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Best cupcakes in T.O.?

I know this trend has probably jumped the shark but I tried some great cupcakes in Calgary recently and wondered what's good here. Red velvet, vanilla cake with choc icing, coconut. etc.?

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  1. In my view, the cupcakes at Flour on Eglinton near Bathurst is to die for.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Teffub

      Are you referring to Flour -- 883 Eglinton Ave West (416) 789-0222 ?
      hello@flourstudio.com -- http://www.flourstudio.com

      1. re: lamaranthe

        I bought a half dozen from Flour yesterday and while they aren't in my top two faves, they're definitely good. Moist cake (though the cupcakes aren't as chocolaty as I'd like) and nice icing though it's is a tad too insubstantial for my personal desire for "fudgier" icing. Still, tasty icing. I've tried the strawberry on chocolate and the chocolate on chocolate and I'll try more flavours today. So I think I'd say Flour is a good back-up cupcake stop.

        1. re: Ediblethoughts

          I finally tried them and they are ok but use a typical icing sugar frosting and not a cooked meringue buttercream which I personally prefer. I also read somewhere that they use cake mixes but that could just be a story.

      2. re: Teffub

        They are okay. I'm just sick of the same old cupcakes

        1. re: Teffub

          Flour's been my hands-down favourite. Its a wee step behind Calgary's Crave.
          Went there today after a two-month absence.
          the plan was to get two cupcakes.
          left with 1/2 dozen.

          my selections:
          mocha icing/choco cake
          oreo icing/marble cake
          fleur de sel
          mint icing/choco cake
          choco ganache

          the first two were new ones that I hadn't seen at Flour before. shared the mocha cupcake with my lady. we bought thought it was ok. i thought it wasn't nearly espressoey enough.

          i have a sweet tooth today, so i was going to try a bite of the oreo cupcake. a bite? no way. while Oreo seems so passe and boring, this was one of the best cupcakes i've had. amazing icing consistency (really silky and soft and airy) and the oreo crumbles on it worked amazingly. the marble cake was great as well. this is probably my favourite cupcake (although their mint choco cake is damn fine as well).

          still haven't had some of the west end cakes people talk about, but Flour is still #1 in my Toronto books.

            1. re: red dragon

              eglinton just west of Bathurst, right beside the PharmaPLus (south side of the road)

        2. I am a fan of the Cupcakery at St. Clair and Oakwood -- light and fluffy with buttercream icing that is delicious. I just polished off a pack of six this weekend (this batch was the tastiest I have had from them since they opened)! They also do a red velvet from time to time which is very yummy (had a couple of these on the w/e in fact).

          1 Reply
          1. re: Arcadiaseeker

            Just bought a half dozen from the Cupcakery. I was a little unimpressed with the size vs. price---and I rarely complain about the price of a cupcake. If they were a dollar more and normal cupcake size, I probably wouldn't have noticed anything amiss. However, I just tried the cookies and cream and I love the icing! Definitely more on the fudgier side of buttercream. This place has become my third fave with Flour at fourth.

          2. Red Velvet at Yummy Stuff on Queen near Roncesvalles.... soooooo good! Really moist, love the cream cheese icing. I make excuses to bring cupcakes to events so I can justify eating them :)

            9 Replies
            1. re: watt

              I totally agree on the red velvet at Yummy Stuff. I dno't like cream cheese but the the mix of sugar and butter with just the right hint of cream cheese is so good. And the raspberry-chocolate cup cake is a very good counter-point. It's hard to beat these cupcakes.

              1. re: Ediblethoughts

                I thought it was my imagination that I tasted raspberry in the red velvet from Yummy Stuff. While the cake was ok but odd (I wasn't expecting raspberry flavor), the icing was hard and crunchy and to put it mildly, I didn't like it.

                1. re: westcoastgal

                  It really does depend on which of the two "schools" of icing one fits into! I am a sweet-like-fudge icing person. If it's too smooth, I want to use it to butter my bread!

                  1. re: Ediblethoughts

                    Ok, Im going to answer all 3 if your posts- Bakes and Goods opened last week on Yonge just north of Eglington near No 44. Its on the same side of street as Cupcake Shoppe. The cupcakes are pretty good but the icing doesnt taste like anything. Sort of what I find at Cupcake Shoppe too. The strawberry is pink but tastes nothing like strawberry and I heard other customers question the owner on this and she said its because people dont like a strong flavor and women want a pretty pink icing but not the taste. Huh? Say what? I disagree. Anyways, icing is buttery, smooth and between a meringue and American frosting. I liked it more than most American icings, you may not. I was pleasantly surprised. Its because she heats her milk before adding sugar so it dissolves smooth and isnt grainy.
                    Yummy Stuff is the epitome of American style icing sugar frosting. Its what you make at
                    home with your kids following the recipe on the icing sugar bag and it hardens on your cookies or cipcakes. Yes, I know people like it- not for me. The raspberry red velvet threw me off but it was good. I always find the cake is good but I dislike the icings at places. Oh well. Im just too picky.
                    Yes, I am a HUGE fan of Swiss or Italian meringue buttercream and love love Bobbette&Belle, Wedding Cake Shop, Half Baked Ideas, Sweet Escapes& Dessert Lady type frosting. Judging by your posts and preference, I think you would enjoy Flour Studio on Eglington past Bathurst (in my freezer right now cause too sweet for us) and pretty
                    much all the other cupcake shops out there like Sweet Bliss, Short&Sweet, Life is Sweet, Cakes by Robert, etc., Do you like Prarie Girl? However, you may not like the cake part. Lol! Its always one is good and the other not for us. Like I enjoy the cake, not the icing but my sister will like the frosting, not the cake.
                    Judging my happy customers and steady business, many people prefer American icing like you. I wish places offered a choice? I only found one online company that does, think Crumbs&Co. Otherwise, its usually uncooked buttercream.
                    Oh, I had a cupcake at Pusateri's by Pauline which was good. I really like a red velvet by Baked Desserts. http://www.bakedesserts.com/products....
                    I dont like all cooked buttercream places though. I think Dufflets is a cooked bc and I dont like them.
                    There are so many cupcakes out there....so little time for me to eat them. Lol!

                    Oh, if you haven't tried them, I recommend Sullivan&Bleeker sold at Summerhill Market, Harvest Wagon, Pusateri's and some other spots or call them direct. If you like an American style uncooked frosting, you may really like these.
                    http://sullivanandbleeker.com/
                    I cannot believe how many cupcakes I have bought&eaten! I still want to try Flourgirls and maybe Swirls, only because of rave reviews but Milton is an hour away and I have no reason to go there.
                    I hear Vaughn and Woodbridge have good cupcakes.
                    Alas, whats next? Donuts?

                    1. re: westcoastgal

                      I've been following along on your adventure. Props to you for a most through breakdown :)

              2. re: watt

                I found myself in Parkdale and finally had a chance to try Yummy Stuff. I tried a mini red velvet and choc with choc icing. Icing was just the right amount of creaminess and sweetness. The cake was hard on the outside and overall dry. I thought maybe it was because of their size. Then I tried a full size lemon - lemon buttercream icing with lemon cake filled with lemon curd. The icing was delish, the curd really full of lemon flavour and tart but not very much of it. Again the cake was dry and disappointing which is too bad because the other ingredients were spot on. I'll keep looking for just the right cupcake.....

                1. re: tuttebene

                  I'd suggest trying a full size red velvet. I wasn't that impressed with the chocolate on chocolate cup cake but the red velvet was very good--moist cupcake every time I've tried it. (Though I've also tried a very good cupcake from Pussateris from a bakery called Main Street---chocolate chip chocolate cupcake with very good buttercream icing. That's my other favourite cupcake.)

                  1. re: tuttebene

                    I agree with Ediblethoughts that you should give the full size red velvet a try - I've been disappointed when I got the mini ones as well. I'm sure that in part it's about how fresh the cupcake is, but in fact the only complaint I've heard from friends about the red velvet is that the cake is almost TOO moist!

                  2. re: watt

                    I love yummy stuff - the raspberry ones are my fave and the mrs. loves the cream cheese icing ones : P

                  3. Ms. Cora's Kitchen on Kensington in the Market makes amazing mini cupcakes.

                    I like the vegan coconut the best, which says a ton because I usually can't stand vegan food.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Ender

                      Both my sister and I were completely dissapointed by Miss Cora's Kitchen. They did not have regular size cupcakes and the bit size were so small and nothing special

                    2. There is an older, bald, bearded gentleman in the North Market at St. Lawrence on Saturday mornings in the middle aisle about 1/3 of the way in from the Front St. entrance who has AMAZING cupcakes.

                      Get there early, they sell out well before noon.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Yum2MyTum

                        Have never had the cupcakes, but his double chocolate cookies are stupendous. I've bought a few other things too – never been disappointed.

                        1. re: Atahualpa

                          I just tried out his date square. Pretty solid, if you like date squares. The cakes are also awesome. Do try the cupcakes Atahualpa -- they're his best product! Only, get there early...

                      2. Sweet Bliss on Queen Street East is the best I have ever had...especially Red Velvet. http://www.sweetblissbakingcompany.com/

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: vaiguy777

                          Have not been to sweet bliss yet, but have only heard GREAT things about it

                          1. re: vaiguy777

                            Eating one right now. Pretty good. MMM... breakfast.

                            Cake > thought the cupcake needs a better hit of chocolate IMO. Tastes too much like regular vanilla base. But that may be my preference on red velvets, since I don't think there's a globally accepted baseline on chocolate levels in red velvets. Aside from that, it's moist enough, but more dense than airy. I liked that.

                            creamcheese icing - held its shape as it had formed a crust on the outside. Inside is soft, minimally "gritty" for those wondering. Very sweet. Tasty, but the sugar is high and wears the palate down after a while.

                            I like Wedding Cake Shoppe's cupcakes in general but I wouldn't hesitate to finish one of these, (my plate is almost clear - I thought I'd only eat a bite).

                            I recently got a batch of The Cupcake Shoppe's cupcakes and of the 6-8 I tried, I only liked the caramel, and that was more because I like caramel.

                            I took some photos. They'll be up later this week.

                            --
                            http://www.foodpr0n.com/ -- food. is. love.

                            -----
                            Cupcake Shoppe
                            2417 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4P, CA

                            Sweet Bliss
                            1304 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4L, CA

                            The Wedding Cake Shoppe
                            859 College St, Toronto, ON M6H, CA

                          2. just a warning: if you get Red Velvet cupcakes, always ask if they use food colouring. i am a person with few allergies, but the red food colouring that some places use for red velvet REALLY bugs me (makes my mouth feel like i've consumed a litre of MSG).

                            L'il Baci has interesting cupcake flavours.
                            Sweet Tooth promotes theirs as being the best in the city, but we had 2 cakes that tasted dry (almost past their shelf life).

                            but the chain in Calgary (its name escapes me) is phenominal and, sadly, i haven't had any Toronto cupcakes that come close to the Calgary 'cakes

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: atomeyes

                              I was in Calgary recently. I would hazard a guess that you are either thinking of Crave or Buttercream.

