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Friday
Jan142011

CakeSpy Undercover: Cake Gumshoe Phuong Visits Eat Cake! in Newburyport, MA

CakeSpy Note: Want the best bakery suggestions? Ask a local! Read on to discover Boston-based Cake Gumshoe Phuong's most recent bakery visit: to Eat Cake! in Boston! You might want to check out her sweet online shop, too!

How yummy does this cupcake sound? 

Pumpkin spice cupcake with a cinnamon nutmeg spice buttercream dipped in butterscotch.

How about a coconut cupcake with a gooey coconut topping and vanilla buttercream with toasted coconut on top? Or a chocolate fudge cupcake dipped in chocolate with an Oreo buttercream and then dipped in chocolate again?

These are just a few of Hilary Larson’s decadent creations at Eat Cake! in Newburyport, MA. Hilary is a fan of CakeSpy and has invited us for a tour of her new cake studio. Eat Cake! specializes in party and wedding cakes that are freshly made from the highest quality ingredients. Everything is made-to-order so nothing is ever frozen.

I knew I was walking into something special when I smelled the sweet buttery aroma that permeated the street even before I stepped into the cake studio. It smelled even more amazing inside. I was greeted by smiling faces and a counter full of luscious cupcakes. Freshly-baked cupcakes are a new offering at Eat Cake! and they’re definitely a big hit with the locals. Like me, everyone was having a hard time picking out what they want. (Did you read the descriptions of these cupcakes at the beginning? Yeah, it was definitely difficult.)

Hilary was so welcoming and allowed me to roam around freely. The studio’s open layout creates such a comfortable atmosphere. While I was there, mini cupcakes were being filled with lemon curd and raspberry preserves. I find it so wonderful that they would take the time to fill mini ones. I can only imagine how great those will taste. I have to say that the sweetest surprise was little Charlie (Hilary’s baby) just hanging out in the back observing everything. 

Hilary generously sent us off with four cupcakes to try. My boyfriend and I couldn’t wait to taste them. I love the bright pink boxes that the cupcakes were packaged in. I also couldn’t get over how great the single cupcake container was. I’ve never seen this type of container before.

It guarantees that your cupcake will safely make it to its destination before being devoured. All of the cupcakes were delicious. They were so fresh and moist. The flavors were amazing! My absolute favorites were the pumpkin and coconut ones. The pumpkin cupcake was perfect for the fall. The spices and the butterscotch complimented each other so well. One bite and it made me think of the holidays. The coconut cupcake was a coconut lover’s dream. I love how the gooey coconut topping peeked out underneath the vanilla buttercream. These cupcakes just took me to my happy place.

So if you’re ever around Boston’s North Shore, make sure to stop by Eat Cake! You won’t be disappointed. I can’t wait to custom order a cake from Hilary one of these days. The flavor menu on the website is incredible; so many delicious possibilities!

With that, I’ll leave you with two more cake-lust inducing cupcake pictures of flavors that I didn’t have the chance to try this time around. This just gives me an excuse to go back and eat more cupcakes!

*Special thanks to Hilary for inviting us to your cake studio and thank you for making this write-up super easy because your cupcakes were truly wonderful!

CakeSpy Note: As a sort of P.S. to this post, Phuong was recently able to visit CakeSpy Shop--on the same day as Bakerella! Here's a sweet picture of us all together.

Eat Cake! 9 Prince Place, Newburyport, MA 01950 (978) 465-6057; online at eatcakeonline.com

Friday
Jan142011

Sweet Giveaway: Valentine Cupcake Wrappers from Bella Cupcake Couture

Want to bake some sweets for your sweet?

Well, put 'em in a pretty package with these delightful valentine cupcake wrappers from CakeSpy sponsor (and buddy!) Bella Cupcake Couture!

That's right: Bella Cupcake Couture has kindly offered up a pack of these sweet cupcake wrappers for two lucky CakeSpy readers!

How do you put your name in the hat? It's like, so easy. All you have to do is leave a comment below answering this important cake question:

In your opinion, what is the most romantic cake flavor?

Is it a sexy red velvet? Decadent flourless chocolate? Or maybe it's gooey butter cake that proves sweetly alluring? Curious cake fiends want to know! This giveaway will close on January 21 at 12pm PST and the winners will be announced shortly after! In the meantime, check out Bella Cupcake Couture's website here, and find 'em on Facebook here.

Friday
Jan142011

Not Just Pie in the Sky: Pie Day Celebration on January 23rd in Seattle

Put on your fat pants: National Pie Day is coming up on January 23rd. And you know what that means--the annual Pie Day Celebration is going on in Seattle! Of course, not that you needed to be told twice, since Pie is so hot this year--no need to campaign to make it cooler any more.

