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Cake Byte: October Sweetness at CakeSpy Shop!

Dudes. Dudettes. Don't, like, freak out, but there are some very awesome things on the horizon at CakeSpy Shop (415 E. Pine St, Capitol Hill, Seattle) this month.

October 9, 5-8 p.m. Witch Craft Book Tour Halloween Party

Trick or Sweet? There will be plenty of both at this Halloween party with guest of honor Alicia Kachmar, co-author of Witch Craft: Wicked Accessories, Creepy-Cute Toys, Magical Treats, and More!, a collection of totally sweet Halloween crafts and recipes (and whose totally adorable crocheted candy corn and other sweet characters can be purchased at CakeSpy Shop!). Get your book signed, enjoy crafty activities from the book, engage in Halloween games, and indulge in Halloween cupcakes!

Oh, and there will be prizes! WIN sweet treats or perhaps even a copy of Witch Craft!

October 14, 6-8 p.m. Artist Reception: Jill Labieniec

Let's face it: the walls of your house look lame. Why not remedy the situation by buying a gorgeous print by Seattle-based artist and CakeSpy buddy Jill Labieniec? She'll be showing artwork in the upstairs gallery at the shop for October, and we'll be hosting an artist reception on Thursday, October 14th, so you can meet the super sweet artist yourself!


Cake Byte: CakeSpy Recipes Featured on Peanut Butter & Co.!

Probably you already suspected this...but I'm an all-star.

No, not in the "can't get that Smashmouth song out of my head" sort of way. I've been chosen as an All-Star Blogger and contributor to the Peanut Butter & Co. All-Star Recipe Blog!

Basically, this means that you'll be seeing a series of totally sweet recipes dreamed up by moi on the site over the next few weeks, featuring (natch!) the awesomely rich and delicious peanut buttery goodness that is Peanut Butter & Co. peanut butter, a product which I am very happy to say I believe in, and frequently eat by the spoonful. You can already find a recipes for Peanut Butter Nanaimo Bars and for a Peanut Butter Dutch Baby, with more to come!

Keep updated on all of the sweet (and savory!) recipes on the site, from myself and a knockout series of food writers/bloggers, on the Peanut Butter & Co. All-Star Recipe Blog!


Get Figgy: Fig-Panettone Bread Pudding Recipe

Bring us some figgy pudding, and make it tasty! Here's an intriguing recipe for bread pudding with figs and brandy--delicious for the shorter and cooler days that lie ahead. It's a sweet guest contribution from self-proclaimed "fig enthusiast" (no, really) Sherri Lee, from her cookbook Under the Fig Leaf, a culmination taking "her passion for figs and 10 years of cooking experiments into a fig cookbook featuring over 130 recipes from appetizers, beverages and salads to main courses and desserts." Here's the recipe:

Chef Joseph’s Fig-Panettone Bread Pudding



  • 2 cups dried figs, chopped, stems removed
  • ¼ cup brandy
  • 2 Tablespoons butter for greasing baking dish
  • 12 cups Panettone Italian Bread, torn into pieces
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 3 egg yolks, reserve whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 egg whites
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Soak the chopped figs in the brandy and set aside.
  3. Butter a 9x13 glass baking dish
  4. Place the pieces of panettone in the baking dish and toss them evenly with the figs and brandy.
  5. In a large mixing bowl combine the whole eggs with the egg yolks.
  6. Stir in the vanilla extract, cinnamon, cream, milk and sugar.  Beat well.
  7. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt until they form soft peaks.
  8. Fold the whites into the egg yolk mixture and pour over the panettone and figs.  Let stand at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes.
  9. Bake uncovered for 1 hour.  Serve warm with a splash of heavy cream.



Sweet Mini-Series: Hummingbird Bakery Chronicles, by Cake Gumshoe Alexandra

CakeSpy Note: This is the introduction to a series of several entries about (and recipes from!) London's Hummingbird Bakery by Cake Gumshoe Alexandra Levert, who is an assistant director for a French television network in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She loves cooking and baking because she finds it comforting and yet challenging at the same time. She tries to combine her love of food and her love of travel as much as life will let her.

Alexandra's Spy Report

I recently went to visit my Australian friend and her boyfriend in London, England. Upon my arrival, as I reached into my bag to give them a little souvenir from my trip to Prague, she handed me a book… Something called Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. I was immediately intrigued by it, seeing as the cover adorned lovely cupcakes and a few other desserts. You see, I’ve been obsessed with cupcakes for quite a while now, and seeing this picture of the beautiful and perfect sweets didn’t help my obsession. When I finally opened the book, I remember being completely enamored with the variety of desserts being described and also with the beauty of their presentation. To my great surprise, my friend told me the bakery was actually in London itself, and that we could go to one of the three locations during my stay. How marvelous!

