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« Holiday Sweetness: Cakespy Artwork Featured in the Seattle P-I! | Main | Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: Presidential Sweet: A Tour of Presidential Holiday Desserts »

Cakespy Takes the Cake: A Special Guest Spot on Cupcakes Take the Cake!

Seattle Cupcakes: A Gentle Primer

Cakespy Note: As you know, Cupcakes Take the Cake is one of the awesomest sites ever--their dedication to cupcakes is awe-inspiring, and the girls who write for it happen to be 100% pure fun as well; they've been featured in many publications and even on Martha Stewart!

So it was an honor to be asked to be part of their "Guest Blogger" program in celebration of their 4-year anniversary. For our post, Head Spy Jessie sounded off on Seattle cupcakes--here's her contribution.

One of the most common questions I get asked by people coming to visit Seattle is "Where should I go for the best cupcakes?".

This question makes me want to pop a Xanax or ten, because it's a fraught question for a people-pleaser like me. How could I possibly know what you'll like? *Heaves into paper bag*

But you know what I can do? I can tell you what I like. Me, me, me. But I haven't set it up as a bakery guide: I've done it geographically, by destinations that I deem worthy, so depending on where you find yourself in Seattle, you'll never be far from a cupcake. Whether you like them or not will be up to you--but then again, isn't taking a risk part of having an adventure?

Here goes:

Cuppies at the West Seattle Junction
Alaska Junction in West Seattle: This is a cool little shopping area, but it's definitely a drive from downtown Seattle (at 6 or so miles, it would be an awfully healthy walk). But it's worth the drive because there you'll find Cupcake Royale and Sugar Rush Bakery, and just a bit down the road, a PCC, all of which have cupcakes. Yes, worth the trip.

Holiday assortment from cupcake Royale
Archie McPhee: Do you love kitschy, cool little impulse buy items? Of course you do, so you'll want to visit the Ballard neighborhood, home of Archie McPhee, which is the company that brought the world such gems as the Jesus Action Figure (c'mon, you've seen it at Hot Topic, don't lie). Just down the block, you can get your cupcake on at Cupcake Royale's flagship location, which features an amazing Cupcake art piece above the entrance.

Cupcakes, Whole Foods, Westlake
The Houseboat from Sleepless in Seattle: Contrary to popular belief, not everyone in Seattle lives in a houseboat (sorry). However, you can get a Tom and Meg spark--at least for a few minutes--by visiting the houseboat where the magical film was made. It's kind of in no-man's land, but we'd say your best bet close by is Whole Foods Westlake, which has a good variety of cupcakes which are made in-house. I have to be honest though, I have never had one from this location--but I have had their house-made cheesecake and that was good!

Cupcakes with the Fremont Troll
Cardamom chai wheat-free vegan cupcake from Flying Apron, Seattle
Fremont Troll: I can't even begin to understand why someone made this, but I like it. Nearby, you can get your vegan cupcake fix at Flying Apron Bakery, which specializes in gluten-free, vegan baking. Some swear by their cake, but personally I think their cookies are better. PCC also has cupcakes (vegan and non), and you can sometimes-but-not-always get cupcakes at Simply Desserts (they mainly specialize in layer cakes and cakes-by-the-slice).

The Apartment Building from Singles: Aside from being part of one of the greatest films ever made, the apartment building from Singles, Coryell Court (at 19th and Thomas) is also close to a favorite bakery: The North Hill Bakery. They're only open til 5:30 p.m. or so, but I try to make it over whenever I'm in the neighborhood.

Northgate Mall: My friend Phil informed me that this was the first covered mall in North America. Of course, since he's from New Jersey, he knows his mall culture. Now, the Northgate Mall is pretty much what you'd expect in any suburban mall: jewelry stores, department stores, kiosks with back massagers. If you need to go here, then please, on your way, stop by the Blue Saucer Cafe; they retail cupcakes by Look Cupcake, which is a special-order cupcakery with filled cupcakes. Like, yum!

Cuppies at Pike Place
Cupcakes at the Dahlia Bakery, SeattleChocolate Ganache Cupcake
Pike Place Market: You may be surprised to hear this, but there are very few cupcakes at the market itself (though of course there are a lot of other great baked goods and food). They sometimes have them at Pike Place Bakery or at Michou, but in my opinion you'd be better off walking up a few blocks from the Market and checking out Macrina Bakery (read the Cupcakes Take the Cake review here) or Dahlia Bakery.

Pioneer Square / Underground Tour: The Underground Tour is cheesy, but I love it. There's a whole city beneath the city of Seattle! Like, whoa! And nearby, you can get your sweet fix at Grand Central Baking. OK, truthfully, they do not offer cupcakes. But, they offer mini bundt cakes, and they're super cute, so we're going to say they're a suitable stand-in.

Cuppie at the Seattle Art Museum
Seattle Art Museum: Refer to Pioneer Square or the Seattle Public Library; it's sort of in-between the two. Oddly, your pet might have the best chance of scoring a "pupcake" in the immediate vicinity, at Three Dog Bakery.

Cuppie at the Seattle Public Library
Seattle Public Library: I love the SPL. Seriously, I go there like 3 times a week at least to research various cake and baked good related things. I even designed a postcard (image above) that they sell in their store! If you choose to visit, you'll want to trek just a few more blocks up the hill to Sugar Bakery + Cafe, where the cake is sweet and they sell my artwork. Yes, there were two plugs for my artwork in this paragraph. Also, though they don't sell cupcakes, the nearby Belle Epicurean does sell (very good) small cakes.

January 6, 2008
Space Needle: You'll be in the crossroads between the Belltown and Queen Anne neighborhoods. Up the road just a bit on the Queen Anne side is Metropolitan Market, where they sell cupcakes from previously mentioned Cupcake Royale; a bit further up the hill, Pasta + Co. has cupcakes too. Of course, I also live near the Space Needle so you could always give me a call and I might have some cupcakes.

Tacoma Cuppies
Cupcakes Make Mr. Cakespy Happy
Tacoma's Museum of Glass: This place is really cool--you get to see a real live glassblowing studio! It's hot, literally. And nearby, sweetness can be found at the adorable (and well-loved--they've been featured in Seattle Magazine and Sunset Magazine!) hello, cupcake, where the cupcakes are dainty-looking, but pack a dense, tasty punch when you take a bite (see above picture for an indication of how happy they made my husband, the dear Mr. Cakespy).

Cafe Au Lait Cupcakes Closeup
Woodland Park Zoo: It's not the Bronx Zoo for sure, but it's surprisingly comprehensive. Mr. Cakespy and I have spent many a happy day at this zoo. And as a bonus, it's not too far from Trophy Cupcakes, which you may know from its many features--on Martha Stewart, on Cupcakes Take the Cake, the Seattle P-I, and many more. What's a mile and a half walk when cupcake nirvana awaits?

So there you have it--my Seattle in Cupcakes, but of course, open for you to choose your own (totally sweet) adventure.

Thanks again to Cupcakes Take the Cake for letting me sound off, and a very happy 4 year anniversary to you well!

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