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Entries in seattle (182)

Thursday
Jun172010

Cake Byte: Delicious Pina Colada Cupcakes from Trophy Cupcakes

Pictured in front of Nihontown by Ken TayaPina Coladas? So passe. It's all about the Pina Colada cupcake these days, and if you're feeling the need, Seattle's Trophy Cupcakes has you covered.

What makes up a Pina Colada cupcake? Inspired by the classic cocktail's flavors, this sweet treat is comprised of a pineapple coconut cupcake topped in coconut rum buttercream--all prettily topped with a maraschino cherry. 

But really, telling you the facts about the flavor do little to convey the extremely enjoyable experiene of eating it: this cupcake is super sweet, and perfectly complemented by a boozy (watch out!) frosting, which is definitely not for kids but oh so enjoyable for adults. 

I'd go so far as to say that any hour this cupcake is consumed is an extremely Happy Hour. But watch out--other flavors might get jealous!

Pina Colada Cupcakes, available every Tuesday and Friday through June at all Trophy Cupcakes locations. For up-to-the-minute updates, follow them on Twitter and on Facebook!

Monday
Jun142010

Whiskey Me Away: Chocolate Whiskey Cake from Columbia City Bakery

It's always five o'clock somewhere, but really, any hour that you devour the chocolate whiskey cake from Columbia City Bakery is a happy hour indeed.

This loaf cake is actually pretty simple: it starts with a dark as night, exceedingly dense and rich chocolate cake, which is then topped with a crowning glory of sweet-but-with-a-bite whiskey-espresso icing glaze.

Something happens when these flavors come together: the chocolate, the whiskey, the sugary glaze with a buzz of espresso: it might just make you tipsy with pleasure overload.

Oh, is this ever a happy cake.

Chocolate Whiskey cake from Columbia City Bakery, 4865 Rainier Ave. South, Seattle; also frequently available at the Broadway Farmer's Market; find out more online at columbiacitybakery.com.

Wednesday
Jun022010

Put the Lime in the Coconut: Cupcake Royale Debuts Toasted Coconut Lime Cupcakes for June!

Goodbye forever, May 2010! Hello June, and hello to Cupcake Royale's new flavor of the month: Toasted Coconut Lime. As they put it:

Yeah, we did it. We put the lime in the coconut and baked it all up. Moist coconut cake gets a tart and tangy swirl of real lime buttercream. We finish it off with toasted coconut for a truly tasty tropical treat!

And knowing that June is a big month for dads and grads, they kindly offer some life-lesson cupcake tips for grads:

 

1.  If you are giving a speech at your graduation, hide a cupcake under someone's chair. At some point, that person will find the cupcake and begin cheering wildly. Hopefully this happens either during or immediately after your speech.

2. If you are still a little miffed about a certain bad grade, give that instructor a cupcake...better yet, a 2-pack! They won't change your grade, but at least they'll know that deep down, you're really a swell kid after all.

3. If your parents are still speaking to you after all the senseless things you've done and all their money you've spent over the past four years, give them cupcakes. This one really goes without saying, whether you are graduating from college or kindergarten.

4. If you are throwing a graduation party, going to a graduation party, or just like graduation parties, order tons of cupcakes from Cupcake Royale. Literally, TONS.

5. Finally, you're graduating! Give yourself a cupcake already, and congratulations from Cupcake Royale! We believe the children are our future, and we believe those children should eat cupcakes.

The Toasted Coconut Lime cupcake will be available for the entire month of June at all four locations; for more information, visit cupcakeroyale.com.

 

Monday
May312010

Hip to Be Square: Square Cupcakes at Columbia City Bakery, Seattle

Like, OMG! A square cupcake!

Wait, wait. Before you accuse me of being too easily impressed, allow me to assure you that this cake, from Seattle's famous Columbia City Bakery, has more going for it than just an unexpected shape: it's also a deliciously decadent and dense carrot cake. Proving that sometimes subtle sweetness is all you need, this cake derives much of its flavor and sweetness from the natural flavor of the carrots, which are then made even better when paired with a rich, buttery, cream cheesy frosting piped into a cute nubbly texture. Add a few nuts on top for crunch, and you've got yourself a winner.

It's so hip to be square, when you're a cupcake.

Square cupcakes (!), available at Columbia City Bakery, 4865 Rainier Ave S., Seattle; online here.

Saturday
May292010

Word on the Sweet: Street Treats, a new Mobile Bakery in Seattle

So. I've never jumped into a cab and said "follow that vehicle!".

But the moment may be coming, now that Street Treats, the newest addition to Seattle's mobile food cart network, is just about to launch (as soon as next week, pending inspections!). Because wherever they are, I want to be. (OK, maybe it won't be necessary: they'll have a set schedule, so stalking them will be far easier, if less dramatic).

