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Entries in breaking cake news (320)

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.

 

Tuesday
Aug192008

Cake Byte: Sweet News from Cakespy

Sprinkles
All the sweet news that's fit to print! Here are just a few morsels we had to share:

  • Cakespy Cupcake Party! Are you in Seattle? Are you free this Saturday? Well, come on down to Cakespy's Cupcake Party at Cupcake Royale! The fete is a combined celebration of Cakespy.com's 1 year anniversary and Head Spy Jessie's 27th birthday. It's an open house from 6-9 p.m. at Cupcake Royale's Ballard location, and a limited supply of free cupcakes will be on hand. As a bonus, the kind people at Cupcake Royale will be debuting their super secret September flavor a little early--and oh, is it a good one!--in our honor! It's kind of, you know, making us feel like a big deal.
  • Email Subscriptions: We are in the process of changing our email newsletter to be sent out once a week rather than every time there is a new post. We'll still be updating the site 2-3 times per week, but you'll receive it in one weekly email. We apologize if you receive more than one update per week as we figure out the technological side of things.
  • New Feature! We're adding a new comic strip feature to the site, which will crop up a few times a week. The strip is entitled "Cuppie Capers" and it's about the ongoing adventures of everyone's favorite mischievous little cupcake, L'il Cuppie. Today marks the first strip! Woo!
  • Iron Cupcake: A fantastic new online phenomenon! We have not entered one this month since we're one of the prize donors, but check out all of the fantastic Chili Pepper entries here!

 

Friday
Aug082008

Birthday Cake Poll: The Winners!

Amazing work by Naomi!

The Birthday Cake poll is closed! The response was staggering: between comment and email entries, there were 401 entrants in all. Wow! 
But before getting to the winners, we have to say that it turns out we won big too: we were surprised with a Cakespy anniversary / birthday present for Head Spy Jessie--cupcakes by Naomi Henderson featuring Cakespy artwork (pictured top)! Though she's in Australia and we weren't able to taste them, this sweetness transcends all geographic challenges! (To learn more about Naomi's work, read our interview with her!).

Cakespy Anniversary / Jessie's Bday Open HouseBig Cupcake
Also, calling all Cake Gumshoes in the Seattle area--if you're around on August 23rd, join us from 6-9 p.m. at Cupcake Royale in Ballard (the home of the giant cupcake pictured above) for an open house celebration for the Cakespy Anniversary and Head Spy Jessie's birthday! Did we mention they'll be debuting a new cupcake flavor for the occasion?
But seriously--enough suspense. Who won the prizes? Here are the names we chose at random:
Winner 1 was Elizabeth from MA, who won the mini original Soothsayer Cupcake Painting. The future is sure to be bright for her if she gets her wish next birthday: either German Chocolate or Red Velvet cake! Hey, why not both!?
Winner 2 was Janis from WA, who won the Hipster Baked Goods t-shirt! The tee will keep her sweet and fashionable as she continues to grow and learn, as in the case of fruit-filled cakes, of which she says the following: "...I am finding as I get older I am changing my mind a bit on the fruit issue. I don't know if it will ever reach the level of sweet surprise, but I will probably make it out of the disappointment category in 10 years."
Winner 3 was Queen of the Click, from Brooklyn, NY. She actually wrote in her response "I hope I win the notecards". Well, that wishful thinking paid off! All of those notes will look super sweet, but not as sweet as her next birthday cake, which she hopes will include cherries, pineapple and cream. Yum!
Winner 4 was Krysta from CA, who also won a pack of notecards! Krysta is a longtime Cakespy reader--and her daughter is a proud owner of original Cakespy artwork! So clearly there's no lack of sweetness in this household, which welcomes birthday pies but just says no to syrupy strawberry filling in their cakes.
Thank you to everyone who participated! If you didn't win, you can always pick up Cakespy gear at the etsy store. And be sure to check back next month for the next cake poll!
Stay sweet!

 

Tuesday
Jul292008

Cake Byte: Frosting Shots Article in the Seattle P-I!

