So much fun...so many desserts and CupcakesEverywhere.com got to be in on the action! I was a part of an awesome judging team, was treated to the VIP Room and tasted some of the best treats in the Valley and Ventura! Full post and pics coming soon...but for now, check out the judging table. Whoa!
It was a random day and I was in a random neighborhood with my wife running an errand, I did not expect to ever take on a Cupcake Crawl, but my partner-in-crime said the magic words, "I just saw a cupcake shop". Well, that is were the story got super sweet and really awesome. I pulled out my iPhone, got directions and since I was already in the mood, I researched several other shops and began my impromptu Cupcake Crawl through Thousand Oaks, CA! Unfortunately there were only 3 shops and one of those shops were closed, but I enjoyed myself anyway...it's cupcakes, I could I not.
First up was For Heaven's Cakes and they boasted the 99 cents cupcakes AND had the most adorable cupcake van ever! There van is used for deliveries which includes birthday parties, deliveries and special events such as weddings. How awesome would it be to have this delightful van to pull up at your location!
I had to purchase several since some were only 99 cents including the cinnamon roll cupcake, pumpkin cupcake and black and white cupcake. I loved the pumpkin cupcake, most and rich and filled with deliciousness!
I then ventured 2 miles over to Frost It Cupcakery and since frosting is my favorite part of the cake, this place was amazing!!!! Even the parking sign made me very happy! Check it out!
The shop itself is also super sweet and full of cupcake quotes and cake trays filled with different treats. I was visiting during the Holiday season so most of their selection was themed after the season. I enjoyed the Gingerbread Cupcake and treated my wife to a Peppermint Cupcake. However, my favorite cupcake is always Vanilla and lucky me, this staple is always on the menu, so I had one and of course it had Holiday sprinkles!
Here is the van. Awesome, right!?!?!
It's pink and looks really sweet....it reminds me of an ice cream truck, I wonder if they have that ice cream truck music and a bell? Now I'm dreaming of cupcake trucks that cruise through the neighborhood delivering cupcakes to all the kids! New business!
Vanilla Bean Frosting and moist, sweet vanilla cake and the ratio of frosting to cake was perfect! If you are going to call yourself Frost It Cupcakery, guess you have to have the frosting pretty plentiful! Lucky Me!
It's that time of year! Crowded shopping malls, horrible parking lots, horrendous lines at the checkout and unwanted gifts. I know this is not the reason for the season, but sometimes it feels like everyone has forgotten and instead is focused on the materialistic, commercialization of the Holidays. I would prefer that everything about this season be a little easier, a lot more fun and in the end everyone comes out happy! That's why I had to talk about my new favorite thing - Cupcake gift cards!
I received a gift card for Crumbs Bake Shop and I swear it blew my mind! You're telling me I can go get cupcakes whenever I want, try new flavors and never have to depend on my own funds! Plus, Crumbs is one of my favorite stores, so this is even a bigger mind altering explosion! I've done the cupcakes Groupons/Living Social/DealSavers before and they are great, but it's a one time thing. With my gift card I can go in buy a cupcake one day, the next day - treat a friend, on the weekend grab one while I'm running errands and a month later when I've forgotten about my little plastic piece of happiness and I find it in a coat or pair of jeans, run back out and get another cupcake! All for free! THIS. IS. AMAZING!
Well, after my mind refocused and I could contain my excitement I finally went to Crumbs and starting using my gift card and if you think reading about the experience is awesome, try experiencing the experience (can you say that?!?!). I went to Crumbs and literally the skies were the limit! I could have any cupcake I wanted, I could get a beverage and if I really wanted to be naughty I could grab a brownie, cookie or all three! I can't believe I live on a planet where these kinds of things exist. We are so lucky. I'm sure someone had to walk 3 miles in the snow, with no shoes on, uphill just to get to school. Well, I got cupcakes, thank goodness for technology, shoes and sidewalks. I have no idea where I was going with that. I'm just excited about cupcake gift cards!
Now, go buy one for your best friend, spouse, parent, kid or you can simply send me one! I'll enjoy every single swipe!
It's that time of year again, shoveling snow, drinking hot cocoa and driving around parking lots waging war for a parking space just to purchase stocking stuffers. Oh the Holidays...how I love them so!
I thought this would be a great time to share one of my favorite Cupcake Crawls, Honolulu, HI. It seems to be the perfect fit, right?!?!
I was lucky to make this Cupcake Crawl happen. I was sent to Honolulu for work (rough, right?) and while I was there I figured I should eat as many cupcakes as possible and visit as many shops as I can. What can I say, I'm really dedicated! The down side to my trip was that I really had to work, so my time was limited and sadly 2 out of my 4 shops were closed, but that did not stop me. I ate cupcakes, took pictures and without further ado, Cupcake Crawl - Honolulu, HI!