                              -Kel

                            2. I ordered cupcakes for my sister's baby shower from http://www.batchesgourmet.com/. We had mango, raspberry and blackberry icing. It was amazing, they were beautiful, and everyone raved about them.

                              1. I'm ADDICTED to cupcakes and have tried some from the following places. I usually get a "six-pack" so I could try a variety of flavors. I also made it a point to get cupcakes from the same place more than once to allow for, you know, off days.

                                The Cupcake Shoppe (Yonge and Eglinton):

                                Very pretty cakes. Nice variety of flavors. The cakes, unfortunately, didn't taste as nice as they looked. They weren't THAT bad, but nothing to rave about either. Some of the cakes were a bit on the dry side and the buttercream frosting's just not that good. The caramel frosting was too sweet with none of that hint of dark, burnt sugar edge I want in a caramel frosting.

                                The Cupcakery (St. Clair and Oakwood)

                                I had high hopes for this one because it's so near my workplace and the window looks so charming. The menu lists an impressive array of flavors although not all of them are available everyday. These cakes were the driest I've tried. And it's not as if I bought them at the end of the day (once shortly after they opened in the morning, once during lunch break). Not a big fan of American buttercream as a rule, but theirs was TOO, TOO sweet.

                                Dessert Lady (Yorkville)

                                They only serve chocolate and vanilla, although I think you could order amaretto ones. The cakes were moist and tasty. I had an issue with their frosting the first time I tried the cakes a couple of years back because it seemed like they used shortening. I'm pretty sure they didn't but it tasted like that, the icing just left this greasy, clingy aftertaste. I'm happy to say that this was absent the last time I tried their cakes. The icing's smooth and silky and not excessively sweet.

                                Yummy Stuff:

                                I liked the red velvet and raspberry cake the best. Carrot cake was moist enough but the vanilla cake tasted old and stale. The cream cheese on the carrot cake was good and the raspberry had actual berries in them! The rest of the buttercream frosting though was too sugary-sweet.

                                The Wedding Cake Shoppe (College and Ossington)

                                I didn't know they sold anything other than custom-made wedding cakes but I walked by and saw a sign that said $5 could get you a cupcake and a latte. Considering how cupcakes average from $2.50-$3.00 and how lattes that cost $2.50 and under aren't that readily seen anywhere in the city, I went in and was wowed by the cakes. Easily my favorite. The cakes come in chocolate and vanilla (Although I think I saw a banana cake the last time I went. I'm not a big fan of banana cake so I decided to try that another time.) and are very, very moist and delicious. I know they're moist because somehow a cake was left behind and was found in the fridge the next day and guess what, it was still edible and not dry as a cracker (Yes, I eat day-old cakes when I'm desperate.). The shop's strongest point, though, is the frosting. I could eat that frosting by spoonfuls. They offer a staggering variety of buttercreams and everything I've tried was on the money. Silky smooth and never too sweet. My favorite is the chocolate toffee. Absolutely delicious. The Dulce de Leche avoids the pitfall of being sickeningly sweet and is truly yummy as well. Lemon would have to be my least favorite but still, it's still better than the lemon icing available everywhere else.

                                I tried cupcakes from Pusateri's but I've forgotten where they got them from and Queen St. E. is still unexplored territory for me so I might have to do another round of taste tests soon. But so far, The Wedding Cake Shoppe's my pick for best cupcakes. :)

                                22 Replies
                                1. re: hautecocoa

                                  I'll add the Wedding Cake Shoppe to my list of To Go To!

                                  1. re: hautecocoa

                                    The one and only time I tried the Yummy Stuff cupcakes, they were completely stale. Gross.

                                    SWS

                                    1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

                                      That's what I thought too but didn't want to believe that they would sell me stale goods.

                                    2. re: hautecocoa

                                      Thanks, hautecocoa. I don't like the sugary, gritty uncooked "buttercream" found on many cupcakes, but it sounds like the WCS is a winner. Will have to try them.

                                      Have you tried flourgirls (www.flourgirls.com)? They have to be ordered or purchased in their shop in Malton?, but I thought they were excellent. All the flavours I had were moist and tasty, and the cooked buttercream was light and luscious.

                                      1. re: Full tummy

                                        I have had flourgirls once and only once - they were completely stale, all the flavours were gross and yucky - and the burned buttercream was heavy and smelly

                                        1. re: dannyboy

                                          Wow, did someone feed you some that had been sitting in their cupboard for a while? Burned buttercream...never heard of such a phenomenon. Hmmm. That is totally not my experience. Perhaps you could tell us more... Like, did you go all the way to Malton to buy them? What flavours did you try? How was the buttercream burnt? I mean, did they bake them again after they iced them???

                                        2. re: Full tummy

                                          I think I had one of their chocolate mini-cupcakes from Pusateri's a couple of years back and loved it. I'll have to try them again. Too bad my father's not really into sweet things, cupcakes would've been a lovely way to celebrate Father's Day. I just might have to make up an occasion :)

                                          1. re: Full tummy

                                            Could you give an example of the gritty uncooked buttercream? I'm trying to figure out where I stand in this buttecream discussion.

                                            1. re: Ediblethoughts

                                              Oh my, didn't even see this. Sorry! An uncooked "buttercream" is usually a mix of butter, icing sugar, milk, etc. I find that some, not all, of these frostings have a slightly gritty texture. I can't explain this better, but it's something about the icing sugar not being fully dissolved or cooked into the frosting. A cooked icing, I find, is much smoother. I just prefer it, but to each his/her own. It's what I grew up with. It's also generally harder to make, more time consuming, typically.

                                              Here's some info:

                                              http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/a...

                                              This article actually mentions the "grit" I've been talking about:

                                              http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/a...

                                              1. re: Full tummy

                                                Sorry, I wasn't very clear. I do understand what you mean in theory by the gritty. I was just trying to find a cupcake I'd tried that had that gritty b/c in it. I've tried cupcakes at quite a few places now and if you could tell me one that fit your take on gritty, then I could see where my grit/fudgy line lies----if you see what I mean?

                                                1. re: Ediblethoughts

                                                  Oh!!! Well, I'm pretty sensitive to it. So, The Cupcakery (St. Clair West), Life is Sweet (Beaches), Sweet Bliss Baking Company (Leslieville) all have gritty frosting, to me. Probably most places, haha, since this type of frosting is easier to make, I find it's the most common type. Another example of a frosting that I find gritty is Costco cake frosting. Now, I don't think that frosting is made with butter either, so that is a second mark against it; I tend to stay away from eating Costco cakes for both those reasons.

                                                  So, it's not just that it's gritty, but it's overly sweet, too, most of the time, for me.

                                                  That said, depending on the actual frosting and the cake part, and the flavour combinations, I will often eat such a cupcake, though not enjoying it as much as I would if it had Italian or Swiss buttercream for the frosting. Just as often, though, I take a bite and give the rest to my husband, who isn't as fussed about such things. Makes life more enjoyable for him, hahaha!!

                                                  Actually, I pretty much avoid cupcakes aside from those at the Wedding Cake Shoppe, which is unfortunately--but thankfully--inconveniently located for me.

                                                  -----
                                                  Sweet Bliss
                                                  1304 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4L, CA

                                                  1. re: Full tummy

                                                    Let me take a stab at it...I find uncooked buttercream to be "chalky" and cooked buttercream to be "silky".

                                                    1. re: Boodah

                                                      O.K., but nowhere near as chalky as roasted chickpeas (have you ever tried that?) And chalky dry, which is doubly chalky than chalky wet, haha.

                                                    2. re: Full tummy

                                                      I haven't been to Life is Sweet but I have to the Cupcakery quite a few times--so by that standard, I like the gritty icing! Never tried a Costco cake but the likely ingredients on those grocery store cake's icing scare me! I tried a Loblaws slab cake some time back (bought it for a birthday party) and the icing made me almost ill.

                                                      I found the Wedding Cake Shoppe's icing not fudgy enough---or, from other perspectives (though likely not a turn of phrase I'd open with when inquiring about a shop's cupcake icing----"Is your icing nice and gritty?" yeah, probably not doing that), not gritty enough!

                                                      Thanks for explaining.

                                              2. re: Full tummy

                                                I recently had the pleasure of attending Flourgirls shop in Milton, Ontario.

                                                Bar none the best cupcake I have had in the GTA which includes cupcakes from Life is Sweet, The Wedding Cake Shoppe, Sweet Bliss, Babycakes, Swirls, Yummy Stuff, the Cupcakery, the Cupcake Shop and Dufflets.

                                                The key is in fact their buttercream. The meringue gives it a lightness that makes those heavier and yes, at times gritty (especially if its been refridgerated) uncooked buttercream icings just seem like second class citizens.

                                                At Flourgirls, the Marisol with the dolce du leche buttercream is a winner. The Lemon zinger is also a can't miss option.

                                                I have also never heard of a burned buttercream, I think it would be quite obvious if a buttercream was burned and I don't understand how it would come to be purchased in that state. I got a box with 6 different flavours, 5 of which had completely different cooked buttercreams, none were burned.

                                                As for the cake itself, every one I had was very moist, but what really sets these babies apart is the buttercream.

                                                The funny thing is the only one I didn't like as much was the red velvet cupcake, it had a cream cheese frosting that was sweetened with icing sugar. I ended up putting it in the fridge and despite bringing it up to room temperature before eating it, the grittiness was still evident. I also didn't find it as moist as the other cakes. I guess I am just not a fan of uncooked buttercream.

                                                1. re: JPJ

                                                  My favourite two are definitely Flourgirls and The Wedding Cake Shoppe. Both cooked buttercreams, but the Flourgirls one is definitely lighter -- I like the heavier buttercream at TWCS, too, though. Both too far away to become regular indulgences for me, alas.

                                              3. re: hautecocoa

                                                I tried Dessert Lady yesterday and I found the icing too buttery for me. So, hautcocoa, can you tell me if WCS has icing that is more heavy on the sugar/fudgy side like Yummy Stuff or more buttery like Dessert Lady?

                                                1. re: Ediblethoughts

                                                  WCS's more buttery than sugary. I had the same problem with Dessert Lady before but I think they've made changes to their icing because it wasn't as "oily" the last time I tried them. Too bad you didn't enjoy it. I hope they're not using their old recipe.

                                                  I like WCS's icing better. But then I do prefer cooked buttercream. The shop has the Dulce de Leche and the chocolate ganache frosting if you're really not into buttercream. Plus, I have yet to get a stale, dry cake from them so I hope you'd like the cake part at least. Happy cupcake eating!

                                                  1. re: hautecocoa

                                                    As a point of reference, I love the Main Street cupcake's buttercream icing. But you might consider that more grainy/sweet? I also love the buttercream with cream cheese taste of the Yummy Stuff cupcake. I also recently found I like the buttercream (but not love) of Flour's cupcakes. I really do prefer that kind of buttercream to the ganache type of icing (even though I am a chocolate lover).

