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Entries in seattle (182)

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
Aug132010

Everyone's Irish, Even in August: Whisky Maple Cupcakes Recipe

Thing I'm saddest about at this minute: I do not have a Whisky Maple cupcake from Cupcake Royale in my mouth. This is a fact that became all the more evident when I read the Seattle Weekly writeup on the delicious seasonal morsel, which is sadly available only during March. 

Happily, I uncovered the recipe in an issue of Edible Seattle, and you know what that means: you can be Irish any time you want now. And oh, how sweet to be Irish with a rich sour cream vanilla cupcakes with whisky maple buttercream. They're just as good made at home (although your frosting swirls might not be as perfect as the one shown above, which was made by Cupcake Royale!).

Here's the recipe.

Sour Cream Vanilla Cupcakes with Whisky Maple Buttercream

Adapted from Cupcake Royale

Cupcake ingredients 

  • 3/4 cup whole milk (I used half and half! heavy, but tasty)
  • 1/2 cup full fat sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature 

Frosting ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup whisky (CCR uses Jameson, I used some cheap brand, I'll be honest about it)
  • 5 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Line a standard muffin tin with cupcake liners (this recipe yields 18-24 cupcakes, depending on size). 
  3. In a small mixing bowl, mix together the milk, sour cream, and vanilla. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. 
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Beat together on medium spead until the mixture is light and fluffy, about one minute. Add the eggs one at a time, beating at medium speed for a full 30 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add half the dry mixture, and beat until incorporated. Repeat the process again, mixing until the liquid and dry ingredients are combined, the batter thick and smooth.
  5. For traditional cupcakes, fill each lined cup 2/3 of the way full with batter. For fat crowns on your cakes, fill each cupcake liner close to the top (this will make fewer cupcakes, but bigger and awesomer ones).
  6. Bake for 22-27 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  7. Make the frosting. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, whiskey, syrup, salt, and one cup of the confectioners' sugar together until smooth. Add the rest of the sugar bit by bit until it has reached your desired consistency (you might not use all of it). Spread generously on cooled cupcakes.

 

Tuesday
Aug102010

Sweet Love: A Bakery Crush on A La Mode Pies, Seattle

The time is Pie--er, high--to discover some delicious new pies in Seattle. 

I'm happy to share my newest discovery: A La Mode Pies, a new company which is currently running a fairly small operation, working on a custom order and wholesale basis in Seattle (as I learned from owner and "Pie Guy" Chris Porter, a retail location is the ultimate goal; for the moment, though, if you want to try it by the slice, the pies can be found most reliably at Knee High Stocking Co.)

Why are they worth seeking out? Well, for me, it comes down to one beautiful, beautiful phrase: "Chocolate-Caramel Pecan Tart". This beauty is described as a "gift to your sweet tooth"--comprised of bittersweet chocolate ganache lining an all-butter crust, which is then filled in with toasted pecans and a perfectly balanced, rich homemade caramel. 

Another lovely which has captured my attentions is the fetching "Chocolate Cream With Pretzel Crust", which sounds like the perfect unity of sweet and salty (and we all know how delicious chocolate and pretzel are together!).

And--OMG, cute!--they have LolliPies!

And of course, if you like, you know, health food, they also have fruit pies, including the signature "Blue Hawaiian" (blueberry, pineapple, and coconut) and seasonal variations such as Sour Cherry.

You can hit them up online to order entire pies, or you can visit Seattle's Knee High Stocking Co. to grab a slice today.

Sunday
Aug082010

Gentlemen Prefer Blondies: Delicious Blondies from Oddfellows Cafe, Seattle

In Seattle, there is a place called Oddfellows, and it is classified as both a cafe and bar. What does that mean, exactly?

Well, basically it means that you can belly up to the bar and get a delicious bar cookie to go along with your beverage. And my newest obsession? The Oddfellows Blondie.

This butterscotch-chip and nut-studded bar cookie is a bit of brown sugary, buttery bliss--pleasingly dense without being leaden, assertively but not aggressively sweet, soft and chewy, but firm enough that it doesn't crumble. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that if there was a blondie to make brownie devotees question their allegiance, this might be it.

