Tag Archives: cupcakes

Cupcakes and Dodgeball

In honour of a championship dodgeball game The Cupcake Stand made cupcakes to celebrate a year of Balls are flying….IN YO FACE! Yes that is the name of the team.

These cupcakes put me in mind of Mr. Bill, of course the crew that played (with the exception of one) didn’t know who Mr. Bill was. Shame.

Raspberry Cupcakery

It was always a dream of mine to open a cupcake shop. I envy all of the women locally who have done it, because they have all done a marvelous job.

I serve cupcakes to celebrate really special occasions in our house. Recently I made them for my daughter Cait and her sister Chantal and although they are all grown-up, I felt the occasion deserved something pink and luscious, just like they would have liked as little girls.

I decided to make a raspberry buttercream this time. The raspberries were frozen but still did the trick. My usual super-sweet icing was mellowed by the tart raspberries. It truly was perfection if I do say so myself. Recipe below.

 Raspberry Buttercream

  • 1/2  cup  butter, softened
  • 1/2  cup  fresh raspberries (frozen is okay, really just let them thaw!)
  • 1  teaspoon  vanilla extra
  • 3-4 cups icing sugar

Mix the first three ingredients, then add icing sugar to desired consistency.

Yep, it was a “sweet” celebration!

Little Cakes

I went to the ever popular Little Cakes monthly cupcake sampling night in Kanata Tuesday night. I went for a few reasons, first without explanation, hello….cupcakes, and second because Shakira and Colleen the two women who own Little Cakes really came through for a local organization recently and I wanted to learn more about them.

I took along 2 ready testers and we had a blast, in fact it was heavenly.

These two women have got it right and what I mean by that is both icing and cake is perfection. The cakes are moist, melt in your mouth, tender treats and the icing is divine, delicious buttercreams (and cream cheese) flavoured to suit the particular cupcake. I compare them to the Magnolia cupcake, but not as sweet, which is right on.

The cupcakes were minis just the perfect size for sampling. There were quite a few people there including brides, people planning parties, and women on a ladies night out.

Little Cakes come in: Simply Vanilla, Chocolate Lovers, Cherry Cherry, Luscious Lemon, Cranberry Lemon, Mom’s Carrot, Red Velvet, Banana Rama, Brownie, Orange Delight, Peanut Butter, Strawberry Bliss, Chocolate Chip and other seasonal delights. My favourite, Cherry Cherry hands down!

I thought about how great the mini cupcakes would be for a wedding, just the right size for dessert after a big meal. Speaking with one of the owners, Shakira she did confirm that this is a popular option with brides.

What a great night out! The samplings start up again in September, so keep an eye on the Little Cakes web site for info.

Little Cakes Cupcakes is open 6 days a week and closed Mondays. They offer delivery by courier Tuesday through Saturday. Orders placed for Sunday can be picked up before 1pm. They operate from two homes in the Kanata/Stittsville area, so if you’d prefer to pick up your order, please call or email them to make arrangements. (613) 286-3535 or info@littlecakes.ca


The Awesome Magnolia

I have been meaning to post the Magnolia blog, I really do like to post on all things Ottawa, but sometimes I just need to share a great experience.

You know how it is when you have known about something for so long, or wanted something forever and when you finally get to it, it is kind of surreal? Really as I stood in line, I kept wanting to call Cait Carrie……..

Oh the decision making when waiting is really serious too, because you can see what your getting right through those lovely big windows….

Once allowed inside it was right to the cupcakes, pick what you want and stand in line to purchase. The staff who work there are no nonsense, they get the job done and just try butting in line…

Cups of love they are. We took them across the street (like everyone else) to the park and ate them there. The cake is lighter than I had imagined (I can’t follow the cake recipe for some reason it never turns out for me), the buttercream is rich, buttery and oh so sweet. Thing is they were so sweet we couldn’t finish them. Aren’t they the loveliest things you’ve ever seen?

We bought more at the Grand Central location on our last day and shared with hotel staff.

On the way home Mr. Big tells me my buttercream is still better.

