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Sunday
May232010

Cake Byte: New Art up at CakeSpy Shop!

So, sweeties, I have some bad news.

The original "Scenes from Capitol Hill" series of mini paintings I did for CakeSpy Shop is nearly 75% sold out! That means you missed out on many sweet original paintings, including the three pictured below, which are all now owned by people other than you:

But you should know that I'd never say something mean like "sucks to be you"--especially since happily, I have good news, too. I've done some replacement pieces which are now up in the gallery, including, but not limited to:

But if original art isn't your thing and you want some sweet stationery, why not check out these totally sweet new Toasties Getting Toasty while toasting marshmallows notecards?

And believe it or not, that's not all. There's even more awesome coming to CakeSpy Shop next month: a show featuring work by Kris Garland entitled Suspect + Fugitive! It features pop culture icons made from...well, largely food! For instance, "Dill Bert"--that is, Bert, made of Dill--pictured below left.

Here's the 411 on the upcoming show:

"Suspect and Fugitive" is a companion show to the 365 blog 
(suspectandfugitive.com) of the same name. All pieces in the 
series are composed of suspect (questionable) and fugitive 
(nonarchival) materials. Kris Garland, the artist behind the 
blog, has been making nonarchival pieces since 1996 when 
she learned that she enjoyed silk screening with nail polish. 
She has since moved on to working with food items as that 
is what she typically keeps in the fridge.

Artist reception: Thursday, June 10, 2010, 5-8 p.m. at 415 E. Pine St., Seattle WA 98122.

The items still left in the Capitol Hill Series are available online here; the Suspect and Fugitive artwork (and cards and prints) will be available in the store starting June 1!

CakeSpy Shop + Bluebottle Art Gallery, 415 E. Pine St., Seattle; open Tue-Sun, 12-7 p.m.

Saturday
May222010

Morning Glory: The Lovely and Amazing Morning Bun

It's time to talk about the Morning Bun, that beautiful American adaptation of French breakfast pastries.

First off, what is this thing? As Carey Jones put it so beautifully on Serious Eats,

In my mind, the morning bun is the perfect synthesis of the classic croissant and the irresistible sticky bun. Call it a croissant in cinnamon roll clothing. It’s made of a buttery croissant dough, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar (and often walnuts or pecans), then rolled into spirals. Each one is baked in a muffin tin, and when the morning buns rise, they spill up and out of their little slots. Kept in close quarters, the bottom stays a bit doughy, like a sticky bun interior, while the top lifts into an appealingly flaky, cinnamon-speckled dome.

Legend (that being lore from a CakeSpy Shop customer Katie's friend) has it that this bit of sweet manna originated in the Midwest US, perhaps the result of French settlers trying to recreate a piece of home with the ingredients and supplies they had readily available? It is listed on the Wisconsin Food Hall of Fame, at any rate.

But regardless of where it came from, one thing is certain--these beautiful buns are just as tasty as they look, and if you see one at your local bakery, you should grab one. Of course, making a trek to Tartine for one based on the picture above wouldn't be out of the question, either (and while you're in the Bay Area, hit up La Farine, too!).

For more lore and love on the subject of the Morning Bun (and recipes/bakery suggestions too!), you might like to read Serious Eats, Pink Stripes, and Apartment Therapy.

Saturday
May222010

Sweet Love: A Bakery Crush on Brooklyn Treat Shoppe, Brooklyn NY

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, at least one of them from the above photo is yum.

And it should serve to tell you pretty much why Brooklyn Treat Shoppe is CakeSpy's latest Bakery Crush!

This dessert catering company (read: no retail storefront at the moment), as the name might imply, is based in the borough of Brooklyn, and they specialize in sweets: cakes, cheesecakes, cookies, cupcakes, and other sweets, some of which don't start with the letter "c". They also do "cake art", including this sweet treat which vaguely resembles a cartoon version of the Seagram building (in the sweetest way possible!):Testimonials are loving: "to die for" and "what dreams are made of" are basically the tone of fans. Yup--chef Toniann Salvato sure does have a sweet future, based on what I see!

Check out the official Brooklyn Treat Shoppe website here; follow them on Twitter here.