Oddfellows has a rotating selection in their bakery case; call first to ensure availability. But even if they don't have these, they're bound to have something good. You can find them at 1525 10th Avenue (b/t Pike and Pine), Seattle; online here.

Wednesday
Jul282010

Getting Down to Biscuit: Vegan Jam Biscuits at Watertown Coffee, Seattle

There's nothing like a good biscuit, especially when it's tender, flaky, and extremely buttery.

But wait, what's this? At Watertown Coffee, their biscuits pack a delicious punch, and have the ability to challenge my buttery-biscuit desires, because you see, they're vegan.

On a recent visit the baker mentioned that her biscuits had received high praise--"better than Macrina's" was, I believe, the phrase tossed around--and after that, well, we had to try them.

But as for the superior biscuit, I really can't go down that road, because these are simply two different specimens of biscuit--and both delicious. Where the Macrina jam-filled biscuit is buttery and lightly crumbly, the Watertown biscuit is a little more...almost cookielike, or shortcake-y, and a little less crumbly. It is perfectly paired with a generous dollop of jam, and makes for an exceedingly sweet little morning treat (sizewise, they qualify more as breakfast accompaniment than main dish).

Biscuits from Watertown Coffee, 550 12th Ave., Seattle; online here.

Watertown Coffee on Urbanspoon

Wednesday
Jul282010

Orange You Glad? The Orange Glazed Cake Donut from Family Donut, Seattle

I like fruit, really I do.

Just not in dessert, where my philosophy is "if you're gonna do it, do it". I don't like the creeping suspicion that my sweet treat might be a little healthy. 

However, when it's in glaze form on a cake donut, as in the case of the Orange Donut at Family Donuts, a greasy spoon of a donut shop if there ever was one, I find it acceptable.

First off, it's a cake donut, which means that it's delightfully oily and decidedly not low-fat. Believe it or not, the citrus flavor permeating the fried dough is actually kind of nice--it cuts through the flavor of "fry" which can sometimes be lacking in dimension. The orange flavor is in the cake donut but also the glaze, which is applied liberally.

To put it mathematically? Crisp citrus orange flavor + hefty round of fried dough = TOTAL YUM.

Family Donut Shop, 2100 N. Northgate Way, Seattle.

Family Donut Shop on Urbanspoon

Tuesday
Jul202010

Summer Sweetness: Summer Flavors at Trophy Cupcakes 

What's sweet this season at Trophy Cupcakes? So, so much. Here's what's on the roster for the hot (yeah right!) Seattle summer:

Pina Colada Cupcakes: Try a refreshing Piña Colada Cupcake! A rich coconut pineapple cupcake with Sailor Jerry's spiced rum buttercream topped with a Maraschino cherry! Available Tuesdays and Fridays.

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes In honor of Kelley Moore's new show, So Much Moore, Jennifer created a signature cupcake. The So Much Moore is a fresh lemon cupcake filled with tangy house-made lemon curd and topped with toasted marshmallow meringue. Jennifer shared details of how it's made on a recent show... Check it out hereAvailable every Friday. 

The Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes: Starting with strawberries from Hayton Farms this is a Strawberry Cake with a Graham Cracker Crust, topped with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting and a fresh Berry on top. Delicious, yes. Decadent, yes. Fresh, you betcha! Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes are available every day of the week (pending strawberry availability) throughout the month of July.

For more information and locations, visit trophycupcakes.com; for up-to-the-moment updates, follow them on Twitter!

Sunday
Jul182010

Sugar and Spice: Almond Cardamom Cookies from Traveler's, Seattle

Down the street from CakeSpy Shop in Seattle's Capitol Hill, there is a sort of hippie food, tea, supplement and gift shop called Travelers. They have a sort of cult following for their chai tea (not to be confused with tai chi, although many of their patrons do that, too).

Now, there's nothing wrong with their chai--nothing at all. But the reason I go there is for the cookies. In particular, the almond cardamom variety.

Chewy, rich, spicy, and lightly sweet, this is kind of like oatmeal cookie meets spice cookie, and both sides become more delicious as a result of their union.