My experience at The Hummingbird Bakery

The location I went to is situated on Wardour Street, a small side street in SoHo. I could see the white and pink hummingbird sign by the entrance from far away. When I went in, I found it as adorable as I thought I would: Cupcake pop-art on the walls, cookbooks on shelves, dessert trays and, most importantly, endless rows of cupcakes. I went there on a Saturday, so the bakery was packed and extremely busy. I queued for my chance to finally get one their sweets, but when one of the girls working there asked me what I wanted, I couldn’t even choose! Vanilla with vanilla frosting? Too easy.  Vanilla with chocolate frosting? Too common. Orange blossom? Maybe some other time. Red Velvet with cream cheese frosting? Perfect! I bought my cupcake along with two notebooks as souvenirs for my friends back in Toronto. Then my friend and I walked to Trafalgar Square and devoured our desserts in seconds! The cake was moist and flavorful, the frosting was simply delicious, and the two put together made it one of the best cupcakes I have ever had. My friend had also bought the raspberry cheesecake and after having only a spoonful of it, I can honestly say it was incredible.

The final word?

So, if you are ever in London and are looking for a little (or big) something to satisfy your sweet tooth, I definitely recommend The Hummingbird Bakery. Now, I am back home and eager to try some of the dessert recipes. Stay tuned to hear about my attempt to make some cupcakes of my own.

In the meantime, check out Hummingbird Bakery online!


Bonbon Jovi Truffles: A Sweet Treat for Serious Eats

Bonbon Jovi Truffles: they may be slippery when wet, but they don't give love a bad name.

Starting with a can't-go-wrong combination of smooth peanut butter and chocolate, these truffles get a snappy "pop" from Rice Krispies. Simple and delicious, these truffles are as addictive of a guilty pleasure as a hit single. They'll make your mouth as happy as singing Living on a Prayer at the top of your lungs with the windows down.

Note: I made my toppers using a 1-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter to mimic a Bon Jovi band logo, which is an ornate bleeding heart. If you break some hearts while removing them, don't sweat it—just use some confectioners' sugar and water like "glue" to put them back together. Decorate with writing markers or gel icing with the titles of your favorite Bon Jovi hits.

For the full tutorial and post, visit Serious Eats!


Life's a Witch: Fat Witch Brownies Cookbook, and a Recipe

Fat Witch Brownies is, with capital letters, a Happy Place. My first experience with them was at my first post-college job in NYC, where we purchased these sweet little morsels from their Chelsea Market retail location as client holiday gifts. Well, and a few extras for ourselves, which is how I got hooked on these fudgy, dense little treats. While my true affinity was always for their blondies, when I recently received their cookbook, Fat Witch Brownies: Brownies, Blondies, and Bars from New York's Legendary Fat Witch Bakery in the mail, I knew it was the classic brownie that I had to try first. While my brownies came out slightly chewier than the ones I had remembered, they were still plenty dense and delightfully the opposite of virtuous, and when I put them out at my store, they disappeared in record time.

Of course, I can't wait to try some of the other recipes in the book, including the one for my beloved blondies, as well as some new classics--the butterscotch flip (a fancier version of the blondie-brownie), Lemon cheesecake brownies, and cranberry blondes.

Fat Witch Brownies


  • 14 Tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons ubleached flour
  • pinch of salt


  1. Grease a 9-inch baking pan with butter. Dust with flour and tap out the excess. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently. Set aside to cool while you prepare the next step.
  3. Cream the sugar, eggs, and vanilla together. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and mix until well blended.
  4. Measure the flour and salt and then sift together directly into the chocolate mixture. Mix the batter gently until well combined and no trace of the dry ingredients remains.
  5. If you wanna, stir in nuts or any extras at this point.
  6. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared baking pan and bake 33 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean or with crumbs but not batter.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool on rack for 1 hour. Cut just before serving. Makes 12-16 brownies.

Baker's Dozen: A Batch of Sweet Links

Friday, Friday, Friday! Here's a baker's dozen of delicious ways to while away the time til happy hour.

Just one reason I wish I could be in Japan right now: Melon Cake from Harbs (photo c/o CS buddy Nicholas!).

Get figgy: a fig and almond galette that looks good enough to make me eat fruit. (via Bake Your Heart Out)

Cupcakes and serial killers, united at last: Dexter Season Premiere Cupcakes! (via The Avid Appetite)

Oh, the places CakeSpy gear has gone: how 'bout a coffee break in London?

By the way, college students love me. Check out this article in the SU Spectator!

Espresso way to your heart: espresso shortbread cookies (via Pixie-Baker)

Acceptable health food: homemade granola bars from that lovable bear, Mark Bittman.

Waiting with bated breath for The Pastry Department to open for business!

Betty Crocker + Bakerella = Awesome overload.