Friday
May212010

Donut Delight: The Inimitable Experience of Early Morning Eating at Donut Pub, NYC

Here's the thing about Donut Pub.

The donuts might be merely good, but the experience of visiting the establishment is great.

Located at 14th Street and 7th Avenue in NYC, it's perched in a nether region that isn't quite the West Village, isn't quite Union Square, isn't quite Chelsea. It's been there forever (OK, since the 60s)--and is open 24 hours--yet somehow manages to be one of those places that people have never visited.

This place that lies in-between vibe carries over when you walk into the place: it perpetually feels like it's about 4 a.m. at Donut Pub--perhaps it's the clientele, bellied up to the donut bar, or maybe it's the weird lighting. Maybe both; either way, it kind of feels like you just walked into a David Lynch movie.

But it is this very ambiance that makes walking into Donut Pub and getting one of the first-fried specimens of the day at 3 or 4 in the morning, whether you're up early or late, one of the most exquisite donut experiences imaginable.

The "great whites" (black and white cookies, minus the black) are another story, though--not sure if I am ready to go there.

Donut Pub, 203 W. 14th Street, NYC. View the menu here.

Donut Pub on Urbanspoon

Friday
May212010

Mother's Love: Delicious Sweets at Mother's Bistro and Bar, Portland OR

Sometimes, I don't even have to seek out sweetness: it finds me.

Case in point: on a recent trip to Portland, OR, I found myself out to dinner with friends Mary and Dave at Mother's, a bar and restaurant downtown. It was all extremely delicious--most notably the biscuits.

When it came time for dessert, something terrible happened: they declared themselves to be "too full".

Happily, our perceptive waiter could sense my sadness at passing back the dessert menu, and soon after appeared with a small tray of cookies--a crumbly, buttery shortbread, and a sort of cherry-nut-oat cookie. 

Needless to say, this prompted discussion with said waiter about said cookies, which then resulted in even more freebies: this time, a sweet lemon-coconut bar which was beautifully rich and decadent. 

Happily, Mother's has a bakery case by the entrance, making it easy to go in and pick up some sweets-to-go, including big versions of the cookies we sampled.

And, most importantly, they're all baked on premises:

Mother's Bistro and Bar, 212 SW Stark St, PortlandOR; mothersbistro.com.

Mother's Bistro & Bar on Urbanspoon

Friday
May212010

Baker's Dozen: A Batch of Sweet Links

Need a sweet diversion? Here are just a few of this week's sugary obsessions.

Got wanderlust? Discover Bariloche, Argentina, home of the "Street of Chocolate Dreams". (thanks to a CakeSpy Shop customer for the lead!)

Cajeta in my mouth: goat milk caramels from France, not Mexico. (via The NY Times)

Baking in a slow cooker? Betty Crocker says "it's magical". I'm intrigued. Recipe here.

It's biscuit, it's biscuit time: Strawberry shortcake with the most delectable-looking cream biscuits you ever did see, via Love and Olive Oil.

Fashionable financiers: Tartelette makes delightful cookies for a guest turn on Design*Sponge.

But do they have bar cookies? Cookie Bar opens in Chicago, and has a funkadelic website.

Cinnamon bun pie pockets. I'd try to say it five times fast, but my mouth is full. (via Gimme Some Oven)

Peas on earth: Sweet pea cupcakes with sour cream frosting. Believe it. (oldie but goodie via Vanilla Garlic)

Food Takes Over Stationery: Finally! (via Bon Appetit)

Pastries and politics: Bernanke tours the Tastykake factory.

Peabody takes on Seasonal Fruit Desserts by Deborah Madison: I just received this book too so was excited to get a sneak peek.

Seattle bakeries hit the big time, via a feature by Sara Dickerman in the NY Times (prominently featuring CS favorite, Columbia City Bakery!). Thanks to everyone who shared the link with me!

Speaking of Columbia City Bakery, let's have another loving look at the doughnut muffin.

Thursday
May202010

(CLOSED) Sweet Giveaway: Win a $100 Gift Card For CSN Stores!

Track Lighting.