Cakespy Mentioned in the Seattle Post Intelligencer!

Extra! Extra! Breaking Cake News!

We're feeling pretty famous today: Cakespy was featured in the Seattle P-I! Awesome food writer Rebekah Denn made sure to touch base with Head Spy Jessie for a quote and expert thoughts on the newest craze in the cupcake world, Frosting Shots. What's a frosting shot, you ask? According to the article,


Asking for a "frosting shot" is the latest bakery trend. Forget the "cake" part of cupcake – enough people are asking for a solo squiggle of frosting in a cup to make the shots an official menu item at some cupcake stores. The editor of Epicurious.com told The Associated Press it's "kind of the cut-to-the-chase evolution of cupcakes" and a great thing to have at an office party. Sure, I guess. If you're looking for more ways to cut costs at the office.
Read the entire article here!
And of course, it begs the question--what do you think of frosting shots? 

 

Thursday
Jul172008

Cake Byte: Sweet News from Cakespy

And Voila! A stenciled Cuppie in Frosting!

All the sweet news fit to print!
First off, if you haven't visited Suspect and Fugitive, you must do so this moment. With a tagline like "Artstuffs with a sell by date," we shouldn't need to say any more--with amazing art pieces which combine mostly food products with pop-culture icons, we are constantly awed and inspired. And we think it's official that you've "made it" when you're featured on the site--as Cakespy was this week! 
Also in the press, we were cited as the Milkwaukee Cupcake Queen's "absolute favorite blog, ever". Wow! High praise from a super sweet lady--and one of the cupcake geniuses (genii?) behind Iron Cupcake. Can't wait to eat cupcakes with you, babe!
Another super-sweet mention came from Shauna James Ahern, who you may know better by her alter-ego, Gluten-Free Girl. Shauna's site is a delicious destination, proving that a restricted diet doesn't have to be a detriment to living and eating well! Cakespy artwork was amongst the first few features on her new Gluten-Free Girl Recommends outpost. Thank you and sugar kisses to Shauna!


In other news, if you missed out on the hipster baked goods tee shirt the first time around, well, lucky you--we did a reprint! You can buy them at jessieoleson.etsy.com! Men's and women's sizes are available--if you don't see your size on the site, just email jessieoleson@gmail.com for more info or to request a size.
Finally, a big huge thank you to everyone who came out to the Cakespy art show at Venue this past weekend in Ballard. It was a full house thanks to all of you--and whether you came for the art or just the free booze and cute bartender, it was a great time for all. Thank you again!
Til next time...xoxo from Cakespy.

 

Sunday
Jul062008

Cake Byte: Sweet News from Cakespy

Cuppies at Pike Place
Looking to add a little sweetness to your life this July? Well, if you happen to be in Seattle, head over to Ballard--there are not one but two Cakespy Art Shows up this month!

Cupcakes, in acrylicMulti Layer Cake, in AcrylicCupcakes in AcrylicLemon Cake in Acrylic
The first option is Sweet Posie, which is tucked behind Anchor Tattoo near the intersection of Market and 24th--it's one of the tiniest and cutest little cafes we've ever seen, and they have killer Red Velvet Cupcakes. And all through July, they have original Acrylic paintings by our dear Head Spy Jessie! A bit of a change of pace, but the lovely texture of acrylic paint is so tantalizingly like frosting to work with--and it's clear from these delicious paintings! Sweet Posie Cafe, 2315 N.W. Market St. Seattle, WA 98105. Phone: 206-784-0303. Hours: 6 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays; online at sweetposie.com.


Cakespy Art at Venue!Cuppies looking at Magazines
The second option is Venue, an awesome art gallery and retail space just off of Old Ballard Avenue. Cakespy original watercolors (featuring the beloved  and mischievous L'il Cuppie character) are available at Venue's retail store, but this month Cakespy is the featured artist. What does that mean? That means you should get over to Ballard this Saturday evening for the Art Walk--a bunch of the Cakespy crew will be on hand, as will heaps of cupcakes and freely flowing wine! If that doesn't sound like a good time, we don't know what does. Venue, 5408 22nd Ave. NW, Seattle, WA 98107; online at venueballard.com.