This is the biggest, baddest, awesomest Pie celebration you're going to find in Seattle--if you want a preview, check out this coverage of one of the past events.

But here are the details on this year's event:

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

Pie Party 2011 in Ballard, Seattle: This annual pie eating event and fundraiser is in its 8th year in Seattle! Here's the blurb from their Facebook invitation:

The 8th Annual Pie Party at the Salmon Bay Eagles ballroom in Ballard is certain to thrill and amaze! Witness a wonderland of consumption from sweet to savory to piefectly experimental.  Come for the tasty pie and stay for the sizzling entertainment featuring readings by Seattle Poet Kate Lebo from her book The Commonplace of Pie, MC Chef Razzle Dazzle aka Fred Northup and Pie Song covers from musical luminaries including Jake London, John Ramburg, Fredd Luongo, Kim Virant, Johnny Sangster, Steph Turner & more! All proceeds benefit The Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research.  Admission is free with a pie in hand or baked-in with a $10 donation. T-shirts!  Raffles! Pie-pharnalia!  Deck yourself out in your bedazzled Pie Best and COME ON DOWN! CHILDREN WELCOME!

The details: Sunday, January 23, 6:00PM to 9:00PM. Location: Salmon Bay Eagles, 5216 20th Ave NW, 2nd Floor, Seattle, Wa, 98107.

Friday
Jan142011

Cake Byte: Bella Bella Cupcakes Opens a Retail Location in Silverdale, WA

Here's something sweet to celebrate this weekend: the opening of a new retail bakery! 

Bella Bella Cupcakes has been operating as a special-order operation for a while now, but is officially upgrading to brick-and-mortar as of January 15. Per an email from the owners,

Bella Bella Cupcakes is very excited to announce the opening of our new retail location on Saturday, January 15th at 10AM! The location address is 10726 Silverdale Way, Suite 107, Silverdale, WA. We will be open Tues-Sat from 10-7 and we will be serving Cupcakes, Blue Bird Coffee and Espresso, Viking Feast Ice Cream, Kolaches and specialty teas and sodas. Come in and relax a bit , we can't wait to see you! 

So what are you waiting for? Go check 'em out! 

Find Bella Bella Cupcakes at 10726 Silverdale Way, Suite 107, Silverdale, WA; online at bellabellacupcakes.com, and you can also find them on Facebook.

Friday
Jan142011

Baker's Dozen: A Batch of Sweet Links

US map cake

Another week is over--let's make this weekend totally sweet, starting with some links for your viewing pleasure:

Pop-'ems: CakePops.com was recommended by a reader, and after checking out their site, I sure wish I could pop one of those in my mouth.

More things to Pop: Marshmallow Popcorn balls sound mighty nice.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles: All of my favorite food groups, all at once!

Float On: A new trend for 2011--floats (root beer, and more exotic) at dessert tables? I like the idea of that!

Jammin': Bet this Clementine Marmalade Jam would taste great on biscuits or in thumbprint cookies.

Forget-me-Knots: Sweet Love Knot Cookies.

Get Baked: In case you missed the news, BAKED now has brownie mixes at Williams-Sonoma!

America the Sweet: I am impressed by this Map of the USA cake. (pictured top)

Who knew? Arkansas is a sort of "Rice Belt" in the US. I'm intrigued by this recipe I found for "Riceland Pudding With Butterscotch Nut Sauce".

Beer...and candy...together? That's right: Beercandy.

Funfetti Cake Batter Dip? Thanks for the recipe, sister from another mister.

Looking for a delicious King Cake? Last year we sampled Sucre's great version, and highly suggest it.

Playing with Cupcakes is more Fun than Work: Yup, it's true, and here's a game to prove it.

Thursday
Jan132011

Footloose and Butter and Dairy Free: Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

Are you scared of vegans? Well, really, you shouldn't be. Because really, they're a lot like the rest of us. They just don't eat things with butter or milk or eggs. Or, you know, burgers or bacon.

But you know what? Vegans do like cookies. And when Melisser Elliott passed through Seattle to sign and promote her splendid book The Vegan Girl's Guide to Life: Cruelty-Free Crafts, Recipes, Beauty Secrets and More , I made some vegan peanut butter cookies to sweeten the afternoon.

