What follows here is a love story between Cakespy and Make My Cake.
What follows here is a love story between Cakespy and Make My Cake.
How sweet is this: our recent Tele-Graham Crackers Post was featured on the official Whole Foods blog! Since we love spending all of our money in their excellent bakery section, this was a very exciting spot to be featured!
We've long been fans of the nice assemblage of pastries in Whole Foods bakeries--not only do they have a great selection of pastries from local bakeries, imported selections from wholesale bakeries in different parts of the country (like Carol's Cookies), but they also generally have a very respectable variety of baked goods made on-site; our current favorite item at our local Westlake location in Seattle is their Vegan Thumbprint cookie, which is like a more delicious version of a granola bar, yummy to vegans and non-vegans alike, and in our opinion, an ideal breakfast cookie.
Thank you to everyone who participated in our cookie giveaway last week! We've certainly learned a lot about chocolate chip cookie preferences--from chewy to crunchy, from milk chocolate chips to bittersweet chocolate chunks, there are a lot of preferences and opinions out there--but most of all, a lot of love for the classic cookie. It was fun to read all of your responses!
Our randomly chosen winner this time was Elise of cupcakeactivist.com. When she's taking a break from cupcakes, Elise does love a good chocolate chip cookie; in her words though, "The perfect amount of chocolate chips is very important! Also, I hear that if you double the amount of butter, they will be the best cookies ever." Of course, deliciousness aside, she realizes the perils of this sort of addition, lamenting "Why does fat have to be the thing that makes everything taste so good?". Well, Elise, we can't answer that, but we do know in our hearts that it's true.
Elise will be receiving a cookie gift compliments of My Kids' Cookies, as well as a pack of Cakespy Notecards.
Thank you everyone for participating!
CS: Why did you decide to focus on cupcakes only with your delivery business?
AS: Cupcakes are my favorite thing to bake! They're cute and tasty and most people have a hard time saying "no" to them. Each one is a small cakewith different frosting and decorating potential. I like the potential each cupcake holds as well as seeing the faces of those folks who receive them. They're fun to bake and fun to deliver!
CS: What is your favorite part about running Wish-Cake?
AS: There are so many wonderful things about running a cupcake business, and I appreciate the variety in running the business. If I had to pick one thing, I would say that it is definitely the amount of joy the cupcakes bring to the recipient upon delivery. I find it amazing to see children, men and women light up when they receive them. Seeing their faces makes the job worthwhile, and makes it more rewarding. I enjoy the fact that Wish-Cake gives me the opportunity to express my creativity in different ways, and it's nice to have different kinds of outlets for that creativity such as the things that have been done to make our web site, the pictures and all the things go along with our cupcakes.
CS: What are some of the most challenging parts about running Wish-Cake?
AS: There are so many complex tasks in running a business. I had to go through a lot of steps in order to plan and launch the business. I found I had to deal with more technology and red-tape than I expected when I first started. There have been times when I wished I could just bake cupcakes instead of having to do paperwork. It wasn't easy, and my life has been changed completely by choosing to run my own business, but I wouldn't change a thing. I'm very glad we stuck with everything. Wish-Cake has been a great opportunity.
CS: How did you decide on / narrow down your menu choices?
AS: It was hard! However, the menu was created with children in mind. Kids are some of the most diverse people on the planet, however, when it comes to cupcakes most want chocolate or vanilla cupcakes with chocolate buttercream or vanilla buttercream frosting. (Very basic!) Of course we've had several requests for more complex cupcakes for children too. I wanted to offer a variety of choices so everyone could be happy. Before wish-cake.com launched I baked some of my mom's cake recipes to make sure they were conducive to cupcake baking. After gathering facts I decided on offering more variety that vanilla and chocolate, however, I didn't want to offer gourmet cupcakes. (like those with lavender cake). That's not what wish-cake.com is about. Our website allows personal cupcake customization by the customer. We also created some possible cupcake combinations that would help people understand the process. Those are the cupcakes that have photos on the site. Both ways to create cupcakes (build your own or suggesed flavor with photo on the site) have been very popular.
CS: What's your personal favorite flavor on the menu?
AS: That's too hard - I can't pick! If I ABSOLUTELY had to choose a favorite it would be banana with chocolate chips mixed in and vanilla buttercream frosting. That's our Hannah Banana cupcake, named after a niece who loves banana as much as I do. Or if I'm in a mood for something different I might use the build your own option.
CS: You have a build-your-own cupcake option on your site. Have you ever had any really unusual requests?
AS: Surprisingly, no! So far people seem to be very serious about the cupcakes they order.
CS: In your opinion, what is the most important aspect in making a great cupcake?
AS: That's an easy one for me. I need a great cake recipe (baking from scratch - no mixes) and fresh ingredients. The cake is the foundation for a good cupcake and from that point the creativity flies.
CS: Aside from cupcakes, what are some of your other favorite desserts?
AS: I'm a sucker for ice cream, most anything banana-flavored, or anything with whipped cream on top. And although they're not really a dessert sometimes I crave cinnamon buns!
CS: The Cupcake Club sounds like our kind of club. Can you tell us more about it?
