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Entries in breaking cake news (319)

Saturday
Dec202008

Cake Byte: Cakespy Featured on the Official Whole Foods Blog!

Cakespy Featured on the Whole Foods Blog!
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.

 

But we digress--because now that we're thinking of cookies, we'd best get started on some for Christmas! Stay tuned...

 

Saturday
Dec202008

Cookie Giveaway: The Winner!

Cupcake Vs. Girl Scout Cookies
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!

Tuesday
Dec092008

The Life of a Spy: Cakespy Interview at Taste of Home!

A really huge Cuppie, and me
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!

Read it here!

Friday
Dec052008

Hang out with Cake Gumshoes: Upcoming Shows!

Stitch
Sweet news flash for all Seattleites! If you're in town and feel like hanging out with some Cake Gumshoes and maybe buying some awesome Christmas presents, drop by and see us at the two upcoming craft shows:

Urban Craft Uprising, at the Seattle Center, December 6 and 7, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Seattle Center's Exhibition Hall--we'll be at space 103--for more info, visit urbancraftuprising.com!
Fatto A Mano, December 13 (One day only!)--this is a small but very good show with a varied group of crafters. It will run from 11 a.m. til the last shopper leaves! 3057 East Laurelhurst Drive NE, Seattle, WA 98105. 

 

Wednesday
Dec032008

Holiday Sweetness: Cakespy Artwork Featured in the Seattle P-I!

Cakespy artwork in the P-I's gift guide!
What sweet news: Cakespy artwork has been featured in the Seattle P-I's Holiday Gift Guide! Thank you Rebekah Denn for such a lovely writeup.

Tuesday
Dec022008

Cakespy Takes the Cake: A Special Guest Spot on Cupcakes Take the Cake!

Seattle Cupcakes: A Gentle Primer

Cakespy Note: As you know, Cupcakes Take the Cake is one of the awesomest sites ever--their dedication to cupcakes is awe-inspiring, and the girls who write for it happen to be 100% pure fun as well; they've been featured in many publications and even on Martha Stewart!

So it was an honor to be asked to be part of their "Guest Blogger" program in celebration of their 4-year anniversary. For our post, Head Spy Jessie sounded off on Seattle cupcakes--here's her contribution.

One of the most common questions I get asked by people coming to visit Seattle is "Where should I go for the best cupcakes?".

This question makes me want to pop a Xanax or ten, because it's a fraught question for a people-pleaser like me. How could I possibly know what you'll like? *Heaves into paper bag*

But you know what I can do? I can tell you what I like. Me, me, me. But I haven't set it up as a bakery guide: I've done it geographically, by destinations that I deem worthy, so depending on where you find yourself in Seattle, you'll never be far from a cupcake. Whether you like them or not will be up to you--but then again, isn't taking a risk part of having an adventure?
Here goes:

Cuppies at the West Seattle Junction
Alaska Junction in West Seattle: This is a cool little shopping area, but it's definitely a drive from downtown Seattle (at 6 or so miles, it would be an awfully healthy walk). But it's worth the drive because there you'll find Cupcake Royale and Sugar Rush Bakery, and just a bit down the road, a PCC, all of which have cupcakes. Yes, worth the trip.

 

Holiday assortment from cupcake Royale
Archie McPhee: Do you love kitschy, cool little impulse buy items? Of course you do, so you'll want to visit the Ballard neighborhood, home of Archie McPhee, which is the company that brought the world such gems as the Jesus Action Figure (c'mon, you've seen it at Hot Topic, don't lie). Just down the block, you can get your cupcake on at Cupcake Royale's flagship location, which features an amazing Cupcake art piece above the entrance.

Cupcakes, Whole Foods, Westlake

The Houseboat from Sleepless in Seattle: Contrary to popular belief, not everyone in Seattle lives in a houseboat (sorry). However, you can get a Tom and Meg spark--at least for a few minutes--by visiting the houseboat where the magical film was made. It's kind of in no-man's land, but we'd say your best bet close by is Whole Foods Westlake, which has a good variety of cupcakes which are made in-house. I have to be honest though, I have never had one from this location--but I have had their house-made cheesecake and that was good!

 

Cupcakes with the Fremont Troll
Cardamom chai wheat-free vegan cupcake from Flying Apron, Seattle
Fremont Troll: I can't even begin to understand why someone made this, but I like it. Nearby, you can get your vegan cupcake fix at Flying Apron Bakery, which specializes in gluten-free, vegan baking. Some swear by their cake, but personally I think their cookies are better. PCC also has cupcakes (vegan and non), and you can sometimes-but-not-always get cupcakes at Simply Desserts (they mainly specialize in layer cakes and cakes-by-the-slice).