First up was Let Them Eat Cake, which is simply a great name! I love the shop and the cupcakes were delicious! I was able to enjoy their Vanilla Bean (always a personal favorite) Chocolate and Dulce de Leche. I didn't want to go to crazy and I always have a method for trying new shops. 1) Go classic, I always get the vanilla - it's a great way to make sure the shop has a rich foundation. 2) I always ask for the customer favorite, if everyone loves it, I have to try it. 3) I have to try something new, unique, tasty sounding or simply mouth-watering.
With this plan in motion I got my cupcakes and I was not disappointed! The Vanilla Bean and the Chocolate were delicious BUT the Dulce de Leche was gooey, sticky fantastic! Sweet caramel icing, moist cake and I sucked the carmel drizzle off my fingers tips while completely loss driving all over Honolulu!
Rounding out my short, but sweet Cupcake Crawl was Hokulani Bakeshop. I was really on a mission to find this shop. As I mentioned earlier I went to two different locations looking for cupcakes and unfortunately both were closed, OR I simply was lost and got my addresses mixed up. Every single street in Honolulu has a beautiful Hawaiian name, but I couldn't pronounce a single one and the difference between each was a single vowel. It was rough, but it's Honolulu, so if this was my biggest issue I'll be okay.
I finally found Hokulani Bakeshop inside of a resort which also including retail stores and other restaurants. It was tricky to get in there, but thanks for the awesome valet, I left my car at the front and did a mad dash into that location. Whew. And I was super lucky to have found Hokulani. The bakeshop was featured on Cupcake Wars, they had awesome cupcake t-shirts that said I (cupcake) HI and the cupcakes themselves were so adorable!
I munched away on several including the Red Velvet and Snicker-doodle Cupcake. I had my eye on several others including the Carrot Spice and Classic Vanilla but they were sold out before it was my turn in line! C'mon! But the two that I did get to enjoy were fantastic and Snicker-doodle is quickly becoming one of my favorites!
I love going to different cupcake shops, I dream of Cupcake Crawls through cities cities far and wide, but when I get in my very own kitchen....sometimes there is something very magical that happens. So I'm being a little selfish today and sharing my very own cupcake concoctions. Enjoy!
These little beauties grace my Thanksgiving Day spread. They look like basic Vanilla Cupcakes (which is my favorite kind of cupcake) but that is just a rouse, this are caramel-apple cupcakes with a sweet butter cream icing! Since it's Fall I thought it was only right to toss in a Fall flavor to tie together my pumpkin and sweet potato pies!
My wife volunteered me to bake for a friend's baby shower and it was a perfect opportunity to play around in the kitchen, so I came up with Double Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes! These little pieces of heaven have a rich dark chocolate cake, a caramel center and just a dollop of milk chocolate frosting. The chocolate taste was powerful, so the dollop was just enough to give it that finish cupcake touch, but tie-in all of the flavors! And then I got super creative and thought the best way to tie-in the caramel would be to add caramel popcorn!
I wanted to eat red velvet cake, I wanted whoopee pies and I wanted both in a mini adorable presentation. Ta-da! But do not let the picture fool you, when I first started on this mission I wasn't sure how to accomplish this. I only have a large whoopee pie pan and I couldn't eat an entire cake! (Well, I can, but I shouldn't....) So, I had to get a little creative with me pans and tins in the kitchen. For these little treats I sprayed a little bit of cooking oil inside the cupcake tins, as I didn't want to use cupcake liners, and filled the space only 1/4 of the way. I cooked the mini pie parts for only 9-11 minutes, similar to mini cupcakes, and when I took them out of the oven I removed them immediately, but carefully. Hot cake seems to shift and become a lot more flexible then settled, room temperature cake. BUT only when it's small (i.e. cupcakes, cornbread muffins, etc.). Once the pies where out, I let them cool and added some mocha frosting on one side and married the two into a whoopee pie! You can also call this a cake sandwich! Either way, they were delicious!
Last but not least where my Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwiches! These little pieces of heaven came out of no where. I simply wanted some cookies to snack on and my energetic 1 year old loves to munch with me, so I thought these would make a great treat. What I didn't expect was the sandwich part and how delicious they would be! Plus I made a bunch and I swear they didn't last more than a few minutes! These bite size pieces of awesomeness will have to make a come back very soon!
Fall was so good to me! But I must admit...I can't wait to delve into Winter flavors! Peppermint anyone? :-)