Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Magnolia - a late entry to the NY cupcake tour!

Someone just asked me on Twitter if I went to Magnolia Bakery when I went to New York and I was trying to send them the post of my visit and horror of horrors I seem to have missed it off my list of places posted about! And the thing is, as much as it would seem fashionable these days to diss Magnolia we had really good cupcakes from there. The base was really moist and flavoursome and the frosting was very tasty and not too sweet (we'd been warned it was like eating sugar - it wasn't).

I'd definitely recommend a visit if you're in New York - be prepared to queue though and it's tiny!!! There's no seating except a little bench outside where people tend to pose with their cakes! We went on a weekday and the queue wasn't too bad - mainly yummy mummys and school kids - I believe at weekends, and when the Sex and the City tours are there it gets very hectic!

We went to the original Bleecker Street location - there are now 3 Magnolias in Manhattan.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Lip smacking cupcakes

These sound good enough to eat! Think I'll have to pop along to Oliver Bonas asap!

Comes in 3 flavours - very vanilla, black forest and caramel fudge ...yum!!

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Never was a truer word spoken

(well written)

Thanks to the lovely Sherrie for sending me it on a bit of a miserable Sunday

Friday, 25 September 2009

Bad cupcake bag

As seen on Cupcakes Take the Cake via their Twitter feed (I adore Twitter!) this really cute bad cupcake bag by Archie McPhee is just so cute. I don't really need another cupcake bag but this one is proving difficult to resist ;)

The site has a host of cute cupcake items including the oil painting, and lots of Halloween goodies, BUT you cannot order online from the UK, you have to fax or call and they have a minimum order of $50 plus shipping :(

That reminds me Archie McPhee also do cupcake bandages which someone (cough cough) promised to get me some time ago from the Primrose Bakery!

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Arrrrgh more Halloween Goodies

There are times when I wish I lived in America even more than normal, and one of those times is Halloween!! Americans really GO for Halloween - they have parades (including a dog parade - check out my lovely faves Mango and Miss Blanquita at last years Tompkins Square dogs parade), candy, haunted houses and TONNES of halloween cupcake goodies!

The Layer Cake shop is one of my favourite websites to drool over - they have an immense range of sprinkles, cupcake toppers, glitter, cupcake cases and just everything you need for cupcaking (and baking!). The site is so easy to use as well - you can choose by to shop by theme, colour or holiday - how great! They also ship internationally...expect to see some goodies from them on here soon. You can check out a their entire Halloween range here but I've included a few of my faves above, mainly toppers (including a glow in the dark skull and crossbones!) and the Halloween cupcake kit which I want!

Btw - Mango is Hugh Heffner and Blanquita is one of his bunnies :)

Cupcakes in Penzance

I often browse the bakeryinfo website for news on cupcakes and today discovered that a cupcakery has been opened in Penzance by a Cornwall-based bakery group called Warrens Bakery - I'm not sure about their choice of name however, Sprinkles.

As we have found out before LA based Sprinkles are NOT happy when anyone uses their name or "their" dots even!

The Penzance cafe offers over a dozen flavours of cupcake from passion fruit, tiramisu and caramel to chocolate and raspberry. Yum.

Will see if I can find any pics or a website - there's nothing on the Warrens Bakery site.

And finally, talking of LA Sprinkles - they've been saying they're opening in London for over a year - and still no news...hurumpf!

Thanks to Sprinkles for the pic of their yummy cupcakes! PLEASE come to London

New London Cupcakery

Another cupcakery has opened in Kensington High Street - meaning you can now enjoy cupcakes in 3 different locations within walking distance of the tube station - Buttercup, Hummingbird and the new kid on the block, The Cupcake Company.