The Apartment Building from Singles: Aside from being part of one of the greatest films ever made, the apartment building from Singles, Coryell Court (at 19th and Thomas) is also close to a favorite bakery: The North Hill Bakery. They're only open til 5:30 p.m. or so, but I try to make it over whenever I'm in the neighborhood.
Northgate Mall: My friend Phil informed me that this was the first covered mall in North America. Of course, since he's from New Jersey, he knows his mall culture. Now, the Northgate Mall is pretty much what you'd expect in any suburban mall: jewelry stores, department stores, kiosks with back massagers. If you need to go here, then please, on your way, stop by the Blue Saucer Cafe; they retail cupcakes by Look Cupcake, which is a special-order cupcakery with filled cupcakes. Like, yum!

 

Cuppies at Pike Place
Cupcakes at the Dahlia Bakery, SeattleChocolate Ganache Cupcake
Pike Place Market: You may be surprised to hear this, but there are very few cupcakes at the market itself (though of course there are a lot of other great baked goods and food). They sometimes have them at Pike Place Bakery or at Michou, but in my opinion you'd be better off walking up a few blocks from the Market and checking out Macrina Bakery (read the Cupcakes Take the Cake review here) or Dahlia Bakery.

Pioneer Square / Underground Tour: The Underground Tour is cheesy, but I love it. There's a whole city beneath the city of Seattle! Like, whoa! And nearby, you can get your sweet fix at Grand Central Baking. OK, truthfully, they do not offer cupcakes. But, they offer mini bundt cakes, and they're super cute, so we're going to say they're a suitable stand-in.

Cuppie at the Seattle Art Museum
Seattle Art Museum: Refer to Pioneer Square or the Seattle Public Library; it's sort of in-between the two. Oddly, your pet might have the best chance of scoring a "pupcake" in the immediate vicinity, at Three Dog Bakery.

Cuppie at the Seattle Public Library
Seattle Public Library: I love the SPL. Seriously, I go there like 3 times a week at least to research various cake and baked good related things. I even designed a postcard (image above) that they sell in their store! If you choose to visit, you'll want to trek just a few more blocks up the hill to Sugar Bakery + Cafe, where the cake is sweet and they sell my artwork. Yes, there were two plugs for my artwork in this paragraph. Also, though they don't sell cupcakes, the nearby Belle Epicurean does sell (very good) small cakes.

January 6, 2008 

Space Needle: You'll be in the crossroads between the Belltown and Queen Anne neighborhoods. Up the road just a bit on the Queen Anne side is Metropolitan Market, where they sell cupcakes from previously mentioned Cupcake Royale; a bit further up the hill, Pasta + Co. has cupcakes too. Of course, I also live near the Space Needle so you could always give me a call and I might have some cupcakes.

 

Tacoma Cuppies
Cupcakes Make Mr. Cakespy Happy
Tacoma's Museum of Glass: This place is really cool--you get to see a real live glassblowing studio! It's hot, literally. And nearby, sweetness can be found at the adorable (and well-loved--they've been featured in Seattle Magazine and Sunset Magazine!) hello, cupcake, where the cupcakes are dainty-looking, but pack a dense, tasty punch when you take a bite (see above picture for an indication of how happy they made my husband, the dear Mr. Cakespy).


Cafe Au Lait Cupcakes Closeup
Woodland Park Zoo: It's not the Bronx Zoo for sure, but it's surprisingly comprehensive. Mr. Cakespy and I have spent many a happy day at this zoo. And as a bonus, it's not too far from Trophy Cupcakes, which you may know from its many features--on Martha Stewart, on Cupcakes Take the Cake, the Seattle P-I, and many more. What's a mile and a half walk when cupcake nirvana awaits?

 

 

So there you have it--my Seattle in Cupcakes, but of course, open for you to choose your own (totally sweet) adventure.
Thanks again to Cupcakes Take the Cake for letting me sound off, and a very happy 4 year anniversary to you well!

 

 

 


 

 

Friday
Nov142008

November Cake Poll: The Winners!

November Cake Poll Winners
The holiday season may be just beginning, but this month's Cake Poll is now closed. The entries have been logged, and if we do say so ourselves, you've all given us some fantastic ideas for holiday baking--as well has having introduced us to some sweets we'd never heard of before! In fact, we're even toying with printing up a small booklet of our favorites--stay tuned!

But first things first--who won the sweet stuff?

  • The cupcake tote by Penguinbot goes to lucky winner Rachel G from California! Rachel's dessert choices are classic: for Thanksgiving, she likes apple pie; for Christmas, she enjoys cutout cookies--decorated with frosting and sprinkles, but of course! You can find her cutout cookie recipe here!