You see, Diane, the self-taught baker behind the sweets--er, scenes--happened to drop by my store the other day with a platter full of awesome.

And after enlisting some brave friends--including a cast of writers and foodies including writers from Mango Power Girl, Absinthe & Oranges, and the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog to aid in the sampling of said treats, I can say with certainty that the reactions are just as sweet as the treats.

Two of the unanimous favorites featured lime:

The bar cookies with a brown sugary crust, a healthy dollop of lime curd, and a fat topping of coconut and crumb;

and the lime-poppyseed cookies, which were bright and dazzlingly buttery, and a welcome respite from the more expected lemon-poppyseed combo;

and not far behind was this weighty, oh-please-don't-let-it-end cookie, which featured white chocolate chunks and a white chocolate-orange infused filling;

and this carmelita, which satisfies sweet, salty, chocolatey, and buttery cravings...all at once. (pictured top)

The standouts were ably backed by an assortment of the usual suspects, including blondies, chocolate chip, oatmeal, peanut butter, and molasses cookies, as well as a moist, dense carrot cake cookie sandwich with a sweet, equally dense cream cheese filling.

Oh, and they'll also be featuring treats made by other local heroes like High 5 Pie and Half Pint Ice Cream!

Find out more at streettreatswa.com; keep updated on the daily goings-on by following them on Twitter!

Wednesday
May262010

Get Sconed: A Delightfully Carbohydratey Treat from Heavenly Pastry and Cake, Seattle

Scones are, in general, not to be trusted.

Oh, they look great in the bakery case, in all of their buttery, carbohydratey glory, often prettily glistening with various glazes or topped with fat granules of sugar.

But in general I tend to agree with America's Test Kitchen when it comes to the flavor reality: as they put it, "scones served in a typical coffeehouse are so dry and leaden that they seem like a ploy to get people to buy more coffee to wash them down."

But when I recently encountered the jam-filled variety at the Heavenly Pastry & Cake booth at the Capitol Hill Farmer's Market, I had a glimmer of hope. For one thing, it looked more biscuit-y than many American bakery varieties--it seemed more like a British scone (or at least a cousin to my favorite Grand Central Baking treat, the Jammer).

Happily, these scones tasted just as good as they looked: the texture was somewhere between cakey and biscuity, yielding but not  falling into the crumbly or spongy pitfalls that often plague lesser scones. The raspberry filling offered a nice texture and taste contrast to the butteriness of the main event, and almost (but not quite) made them taste healthy. 

Heavenly Pastry & Cake says on their menu of their scones that "we give these humble pastries the respect, and flavor, you deserve"--and after having tasted, I tend to agree.

P.S. Though they're not sweet, the pretzels ought not be missed, either.

Heavenly Pastry & Cake, retail storefront coming soon in West Seattle; they can also be found at several area Farmer's Markets. For more information, visit heavenlypastry.com.

Monday
May172010

Cake Byte: Discover Baked in Seattle

What does a professional cake gumshoe love more than anything? Discovering a new baking business. So when I came across a line of sweets called Baked In Seattle in Ralph's Grocery, I had to learn more.

Turns out, this local wholesale and custom-order bakery offers a vast array of baby cheesecakes and crumbles with flavors and names inspired by the northwest, and while the baked goods can most readily be found at Blue Willow Catering & Luncheonette in West Seattle, they are also available at a handful of other retail shops.

But most interesting of all? Their menu. Eat--er, read all about it:

5" Mini Cheesecakes @ $3.95 each:

Capitol Hill Classic Cheesecake---Anything but plain, this classic two-layer cheesecake sets the gold standard.

Seneca Strawberry Cheesecake---Creamy Northwest strawberry perfection swirls this taste of paradise.

Belltown Blueberry Cheesecake---Wonderfully dark bursts of whole blueberries popping throughout.

Madison Mocha Cheesecake---Creamy coffee and chocolate balance in a chocolate cookie crust.

Cascade Chocolate Chip Cheesecake---Semi-sweet bits of ecstasy in a sweet chocolate cookie crust.

Queen Anne Chocolate Cheesecake---Four layers of chocolate richness for premier indulgence.

Black &Tan Peanut Butter-Chocolate Cheesecake---Perfect combination of peanuts and chocolate sweetness.

Spanish Castle Orange-Spice Cheesecake---Delicate hints of orange balance cinnamon spice.

Pioneer Square Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake---Our seasonal delight swirled with sweet pumpkin.


5" Mini Crumblepies @ $3.95 each:

Empire Way Apple Crumblepie---Granny Smith apples kissed by brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon with a crunchy, crumbly sweet top.

Bainbridge Blueberry Crumblepie---Blueberry brown sugar heaven covered with a crunchy, crumbly sweet top.

Pike Street Peach Crumblepie---Freestone peaches melt into brown sugar bliss with a crunchy, crumbly sweet top.