Fall into delicious: White Chocolate Pumpkin Topped Blondies (via Culinary Concoctions by Peabody)

Best use of blackberries: Apple-blackberry cake. (thanks, Culinary Types!)

Bon Appetit says High 5 Pie is some of the best in the country. I say "duh".

Like Pavlova's cousin: Schaum Torte.


Sweet Giveaway: Silhouette Digital Cutting Tool - Worth $300

Are you a crafty little cupcake?

Well then, you're gonna be pretty excited about this totally sweet giveaway: it's for a little something called The Silhouette.

What exactly is this thing, you ask? Well, according to the site,

The Silhouette is a digital cutting tool for personal use. It connects to your computer just like a printer, but instead of printing designs it cuts them with a small blade. With the machine connected to your computer, you'll get access to all of the fonts on your PC plus the thousands of cuttable designs found on the Silhouette Online Store.

For lovers of cake and craft, this is beyond awesome--oh the possibilities for creating cards, scrapbook pages, or even fashionable cupcake toppers, wrappers, or labels! There are so many great ideas on their blog.

One lucky winner will receive the following: 

A Silhouette Machine (a $299.99 value), in a package which includes Silhouette machine Software for Windows XP/Vista, Mac Power cable, USB cable 2 Cutting mats (one for thick media, one for thin media) One cutting blade $10 gift card to the Silhouette Online Store.

Of course, everyone's a winner because they're also offering a super awesome promo (running from September 23rd through September 30th at midnight): Buy a machine and receive the following (by entering code CAKE on the order page):

  • $50 off the Silhouette Craft Cutter
  • fuzzy white vinyl (Valued at $7.99)
  • light blue smooth heat transfer (Valued at 14.99)
  • yellow flocked heat transfer (Valued at $14.99)
  • Home Décor CD (Valued at $50)
  • $10 Gift Card to the Silhouette Download Store (Comes in the box)
  • Cutting Blade (Comes in the box)
  • 2 Cutting Mats (Comes in the box)
  • All for $249.99 (A Savings of $137.97)

But even if you don't go for that right away, there's still a GOOD PROMO (running from October 1st through 4th at midnight): buy a machine and receive the following (once again, enter CAKE on the order page to receive this discount): 

  • $50 off (receive for $249.99) 
  • 2 rolls of Heat transfer ($29.89 value) 
  • $10 Gift Card to the Silhouette Download Store(Comes in the Box) 
  • Cutting Blade (Comes in the Box) 
  • 2 Cutting Mats(Comes in the Box) 

 All for $249.99 (A savings of $79.98)

So how do you get in on all this awesome? Simply leave a comment saying what kind of craft you'd love to try first with the super sweet Silhouette! US entrants only, and one winner per household, please. This giveaway will run through September 30 at Midnight PST, and the winner will be chosen at random.


Sweet Art: Andy Warhol Quotes, Illustrated with Cupcakes

Who inspires a spy? Andy Warhol, for sure. Although food-wise he's probably most closely associated with soup cans, the king of Pop (art, that is) was actually quite a sweet tooth: he's quoted as having said "All I ever really want is sugar", and was in the habit of ordering a big piece of manly meat at restaurants, only to discard it on the street and go home for the dinner he really wanted of toast with sweet jam.

So how better to celebrate Warhol's work than by illustrating several of his quotes with sweet treats? Here are some of my favorites, largely from The Philosophy of Andy Warhol : (From A to B and Back Again)

"I never fall apart because I never fall together""My ideal wife would have a lot of bacon, bring it all home, and have a TV station besides"

"When I got my first TV set, I stopped caring so much about having close relationships with other people""Sometimes something can look beautiful just because it's different in some way from the other things around it."

Originals for sale at CakeSpy Shop.


Cake Byte: Essential Baking Debuts Tea Cakes for the Northwest Tea Festival

Finish this phrase: Tea and _________.

If you said "sympathy", you're a dope. Because the correct answer is CAKE.

And you'll have plenty of it if you go to this year's Northwest Tea Festival, because this year, there's an official Tea Cake maker for the event: Essential Baking Company! The clever little cookies over at EBC have developed three unique tea cakes which will be debuted at the festival, but will also be part of their retail bakery offerings. Designed to be paired with a wide variety of teas, these buttery cakes are all delicately sweet, each with a fresh, contrasting flavor to refresh the palate: think blueberry-orange, carrot-pineapple, and raspberry-lemon. 

Now, don't get too jealous, but since I got a sneak peek (er, taste?) of these cakes at the lovely Perrenial Tea Room in the Pike Place Market, I can attest that you should start working up your appetite. The Northwest Tea Festival takes place next weekend, October 2 + 3, at the Seattle Center.

For more info on the festival, click here; also, I should tell you that the loaves will also be available at Essential Baking retail locations.

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