And you know what? Turns out that the vegan cookies were very delicious, and the vegans were very friendly. No need to be scared. Try it at home and see for yourself:

Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

Makes like 24

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth, no-stir type)
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance (it's in most grocery stores)
  • 1 egg replacer of your choice (options here)
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Procedure 

  1. Mix sugars, peanut butter, Earth Blance and egg replacement in large bowl.
  2. Stir in remaining ingredients.
  3. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or until firm.
  4. Heat oven to 375ºF.
  5. Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls.
  6. Place about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
  7. Flatten in crisscross pattern with fork dipped into sugar.
  8. Bake 9 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 5 minutes; remove from cookie sheet. Cool on wire rack.
Thursday
Jan132011

Cake Byte: Velvet Elvis Cupcakes for January from Cupcake Royale

Elvis is Dead.

But--you know--not in our hearts. Or bellies, what with the likes of the Velvet Elvis, the Flavor of the Month at Seattle's Cupcake Royale.

That's right: in honor of what would have been (or...was! shun the nonbelievers!) Elvis's 75th birthday, the Cupcake Royale Crew is serving up banana cupcakes topped with a rich peanut butter chocolate fudge frosting--need I say this is a cake fit for a king? 

Or, you know, you. At least for the rest of the month of January!

Keep updated via Cupcake Royale's twitter account and their website! 

Thursday
Jan132011

Cake Byte: Art Walk Tonight at CakeSpy Shop!

The line between cute and creepy can be a fine one sometimes, and artist-slash-standup comedian Emmett Montgomery walks that line with ease. His jokes are hilarious, and his artwork is unusual in the awesomest way possible: he makes puppets.

Yes, puppets. Out of paper bags, intricately decorated with sweet-but-dark characters. And this month, there's a selection of them on show at CakeSpy Shop, at 415 E. Pine Street, Seattle. 

The puppets range in price from $50 to $125, and tonight, you can come eat free cookies and meet the artist from 5-8 p.m. as part of the Capitol Hill Art Walk!

See you tonight!

Tuesday
Jan112011

Cake Byte: CakeSpy Shop Winter Hours!

Hey Sweeties! Well, it's the dead of winter here in Seattle, and therefore, CakeSpy Shop is going to reduce its hours til the weather is warmer and there is more light in the sky.

From now til Memorial Day, here are the hours for the shop:

Tue-Sat: 12-6 p.m.

Sunday: 12-5 p.m.

CLOSED MONDAY

of course, I'm also available by appointment - send an email to cakespyshop@gmail.com !

Monday
Jan102011

The Biggest and Best Cake News Ever: CakeSpy Book Coming Out This Fall Through Sasquatch Books

Dudes. Dudettes. You know how reading is totally sweet and all? Well. It's about to get even sweeter, because it's with extreme excitement that I make this obnoxiously huge-type announcement:

CakeSpy got a book deal!

It's true. In what can only be described as a very good decision, Seattle's totally rad Sasquatch Books (the publisher of such gems as Doughnuts: Simple and Delicious Recipes to Make at Home by Lara Ferroni and The Newlywed Kitchen by Ali Basye and Lorna Yee) has taken this sweet spy under their wing to create what I'm sure my mom will tell you is "the best book ever".

And to sweeten the deal, I actually get to work with the people at the publishing house, in person: the Sasquatch offices are within walking distance from my house, and there happens to be a good bakery along the way.

But enough about me, let's talk more about my book. It's gonna be called Seeking Sweetness: CakeSpy Presents Recipes for a Sugar-Filled Life. And well, in case you hadn't figured it out from the title, it's going to be full of recipes--featuring some of my more deliciously decadent, butter-and-sugar packed ones, as well as plenty witty repartee and tons of illustrations of cupcakes, cookies, pies (they're so hot right now) as well as magical creatures such as unicorns, bunnies, and maybe a robot or two for good measure.

And there will be pictures! OMG, there will be pictures of these over-the-top desserts, taken by the lovely and amazing Clare Barboza, and styled by the multi-talented (I suspect she's a genius) Autumn Martin. Additional photos will be taken by the incredibly talented and awesome Rachelle Longe of Sasquatch Books. I can only imagine that it will be a departure from the usual food photo shoot to take pictures of things like Cadbury Creme Eggs Benedict.

And it's going to be out later on this year, in time for the holidays. So start saving your pennies, because you'll want to buy one for every single person you know. 

Basically, it's going to be the best thing to happen to butter and sugar since flour (but don't worry, I'm not getting a big head about it or anything).

OMG! OMG! OMG!

Stay tuned for more information about this exciting project! Thank you to everyone who already has supported this great adventure (I'm looking at you, Mr. Spy, SpyMom, Gail FortuneJennifer Pooley, to name a few!) and to everyone who undoubtedly will help with the rest of the process!

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