Northwest Mixed Berry Crumblepie---Marionberries, blueberries, strawberries, and red raspberries in blended perfection with a crunchy, crumbly sweet top.

Georgetown Strawberry Rhubarb Crumblepie---Seasonal strawberry rhubarb country-sweet classic with a crunchy crumbly sweet top.

Rainier Roasted Sweet Potato Pie---Seasonal down-home buttery goodness and a hint of nutmeg.

Cheesecakes and Crumblepies also available in full 8" size for $13.95 by special order (after July 1st, 2010)

For more information, visit the Baked In Seattle website.

Saturday
May152010

Stalking Sweetness: Secret Cupcakes by Joe Randazzo in Seattle

CakeSpy's newest Seattle cupcake crush? Joe Randazzo. This adorable baker-student-caterer-overall renaissance guy doesn't have a storefront, but his cupcake presence is definitely growing in the Emerald City, what with his cupcakes soon to be available at PoDog (for what PoDog would undoubtedly refer to as a "post-wiener sweetie") and undoubtedly more accounts to follow.

And happily, he was kind enough to drop by the CakeSpy Shop with a surprise delivery of two of his cupcakes recently; having tasted them, I can attest to their magic and fully endorse his entry on to the Seattle cupcake scene.

So what makes his cupcakes so special?

First off, the cake itself. Chocolate cake can be a strange beast, having a tendency to err toward extremes--either too dry or too moist (moist being good, damp being bad). This cake somehow managed to be moist and buttery without coming off as excessively heavy--this cake is no mere frosting vehicle, it has merits on its own.

And then the frosting. 

As you can see, it has magical, cartoon bubble-heart creating powers.

Joe Randazzo's cupcake frosting is a sophisticated sort, more buttery and less crunchy than a typical American buttercream, but silky and luxuriant and utterly mouth-filling with its rich flavor. It's a subtle sweetness, so I might say that these are more suited for adult palates than say, for a children's birthday party, but that's just fine, because I don't like to share with children, anyway.

Cupcakes by Joe Randazzo, coming soon to Capitol Hill; in the meantime, stay updated with his sweet goings-on via Twitter.

Wednesday
May122010

Cake Byte: Seriously Sweet Trophy Cupcakes at the CakeSpy Shop Grand Opening!

Well friends, as many of you know, CakeSpy Shop had its grand opening this past Saturday. Hooray!

And one of the sweetest (literally!) parts of the opening was the gorgeous cupcakes donated by Seattle's famous cupcake shop Trophy Cupcakes.

People. They had my artwork printed on them!

Now, I used to think that having my artwork printed on cupcakes was the "I've made it moment" as a cupcake artist.

However, now I see that is false--the real peak of cupcake artist achievement is having artwork of yourself and your husband, as cupcakes, printed on a cupcake. Surrounded by pugs.

And as if all this weren't enough awesome...they tasted just as good as they looked.

P.S. In case you were wondering--yes, there was a moment of wondering "Can I eat this? Can I possibly?". Rest assured that it subsided quickly, and I can attest that in Trophy Cupcake form, my cupcake-self is delicious.

Trophy Cupcakes does custom photo or image cupcakes by request; to find out more, visit trophycupcakes.com.

Tuesday
May112010

Apple of My Pie: A Heavenly Apple Pie by High 5 Pie

I can happily co-exist with people who prefer a double crust on their apple pie.

But that doesn't mean I understand them.

For me, it's all about the crumb topping, and I've found what might be the perfect specimen: the apple pie by High 5 Pie. Proprietress and Pie Lady extraordinaire Dani Cone (also owner of Fuel Coffee...how cool can one person be?) brought me this baby as a sweet treat in honor of my gallery's grand opening the other day, and all I can say is that this is the sort of apple pie that will convert non-believers.

Let's start from the bottom up.

It all starts with a buttery crust which somehow manages to be buttery but not too flaky, sturdy but not too tough.

Moving up, it has a thick layer of apple chunks which would make Cook's Illustrated proud, because there is no shrinkage, and the apples retain a nice crispness around the edges, so that you can actually tell they are apples and not just apple mush.

And finally--the best part for this crumb devotee--is the topping. A generous smattering of fat, crunchy, brown sugary crumbs that might make you want to die with pleasure.

But as if all this wasn't enough, I also received all these samples of Sassy Sauces this week, and so decided to see how the pie might taste when topped with a drizzle of their rum caramel sauce--and I have to say, if this wasn't heaven, then it was definitely a suitable substitute.

What does all of this awesome add up to? My new favorite combination, that's what.

High 5 Pie can be found at Fuel Coffee locations and various other cafes and coffee shops in Seattle, and by special order; for those in other areas of the nation, I officially offer a vaguely sarcastic "sorry" and a suggestion that you book a ticket to Sea-town directly.

Sassy Sauces are readily available for shipment; visit sassysauces.us.

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