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Tuesday
Aug242010

Sweet Giveaway: Macaron Art!

Guess what? It's that special time of year when CakeSpy's Head Spy Jessie celebrates her birthday. Booyea!

What does that mean for you, though? Well, if you're in Seattle, it means that there will be free birthday cake every day this week (Tue-Sun) at the CakeSpy Shop! First come first served. 

But even if you're not in Seattle you can enter to win some totally sweet stuff! There will be giveaways all week, starting with this super sweet prize pack, perfect for macaron lovers: a miniature original watercolor CakeSpy painting (the original! Not a print!) of macarons and burger hanging out, and the cutest crochet macaron you've ever seen, made by the lovely and amazing Alicia Kachmar! 

Want to put yourself in the running? Simply put your answer to the important baked-good question below in the comments section below. This giveaway will close on Sunday, August 29 at 12 p.m. PST, and the winner will be contacted shortly after. US and Canada entries only this time, please!

Are macarons "the new cupcake"?

Monday
Aug232010

Being Green: Zucchini Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe for Serious Eats

It's not easy being green.

It is, however, exceedingly easy to eat green, especially when we're talking about zucchini cake. Now, you probably already knew that the abundant late summer fruit (yes, it's a fruit) yields a moist, dense, and delicious quick bread. But please, don't let the story end there—because when you take it into cake territory by adding a thick slathering of chocolate cream cheese frosting, you'll have a far sweeter finish.

The frosting prettily contrasts the color of the cake, and the triple-threat of complementary flavors—tangy cream cheese, rich chocolate, earthy zucchini—makes for a final product that leaves zucchini bread absolutely green with envy.

 

 

For the full entry and recipe, check out Serious Eats!

 

Sunday
Aug222010

Sweet Love: A Bakery Crush on Jubilee Cupcakes, Tacoma

Why should you love Jubilee Cupcakes in Tacoma? Well, as I learned on a recent visit, there are plenty of reasons--but I'll just share a few of my favorite things about the sweet new establishment, which specializes in cupcakes and vintage candy.

The Elvis: A hunka hunka burnin' yum, this baby is baked sans bacon, but instead is comprised of banana cake topped with a dreamy cloud of peanut butter buttercream and a chocolate leaf on top--and, surprise!--it's filled with chocolate ganache. This was a very fine cupcake indeed.

They carry CakeSpy cards and mugs!

Cookies and Cream: Their version of the popular flavor combination comes with a beehive hairdo of a buttercream swirl, and mini oreos for garnish. Cute, and with its dark-as-night, moist chocolate cake paired with aforementioned vanilla buttercream, a very sweet eating experience as well. Pictured at the top of the post.

They have chandeliers, and as everybody knows, this makes eating cupcakes a pinkies-out experience.

The frosting is generally piled quite high on the cupcakes. It might get on your nose (as proven by Mr. Spy, above). Some may say that this means there is too much frosting on the cupcakes, but these people are wrong. It means there is just enough.

Not only will you get to eat delicious cupcakes, but you will also learn some candy lore (because everyone loves a good back-story, right?). Here are some highlights:

 

Finally, just look at this box of deliciousness. In the dictionary, this should be the picture next to "Happiness".

See for yourself! Jubilee Cupcakes and Vintage Candy is located at 2510 North Proctor Street, Tacoma, WA; online here.

Jubilee Cupcakes & Vintage Candy on Urbanspoon

Saturday
Aug212010

Sweet Excess: Chocolatey Kitchen Sink Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

Question: what happens when you raid your pantry while making cinnamon rolls late at night and top them with every sweet thing you can get your hands on?

Answer: Nothing good. Nothing good at all. It's awful. It's terrible. Here's how you do it at home.

Note: This is best done late at night, when things like this seem like good ideas.

Step 1: Get yourself some cinnamon rolls--you know, the kind from the can that pops when you open it.

Step 2: Set them all in a pie plate or in a baking pan.