  • The second copy will go to reader Emileee, who is clearly after our own hearts with her Christmas cookie preference, the bon-bon. She also definitely opened our eyes to a new dessert with her Thanksgiving preference: the PRETZEL JELL-O DESSERT. Never heard of it, you say? Well, here's the recipe:
PRETZEL JELLO DESSERT

  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 1 1/2 c. crushed pretzels
  • 1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
  • 1 lg. container Cool Whip
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 (6 oz.) pkg. strawberry Jello
  • 1 lg. pkg. frozen strawberries
  1. Mix melted butter, pretzels, and 1/2 cup sugar together and press into 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake 6 minutes at 350 degrees.
  2. Dissolve Jello in 2 cups boiling water and add frozen strawberries. Let gel.
  3. Combine cream cheese, Cool Whip, and 1/2 cup sugar; put on top of crumbs. When Jello is starting to set, pour over cheese layer and refrigerate until firm. It's heavenly!

But we digress. Back to the prizes--who won the rest of the prizes?

  • The first pack of Cakespy Christmas cards goes to reader Mark from NYC! Mark's favorite Thanksgiving-time treat isn't pumpkin pie...it's cake! His birthday falls late in November, so he prefers to take the cake: in his case, vanilla birthday cake with strawberry icing (perhaps like this recipe)! When it comes to Christmas cookies, keep his classic: he'll take sugar-coated gingerbread, please.
  • And finally, it gives us great pleasure to say that the second pack goes to Veggiegirl! We've been avid fans of her blog for some time--she serves up vegan (and a lot of raw) delights of a deliciously moist and decadent nature that even non-veggie people will enjoy. Ms. Veggie prefers pumpkin pie for her Thanksgiving treat (with a dollop of cranberry sauce for a delightful sweet/sour contrast)...and when it comes to Christmas cookies, she's with her fellow winner Mark: gingerbread, baby! 

Thank you to everyone who entered--and who shared their favorite recipes and holiday sweets preferences! And thank you again to the great prize donors, Penguinbot, Hachette Book Group and Cakespyshop.com. Til next month's Cake Poll...stay sweet!

 

Sunday
Oct262008

Cake Byte: Sweet News from Cakespy!

Christmas stamp closeup
Economic crisis got you down? Well, we know what will cheer you up--new Holiday Rubber Stamps by Taylored Expressions, featuring Cakespy artwork! Everyone knows that handmade cards are a sweet thing to give and receive, and you just might start feeling better about the economy when surrounded by all this sweetness!! There are three different holiday sets (Season's Sweetings - $21.95; Home Sweet Home - $21.95; Tag Treats - $12.95) , so you can choose your own card or craft-making adventure--or buy all three for a dose of mega-sweetness!
New Christmas Stamps!

New Christmas Rubber Stamps!
Of course, you should also check out the Taylored Expressions blog for ideas and inspirations, and to check out projects that others have made with them!
New Christmas Rubber Stamps!

 

 

Friday
Sep052008

Cake Byte: Sweet News from Cakespy!

birthdaygiftset
Oh, we're just brimming with sweetness this week! Here are some of the exciting things happening at Cakespy.com:

Mummy Cupcake Rubber StampTrick or Sweet Rubber Stamps

Sweet Stamps! Our own Head Spy Jessie recently collaborated with Taylored Expressions, a California-based rubber stamp company, to create several sets of rubber stamps! The first three sets, with Halloween and Birthday themes, are making their debut today: Frightful Night, Trick or Sweet, and Sweet Celebration. It was a fantastic experience, and the stamps came out so cute! Now you, too, can create your own cupcake cards and craft projects using these adorable stamps! Each set of unmounted, deeply etched, pink rubber stamps retails for $21.95. To see some of the projects others have made with the stamps, check out tayloredexpressions.blogspot.com; to purchase the stamp sets, visit tayloredexpressions.com!

Cuppie at the Chicago "Bean"
Going to Chicago and Milwaukee! Next week Cakespy will be headed to Chicago and Milwaukee...deliciousness is bound to follow! Stay tuned for upcoming roundups of all the sweet stuff we discover--and feel free to pass on suggestions!

Totally Sweet! Finally, longtime Cakespy reader and supporter Sue Scara of Piscataway, NJ, is living the sweet life indeed: her recipe for Bubbe's Apple Cake is a finalist for an upcoming "Spreading Smucker's Traditions" contest! Starting September 8, vote for her recipe (below) at smuckers.com!

The recipe:

Bubbe’s Apple Cake (our grandmother’s version of the traditional European-Jewish Apple Cake)

  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 medium apples, peeled and cut into thin slices
  • ½ cup Smucker’s Red Plum jam
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 3 large eggs (brought to room temperature)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon each of vanilla extract and almond extract
  • A “shake or two” of cinnamon

Begin by preheating oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8” square baking pan.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt together in a mixing bowl. Give dry ingredients a stir and set the bowl aside. In another bowl, combine apple slices, Smucker’s Red Plum jam and lemon juice. Mix up so that apples are coated in jam and lemon juice. Set aside.