Yeah, you heard me. Track lighting. I know what you're thinking: CakeSpy has sold out for a text link. But hear me out, because I've done it for you, sweet friends. For simply putting that link in this post, CSN Stores has kindly offered something that actually is of interest: a $100 gift card good to be redeemed at any of their online stores! And after reviewing the products available at their Cookware.com website, I find it worth the link, as all sorts of products of interest to bakers and baked-good enthusiasts are available there, including cake pans, cake plates, pastry molds, and my favorite Emile Henry Pie plates!

Want to be entered in the running? OK! Here's what you do: simply leave a comment on this post stating your opinion on this important baked-good subject: what is your favorite morning pastry? 

Muffins? Scones? Cream Cheese Danish? Crumb Cake? CakeSpy wants to know! This giveaway will close and a winner will be announced at 12 p.m. PST on Friday, 5/28. Entrants only in the US and Canada this time, please!

 

UPDATE: WINNER! Our winner is bellasarah28. Congratulations!

Thursday
May202010

Cake Byte: This Charming Candy Lollipops Now Available at CakeSpy Shop!

Can you say "Birthday Cake Lollipop"? 

Well, I'm sure you are capable of doing so, but wouldn't it be so much nicer to have your mouth full of delicious birthday cake lollipop?

You're in luck: CakeSpy Shop, my new retail gallery and gift shop in Capitol Hill, Seattle, is the newest stockist for This Charming Candy lollipops! 

These locally handmade, small-batch artisan lollipops are in the shop and available in flavors like Vanilla-cardamom, Birthday Cake, and Salted Caramel! I'm selling them singly, and by the package.

Looks like Capitol Hill just got sweeter!

This Charming Candy Lollipops, now available at CakeSpy Shop + Bluebottle Art Gallery, 415 E Pine Street, Seattle WA 98122, open Tue-Sun 12-7 p.m.!

Thursday
May202010

Cake Byte: Sweet Surrender Cupcake Recipe Contest

Totally sweet--a chance to win some sweet prizes and insure your cupcake-flavor legacy! Here's the 411 on a totally sweet recipe contest brought to you Sweet Surrender, a Boynton Beach, FL-based bakery!

Do you have a recipe for the tastiest cupcake out there?

Sweet Surrender is searching for a new cupcake to add to its menu of delicious, made-from-scratch cupcakes and will award the creator of the winning recipe with 10% of the first month’s sales of the cupcake sold at Sweet Surrender Cupcake & Cookie Café in Boynton Beach, Florida. The winning cupcake will also be named after the creator!

THE CONTEST

All of the entries will be reviewed by Sweet Surrender owners Mick and Rosemary Tynski. The baking duo will select their top two recipes and make them for the café’s Grand Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, June 19, 2010. Free samples of the two cupcakes and score cards will be given out to guests, who will judge each on:

  • Visual Appeal
  • Moistness
  • Flavor

The cupcake that scores the highest overall will be the winner!

RECIPE RULES

We hold our cupcakes to the highest standards and request all recipe submissions follow these guidelines:

  • May not contain trans fats or artificial flavors
  • Must be made from scratch entirely (no premade mixes or frostings)
  • One entry per person please
  • All entries must be received by June 4, 2010

SEND IT TO US!

Please email your recipe to Recipe@SweetSurrenderBoyntonBeach.com and include your name, mailing address, phone number, email address, name of recipe, separate ingredient lists for frosting and cupcake batter and complete preparation/baking directions.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The two semi-finalists will be notified via email or phone no later than June 16, and the winner will be notified no later than June 22.

Just like our own fine-tuned cupcake recipes, we will not disclose the contents of any recipes that are sent to us, including the winning recipe.

By entering a recipe, each contestant agrees that if their recipe is selected as the winner, the recipe will be used by Sweet Surrender exclusively and the winning contestant may not give or sell the recipe to any other business for resale. In addition, the winner may not publish the recipe on any website or in any publication.

By entering a recipe, the creator guarantees that it is original, however, Sweet Surrender cannot be held responsible for recipes submitted that are not original.

Thursday
May202010

Sweet Art: Milk and Cookies Love Cupcakes

So, milk and cookies are basically the quintessential sweet snack pairing--but what do they like to snack on when they get hungry?

Apparently, they're not immune to the cupcake trend sweeping the world!

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