Step 3: Raid fridge and pantry for any various sweet leftovers you might have. For me, these happened to be about 1 cup of chocolate fudge frosting, 3 almost-stale brownies, and half a can of chocolate fudge sauce.

Step 4: Put all foraged items on top of the cinnamon rolls (I broke the brownies into little crumbs). Bake as directed on container.

Step 5: Remove from oven. Admire handiwork. Remember the icing that comes with cinnamon rolls. Wonder to self: is it too much? Decide that no, it's not, and pour icing on top of the bubbling mass of a sugar-bomb.

Step 6: Top it all with the rainbow sprinkles that you found in the cupboard while the rolls were baking. Because...well, why not?

Step 7: Enjoy, preferably immediately and in front of bad TV for the ultimate terrible late-night indulgence.

Friday
Aug202010

Upcoming Sweetness: Birthday Week Extravaganza!

 Guess what, sweeties?

Next week (thursday, the 26th, to be exact) is the birthday of CakeSpy founder and Head Spy Jessie! And in typical over-the-top sweet fashion, there will be much celebration and sugar.

Birthday Cake a Day at CakeSpy Shop!

There will be a birthday cake each day at the store next week, Tuesday (the 24th) through Sunday (the 29th)! (closed Monday). What flavors will they be? See for yourself--come and have a slice and say happy birthday! It will be on a first come, first-served basis, so be sure to come by and get your sugar fix while you shop! 

Giveaways!

Since I feel for you poor souls who aren't able to be in Seattle for aforementioned sugarfest, I will be doing an online giveaway every other day next week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Stay tuned! Of course, in the meantime, don't forget to enter this giveaway!

Capitol Hill Summer Sale!

CakeSpy Shop will be participating in the sweetest summer sale in Seattle! Here's the 411:

Come visit Capitol Hill for our huge Summer Sale Thursday, August 26th through Sunday August 29th.  You will find deals, sales and events all weekend long up and down Pike, Pine and Broadway in the heart of Capitol Hill!  Capitol Hill has everything you need for a picnic in the park; shopping for the whole family; breakfast, lunch and dinner; dancing lessons; yoga classes; adult toys; night life fun and more!  Be sure to attend the kick off Mobile City party on Thursday night and then plan on coming back all weekend to walk around Capitol Hill during our Summer Sale and get great deals on everything you need, just a few block away.

This sale will also be a great opportunity to donate to Northwest Harvest--a donation bin for non-perishable food goods will be at CakeSpy Shop!

CakeSpy Shop will be offering offering 10% off all purchases $50 or over for the big sale. This offer is good only by mentioning the sale, and is only valid Thursday through Sunday in the retail shop.

Here's to a super sweet upcoming week!

Friday
Aug202010

Cake Byte: Cupcake Royale to Open New Location in Bellevue!

Break out the fat pants, Bellevue: your fair city is about to get a whole lot sweeter.

That's right: a buttercream wave is riding across the 520 bridge and coming your way, and its name is Cupcake Royale. 

They have officially announced the upcoming opening of their fifth retail location in Bellevue! 

Still waiting on details including location and official opening date, but in the meantime, they are hiring! Get more details here.

Get breaking news via their Twitter feed, or check out their blog here and their website here.

Friday
Aug202010

Baker's Dozen: A Batch of Sweet Links

Thar's 24 layers in that there cake. Link below!Happy Friday! Here's how I suggest you keep your life awesome and your waistline vast this week.

Sweet! Another Cake Vs. Pie roundup!

It may look like a watermelon, but it's even better: watermelon-shaped cake!

Bananas. Foster. French. Toast. Find it here.

And once you make it, don't forget how to eat it right: find a tutorial on French Toast eating here.

Profiteroles to dream on, via Serious Eats.

Sweet and Tart: Citrus Cupcakes, discovered via Cupcakes Take The Cake.

Gelato Secrets Revealed: a sweet writeup on Seattle's D'ambrosio Gelato by Megan Seling.

I Scream...for ice cream Kolachkes! 

Have you bought a painting from the delicious Mike Geno show yet?