                                                    1. re: Ediblethoughts

                                                      Ediblethoughts, I went to TWCS this Saturday and they had red velvet cupcakes with the cream cheese buttercream that you seem to like. It's the uncooked buttercream and it is grainy/sweet. :)

                                                      1. re: hautecocoa

                                                        Hmmm, interesting. When I was there they didn't have the red velvet. If I'm near there again, I'll try out the red velvet if it's there. Thanks.

                                                2. re: hautecocoa

                                                  I tried out Wedding Shoppe and the chocolate cup cakes (cake part) is quite good. The butter cream is, alas, too buttery for me though the cookies and cream icing made it more sweet/fudgy so more to my taste. I also liked the mocha icing quite a bit. I'm concluding that most butter cream is more buttery than I'd like. But I'll keep testing out places just to be on the safe side.

                                                3. has anyone tried Lollicake on Mt Pleasant?

                                                  6 Replies
                                                  1. re: LemonLauren

                                                    I did once. I don't recall much except I wasn't impressed.

                                                    1. re: LemonLauren

                                                      They're non-dairy, so if you're fine with a vegetable shortening frosting, you might like them. Not me, though.

                                                      1. re: LemonLauren

                                                        I'd also like to hear more feedback from those who have tried Lollicakes and what they liked or didn't like. That and The Cupcake Shoppe are the only two I know for sure are advertised as nut-free. Any preferences between the two (some here would probably say they are both not the best choices, but still)...

                                                        1. re: balthazar

                                                          They are both pricey; I haven't had a Cupcake Shoppe cupcake for a long time, but I believe in the interim it's changed hands, and I'm not sure if it's an all-butter icing anymore. I did like them when they first opened, but I like buttery buttercreams of the cooked variety (as opposed to the "buttercreams" that are made with some butter, plus icing sugar, plus milk, etc. -- these seem gritty to me), and a lot of people don't. It's just what I grew up eating, I suppose. If CS has changed their icing formula since the early days, then I probably wouldn't like it. If they've added vegetable oil shortening to the icing, then it might even be similar to Lollicakes. You may want to just make a trip to both shops and purchase a cupcake to taste-test what is currently on offer. They are fairly close to each other, in terms of location, at least...

                                                          1. re: balthazar

                                                            The cupcake shoppe is forgettiable and nothing special...

                                                          2. re: LemonLauren

                                                            I've tried Lolicakes and I actually like them... It's simple and plain, but well done. The only choice is chocolate or vanillia - nothing fancy

                                                          3. This question has been posed already on several other threads in T.O. with much passion, so while I don't know if I've actually tasted the BEST cupcakes in Toronto yet, my passive quest to date has only generated two suggestions...

                                                            The Dessert Lady in Yorkville makes "organic" vanilla and chocolate only cupcakes with buttercream frosting daily (no carry-overs) which are quite lovely. Gotta respect this woman and the little business she's built on hard work, integrity and reasonable prices - only 99¢ last time I bought them, versus several dollars at some places.

                                                            I also strangely enough find the simple chocolate cupcakes with sprinkles (definitely eye candy for the kids who line up at the bakery) at United Baker's at Lawrence and Bathurst.

                                                            Please note that any mention of ANY cupcakes at the Cupcake Shopped should be immediately disregarded. Waxy, manufactured, fake.... I'm sure their objective was to mass-produce the concept because there ain't nothin' real about these cupcakes. Go to Metro and you'll find the equivalent in the marked down baked goods rack daily at 90% less. The only reason that place is in business is because of the location and their adorable, nostalgic decor and marketing... Same reason why Chakra Spa (absolutely horrific spa) on Eglinton is still in business... but I digress to spas - sorry.

                                                            I would recommend doing a search on CH or on Google on the subject. Here's a link to an article I enjoyed on the subject when I was first determined to find the best cupcake...
                                                            http://unknowntoronto.blogspot.com/20...
                                                            Here's another one which I haven't read, but it's got great pictures... again, ignore the listing for The Cupcake Shoppe... it's an unfortunately obvious choice for any journalism who didn't ACTUALLY try the cupcakes but was fooled to believe they were good by a well-marketed illusion. p.s. no I'm not a disgruntled ex-employee.... just a vigilant foodie :-
                                                            )http://www.blogto.com/toronto/the_bes...

                                                            12 Replies
                                                            1. re: Moimoi

                                                              I always buy from the Cupcake Shoppe at Yonge and Eg. They are nothing like what you buy at the grocery store. We have served them to large crowds upwards of 50 adults ALL of which raved about them.

                                                                1. re: ksapd

                                                                  just because a large crowd approves of something, it doesn't mean that its good. Infact the larger the crowd the dummer the crowd. I think we all know that.

                                                                2. re: Moimoi

                                                                  I have to say I agree overall with your assessment of the Cupcake Shoppe -- although I like the cupcakes from supermarkets, particularly Loblaws, waaay better.

                                                                  1. re: Arcadiaseeker

                                                                    I so wanted to like Cupcake Shoppe since it's so convenient for me but, yeah, I find them awful.

                                                                    1. re: Ediblethoughts

                                                                      They were good in the beginning, when they first opened, and then it all went to pot.

                                                                      1. re: always_eating

                                                                        WOW - I have not tasted some of the others mentioned here...perhaps I am missing out!?!

                                                                        1. re: always_eating

                                                                          I have to agree. They used to taste very nice, years ago, toothy, full textured, original and home made. The suddenly, the cake portion tasted very "box mix" which when I make them for the kids twice a year for novelty, I don't mind having one but paying such a premium, pshawww. Also, their icings are bland, not creamy and flavourful like they used to be and don't seem to sit well in your tummy afterwards. A ptiy. I will try the shop in Yorkville when I get a chance.

                                                                          1. re: Idas

                                                                            I've bought from the Cupcake Shoppe, and they look good, have nice varieties and taste OK. I wouldn't call them the best, but better (or at least more interesting) than the supermarket. To be honest, I'm not an icing person and as for the cupcake part I've made taster cakes at home with the help of Duncan Hines.... However, I buy from Cupcake Shoppe because it's usually for group of friends, one of whom has a young daughter with a nut allergy (not peanuts, but tree nuts) and requests that I get the cakes there. Cupcake Shoppe's cakes are nut free. I seem to remember that Whole Foods has some supermarket style cupcakes that are nut-free too (but don't quote me on that :) ).

                                                                            Does anyone know if some of the other places mentioned here that are located in central/mid-TO also make nut free cakes? E.g. Wedding Cake Shoppe, Dessert Lady?

                                                                            1. re: balthazar

                                                                              Try Half-Baked Ideas, bakery and cafe. I first reported on this place on another thread. Essentially this place is fairly new (open last Nov?) and specializes in nut-free products - cupcakes, tarts, cookies, custom cakes, pull-apart cakes (essentially cupcakes formed together to look like a one big flat cake but you can just pull out a cupcake portion, no cutting required), pies, savoury tarts.etc.

                                                                              Great customer service. I wanted a lemon tart but when I noted that they had run out for the day, the pastry chef said he would make one up for me immediately, since he had the tart shells and all he had to do was pipe in the lemon curd.

                                                                              And it was a very good lemon tart -- smooth, tart, not too sweet curd, in a pâte sucrée.

                                                                              Half-Baked Ideas Inc.
                                                                              516 Mount Pleasant Road (just north of Davisville) on the west side. Just south of Lollicakes.

                                                                              http://hbibakerycafe.com/

                                                                              1. re: Degustation

                                                                                Is the icing more buttery or more fudgy/sugary? I'll definitely try it out though. I can't believe I didn't know about this place...

                                                                                1. re: Degustation

                                                                                  Tried out the cupcakes and while the chocolate cupcake was quite good--chocolatey and right amount of moist, for me the icing is too buttery---but for those who like their buttercream more buttery, it's probably good icing.

                                                                    2. One of my favourite locations would have to be Life is Sweet on Queen E. in the Beaches area. Their cupcakes are always moist and flavourful! The butterscotch is my number one favourite and the Earl Grey with an orange cream frosting comes in as a close second. SO good! Unfortunately their website only has contact info: http://lifeissweet.ca/

                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                      1. re: lily.violet

                                                                        I second that! One of the best cupcake shops in T.O. Their icing reminds me of a butter cream/ cream cheese variety. The Cupcake Shoppe is okay, but they haven't been consistent. I've had very bland and sometimes dry cupcakes there and I'm not too crazy about their icing (too plain, not much flavour). Life is Sweet seem to know how to make the stuff. The cupcakes are always moist and the flavours just pop out.

                                                                        1. re: lily.violet

                                                                          we went there yesterday based on your recommendation (thank you).
                                                                          wow, its really far east in the Beach!
                                                                          the girl working there was supernice and i really hope her boss doesn't read this, and she let us try two mini cupcakes. it was closing and we bought 2 large cupcakes and she also gave us a 3rd large and 1 mini to take home. super sweet!
                                                                          i wanted the butterscotch but my lady didn't. so i tried a mini cupcake and it was really sweet but very good.
                                                                          next was mango with orange icing. it was very good as well.
                                                                          had the chocolate mint. the mint icing was great. the chocolate cupcape was good but not incredible. almost bland and dry and lacking chocolate oomph. but it did pair well with the icing.
                                                                          we have the Earl Grey w/orange cream in the fridge for a lunch snack.

                                                                          Life Is Sweet has GREAT selection and variations. the mini cupcakes are a nice twist if you want a sampler of sorts. i'd give their cupcakes a 4 out of 5. not sure if i would crown them the best in the city yet, but they definitely fall a little short of the cupcakes talked about above that you can get in Calgary.

                                                                          1. re: atomeyes

                                                                            They are not the best in the city and you must have caught the owner on a good day or had someone else serving you, because my only experiences visiting that shop have been negative. The owner is horrible and totally lacks any gratitude for people coming in and spending money in her store. I was disgusted by her attitude and will not be back.
                                                                            Cupcakes good, owner, not so much...she is young, and clearly has a lot to learn about customer service.

                                                                            1. re: CCK1

                                                                              I'm not sure if you're talking about the same store (Life Is Sweet). My wife, daughter and I have only had good experiences there and we started going there for our cupcake fix at least since January of this year. As for customer service, when my daughter wanted a cupcake with pink frosting and couldn't find one, the owner told my wife that if she could wait a couple of minutes she would ice a new batch with pink frosting. I've been in a few of times with my daughter and the owner has always greeted us and thanked us afterwards. Now she doesn't chat up a storm with her customers, but she seems polite and friendly. Maybe CCK1 caught her on a bad day.

                                                                        2. Red velvet at Cafe doria in rosedale. Number 1.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: helmut22

                                                                            Caffe Doria doesn't make those (I like to go to CD now and then since they're more convenient than travelling to the "source"). I think those red velvet are from Yummy Stuff.