 

 

Tuesday
Jul012008

Sweet Ups and Down Lows: Lessons Learned at the Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn

Renegade Craft Fair, Brooklyn, NY
As many of you know, Cakespy recently went on the road--our own Head Spy Jessie went to Brooklyn, New York to vend Cakespy artwork, tees, notecards and more at the Renegade Craft Fair, a highly regarded indie craft and design fair. However, we're far from professionals: it was first time we'd ever done a fair like this, and as such there were naturally definite highs and lows--and some serious lessons learned. And so, in no particular order, here are some of the things we learned, both negative and positive:


Cupcake from Kumquat Cupcakery, BrooklynI love Bored, Inc. So much it hurts
People are awesome!: It was a veritable who's who of bloggers, artists, writers and cool dudes who stopped by the Cakespy booth--including (but not limited to!) Rachel from Cupcakes Take the Cake (who brought us wonderful cupcakes from Kumquat Cupcakery, and did a video interview--check it out here); Robyn from Serious Eats and The Girl Who Ate Everything; Ann and Jack from Redacted Recipes; the cool girls from Bored, Inc.; illustrator Julia Rothman; Grace from Design*Sponge; illustrator David Miller; cool Cakespy customer Kimberly from Staten Island; and so, so many more.
My booth, complete with Mosquito net, Renegade Craft Fair, BrooklynAll that was left of the Canopy after the Rain 
Always be prepared for rain (or, don't buy the cheap canopy): When we saw that there was a steep added fee to rent a canopy for the fair, we figured "Pshaw, we'll get the cheaper one...it won't rain!". Well, it did rain--poured, in fact--and our canopy was flat-out destroyed (see above for "before" and "after" pictures). Major thanks to the two kind souls who helped us hold it up in the rain while we frantically packed up our merchandise in plastic, and to the forgiving customers who came back after the storm and bought stuff anyway!

People are Strange: One response to the Cakespy booth? "I like pie better than cake. In fact, I have always preferred pie, even in the womb. I was a pie-gote (ie, a pie-zygote)." You know what though? He still bought a tee shirt. So maybe strange but awesome.

Scone, Balthazar, NYCBalthazar doesn't suck: Would you believe that we'd never tried super-famous Balthazar's goodies before this trip? We'd always kind of found them snobby from afar and never given them a fair chance. But we finally broke down with one of their scones, and were pleasantly surprised: this baby was buttery, moist, crumbly and...well, pretty good. 

Don't go for another round: When going for drinks the night before the fair starts, reject the urge to have one final round. Trust us. But if you do, at least in your carbohydrate-starved state the next morning, you can feel comforted by the fact that...

New York Bagels really are the best: They say it's the water, but in our opinion even a Seattle bakery which imported a NY-style water filtration system can't quite create the same deliciousness as a New York bagel. Our all-time NYC favorites? Absolute Bagels, Murray's Bagels (remind us to tell you about the time we saw Tim Robbins there!), Pick-A-Bagel (only the one on 23rd and 3rd), and Bagelsmith in Brooklyn (Cakespy Note: Alas, in spite of every review, like, ever, we only like-don't-love H&H Bagels).

SPF 70 sunblock is opaque: With most sunblocks, you can apply them to your skin, and while white when applied, they will dry clear. Not so with SPF 70. This stuff is more like a shellac--albeit, an opaque white shellac, as our Head Spy Jessie found out the hard way, spending much of day one covered in the white, streaky stuff (apologies to anyone who was frightened off).

Don't Mess with Jeffrey's Brownie.Penny Licks, Brooklyn 
Change is a good thing: A new bakery opened on Bedford Avenue last year called Sweet Farm. The first time we went, it kind of sucked; the second time we went, they were much better; this time, it was gone entirely, but in its place was the even-better Penny Licks, which was nicely stocked with a variety of cakes and pastries, including a huge variety of delicious vegan options (doesn't Cake Gumshoe Jeffrey's expression say everything? He's not sharing, no way)--though it's worth noting that many of the vegan options apparently come by way of Vegan Treats, and that their hours are weird for a bakery (they open at 11am).