Favorite recipe, possibly ever (to read and to eat): Peanut butter and Shredded Mini Wheats.

Sweet mission: BikeLoc is a bike-across-America project which is dedicated to documenting the slow food movement. Potlucks across the US were on the menu--hope they had dessert!

24 Layer Chocolate Cake: A layer for every hour of the day.

Sweet memories: remember when I made the boys from BAKED choose which of their desserts would defeat one another in death battles? 

Wednesday
Aug182010

Pastry Public Service: Preventing Dessert Desertion

Friends, I know that CakeSpy is generally sweet and upbeat in tone, a sweet retreat from the everyday grind. But today we're going to have to get serious for a few minutes.

I feel as if it is my duty to solemnly address a rising epidemic in the world of sweets: dessert desertion.

I have compiled a collection of images to illustrate and bring attention to this alarming trend and to raise awareness for the plight of the abandoned pastry. I warn you, the following imagery may be disturbing.

This Oreo, for instance: cut down in its prime. It could have been that much more of a snack, if only it had been given a chance.

Or this croissant. Poor little buttery baked good wasn't even given a chance to be a complete breakfast.

And this muffin. I know, I know. The top is the best part. But did you really have to decapitate and then discard this muffin and leave its maimed remains for all of us to see?

And this donut, discarded with just a bite left. Who does that?

...and words can't even describe the pain and anguish that this image evokes.

But no, this plight isn't just limited to baked goods: I have, with my own eyes, witnessed a mass candy disposal. They could have been headed to Candy Mountain, but instead, it was Candy Murder.

But what can you, as an individual, do to help? Here are some tips.

  • Eat quality sweets. This way, the desire to discard will be diminished.
  • Wrap it up! Don't toss it just yet. You might want it later.
  • Don't be a deserter! Offer it to a friend. A lot of people are happy to finish what you started, when it's in dessert form.
  • And if you must discard? Please, do it humanely and out of the sight of sensitive sweet tooths like yours truly.

Please, take action! Don't let another sweet treat go to waste. Only you can prevent dessert desertion!

This has been a public service message from CakeSpy.

Wednesday
Aug182010

Sweet Pop: Pat Benatart for Serious Eats

As any 1980s music lover knows, running with the shadows of the night burns a ton of calories. You're going to need a slice or six of Pat Benatart to maintain your energy.

Inspired by pop-rock princess Pat Benatar, this tart starts with a cookie crust (erring more toward crumbly than "real tough cookie with a long history"), a lemon-lime cream cheese filling (sweet and rich with a pleasing tartness, these flavors say that "We Belong" together), and is topped with whipped cream for a sweet finish. The crowning glory? A totally cheesy free-form portrait of Pat, accented with Pixie Stix powder, one of the star's favorite treats.

It's an ideal mix of awful and awesome—basically, before you put another notch in your lipstick case, you'd better make sure you give it a taste.

For the full entry and recipe, check out Serious Eats!

Wednesday
Aug182010

Taiwanese Dream: Say Hello to the Pineapple Cake

First off, my apologies to all of you poor souls who don't have a person who regularly brings you sweets from Taiwan. Cos you're really missing out.

Luckily, I have the lovely and amazing Kairu, who drops by my store from time to time, often with sweet and exotic treats. She's the one who introduced me to nougat from Sugar and Spice, and now, my latest obsession, an unassuming little treat simply called Pineapple Cake.

As Kairu presented me with a couple of them, she said "the first ingredient is butter, so you know it's good".

How right you are, dear Kairu. These flaky, buttery little parcels contain a sweet surprise within: a sticky, sweet, and perfectly complementary pineapple filling. There's nothing complicated about these sweets--but that is part of their charm. Or, as Mr. Spy put it, "they're like a much better version of Fig Newtons".

Perhaps these sweet little morsels don't solely warrant a trip to Taiwan--but if you or a friend are headed that way, they're worth seeking out.

The ones we sampled were branded as being from Sunny Hills, but the website didn't seem to work. However, you can find a great roundup of information, as well as a recipe to make them at home, on Zester Daily.

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