                                                                          2. I really like Yummy Stuff. My favourite are the chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream -- but I think you have to pre-order those. The red velvet are also good. Mmmmmm.

                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Gourmista

                                                                              Oh, that would be a great combo! Definitely that must be a special order since it's just chocolate/chocolate and vanilla/buttercream... hmm... I must try to special order when I'll be in the neighbourhood...

                                                                              1. re: Ediblethoughts

                                                                                I grabbed 6 assorted at Yummy Stuff on Saturday - Carrot/Creamcheese (wife loves), 2 raspberry (which are amazing, big raspberry slabs in the cake), a chocolate for the little 'un, red velvet, AND a chocolate w/chips with maple bacon with little bacon's on top...
                                                                                it was AWESOME all the sweetness and saltiness mixed together ---
                                                                                and they were very fresh I asked her (based no SWS's) comments and she says she bakes fresh daily ; )

                                                                                1. re: dannyboy

                                                                                  Actually, not just my comments, but tuttebene and hautecocoa above had similar statements about stale vanilla cakes. Do you honestly think the owner would say "Why yes, occasionally I sell stale cakes". I stand by my comment above.

                                                                                  SWS

                                                                              2. re: Gourmista

                                                                                I've since special ordered the chocolate with vanilla cream and VERY good! I just wish there was a YS closer to where I live...

                                                                              3. I don`t see Baby Cakes in this thread but I tried out a couple yesterday (down on Queen East distributed at a restaurant that incidentally apparently has a smoke-free patio that I plan to try) called Lìl Baci. I loved them---definitely added to my top two cupcake places. Large amount of buttercream (more like the vanilla fudge kind); I tried vanilla on chocolate cupcake and red velvet.

                                                                                So now it`s official; there is an inverse relationship between how much I love a cupcake and how close it is to my house.

                                                                                1. I wanted to thank those who recommended The Wedding Cake Shop for cupcakes!

                                                                                  I decided to do a taste test and bought some from Yummy Stuff and Wedding Cake Shop to see which I liked better.

                                                                                  Wedding Cake Shop won hands down...

                                                                                  Yummy Stuff cupcakes were fresh and they had very interesting flavours - red velvet, maple chocolate and bacon, and black forest, but they had too much icing and it was the very sugary - almost crunchy - kind.

                                                                                  Wedding Cake Shop had a Dulce de Lece and a chocolate ganache that were wonderful... ideal for people like me who love cake, but don't want it so sweet it makes your teeth ache! Even their buttercream icing was not cloyingly sweet and is more the Italian style buttercream that I prefer.

                                                                                  I had given up on cupcakes (unless I made them myself) after trying Lollicakes and Cupcake shop, but after stumbling on this thread I decided to give a few other shops a try and I am glad I did!

                                                                                  I will definitely be back to The Wedding Cake Shop for more cupcakes in the future!

                                                                                  Thanks again to those who posted about this great find!

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: LovelyAsia

                                                                                    I want to thank everybody, too. Wedding Cake Shop beats almost anything I've had so far. I wasn't too fond of the red velvet, but the cake and frosting (a cooked buttercream, as far as I could tell) on the vanilla were excellent, and those are the base for other flavours, as well (lemon, coconut). Too bad for me they are so far away from my east end home and work.

                                                                                  2. Hands down, the best cupcakes I've found in TO are from LIFE IS SWEET, at the end of Queen East.

                                                                                    The size is hefty - nice and large! Cake is moist and dense, not airy like a cake mix. The icing is smooth and not too sweet - just the perfect amount. And their flavor combinations are incredibly inventive. At $2.25 each it's a steal.

                                                                                    I've tried Dufflets (dry, crumbly, tasteless)
                                                                                    Wedding Cake Shoppe (Truffle cupcake - nothing to rave about)
                                                                                    Dessert Lady (bland, oily frosting, terrible)
                                                                                    Yummy Stuff (pretty good - had them at Caffe Doria last year)
                                                                                    Miss Cora's Kitchen (pretty decent, but kind of expensive and the cake itself was a bit on the greasy side, though contained a very homemade feel - and was pretty dense in a good way)

                                                                                    Having the best cupcakes ever in California at Sprinkles, my cupcake reviews can be ruthless and I was totally wowed by Life is Sweet. When I bit into the Mango tea cake with lime frosting, I had a knee drop reaction (literally).

                                                                                    Try it out. They've also got Earl Grey with orange frosting, butterscotch, and some other fabulous flavors.

                                                                                    19 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: freelancer

                                                                                      For those who, like me, prefer a "cooked" buttercream, Life is Sweet will not satisfy. I did like the cake part, nice and fluffy, but the frosting, not so much.

                                                                                      1. re: Full tummy

                                                                                        I've never had a cooked buttercream - can you elaborate on the difference?

                                                                                        1. re: freelancer

                                                                                          I think Full Tummy is referring to Italian Buttercream as "cooked" because it is basically boiled - almost caramelized - sugar beaten into whipped egg whites and then butter whipped in - so more fluffy and less sweet than the North American style Buttercream - which is usually butter and icing sugar and flavouring.

                                                                                          Like Full Tummy, I also prefer the Italian style because it is less sweet and more silky and not as sweet and crunchy as the North American style

                                                                                          That said, having read about Life Is Sweet's Lemon Drop cupcake - I might have to give it a try because I love lemon curd and good cake!

                                                                                          -----
                                                                                          Life Is Sweet
                                                                                          2328 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4E, CA

                                                                                          1. re: LovelyAsia

                                                                                            Thanks for responding LovelyAsia! I'm with you. Either a Swiss or Italian Meringue Buttercream, as you described.

                                                                                            freelancer, most bakeries will likely have an "uncooked" American-style buttercream, since it is a fair bit easier to make. There's no cooking involved (as compared to the meringue buttercreams which involve egg whites, temperature taking, etc.) and it's basically just butter mixed with icing sugar, and perhaps some milk. However, the American "buttercream" is definitely preferred by some, perhaps because they find a Swiss or Italian buttercream overly buttery, or perhaps because it's what they grew up with. To each his/her own!!

                                                                                            If you have one of the cupcakes at the Wedding Cake Shoppe with a vanilla frosting on it, that is definitely the "cooked" buttercream LovelyAsia and I are referring to. However, if you had a "truffle" cupcake, you most likely had a chocolate frosting, and that has its own textural properties and may not have been made the same way as the vanilla, since chocolate frostings have a large amount of chocolate in them!!! (So, try the vanilla next time!! You may still prefer Life is Sweet.)

                                                                                            Here is some more information, in case you're interested.

                                                                                            Uncooked buttercream:

                                                                                            http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/a...

                                                                                            Cooked buttercream:

                                                                                            http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/a...

                                                                                            Next time you have frosting, you could ask the baker how it was made; that way, you'll be able to see which style you prefer.

                                                                                            1. re: Full tummy

                                                                                              Thanks Lovely Asia and Full Tummy for the explanation! I guess I have never had a cooked buttercream before. I only tried the Truffle one at Wedding Cake Shoppe and wish I had tried a vanilla! I do prefer a smoother, less sweet icing. Is the wedding cake shoppe the only place that uses a cooked buttercream? Unfortunately I was visiting so it will be probably another year before I can stop by again! :(

                                                                                              1. re: freelancer

                                                                                                Well, the icing will still be quite sweet, but generally less so... Other of their cupcakes will have the same buttercream as the vanilla, because they've got the same base but a different flavouring. Also, some of their cupcakes use the vanilla icing, as far as I can tell, but have something else sprinkled on top for the flavour (for example, the coconut cupcake). It's important, also, to keep in mind that all icings are affected by temperature. Some people would greatly prefer a room temperature buttercream (whether American, Swiss, or Italian); others don't mind it cold. What I do notice with a Swiss or Italian buttercream is that when it's cold it really has a butter texture, almost like you're biting into pure butter. I don't mind that, but you might.

                                                                                                Next time you're in Toronto, give it a try, and let us know what you think.

                                                                                                1. re: Full tummy

                                                                                                  Such a good point! I MUST have a cold cupcake! Otherwise the icing tastes like sweet butter to me and I don't like that.

                                                                                            2. re: LovelyAsia

                                                                                              You won't regret Life is Sweet's Lemon Drop cupcake. It was incredible!

                                                                                          2. re: Full tummy

                                                                                            So is Yummy Stuff's icing cooked? Does anyone know? Looking for that frame of tangible reference...

                                                                                            -----
                                                                                            Yummy Stuff
                                                                                            1660 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6R, CA

                                                                                            1. re: Ediblethoughts

                                                                                              I have never been there or tried any of their products, so I have no idea. Maybe LovelyAsia has been and will chime in.

                                                                                              1. re: Ediblethoughts

                                                                                                Just noticed that LovelyAsia addressed this, sort of, above, and it seems as though it's not cooked, as she describes it as "crunchy".

                                                                                                1. re: Full tummy

                                                                                                  Huh. Crunchy. I guess it is compared to the very smooth icings--which bother me.

                                                                                                2. re: Ediblethoughts

                                                                                                  I'm pretty sure it's uncooked, as it's what I'm used to - really sweet. It's been a long time since I tried theirs but it seems to be uncooked.

                                                                                                  1. re: Ediblethoughts

                                                                                                    I know this is really old but Yummy Stuff uses an uncooked icing and it's kind of gross in my opinion. I went out of my way to try their red velvet and was so sad and upset as it was three dollars down the drain. The cake has a raspberry tang to it or something too.The icing was crunchy and hard and I even pressed on it with my finger and it felt like a hard candy. Definitely not my type of cupcake or frosting. That being said, my sister did like the odd flavor in the cake but disliked the icing too. It was sitting on a counter and not refrigerated when I bought it.

                                                                                                    1. re: westcoastgal

                                                                                                      Haven't been to YS in a long time but the icing was never hard like candy when I was there. It was never smooth per se but it was always soft and firm.

                                                                                                3. re: freelancer

                                                                                                  It's that "end of" part that foils me. It's a long way to go for a cupcake! But given that I pretty much agree with your likes and dislikes above (though I haven't tried Miss Cora's), I may have to make the trek...

                                                                                                  1. re: Ediblethoughts

                                                                                                    I was in town visiting from Saskatchewan so hunting down the best cupcake shop in Toronto, even if it was at the end of the beaches, was necessary!!

                                                                                                    1. re: freelancer

                                                                                                      I completely understand. I've gone to some completely insane lengths (not to mention distances) for that one treat/dish that I've heard sooooo much about. And there's nothing like the pressure of knowing your time to try said treat/dish is about to expire!

                                                                                                      1. re: Ediblethoughts

                                                                                                        I was in the area anyway and was upset not to see a single cupcake shoppe in the beaches. Totally didn't realize that a ton of them are in Leslieville, earlier on. Sadly I did not have time to visit those, and had to walk BY "It's Icing on the Cake" without going in :( Has anyone tried those ones?

                                                                                                        And yes, the pressure to explore it all while time ticks away is frustrating! Too many cupcakes to eat, not enough time!