MetalsugarI love the Cupcake Girls
Cupcake (crafts) are taking over the world: At the craft fair, we were in good cupcake company, with talented vendors MetalSugar, who had very cool silver cupcake jewelry for sale, and The Cupcake Girls, who were vending a bevy of cool cupcake crafts, including bulletin boards, paperclips (they say they're mushrooms but they look like cupcakes to us!), and all sorts of other cuteness!

People are so talented: Even if they weren't selling baked good related products, we have a collective design crush on several of the other vendors, including Foxy & Winston, Sian Keegan, My Paper Crane, and so many more! 

Treats TruckCraft Fairs are delicious: This must have been the most delicious craft fair we've ever been to, what with "food court" surroundings provided by Treats Truck (think ice cream truck, but with baked goods!) and Mr. Softee

Dressler is delicious: One of the more delicious experiences while in the city was when Head Spy Jessie had dinner with the Redacted Recipes crew; we went to Dressler, a cool Williamsburg restaurant where everything, from the watermelon-ricotta salad to the showstopping Caramel Trio dessert (a trinity of awesome including salted caramel ice cream, caramel panna cotta and a buttery caramel nut tart), was absolutely wonderful. Highly recommended!

Hipster Cupcakes and Sweets waiting for the L Train

 

Friday
May302008

Cake Byte: Sweet News from Cakespy

That's a cool t-shirt!
As proven by the below news, June's gonna be, like, the sweetest month ever! Here's some of the hottest news in Cakespy land.

New tees! Our head spy Jessie just collaborated with very cool company, Mailbox Tees--it's a tee shirt subscription service, which we think is far cooler than say, a fruit basket of the month club-- to make a series of two tee shirts for them. One is pictured above! We also have a limited supply of our own which will be for sale soon on Etsy!

 

Thank you Bakerella xoxoFun stuff! Did you ever see the awesome video Bakerella made, featuring our own mascot L'il Cuppie? Just in case you didn't, here's a link--go watch it now, because it's the best thing ever. Well, we did a counter-attack of cuteness and made her this Barbarella-inspired piece of art. Thanks again Bakerella!

Cadbury Cream Dream: Our friends at Brambleberry were so moved by the recent Cadbury Creme Egg interview that they made us a very special gift: Cadbury Creme soap and lotion! It's a mix of products available on their website: Dark Rich Chocolate, Caramel Lip Butter Flavor and Vanilla Select (links included in case you want to make your own!). Check out their post on it here, it's pretty cool!

So Cool! When recently attending an event at cool Seattle store Velocity, our Head Spy Jessie was able to meet the wonderful Megan of Not Martha. If you haven't visited her site, you've been missing out--it's chock full of wonderful ideas that will make your life a whole lot cooler.

So awesomeYou know you've made it big when...people make stuff inspired by you! Carrie from Fields of Cake recently made these cuppie-inspired cupcakes which look super-delicious (yup--we'd eat them); also, a Cakespy reader made the ultimate leap and got a cuppie tattoo!

Seeking Cuteness in Seattle? If so, come on by this Sunday, June 1 to buy Cakespy art, buttons and cards at I Heart Rummage, an awesome urban craft fair at Chop Suey. in Capitol Hill. Entry is free, and it's on between 12 and 4 p.m. You'll find something cool, guaranteed!
But even if you can't make it on Sunday, don't despair--Cakespy art is also now available at the incredibly cool Bluebottle Art Gallery on Pine Street in Capitol Hill!

For those a little further south of Seattle, a new shipment of artwork just went out to Hello, Cupcake in Tacoma. So, not only can you enjoy extremely delicious cupcakes, but you can also choose from a great new assortment of artwork, including originals from the Cakespy fine art series and some mini originals!