It's the type of cookie that you could probably psych yourself into believing it's healthy, but really, it's not.

It's a simple cookie, but a very good one: and when paired with a spicy chai, it might just whisk you away to a faraway place, if just for a few moments.

Travelers, 501 E Pine Street, Seattle; online here.

Travelers on Urbanspoon

Tuesday
Jul132010

Battle in Seattle: A Whoopie Pie Bake-Off at Oddfellows Cafe

The first thing that you'll notice about the Whoopie Pie scene in Seattle? There is none. Aside from the occasional sighting at Oddfellows Cafe or at a handful of other spots around town, they're relatively unknown in the Emerald City.

Until now, that is. Whoopie Pies are making their debut as a weighty contender in the Seattle baked goods scene at 11 a.m. on July 21, 2010, when Oddfellows Cafe hosts the great Whoopie Pie Bake-Off!

Interested in entering your prized pies? Here are the instructions:

Instructions for Whoopie Pie Bake Off

 

  • Bakers may have two whoopie pie submissions, a classic whoopie pie and/or a variation on a classic whoopie pie, which must still be identifiable as such. Both pies will be entered for the grand prize, Whoopie Pie Champion!
  • Each baker must submit by July 18th in email (to tallulah@lindashq.com) the following:
1) Your name as you would like to see it on the ballot for the judges (this may be your real name or another name such as a nickname or the bakery you represent)
2)A few details about your whoopie pie: what kind it is (red velvet, rainbow, etc.), if you have a special name for it (Marta’s Magical Pie, etc), anything else you want us to know or include about your pie. We will use this information for a write up to be given to the judges in addition to other TBA purposes.

Submission of Whoopie Pies on day of event.
  • Whoopie pies are to be baked at home and brought to Oddfellows at 10:30AM; that’s 30 minutes before the event is scheduled to start.
  • We request that you bake at least 7 whoopie pies (6 for eating, 1 for display), however you may bake more than 7 (especially if your pies are on the smaller side!)
Judging
  • There will be 5 official judges as well as an open vote among customers for crowd favorite. 
  • The official judges will pick one whoopie pie for each category. The categories being:
1) Best Classic Whoopie Pie
2) Most Interesting Take on a Whoopie Pie
3) Whoopie Pie Champion
  • Whoopie Pie Champion is the grand prize but there will also be prizes (umm, CakeSpy art included!) for winners in the sub-categories of best classic and most interesting.

This awesome event will be open to the public on July 21 at 11 a.m. at Oddfellows Cafe + Bar, 1525 10th Ave., Seattle.

Thursday
Jul012010

Sweet Summer: The Strawberry 66 is Back at Cupcake Royale for July!

Strawberry 66 from Cupcake Royale, photo c/o Cupcake Royale

Let's get excited about Cupcake Royale. Why? It's that wonderful moment in time (the month of July) when they sell their made-locally, loved-globally treat, the Strawberry 66 Cupcake, made with "Sweet, ripe, super fresh strawberries from Skagit Sun Farms in an oh-so-summery buttercream atop a moist vanilla buttercake. Reminiscent of strawberry shortcake".

Why 66? Well, it's made with 66% local ingredients. That is no small feat! So not only is it sweet, it's a great way to support local farmers and vendors. Why does this matter? Well, according to owner Jody Hall,

I really believe in a sustainable business model - and local is one aspect of this ideal.  The 3 components of sustainability are environmental impact, economic viability, and impact on people.  With our effort to support local, independent businesses, we're hitting all three.  Because we're buying local products, we have a lighter environmental impact.  Impact is even lighter when we support the sustainable efforts of others as well. For example, our flour is sustainably grown with "no-till" farming methods that preserve topsoil, and our sugar is organic evaporated cane juice and has a much lighter impact in its processing.  

Looks like this summer is going to be totally sweet!

To obtain one of those delicious Strawberry 66 cupcakes, you can visit any of the four Cupcake Royale locations all July long; for more information, visit cupcakeroyale.com; for instant updates, follow them on Twitter!

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