                                                                                                4. This thread should begin and end with Sweet Bliss. They are without a doubt the best in the city.

                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                  Sweet Bliss
                                                                                                  1304 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4L, CA

                                                                                                  25 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Eatertainer

                                                                                                    I have been buying their baked goods since they opened, and enjoy many of them. That said, they use an uncooked frosting which I don't prefer. Have you tried cupcakes from the Wedding Cake Shoppe?

                                                                                                    1. re: Full tummy

                                                                                                      I love Life is sweet for the variety of flavours. I love how you can taste different flavours in the icing as well the cake. They all look so pretty too and the shop is cozy and sweet too. I bought a dozen of minis and couldn't believe that I ate it in one sitting with a friend. We couldn't stop ourselves from trying every flavour - fav - lemon drop, & earl grey..more than once :P
                                                                                                      Babycakes (at Lil'Baci) - best chocolate cupcake - choco funk - I love the icing and the moist cake
                                                                                                      Sweet Bliss - really good red velvet cupcake
                                                                                                      LPK's Culinary Groove Inc - best new flavour for me - mini cupcake - banana cupcake with maple icing....amazing combo, a little pricey for a mini as I recall. I'm not sure this is a regular flavour there.
                                                                                                      Lolicakes - love the chocolate mini cupcakes there. Moist cake and yummy icing. Tried in the regular size and it was way too sweet.
                                                                                                      Sugar Plum Sweet Creations - prettiest cupcakes - beautiful icing designs, but the most stale and dry cupcakes I've ever had. Had it only once, hopefully it was just an off day.
                                                                                                      Cupcake Shoppe - Pretty looking cupcakes. Tastewise, nothing special for me. Icing too buttery for my taste.
                                                                                                      The best red velvet cupcake I had so far was Starbucks. I know some people didn't like it but I loved it, icing and cake. Too bad they don't sell it anymore. I'd love to find out where I could find the same cupcakes.
                                                                                                      Went to NYC over the summer and was kind of dissapointed with the red velvet cupcake at Magnolia's. It was alright but it I've tasted better cupcakes in Toronto.

                                                                                                      1. re: babybluepowder

                                                                                                        Thanks for the comprehensive review. You should try the Cupcakery and the Wedding Cake Shoppe when you have a chance. I'm going to put LPK's Culinary Groove on my list, but last time I was in front of the shop it was closed. Lollicakes' frosting is made with shortening, no dairy, fyi. I liked the vanilla cupcakes at Starbucks, haha, better than many I've had. Didn't try the red velvet one. The one time I bought a cupcake at Sugar Plum, they were all sold out, but the owner (I think) frosted another for me, and it was quite good, but the icing was of the uncooked sort that I enjoy less. I find her cupcakes to be quite pretty with all those little flowers dotting the top. Let's hope your experience was an off day.

                                                                                                        -----
                                                                                                        LPK's Culinary Groove
                                                                                                        Toronto Ontario, Toronto, ON , CA

                                                                                                        1. re: Full tummy

                                                                                                          Full tummy, I thought Lollicakes were some of the grossest cupcakes I have ever had. My daughter's preschool teachers agree as a mom brought them in one day and they were not enjoyed. It's too bad as they are pricey and nut free.
                                                                                                          Even odder are Bo and Bon who use Soy in their icings. Definitely an acquired tastes. Their macarons come in from the Bo and Bon in NY and are Parve too so taste odd. I guess Lollicakes and Bo and Bon serve a certain segment of the population and it's not us.
                                                                                                          I finally tried a cake pop the other day and was surprised how icky I found it.Then I researched and realized that it's not baked like that as i thought but made up of cake scraps processed into crumbs,mixed with frosting and rolled into balls and dipped in chocolate, then iced. I expected it to taste like cake, not goo, on the inside. Oh well. At least now I know. I think some places must bake balls of cake?

                                                                                                          1. re: westcoastgal

                                                                                                            I didn't like Lollicakes either - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6154...

                                                                                                            Surprised they're still there, quite frankly.

                                                                                                            Never had a cake pop, as they just didn't look like my kind of thing, hahaha.

                                                                                                            Don't know anything about Bo and Bon. Are they vegan?

                                                                                                            1. re: Full tummy

                                                                                                              They are kosher. They are located up near Short and Sweet and all those bakeries on Bathurst and Lawrence area. In fact, quite close to Baked Goods which is moving to Yonge and Eg to give the Cupcake Shoppe some competition I guess.
                                                                                                              Bo and Bon are kosher and dairy free. They have cupcakes, meringues, marshmallows and macarons. I had a Groupon so went there with my sister and we got a dozen minis in 4 flavors, so 3 of each. I have to say that they were quite disgusting. They weren't even uniform in size which was funny too.Some were miniscule and others much larger. The red velvet was made with soy and the others with either soy or vegetable shortening, like Lollicakes. Groupon refunded my money when I told them my experience and that yes I knew they were Kosher but no where on the Groupon did it say soy, which my daughter is allergic to. Besides that, bad service and bad product. I don't even know how to explain it.
                                                                                                              I am surprised at Lollicakes too. Oddly, I have read good reviews on them. My sister and I went to half baked ideas bakery and then walked to Lollicakes. The minis at Lolli were in fluorescent rainbow icings with sugar sprinkles on top.We asked a few questions and found the customer service not only poor, but odd. The girl wouldn't answer any questions on ingredients and when dealing with kids, we need to know in case of allergens,like soy. She told us it was "a secret". LOL! Weirdo. I am glad we tried the cupcake but I am still flabbergasted that people like them. It reminded me of Mrs., Haversham's living room with dusty knick knacks, the overcrowded shelves and kitschy decor.
                                                                                                              The whole place and vibe gave me the creeps. While at Half Baked, a few customers came in either to buy cupcakes or order birthday or occassion cakes or cupcakes.No one came in to Lollicakes but I know they do a steady business from what I hear from others and read online.
                                                                                                              Another awful bakery that I forgot about it Sweet Tooth on the Danforth. I recall my first visit to TO almost five years ago, I stayed with a friend in Riverdale. We would walk up to the Danforth daily and I saw Sweet Tooth and their displays and just had to try a cupcake. I was sorely disappointed even though they assured me they were fresh, there's no way. I had a piece of a cake bought from there once too and it was inedible. I did like their butter tarts though.

                                                                                                              1. re: westcoastgal

                                                                                                                Well, Sweet Tooth, when it first opened was a decent place. It was opened by the woman behind Phipps (the bakery, not cafe), and they carried a lot of Phipps items. But, they never had the turnover of product needed in a bakery, and over time they sold to someone else who didn't bake their own goods but brought things in from different suppliers, so quality was unpredictable. They are no longer around.

                                                                                                                I have tried Icing on the Cake, and they do a nice buttercream and great airbrushed creations. She is an artist on cake.

                                                                                                                To be honest, I have never been on as much of a cupcake mission as you have been, hahaha, but I have never had your reasons to do so. Cupcakes are just an occasional treat for me, and so I was thrilled when Bobbette and Belle opened, as until then, there was nothing nearby I was interested in.

                                                                                                                Generally, I read things online, and unless I feel convinced it's worth the trip or I happen to be nearby, I don't bother. Sometimes it's a fortuitous discovery, and I happen to be driving or walking in an area and notice a bakery. I can't just go by without looking...

                                                                                                                My mother's birthday cake was from Amadeus, and it was really excellent. Of course, they do a European style buttercream. Cupcakes with frosting are an American thing, whereas European style buttercream isn't, so I think that may be why there are so many cupcakes with American style "buttercream." A bakery like Amadeus does not sell cupcakes.

                                                                                                                I live at Woodbine & Danforth, but I have generally made it a habit to seek out what's good and within a reasonable distance. So, Rahier, yes, worth a visit. Harbord Bakery too. Very different places. And you won't find cupcakes at either, unless things have really changed.

                                                                                                                1. re: Full tummy

                                                                                                                  Do you think any of these -Amadeus, Rahier or Harbord, would do a themed cake?

                                                                                                                  1. re: westcoastgal

                                                                                                                    Frankly, I don't think so. Not their thing. Amadeus has a website where you can see the cakes they make. Intricate and beautiful but not the kind of cake you are looking for. Perhaps Rahier has a website, too, but they're definitely not in the business of making themed birthday cakes. I don't remember Harbord cakes - I went there for other things. Good luck!

                                                                                                                2. re: westcoastgal

                                                                                                                  Where is Baked Goods opening at Yonge & Eg?

                                                                                                                3. re: Full tummy

                                                                                                                  By the way, have you tried "Icing on the Cake"?Genvieve's businesss? They apparently do filled cupcakes and gimmicky mancakes.
                                                                                                                  Have you heard of Cake or Death?
                                                                                                                  I want to try Cake Opera but something about them, maybe pretentiousness and overpriced, turns me off.
                                                                                                                  There's a new bakery I passed near Yonge and Lawrence called Butter something but I haven't tried it yet. Heck, I haven't tried Rahiers, Harbord Bakery, whatever that place is that won the Olympics (had no idea there were cake olympics), Amadeus and many more.
                                                                                                                  How do you know so much and whereabouts do you live?

                                                                                                            2. re: babybluepowder

                                                                                                              I agree with your review of the Cupcake Shoppe. My wife bought some last night since she passes by the shop on her way home. The cake itself is fine, but the icing was bland... no flavour. So far our favourite is still Life Is Sweet; best cupcakes we've had so far.

                                                                                                              -----
                                                                                                              Cupcake Shoppe
                                                                                                              2417 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4P, CA

                                                                                                              Life Is Sweet
                                                                                                              2328 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4E, CA

                                                                                                            3. re: Full tummy

                                                                                                              I agree with Eatertainer. Sweet Bliss' are best and I have tried WCS.

                                                                                                              I think Sweet Bliss' icing is perfect. I like that bit of texture in it. I am not a fan of disturbingly smooth frosting.

                                                                                                              1. re: Atahualpa

                                                                                                                That's a perfect way to describe how I feel about some icing---"disturbingly smooth"!

                                                                                                                1. re: Ediblethoughts

                                                                                                                  Differences in taste aside, I am not sure what is meant by "disturbingly smooth". My sister who is a professional pastry chef was taught in school that buttercream is supposed to be completely smooth. If it had lumps or any grit you would fail.

                                                                                                                  For me the only issue is when it is smooth but dense, if it is light as a real buttercream should be, it is perfection.

                                                                                                                  1. re: JPJ

                                                                                                                    I find when it's too smoooth, it's like sweet butter. I like smooth but I like it fudgy smooth--i.e. more icing sugar in the mix.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Ediblethoughts

                                                                                                                      Exactly, it should be firm when cold, faintly pliable – like a cold ganache.

