.  Their menu (taken straight off their website) includes banana, carrot, chocolate, coconut, lemon, mango, vanilla, raspberry, red velvet, and a special flavour of the month.  This month’s decadent treat?  BOSTON CREAM!

I picked up a lemon cupcake and a Boston Cream (wouldn’t you?!) and oh my goodness, they were both heavenly, especially the lemon one!  Both cupcakes had a vanilla cake bottom and while the lemon cupcake was swirled with frosting, the Boston Cream was covered in a chocolate ganache with chocolate sprinkles.  AND they both had fillings!  Not all bakeries make their cupcakes with fillings.  Some might have a few with fillings for special occasions, but off the top of my head, For the Love of Cake in Liberty Village is the only cupcake shop who bakes every single one of their cupcakes with fillings in them. 

The Boston Cream cupcake was filled with creamy custard and had a moist, vanilla sponge-cake like texture to it.  Even though it sounds extremely rich, it’s really not and it’s actually relatively light in comparison to the donut!  It’s not heavy at all and I think it’s a great cupcake that would appeal to people who want something decadent but who don’t necessarily want to feel heavy or gluttonous afterward.

And the lemon.  OH MY GOD THE LEMON.  Off the bat, this belongs in the Top 5 (possibly even Top 3) Most Amazing Lemon Cupcakes in Toronto.  My first goes to The Cupcake Shoppe’s Lemon Drop (read: the Lemon Drop, NOT the Lov’n Lemon!), then it’s just a kerfluffle of scrumptiousness that I can’t figure out.  There’s the lemon meringue cupcake from For the Love of Cake, the lemon one from Bake Sale on the Kingsway, and this one from Yummy Stuff.  This was SO.DAMN.GOOD.  A sweet, fruity, tangy frosting (read: frosting, not whippy buttercream or mousse) swirled on top of vanilla cake with a lemon curd filling inside.  The texture of the frosting is perfect (not gritty, not thin and watery, and not thick and cracking) and the flavour and taste is bang on.  It’s not cloyingingly or artificially sweet, but it packs BIG flavour that left my friends and I taken aback in the best way possible.  It it truly one of the best tasting cupcakes EVER and I would come back to one a million times over. 

I was curious when I saw Yummy Stuff’s website had a blog so I clicked on their link and happily found out about their special cupcakes of the month!  They have monthly entries on their blog providing updates on seasonal goodies, dessert projects, and new cupcake flavours and I’m really happy they have this as it gives everyone a more personal connection to them and a heads up about new and delicious treats!  I only wish I had come during Christmas because their dessert line-up looked amazing!  Sigh.  You have to start somewhere though and at least now I know how delicious their cupcakes really are and can look forward to eleventy billion more visits to come.   

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Yummy Stuff is located at 1660 Queen Street West in the west end Parkdale neighbourhood, east of Roncesvalles Ave.  They are open Tuesday-Sunday, from 10am-7pm from Tuesday-Friday, 9am-6pm on Saturdays, and 12pm noon-5pm on Sundays.  They are closed on Mondays.  Visit their official website here.