AS: Sure! The Cupcake Club was created for customers who want to give the wonderful gift of cupcakes 12 months or 6 months out of the year. Wish-Cake offers featured cupcakes with flavors or designs that fit the season, such as January's White Chocolate Snowball, February's Chocolate Passion, March's Green Monster, April's Baseball, May's Pink Petals, June's Pineapple Coconut, July's Red-White-and-Blue, August's Cotton Candy, September's Back-to-School Apple, October's Candy Corn, November's Pumpkin Spice, and December's Candy Cane. Once the purchaser signs up for Wish-Cake's Cupcake Club, he/she will receive an announcement (via email) each month listing the two featured flavors for the upcoming month. The purchaser can choose either of the two flavors - or they can choose to build their own. The Cupcake Club makes a great gift for someone very special.
CS: What's next for Wish-cake?
AS: We're just getting started and we have high hopes for the year ahead. We still have a lot of great ideas. We're also looking for ways that we can give back to the community. So today for instance, we participated with the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and supported their annual bake-sale with a variety of different cupcakes that we donated to the cause. That was something nice we could do that ties in well with our original mission. If one of our cupcakes can bring a smile to a kid's face no matter where they are, then we know we are doing something worthwhile. As far as what might be coming...all I can say is to stay tuned. We'll continue to add new things to our menu and look for ways to delight our customers. If we have big news, we'll be sure the readers of Cakespy are in the loop!
They say it's the most wonderful time of the year, but we say it's the sweetest. Same difference, we suppose. Anyway, here are our favorite sweet links as of late:
When Baking up Chaos asked us to do a guest spot showcasing some of our favorite bakers, we got all excited: we love bakers!
But quickly, the excitement turned to despair: how to choose? Perhaps we love too many bakers. Perhaps this is a problem.
However, another opportunity then occurred: why not showcase our favorite FAKE bakers? Because yes, we confess: we have a John Waters-like obsession with fake food. Here are our for-reals faux favorites:
Artreverie: This is an awesome, Atlanta-based ceramics company headed by the amazing Heather Cunningham. We first came across her work at Babycakes in NYC, where her work is prominently featured in their window. Now, creating a lifelike likeness in ceramic is not an easy thing to do, but Heather does it with ease--her cupcakes actually look real. Delectable, but not delicious...and yet why does that glaze look so tempting? They're available from time to time on her Etsy shop.
Fake-Foods.com: Like, oh my god. These people even supply fake foods to Unwrapped! While their pastry offerings are mediocre on the site, what intrigues us here is the prospect of getting a replica made of the dessert of your choice (as featured on our recent gift guide). How cool is that?
Leelee's Creations: This is like heaven for lovers of fake food--from cupcakes to layer cakes to savory foods too, they've got it all. Their web images are not great, but their product delivers.
My Pink Boutique: If Marie Antoinette opened a shop specializing in faux patisserie, it would probably look like this. Gorgeous faux cupcakes, petits-fours, and more are on show here!
Recently, we were contacted by CakeKraft, a Philadelphia-based special order bakery, about taste-testing some of their products. Now, you know we're not ones to turn away free sweets, so we bravely accepted this offer. While they offer treats with dairy, what intrigued our Philadelphia-based Gumshoes JoAnna and Brett were the vegan offerings. Here's JoAnna's account of tasting the goods:
Philadelphia is a land of vegans with limited dessert choices*. Michelle Poole has been working hard at CakeKraft to bring non-vegan, vegan and gluten free options to the Philadelphia metropolitan area.
Cakespy asked me and my boyfriend Brett to taste test two varieties of vegan cupcakes -- Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache and Pumpkin-Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese frosting.
The Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with the Chocolate Ganache each came with a decorative, white candy heart atop the cupcake. The chocolate cupcake had a good texture striking the right balance between cakey and fluffy with a deep, rich taste. The Chocolate Ganache frosting makes this cupcake sing; it's everything the Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World ganache promised you but where that failed CakeKraft delivers. I am not a frosting gal but I could eat a whole vat-full.
Not to be outdone, the Pumpkin-Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese frosting had the more enjoyable texture of the two we tried. The cake was moist and had just the right size of carrot chunks. As an added bonus, my omni sister gave the thumbs up to this vegan treat. I look forward to finding CakeKraft cupcakes around the city. Thanks, CakeKraft!
*To this sweet tooth, all lands are short on dessert.
Are you in the Philadelphia-metro area? Visit CakeKraft.com to find out more about their cakes and services. If you own a restaurant or cafe, wholesale orders are available too; visit the site for more details.
Of course, even if you're not in the Philadelphia area, you can still enjoy their gallery of cakes here.
And what better way to celebrate this than by having another bonus giveaway (in addition to our monthly Cake Poll, which we'll still have later on this month)?
Since nothing's better than a care package by mail, My Kids' Cookies has generously offered to donate a semi-sweet chocolate chip cookie gift box. Sweet! Nestled in a bed of white tissue paper, this delectable semi-sweet treat is bound to make your day far more delicious. But wait, there's more: to sweeten the deal, the lucky winner will also receive a pack of Cakespy notecards (from the Cakespy shop) too!
Curious about the life of a professional Cake Gumshoe? Why not check out the interview I did for Taste of Home's website--and check out pictures of me with a humongous Cuppie! Is it just me, or does he look--well...kind of hungry?
P.S. -- Cuppie gets to sound off during the interview too (thanks to the fantastic interviewer)--what a snarky little fellow he is!