                                                                                                                      Too smooth and too light and it can feel like it is coating the mouth.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Atahualpa

                                                                                                                        I think the buttercream you don't like is the French buttercreams, they tend to melt very quickly because they have a high fat content and that fat can of course leave a slight coating behind. They rely on a sugar syrup/egg yolk mixture for the base. An italian butter cream which is just as light and smooth relies on a meringue (the egg whites of course, no yolk) for the base to create the light texture. It melts slower and I have never had one leave a coating. For me Italian buttercream is king. American buttercream is by far the worse. At least the french and italian buttercreams use a dissolve sugar to sweeten, the american/lazy version uses icing sugar which leaves a definite grit, especially if refridgerated. Theoretically if you bring it back to room temperature the gritiness is supposed to dissipate, but I find it often does not.

                                                                                                                        1. re: JPJ

                                                                                                                          I'm just not sure why lightness is a desired attribute here. I quite like buttercream icing that is dense enough that when you bite through it, you can see teeth marks in firm, fudgy icing.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Atahualpa

                                                                                                                            Only because some people feel that eating a cooked buttercream (Swiss, Italian) is like biting into butter, which it shouldn't be if it's made properly and allowed to come to room temperature.

                                                                                                                            Fudgy works for me when it's a ganache and chocolate's the base, but not when it's "fudgy" because it's full of undissolved icing sugar.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Full tummy

                                                                                                                              Fudge typically is kind of like that, though, isn't it? There's a bit of a grittiness to it---it's not "silkly smooth". (I like vanilla fudge too!)

                                                                                                                            2. re: Atahualpa

                                                                                                                              Sounds like you enjoy the American style buttercream. I guess that's why they make different kinds, personally I find is diabetic coma inducing sweet and the texture is pasty.

                                                                                                                              Lightness is a standard by which pastry chefs measure the quality of a cupcake, it is traditionally supposed to be light. That doesn't mean of course that people can't like something different, just trying to explain why lightness is one of the criteria I think is important.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Atahualpa

                                                                                                                                Me too! When I make my own icing, it's butter, icing sugar and vanilla and a tiny bit of milk and I love it.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Ediblethoughts

                                                                                                                                  And never the twain shall meet... hahaha.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Full tummy

                                                                                                                                    Actually, when they don't meet, it's really bad icing.

                                                                                                              2. I recently discovered Swirls, formerly in Leslieville, relocated to a storefront 5 minutes away from my house (about 4 blocks west of Jane/Dundas). I tried a half dozen on my first visit, and have been back a few more times for singles. I'm addicted to the Hostess cupcake (chocolate cupcake with chocolate ganache frosting with white cream inside) and the Red Velvet. Other notable mentions: Oreo (chocolate cake w/ oreo buttercream), Raspberry (vanilla cake with raspberry buttercream that tastes like real raspberries and isn't cloyingly sweet). As far as I can tell, it is cooked buttercream, which I prefer (no grittiness and not overly sweet). Quality has been consistent as well - moist flavourful cupcakes and an interesting array of buttercream flavours that don't all taste the same. I definitely recommend Swirls.

                                                                                                                For the record, I've also tried Wedding Cake Shoppe including the passionfruit which is amazing. I would say they're on par in terms of taste and quality, with WCS perhaps having more selection of flavours (Swirls only has 8). However, a half dozen at Swirls will only set you back $10.95.

                                                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: Full tummy

                                                                                                                    Sorry, mixed it up though I don't think it makes a difference to the important part of my post - the review :) Either way, the Dundas St. W location opened a few months ago in September.

                                                                                                                    1. re: LTL

                                                                                                                      Oh, thanks. I live near Leslieville and I thought I'd missed something.

                                                                                                                  2. re: LTL

                                                                                                                    Finally made it over to Swirls today. I don't know if it was an off day or what, but the chocolate cupcake was unpleasantly dry and the vanilla cupcake tasted EXACTLY like a boxed cupcake mix, a real letdown for a boutique bakery. I still have 4 left out of the half-dozen I hadn't tried yet including the Oreo, Hostess, Lemon Coconut and some kind of chocolate caramel or something. It's definitely a cooked buttercream, very light which is a good thing. Certain not bad but I was hoping for a bit more.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Boodah

                                                                                                                      Ok, I've eaten a few more from there and now I've nailed down what's bothering me about them (besides the fact that they've all been pretty dry so far)...the chocolate ones barely have a chocolate flavor. I'm guessing they're either using a really mild cocoa or not using much of it but when I get something chocolate I want to taste chocolate, not just sort of a hint of chocolate. Also, the Hostess cupcake knockoff was just flat-out unimpressive. Edible, but nothing about it would make me buy it again. I really don't want to rip on this place as I really liked the decor and the staff was great, but I can't really find much to like about their cupcakes.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Boodah

                                                                                                                        Me, too, like a Devil's Food Cake, not like a Red Velvet Cake... Real, rich chocolate. Too bad!!!

                                                                                                                        1. re: Full tummy

                                                                                                                          Valrhona cocoa for chocolate cupcakes is where it's at, it doesn't get much better than that.

                                                                                                                    2. re: LTL

                                                                                                                      I firmly believe Swirls has the best cupcakes in the city. We tried LOTS of places before our wedding last spring (For the Love of Cake, Life Is Sweet, The Cupcakery, just to name a few), and Swirls came out on top for taste, quality, flavour, and price. I actually did a taste test with some family members, and gave them secret ballots to vote, and the Swirls cupcakes won by a landslide. We had the Lemon Luau and Vanilla cupcakes at our wedding, and both were a huge hit. I go back often enough, and have tried many other flavours. Another of my favourites is the Marble flavour. HIGHLY recommend Swirls.

                                                                                                                      1. re: marydee

                                                                                                                        Just for the record, in case anyone is curious, Swirls uses an American style buttercream. Not my preference, but many do like it.

                                                                                                                    3. I love the Tickle your Tummy cupcakes - sold at wholefoods, and sometimes vince's market in my neighbourhood.
                                                                                                                      They are packaged so i make sure to get them when they're fresh to the store and come in chocolate and vanilla. made with butter, and so light and delicious i can eat three in a row.
                                                                                                                      they also happen to be nut-free and therefore allowed in my kids schools. whenever i've brought them in, the teachers rave about them.

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: andygirl

                                                                                                                        Picked up some more cupcakes from the Wedding Cake Shoppe the other day and the Peanut Butter one's were incredible... if you like Peanut Butter and chocolate you will love these! Hubby could not believe how "peanut buttery" the icing was!

                                                                                                                        1. re: LovelyAsia

                                                                                                                          I'm so irritated -- I was down in the area and went to the Wedding Cake Shoppe to pick up what I hoped would finally be good cupcakes (I've now had 3 icky cupcake experiences in a row). I checked their website for hours, but when I got there, they were closed. A sign in the window said they were closed this weekend for the bridal show. It would have been nice to post that on their web site. Grr.

                                                                                                                      2. I went to Prairie Girl at King and Victoria this week and the cupcakes were delicious. We tried six of the minis and I want to go back and try the rest. We had red velvet, coconut, banana cake with peanut butter frosting, chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting, lemon, and vanilla cake with strawberry frosting. There's a lot of frosting pm the cakes and they are pretty sweet but the minis make a wonderful treat. I think they have 12 regular varieties and then a special flavour. I will definitely return.

                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: Toronto Chower

                                                                                                                          There's a recent thread on Prarie Girl. Have to say, they're pretty darn good! Tried six of the minis as well. Thought the strawberry was the best one.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Toronto Chower

                                                                                                                            I am very partial to the Prairie Girl cupcakes (both locations) at the moment. The chocolate cake they use is really moist and tasty. The most recent one I had was with peanut butter frosting. I like to refrigerate it a little so that the frosting firms up a bit.

                                                                                                                            My friend who is gluten intolerant really likes their gluten-free cupcakes. I believe they're only available at King/Vic and it's best to get there early or pre-order for them.

                                                                                                                            Dlish was ok. Belle & Bobette's space is beautiful, and their cupcakes are good but not as good as Prairie Girl's. For the Love of Cake in Liberty Village was quite good, too -- RICH!

                                                                                                                            1. re: hungyhungyhippo

                                                                                                                              Prairie Girl is just okay - they do the minis great, but their full-size cupcakes have WAY more icing than is proportional to the cupcake (and this is coming from a girl who normally saves cupcake icing until last, because it's my favourite part). But at Prairie Girl, I find I can't even eat a fraction of the icing on the full-size cupcakes without feeling like I'm going to pass out. Try Swirls! We tried LOTS of cupcake shops before our wedding last Spring, and Swirls was a clear winner.

                                                                                                                          2. Have you tried Desmond and Beatrice on Queen East? I had some really good cupcakes there- their earl grey was pretty tasty- but I also had 2 bad experiences there, so I probably won't go back. Not sure if it was just fluke that I got a super super stale peanut butter cookie once- it was rock hard and the texture was like biting into chalk and had no taste. Maybe it was a mistake that it was put out? But it was certainly not baked that day- and they claim to bake fresh daily. My bad cupcake experience was really strange. I bit into it, and it was warm on the outside, but cold on the inside..almost frozen. So...what does this mean- warm on the outside and cold on the inside? Microwave is my guess. I'm not sure if that is possible...who would ever do that? But I know I've microwaved my homemade muffins before that I've frozen, and they get warm on the outside first..but can still be frozen on the inside. Anyhow- clearly this cupcake was frozen at sometime...and they put it out to thaw..but it wasn't ready. Baked fresh my ass.
                                                                                                                            I love Belle and Bobette!!!!!

                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: thalori

                                                                                                                              I'm partial to Prairie Girl and do hope that one day, they're able to have a cafe so patrons can sit and enjoy the cupcakes. I found Demond and Beatrice to be uninspired. It's a cute space, but the treats we had weren't all that good.

                                                                                                                              Bobbette and Belle has some lovely cupcakes, but compared to Prairie Girl, the vanilla cake is blander and too dense. I prefer them for macarons and homemade marshmallows.

                                                                                                                              And after many frustrating visits to Sweet Escape in the Distillery, I had to give up. Too many stale, overcooked cupcakes for any tastes. I also found the woman who owns the space to be unfriendly, despite my attempts to support a neighbouring business.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Lotus Seedling

                                                                                                                                i'm on the other side of the fence... i'll take bobbette and belle's cupcakes over prairie girls, any day of the week.
                                                                                                                                I find it lighter and more moist. andi prefer their lighter frosting over prairie girls which i find much more dense.

                                                                                                                                1. re: plug

                                                                                                                                  I find it interesting that people are even comparing the two! They are opposite in style (American vs Euro to sum it up) and if you love one, you probably won't like the other. I'm on team Prairie Girl but they are only for those who like fairly dense cake and very sweet, icing sugar icing. And their vanilla needs work IMHO.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: julesrules

                                                                                                                                    actually i like both but i'd take bobbette n belle in a head to head.

                                                                                                                            2. I bought 6 cupcakes at Dlish on Queen St W...it was hit and miss...the carrot cake (my favorite) were spot on, perfect cream cheese icing and two thumbs up...peanut butter chocolate also very good...a couple of them seemed very stale. I was disappointed that none of the cake part were moist. They are on the dry/heavier side which isn't my preference. Unfortunately, 3 of the 6 were certainly stale they were so dry. The icing was good on all of them though..