Beat the eggs well, either with electric beater on medium, or vigorously by hand. Gradually add sugar and beat (about 2 min.), or mix by hand, till mixture is almost fluffy. Add oil and vanilla and almond extracts, and continue to beat and scrape side of bowl till all is combined. Next, mix in the flour mixture (if using electric beater, reduce speed to low). Mix short time more till batter is blended to uniform color and consistency.

Take just half of the batter and spread evenly in the baking pan. Next, cover the layer of batter with the apple and jam mixture. Then spread the remaining half of the batter over the apples. Give a light shake or two of cinnamon over the surface of the cake. Bake on the center rack till golden (approximately one hour).

After removing from oven, let the cake cool. Cut into squares and serve.




Sunday
Aug242008

Best Birthday Ever: The Cakespy Birthday Bash at Cupcake Royale

Royale with Cheese
As many of you know, August is a special month for Cakespy.com: it marks the website's anniversary, as well as Head Spy Jessie's Birthday. And so to celebrate both of these milestones, we hosted a kick*ss celebration at Seattle's own Cupcake Royale, at their flagship Ballard location. Here's a love note from the dear Head Spy summing up the events:

Cupcake Royale has always held a special place in my heart. Their first shop opened its doors shortly after I moved to Seattle from New York City; in my first few months on the West Coast, it soothed my incredible homesickness for all of the great cupcake shops I had left behind. They've grown a lot in these four years, and now boast three locations in the Seattle area; during that time I've grown too--I've gone from working at a refrigerator magnet company to running my own business, and have been able to achieve so much growth, both artistically and personally, through running Cakespy.com. This in mind, their flagship Ballard location seemed like the perfect venue for a celebration. The Cupcake Royale crew was very amenable to our request, even offering to debut their super-secret September flavor a little bit early in Cakespy's honor!

The Royale with Cheese and Strawberry Cupcakes from Cupcake RoyaleDSC00344
Of course, I put myself toward my task of Cupcake hostess with the dedication of an Olympiad. I worked myself into shape by eating Cupcake Royale cupcakes for breakfast nearly every day the week before the party. This was easy to do--perhaps too easy--because Metropolitan Market, which is right across the street from Cakespy headquarters, now carries their cupcakes in their bakery. And the frosting on their August flavor of the month, the Skagit Valley Strawberry cupcake, is simply amazing.

The Royale with CheeseMe and Janis!
And man, do those Cupcake Royale kids know how to party. The September flavor turned out to be the Royale with Cheese (pictured at top). What is a Royale with Cheese, you ask? Well, aside from an homage to Pulp Fiction, it's a gorgeously decadent chocolate cupcake topped with a cream cheese frosting which added the perfect rich complement to the sweet cake. Now, I will usually go for vanilla against chocolate cake any day, but even I recognized that this cake was something special. I was told the baker had just changed the recipe for their chocolate cake--apparently the secret ingredient is crack, because based on what was left after the party--an array of empty cupcake wrappers--they were deemed delicious and highly addictive by all in attendance.

Me and Jamie and friend!Cakespy Buddies!
As for the event itself? The party was like a who's who of complete awesomeness: the crowd included members of local bands Speaker Speaker and Huma; the talented and amazing writer Megan Seling; artist Kris Garland; esteemed foodies Peabody, Mango Power Girl, Frantic Foodie, Winewall, and Ronald Holden; Cake Gumshoe (and cookie-maker to Remedy Teas) Chris Jarchow; chocolatier Ivy Chan; Cakespy readers and buddies Janis, Katrina, Tasha, Ingrid, Amalia, Cynthia, Jamie and Carrie...just to name a few! If not there physically, certainly I knew that my buddies at Cupcakes Take the Cake were certainly there in spirit!

Awesomest Birthday Present EVER!
Of course, there were a few surprises in store, the sweetest of which were a special birthday cake provided by Cupcake Royale (white cake, strawberry buttercream filling, and chocolate frosting!), the wonderful cupcake drawings and art pieces done by all of the awesome guests.

Birthday Cake!Mr. Cakespy enjoying his Royale with Cheese
And as if it couldn't get any better, after leaving Cupcake Royale we even got to play a few rounds of my favorite game from childhood (and still), skee-ball!--at the nearby King's Hardware.
Yes indeed, this was the best birthday ever! Thank you so much for making Cakespy.com's first year a super sweet one!
An extra special thank you to Cupcake Royale for providing the perfect venue for a perfectly sweet party! And even if you're not in Seattle, you can still enjoy their sweetness from afar via cupcakeroyale.com.

 

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