One Sweet Kitchen

I had been planning for awhile to meet with Amanda Lunan of Auntie Loo’s Treats a fabulous vegan bakery in Ottawa, I had read plenty about her already. So I finally managed to find my way to her 507 Bronson kitchen and as I expected, it was a sweet, delightful excursion.

Writing about someone can be such a personal thing depending on your experience with that person. I can say without a doubt that this wonderful baker applies much love, and passion to her craft, and you can taste it. Dairy-free products (and some gluten-free), good wholesome ingredients (largely organic) allow for something for everyone. This is like walking into an old school bakery, with a twist. Can you imagine the feeling of a child who is unable to have a treat like a pink frosted cupcake because of food allergies walking into this bakery knowing that she can pick what she wants?

During our meeting I enjoyed a lovely piece of her banana- butterscotch cake a dense, delicious banana cake with a sweet thick butterscotch icing reminiscent of something from your grandma’s kitchen. On grandmother’s, Amanda’s inspiration comes from her own grandmother’s kitchen and everything magic that happened there. She adapts a lot of old recipes to suit her cooking style and she is gifted at it.

Auntie Loo’s also specializes in wedding cakes (yes, an amazing cake decorator named Kate) and specialty cakes. Treats from the bakery can also be found at Herb and Spice (both Bank and Wellington locations), Market Organics, Rainbow Natural Foods and several other locations. I would suggest getting down there to pick up cinnamon buns or warm scones Saturday morning, which we did this past Saturday.

Auntie Loo’s is open Tuesday to Friday 3pm-6:30pm and Saturdays from 8am -2pm. When you have time check out Amanda’s blog.

Favourite #3 Isobel’s Coconut Marshmallows

For months now I have been meaning to visit Isobel’s Cupcakes and Cookies at 117 Beechwood Ave. The pink and white awning has intrigued me for awhile and I have received many emails about trying Isobel’s cupcakes.

So Friday after work I finally went in, with every intention of buying a few cupcakes to try and then write about. Much to my dismay they were sold out, sold out at 4ish on a Friday afternoon! My disappointment lasted about 2 minutes as I realized there were so many other things there and owner Heather Holbrook assured me I could come back for more.

Heather formerly of “The French Baker” has hit a home run with her cupcake and cookie business. She was pleasant and accommodating (great patience with me in my hurry). I got a chance to speak with her about buttercream and she was gracious enough to let me try a few of her flavours (vanilla. lemon and orange) which were light, lovely and a refreshing change from the heavy buttercream that comes from my kitchen. It was a pleasure speaking with her.

A glass container full of coconut marshmallows caught my eye (among all the cookies), I had read about them on her website so I purchased one, a generous portion for 75 cents (and as you know, I always have to share with you know who).

Soft, luscious, melt-in-your-mouth piece of heaven, as a kid this is what I dreamed that clouds tasted like not the marshmallows you get in the plastic bags to take camping, in fact I won’t ever be doing that again. The toasted coconut added both nice flavour and interesting texture, I can’t even begin to imagine what this would taste like on hot chocolate.

I bought other things, but I’m going back to take cupcakes as a gift to someone this weekend (I will be sure to phone ahead!). I will probably take every visitor and friend I have there (New Edinburgh is really a must visit when one is in Ottawa)!

Check out the website http://www.isobelandco.com there is a link to the store there as well, and lots of info on ordering etc.

Isobel’s Cupcakes and Cookies, 117 Beechwood Ave., 613-742-0777

Its All About The Beer-Guinness Cupcakes

I have heard about Guinness Cupcakes-but never tried until just recently. They were fabulous and did not last long! The Guinness just adds to the depth of the chocolate. Remember to use good cocoa (I recommend Cocoa Camino). I slather on my buttercream icing to make it look like a frothy draft…..

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, plus more for dusting finished cupcakes
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch fine salt
  • 1 bottle stout beer (recommended: Guinness)
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • Mix all the dry then all the wet, add dry gradually to the wet ingredients and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Makes 2 dozen.

    Find the buttercream recipe here in the archives (dust a bit of cocoa on top). Enjoy!