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: burlgurl

                                                                                                                                I bought cupcakes from Dlish about a year ago and I would never go back. I also found them to be stale :(

                                                                                                                              2. desmond and beatrice at queen and broadview

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: annbung

                                                                                                                                  Sullivan and Bleeker on Bloor but sold at Summerhill Market too.
                                                                                                                                  Cakes by Robert.
                                                                                                                                  Sweet Escapes Distillery District.
                                                                                                                                  Baked Desserts sold at Pusateri's and have their own bakery.
                                                                                                                                  Phipps Desserts on Leslie and York Mills, not to be confused with Phipps Bakery and Cafe on Eg which I haven't tried but heard is good.
                                                                                                                                  Ache for Cake.
                                                                                                                                  A Cake Occasion.
                                                                                                                                  Leslie Bakes.

                                                                                                                                2. I wish Trophy (I think they're from Seattle - that's where I had them) would expand here. They were the best cupcakes I've ever had, better than Swirls (by just a slight margin). However for Toronto I have to rank Swirls and Prairie Girl tied. No they're not the same, BUT both gave me the same amount of pleasure/satisfaction that a cupcake could give.

                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: scarberian

                                                                                                                                    If you want classic american style cupcakes. i'd recommend crumbs and co. in Richmond Hill and they're expanding to another location in Toronto.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: plug

                                                                                                                                      Anyone recently tried Dessertlady or Sweet Definition. I noticed that a while back home based or website based businesses were discussed and I have been in touch with a few of those. They either work out of commercial kitchens like Lindsey Bakes or their homes like Merry Cakes. They also have FB and Twitter accounts. They have business licenses and are inspected so I am not sure why it is considered "bad" to order from them,especially if cost is lower and service better?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: westcoastgal

                                                                                                                                        Hey westcoastgal, it's the other thread that's yours... This one is just about best cupcakes and was started back in 2009. If you want to edit your post, you have a couple of hours to do so, I believe. And do let us know how your search goes.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Full tummy

                                                                                                                                          Ooops, sorry. I am new to this and get messages in my inbox and they are all about cupcakes so I got confused. lol!
                                                                                                                                          The search is pretty much over. I am making the decision in the next couple of days after I get a chance to taste the last two places suggested on this website. I will post on MY THREAD.
                                                                                                                                          Sorry again.

                                                                                                                                  2. I had to update my cupcake view since my opinion has changed. I started to get Short & Sweet's cupcakes quite frequently and the more I eat, the more I appreciate. I was always a like-to-eat-them-cold cupcake person but I tried one once from S & Son a warm summer day at room temperature and it was soooo good: cake so moist and icing so gooey-buttery-sweet-smooth lovely. I also found that I no longer like Sweet Bliss cupcakes (though they make other really good stuff that makes the trip worth it usually). When I tried them several weeks back after a "diet"of S & S, I suddenly understood all the comments here about harsh, granular sugary icing. I"m not sure if SB has changed or if I have. But I'm a total devotee to S & S. The triple chocolate with the chocolate shavings on top is very pure, chocolaty--somehow not too much chocolate--and their vanilla icing on anything is perfect amounts of vanilla and butter and sugar and smooth but not oily. And while I was rather meh on the red velvet elsewhere, I found I like theirs. The cream cheese icing has no hint of sour to it (which might mean it's not cheesy enough for some people but perfect for me). I'm trying the dulce de leche this weekend and the other caramel-y one (can't recall the name).

                                                                                                                                    And service is always helpful and friendly.

                                                                                                                                    And they deliver to the Yonge & Eglinton area for $10!

                                                                                                                                    11 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ediblethoughts

                                                                                                                                      I've only had short and sweet once, and once was enough. I went first thing in the morning and the cupcakes were completely stale.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: kwass

                                                                                                                                        Really? Wow. I've had them so many times now and they've never been stale. In fact, they sit in my kitchen for a 2 days and they still taste very fresh. I'm usually very picky about even a faint sense of stale too...

                                                                                                                                        (I have never been there first thing in the morning--no idea if that makes a difference. I'm always there mid-to-late afternoon.)

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ediblethoughts

                                                                                                                                          I was actually really surprised (and of course, disappointed), because I had heard good things about this place, and was really looking forward to trying it.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: kwass

                                                                                                                                            FWIW, my one experience at Short and Sweet was enough to turn me off permanently. Dry, crumbly cake with gritty overly sweet frosting. Bleh.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                              That was my experience as well Jo. Ediblethoughts if you really want to try a fantastic cupcake, go to the Wedding Cake Shoppe. Once you've tried WCS's cupcakes, you will never want to eat a cupcake anywhere else!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: kwass

                                                                                                                                                I tried them several years back and I found the icing a bit too buttery, not enough emphasis on the sweet for me.

                                                                                                                                                It's weird how such different experiences can be had: I understand different tastes in icing and such (raw vs. cooked, for example) but the crumbly cake is something I've never had at S & W (though I tried the pumpkin spice tonight and that was maybe getting a little in that direction--wouldn't order that one again). The red velvet and chocolate and vanilla cake have always been sufficiently moist for me and, more to the point, the way the cake and icing hit me together adds up to my (current) favourite cupcake experience.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: kwass

                                                                                                                                                  As you may know from my previous posts and extensive cupcake crawl, I used to LOVE Wedding Cake Shoppe. Sadly, my last 2 visits have been average at best and in fact, our last purchase of half dozen cupcakes, saw 3 going stale and in the garbage as they went uneaten too long. I don't know why they weren't that great. I found the vanilla cake too heavy and dense, almost like a pound cake and the frostings boring and missing oomph in flavor. The chocolate cake base was ok.
                                                                                                                                                  Bobbette and Belle is another fave and I've had a couple of disappointing cupcakes but generally, they're good.
                                                                                                                                                  Surprisingly to me, I have really enjoyed Bakes and Goods on Yonge north of Eglington. The cupcakes are really light and yummy and the buttercream smooth, creamy and not too sweet, yet flavorful. The owner is really nice too and the shop has none of the snobbery or poor service of other bakeries. It's also nut free which is great for kids parties or school parties. Apparently her cookies are her main source of business but I haven't tried them.
                                                                                                                                                  I have a Living Social voucher for Pinklemon Bakeshop aka Crumbs and Co but haven't tried them yet. Has anyone else? They're north of Lawrence off Avenue. There was another bakery there that sold cupcakes and they took over and didnt change a thing. I went by one day and they were closed and I looked in the windows.
                                                                                                                                                  I tried Bakes in Heels at Vaughn Mall for $4 a cupcake and was not impressed. I am not sure why they're so popular. However, as a Vancouverite, I don't enjoy the Cupcake Girls cupcakes yet they have a show and are expanding to Toronto. Just what we need, another mediocre cupcake shop with gritty birthday cake type frosting. Even Cakes by Robert makes better cupcakes and I can get them at Brunos for $10/6.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: westcoastgal

                                                                                                                                                    Sorry your experience @ WCS was so bad. That being said, since I totally trust your taste in cupcakes westcoastgal, I now want to give Bakes and Goods a try. I just went on their website to look for their hours, but couldn't find anything. Do you happen to know what their hours are?

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kwass

                                                                                                                                                      Oh and I adored WCS for a long time. I even tried to get them to cater my daughter's bday but they were too busy. I just had bad service twice and cupcakes recently that just werent up to their usual par. I will try them again if in the area as they were number 1 on my list before. The salted caramel at Bobette and Belle is awesome.
                                                                                                                                                      For lovers of sweet frosting, try Sullivan and Bleeker. She sells out of stores like Summerhill Market or private order. Nut free as well.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: westcoastgal

                                                                                                                                                        I'm always mistrustful of second hand selling in cupcakes. It's hard to know that they are fresh and I've had so many bad experiences with stale cupcakes... But I'll keep that name in mind.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ediblethoughts

                                                                                                                                                          What I do is ask the bakeries like Summerhill, Brunos, Pusateri's, Whole Foods, McEwan's, etc., which day they receive their shipment if the particular type of cupcake or baked good I'm looking for and only go that day, if I can. I like Pauline's red velvet but it's only at stores like McEwan's so every once in a while, if I need to get groceries anyways, I will go in on the day of the shipment. It's usually Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays and every supplier is different. The other option is to call the bakers direct and just pick up from them. They all do retail personal orders as well.

                                                                                                                                      2. Hey peeps, there's a new cupcake place in town on Laird. Here is the link:

                                                                                                                                        http://cupcakesonline.com/

                                                                                                                                        23 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: kwass

                                                                                                                                          I have been trying to get there without luck. Let me know what it's like if you go.

                                                                                                                                          In other cupcake news, Bobbette and Belle now have some cupcakes with an American style frosting. Their vanilla and a couple of other flavours have been modified for whatever reason and no longer have a proper buttercream, but most of their cupcakes do still. Unfortunately, vanilla was my favourite flavour!! Wedding Cake Shoppe, please open a location closer to me!!!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Full tummy

                                                                                                                                            I've found that the Wedding Cake Shoppe has actually gone downhill. The last few times I was there, I felt as if they'd lost their "wow" factor. They're still good, but they're not mind-blowing anymore.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: kwass

                                                                                                                                            I'm assuming these would be the same recipes as the cupcakes from Cupcake Girls? If so then I'll pass. My family and I tried the Cupcake Girls when we were in Vancouver last summer and it was underwhelming. We found their cupcakes (and we bought 6 different ones) to be slightly dry in general and lacking in flavour. We had our hopes up, but they just didn't wow us nor were they as enjoyable as say, Prairie Girl.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: scarberian

                                                                                                                                              Good to know! Thanks for the info.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: scarberian

                                                                                                                                                What kind of frosting did they have?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Full tummy

                                                                                                                                                  I believe it was a buttercream. One of the cupcakes did have a cream cheese icing, but, regardless, all were bland. Not much flavour nor sweetness to them.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: scarberian

                                                                                                                                                  I stopped in there on Sunday I believe and picked up a couple of the "mini" cupcakes. Unlike Prairie girl's minis which I think are at least 2-3 bites, these are literally 1 bite. Not necessarily a bad thing if you just want a tiny taste of something sweet, and I guess the price wasn't bad then considering the size ($1.50 each).
                                                                                                                                                  I tried the red velvet and the carmeletta on chocolate cake. The cakes were incredibly dry, and to be honest, I was so distracted by the cake I hardly noticed the consistency of the frosting. The cream cheese red velvet I recall, however, as being a very dense frosting, not a light and airy buttercream. If I go back for more, I will take better notice, but my favourite cupcakes remain prairie girls.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: hungryabbey

                                                                                                                                                    I've never tried Prairie Girl. What is the frosting like? Is it a European Butter Cream or an American style frosting?