Not a lot more to say at the moment - I may try and pop over there next week to get some pics, more info if I can but I'm cutting back on cupcake consumption at the mo...however if I walk through the park to there I'm sure I'm allowed one :) And they do look rather yummy.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Freshly baked goodies from Johnny Cupcakes

I've loved Johnny Cupcakes for ages and ever since I got my first tshirt last month (Thank KK!!) I've been keeping an eye on the site more than ever to check for "freshly baked" goodies.

Recently Johnny's collaborated with Looney Tunes on some Tshirts however I've not fallen in love with them so much as they don't feature my favourite character - Marvin the Martin - I do like them but just prefer his own stuff really. And I'm loving the new goods added today, including a backpack, notebook, pencil AND for Halloween Johnny Cupcakes vampire teeth \m/

I cannot wait till he opens a London store!!! hint hint ;)

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Mmmmm Moroccan Meat cupcake

For some reason this appeals to me more than the usual meat cupcake I've featured on here! Maybe it's because I like Moroccan food, who knows, but it does look quite tasty to me. Maybe I should get the galloping gourmet, aka Manny to cook it for me!

Thanks to Scott Gold for the pic and also the recipe/idea!

More cupcake mugs

On Saturday's shopping trip I also picked up a set of 4 cupcake mugs from Next - I'm on a crockery ban from my other half but these were just too pretty to resist, and a bargain at £7!!

(If the link doesn't work go to Next.co.uk and type cake into the search!)

Itsy bitsy spider cupcakes

Again from a link from HWTM, these spider cupcakes have to be some of the cutest cupcakes EVER!

You can get instructions on how to make them from Bright Ideas.

Some frightfully cute halloween cupcakes!

Prepare for lots of posts of cute Halloween cupcakes from me over the next few weeks as I love Halloween, which also happens to be my wedding anniversary :)

While perusing one of my fave sites, The Hostess with the Mostess, I came across a link to the Better Homes and Gardens site featuring loads of adorable (and spooky!) cupcakes! It gives you step by step instructions on how to decorate them - although if you're in the UK you may have to google some of the items used as its a US site.

Monday, 21 September 2009

I heart Paperchase

Saturday morning I was awoken at an ungodly hour as Manny was off to band practice so I decided to go up to Denmark Street with him and check out what other cupcake goodies I could pick up in Paperchase at their flagship store in Tottenham Court Road, following my recent discovery of their new cupcake range there.

I didn't buy everything in the range, but I picked up a couple of bits - including a little tote bag with two cupcakes and a coffee on the front and a lovely pair of bookmarks! I also got a couple of cute cards - think I'll frame the Hello Cupcake one and give the party animal one to someone for their birthday. 

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Brew Dog Rip-Tide cupcakes

While perusing a blog about beer (The Lighter Side of Beer) I chanced upon a link for Rip Tide Cupcakes and HAD to share them with you. Rip Tide is by Brew Dog, a company that for some reason keep falling foul of those who want to stop our teens getting drunk - they do make beers that are strong fair enough, however their strongest beer which had the nanny state up in arms costs about £11 a bottle, for which our odious teens can buy a couple of crates of p*ishy lager so it wasn't really worth getting het up about!

Anyways back to the cupcakes - the recipe is from another beer blog called Pencil and Spoon and as well as cupcakes has a recipe for Rip Tide ice cream. I think I'll give these a go for Manny as he's a fan of Brew Dog beers - although I might make a chocolate frosting as I'm not too keen on the cream cheese variety.

Thanks to Pencil and Spoon for the pic of the yummy looking cupcakes.

Testing the Primrose Bakery book

Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery arrived on Thursday am at work and it was SOOO beautiful I left as early as possible to test out the vanilla cupcake recipe!

The recipe was quite different to the usual Hummingbird one I use - using self raising and plain flour and more eggs but apart from that it was the usual suspects of the cupcake recipe. I was quite concerned that the recipe kept telling me to mix lots as I'm used to not over-mixing being the norm for my cupcake baking. It was all quite easy except I was a bit worried when I went to fill my cupcake cases and there seemed to be LOADS of mixture! I divided it between the 12 cases recommended and put them in the oven to bake.