Diorama with penny to show scale

Or perhaps you're in NYC? Well, lucky you! Head Spy Jessie will be heading over to NYC for the Renegade Craft Fair on June 14 and 15 in the über-hip McCarren Park Pool in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where she'll be selling Cakespy art, aforementioned tee shirts, and even a new series of dioramas (pictured left)! Find out more at renegadecraft.com.

 

Stay Sweet!

 

Friday
Apr252008

Cake Byte: The Results of our Faceoff Giveaway!

Cuppie gets a nice surprise!

At 12pm PST our Faceoff Cake Poll closed...so who wins the prize?

The big winner is Jeannine, an artist and cake enthusiast located in SE Virgina! Jeannine had some pretty strong feelings about our faceoff poll. Let's learn a bit more about her dessert preferences, shall we?
Pie V. Cupcakes

  • She prefers muffins to scones
  • Don't you dare put pineapple in her carrot cake! 
  • She would gladly swipe a spoon across all three flavors in the Neapolitan carton of ice cream
  • She prefers Gelato to Panna Cotta
  • Making cookies for her? Make 'em soft and gooey, please!
  • When dining in a fancy restaurant she gravitates toward the Crème brûlée
  • When choosing cupcakes, she'd choose vanilla over chocolate
  • Cheese on Pie? She's not scared! Bring it on!
  • On her shortcake, make it sponge cakey!
  • And in the war between pie and cake? She's on Team Pie! 
Thank you to all 215 (!) entrants in the poll. For those of you who didn't win this time, check back next month for another poll! 
In the meantime, should you decide you can't live without Cakespy art, feel free to shop at jessieoleson.etsy.com or to email jessieoleson@gmail.com for custom orders! 
Stay sweet!

 


 

Tuesday
Apr222008

Cake Byte: Sweet Thanks and a Cake Poll and Giveaway!

New Cake Poll!
First off and perhaps most importantly, a big, huge, with whipped cream and cherry on top thank you to all of our readers. Because of you, dear sweet freaks, the illustration and writing opportunities have made it possible for Head Spy Jessie to quit her day job (she was the product manager / art director of a refrigerator magnet company--no joke)! All we can say is brace yourselves--this means that the Cakespy enterprise is about to get even sweeter! Thank you all so much for your support. 

But of course, we know what speaks louder than any words: free stuff! So, without further ado, our second Cake Poll and Giveaway! This time, in keeping with the item being given away, the theme is Faceoffs!!

 

FaceoffHow can you put your name in the running? It's easy! All you need to do is this:



  • To satisfy our nosy tendencies (we are spies, after all), fill out the below Cake Poll! You can leave your responses in the comment section, or send your responses via email to jessieoleson@gmail.com.
  • At 12pm PST on Friday, April 25, the Cake Poll will be closed. The winner will be chosen at random, not based on their responses. The original will then be shipped to the lucky winner within 48 hours, via the most economical method.
  • As for our fine print: The results of this poll will be used for entertainment and Cake Gumshoeing purposes only; we may summarize the results of this poll in upcoming posts. Your private information will not be shared with any outside parties. Also, we've elected to leave the cake poll open to all US Territories, Canada and abroad--so even overseas cake enthusiasts can take part! *As for the prize itself, it is the miniature framed painting pictured at the top and to the left; no substitutions are allowed.

FACEOFFS! If the following pairings were put in a boxing match or found themselves in a dark alley vying for your sweet love, which would win? Which do you prefer? Feel free to expound on your reasoning if you'd like!

 

In the Morning: Scones or muffins?
Carrot Cake: With or without pineapple?
Neapolitan Roulette: Strawberry, chocolate or vanilla?
Mambo Italiano: Gelato or Panna Cotta?
Cookies: Soft and gooey or crisp and crunchy?
Fancy Restaurant Desserts: Tiramisu or Crème brûlée?
Cupcakes: Vanilla or Chocolate?
Apple Pie with Cheese: Delicious or disgusting?

Strawberry Shortcake: Biscuit-style or Sponge Cake Style?
Ultimate Faceoff: Pie or cake?
But wait, there's more! There's another giveaway going on over at Cupcakes Take the Cake--enter before April 30 to win CBGB notecards

 

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