Firstly can I say the smell was heavenly - cakes baking always smell good but these ones wafted a gorgeous smell throughout my house. I had a peek half way through cooking time (through the glass door, don't worry!) and they seemed to be doing well, 5 minutes later I looked again and they were rising into MONSTERS!! When they were fully cooked they were HUGE!

I left them to cool and started to make the frosting. It was only then I realised the frosting recipe was for 15-20 cupcakes - which I find quite annoying when the recipes are for 12 cupcakes. What am I going to do with the extra frosting? I know I could eat it but I eat enough frosting without making extra for goodness sake! So I halved the ingredients and thought if there wasn't enough I'd deal with the consequences later. As it turned out there was just enough to cover all the cakes - I think they could've used a smidge more frosting but then that's just because the frosting was TO DIE FOR! Seriously - it was FAB. Very tasty and very much like you get in their shops :)

When it came to frosting them they were quite difficult as they were a bit bumpy on top (and I can never bring myself to cut off the extra cake on top to make a flat surface as I've read some people do!). Next time I'll follow their easy (looking) guide on how to frost a cupcake the Primrose way which calls for lots of frosting!

So the frosting was gorge - the cakes were a little dense, which I think was to do with the over-mixing - next time I'll be a bit more conscious of the mixing. Also I'd have added a wee bit more vanilla to the base - maybe fresh rather than the good quality extract I use. I was a little disappointed on the day with their dense texture however the next day they tasted really good - still a little dense but still much better than some I've had by professionals so I was quite chuffed.

The book is full of really gorgeous sounding recipes including the lovely rose cupcakes I like so much from Primrose - and lots of festive and seasonal cupcakes - I may try out their Halloween suggestions. As well as cupcakes it features a few of their layer cake recipes but none of their yummy biscuits which is a shame. The book photography is pure food porn - just looking at it makes you want to slap on a pinny and get baking - or pop to one of their shops if you don't fancy baking!

Finally as you can see in the pics they're not the prettiest looking cupcakes ever - a bit lumpy and bumpy but the lovely cases do help them look prettier I think. They're from Squires Kitchen and I highly recommend them - the best cupcake cases I've used!

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Olympic Cupcakes

I'm not going to get into a giant discussion about whether the Olympics should be coming to London but all I'll say is if the Olympic Village were made of cake I may be swayed a little! 

This Olympic Village in cupcakes was made by Claire from the Arts and Culture team and I think it looks great - they represent all different parts of the village, including the River Lea with fish and crayfish decorations. You can even bake your own stadium cupcake using the recipe online

Thanks to Claire at the ODC for use of the pics

Monday, 14 September 2009

Cupcakes = glamour

Glamour Magazine (US) is bombarding the people of New York and New York fashion week with cupcakes and images of cupcakes to try and boost sales. 

Cookie Monster Cupcake Party

You may recall I had a gorgeous cookie monster cupcake some time ago from Bea's so I thought I'd share this from one of my favourite blogs The Hostess with the Mostess. Now you can have your very own cookie monster themed cupcake party!! Could be perfect for a party - perhaps for Halloween!

Ultra cute!

New cupcake book reminder

Just a little reminder that the new Primrose Bakery Cupcake book is out now (according to Amazon) - I've pre-ordered mine and expect it any day now! I really hope to get it for the weekend as I want to bake!

Paperchase goes cupcake crazy

It seems every time I go to Paperchase they have added to their cupcake items which makes me happy! On Thursday I popped into the Covent Garden store and picked up a few items - a media case for my Ipod, a foldable shopping bag (cute AND good for the planet!) and a utensil holder for my kitchen. 

They also had some egg-cups, key-covers, luggage labels and some other bits. I'm going to pop up to their flagship store on Tottenham Court Road this week and check out the rest of the range :)