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kwass

                                                                                                                                                      Prairie girl? Its definitely american, which I know most ppl dislike on here but its my preference because I have a sweet tooth lol

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: hungryabbey

                                                                                                                                                        Have you tried Short and Sweet?

                                                                                                                                                        I know some people have found it dry but my experience has always been moist with chocolate or vanilla cake ones--and the icing is a lovely uncooked buttercream.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ediblethoughts

                                                                                                                                                          Short and Sweet was one of the worst cupcake experiences I've had. I went 1st thing in the morning, and they were soooo stale. I can't even remember the flavour, because they were so stale, I threw them out after one bite.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kwass

                                                                                                                                                            I think we had this chat above----or I did with someone. I always get there later in the day... maybe someone did something they shouldn't be doing first thing in the morning, like sell older ones?

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Ediblethoughts

                                                                                                                                                            I've also only had superb experiences at Short & Sweet. Never had a bad one, always moist and tasty. Hmm, maybe getting them later in the day is key.

                                                                                                                                                            I prefer frosting. I don't care for buttercream at all.

                                                                                                                                                            I also don't like too much icing. Places today go overboard on the icing. There's no balance. I don't like that.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: magic

                                                                                                                                                              And I say bring on the icing! IMO, there's no such thing as too much :)

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: magic

                                                                                                                                                                Until I'd tried Prairie Girl one too many times, I thought I was pretty icing-proof-----as long as I liked it, there couldn't be too much. And then suddenly I realized I had a limit. Short & Sweet is just right.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ediblethoughts

                                                                                                                                                                  Short and Sweet's balance is perfect.

                                                                                                                                                                  Interesting story. My friend's birthday is today. I was going to buy her favourite - a Short and Sweet red velvet. For reasons I won't get into I ended up getting her a red velvet from Prairie Girl instead. She'd never had a PG cupcake (and even to this moment neither have I). She said while PG’s red velvet was quite delish Short & Sweet is still her fave.

                                                                                                                                                                  I don't care for too much icing, I really really don't. They make cupcakes awkward to eat and upset the balance. Even though I admittedly did not try it, her PG cupcake looked a little too iced for my liking. Smelled damn good though! And she did like it.....

                                                                                                                                                                  As an aside the staff at PG in the PATH were champs - sooooo nice, and ran a smooth but very busy ship.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: magic

                                                                                                                                                                    I'm not that much of a fan of red velvet---except S & S! Theirs are lovely.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ediblethoughts

                                                                                                                                                                        Had a red velvet from Short and Sweet today. Still as good as before, so moist and fresh.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ace123

                                                                                                                                                                          I might just have to give S&S another try :)

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: hungryabbey

                                                                                                                                                                That's probably why I haven't tried Prairie Girl, because I'm not a fan of american icing :(

                                                                                                                                                      2. we recently did a little 'taste-off' between seven different cupcake shops: wedding cake shoppe, bobbette and belle, desmond & beatrice, d'lish, prairie girl, life is sweet, and sweet bliss. this took place over a few days, and unfortunately, did not feature a direct comparison between identical cupcakes (life is sweet refuses to make red velvet cupcakes).

                                                                                                                                                        full disclosure, i personally prefer a moderate amount of not overly sweet frosting, while the ladies are okay with more sweetness and a thicker layer of frosting.

                                                                                                                                                        most consistent: bobbette and belle. we keep coming back to them, and they certainly have large, wow-factor cupcakes that are moist with good crumb.

                                                                                                                                                        biggest disappointment: wedding cake shoppe. not memorable, and flavours seemed pretty muted, indistinguishable.

                                                                                                                                                        most inconsistent: prairie girl. some hits, but a shockingly dry red velvet cupcake that i felt pulled all of the moisture out of my mouth as i ate it. (i don't think that it should be required that each bite of a cupcake include frosting in order for it not to be dry).

                                                                                                                                                        shockingly sweet: desmond & beatrice's chocolate chip cupcake. wow, you know that the glycemic score is off the charts when a 13 year old girl can't even finish half a cupcake because the frosting is an insane sugar bomb. if you like a sweet frosting, this is the one to get. my better half's double chocolate only had 2/3 of the frosting eaten too, and she's a chocolate fiend.

                                                                                                                                                        modest surprise: sweet bliss. for cupcakes that spend their day in a fridge, they are nice little compositions that have good balance and surprising moistness when allowed to come back up to room temperature.

                                                                                                                                                        my favourite: life is sweet, coconut cupcake. dense and moist cake with tender crumb, showered with long shreds of coconut and just the right amount of frosting.

                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: afong56

                                                                                                                                                          I agree with your assessment of Bobbette and Belle and Wedding Cake Shoppe. Bobbette and Belle is consistently good, and yes, they definitely have that wow factor.

                                                                                                                                                          As for Wedding Cake Shoppe, they used to rival Bobbette and Belle. They were just as good, and then something happened. For some reason, they've really gone down hill :(

                                                                                                                                                          And, I can't speak to the others. Although you didn't mention it, Bakes and Labour is on my list to try.

                                                                                                                                                        2. Mabel's ( 323 Roncesvalles Ave, 1156 Queen St W) has delicious cupcakes. They have a variety of flavours and in addition usually do something different for each holiday or season. I did a head to head taste test comparison to the cupcakes at Hot Oven Bakery (vanilla icing and cake) and there is no comparison.
                                                                                                                                                          Mabel's were rich and creamy tasting as if they used real eggs and butter. btw, they also sell Vegan and gluten free cakes and cupcakes to order.

                                                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MaggieA

                                                                                                                                                            I've heard that Mabel's makes really good cupcakes! Didn't she just open a location on Queen West?

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: justsayn

                                                                                                                                                                Have you tried their cupcakes justsayn?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kwass

                                                                                                                                                                  No. I am not a big fan of cupcakes...me and sugar again....

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: justsayn

                                                                                                                                                                    Oh...that's right :) So much to keep track of ;)

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kwass

                                                                                                                                                                      HAHA I like cream cheese icing and butter icing most - when not icing sugary at all. But even then, cupcakes don't hold my interest.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: justsayn

                                                                                                                                                                        Gotchya. I'm not sure if we've had this discussion, we probably have...lol...but you would probably really like Emma's maple bacon doughnuts, because as far as doughnuts go, they're not sickeningly sweet. The doughnut itself isn't sweet at all. It gets it's sweetness from the maple glaze, but then the bacon balances it out.

                                                                                                                                                          2. My favourite Toronto cupcakes are in the west end of the city at Bake Sale. Best buttercream icing hands down. The red velvet is excellent but my favourite flavours are the peanut butter, then chocolate mint, then lemon. http://bit.ly/Ms6qkx

                                                                                                                                                            I'm excited to try Swirls on Dundas, but I was disappointed by the Cupcake Outlet on Evans. Not a great variety last time I was there.

                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rosieintoronto

                                                                                                                                                              Where exactly is bake sale? I just clicked onto the link you provided, and the icing looks kind of oily. Maybe it's just the picture.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kwass

                                                                                                                                                                Just googled Bake Sale, so now I know where it is :)

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: rosieintoronto

                                                                                                                                                                Does Bake Sale actually have a retail outlet or not? Very strange website states "people come in daily....." but I can't find an address anywhere, just a phone#.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: barneyvernon

                                                                                                                                                                  According to Google, one location is @ 3076 Bloor St. W., and the other location is @ 5230 Dundas St. W.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: barneyvernon

                                                                                                                                                                    Both locations are pretty convenient (the Bloor Street one is between Islington and Royal York) but I like the one at Six Points Plaza because parking is dead easy.

                                                                                                                                                                    They have mini-cupcakes too which I love :)

                                                                                                                                                                2. New place recently opened called Petite and Sweet, which isn't exactly a cupcake place, but they do serve cupcakes with a buttercream frosting. Here's a link to their menu:

                                                                                                                                                                  http://petiteandsweet.ca/menu.html

                                                                                                                                                                  And here's a link to the write-up from BlogTo:

                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.blogto.com/cafes/petite-an...

                                                                                                                                                                  1. BTW, I know I've said that the WCS has gone downhill recently. Well, I think I have to amend that statement. I was there this week, and bought their oreo cupcake, and it was as good as it's ever been!!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. I'd have to say Prairie Girl is one of my favourites. I haven't found any inconsistencies with their cupcakes. I've also recently discovered J'adore Cakes on Danforth Ave., west of Warden. They have good cake to icing ratio. I think J'adore uses American buttercream, same as Prairie Girl, but I actually prefer this style of icing on cupcakes. Swiss or Italian buttercreams I prefer on cakes - go figure. I used to really like Life is Sweet until I tried these other two shops. Don't care for Miss Cora's Kitchen.

                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: vcm

                                                                                                                                                                        I know exactly what you mean. When I want a cupcake I want a simple sugary treat, not Euro buttercream.
                                                                                                                                                                        I don't love all of PG's cupcakes (specifically I think the vanilla and banana cakes could be a lot better), but they are consistently fresh and I do like the chocolate cake.
                                                                                                                                                                        J'adores donuts are great, haven't tried the cupcakes but can believe they are good too.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. I don't have recommendations but I can tell you where NOT to go...Sugar Tiers. Dry and bland.

                                                                                                                                                                        Actually Dufflet is good but if you need somewhere more accessible, go to the bakery at a Longo's. Excellent.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. Ediblethoughts, i just heard about a new cupcake place that you might be interested in. The writer of the blog said that it's up there with the top 5 cupcakes she's ever tried. It's called Petite and Sweet Bakes, and here are links to the both the write-up and to the menu:

                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.blogto.com/bakery/petite-s...

                                                                                                                                                                          http://petiteandsweet.ca/bakes.html

                                                                                                                                                                          16 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kwass

                                                                                                                                                                            Ediblethoughts, I just wanted to update you on Petite and Sweet Bakes. Apparently, they have 2 locations. The 2nd location just opened up on Queen St. E., but the original location is @ 420 Summerhill Ave.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kwass

                                                                                                                                                                              Full tummy, you might want to try the location on Queen St.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kwass

                                                                                                                                                                                Oh, goodie! Let us know how they were and what kind of icing if you go first.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Full tummy

                                                                                                                                                                                  I probably won't get there for a couple of weeks, but I'll definitely report back. I think I'm going to call 1st, to find out whether it's a cooked buttercream or not, because if it's not a cooked buttercream, I probably won't bother going. But I know that there are lots of people out there who prefer a buttercream that isn't cooked, so I'll report back as soon as I've found out.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kwass

                                                                                                                                                                                    Well, I'm with you on that one. If its not European buttercream I will not enjoy it, unless maybe one with a cream cheese frosting or a well done ganache.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Full tummy

                                                                                                                                                                                      I echo your sentiments exactly Full tummy!

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: kwass

                                                                                                                                                                                      Interesting how we all seem to fit into the either/or--and rarely like both!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ediblethoughts

                                                                                                                                                                                        And it is interesting! Although I used to be like you Ediblethoughts. I loved the uncooked buttercream...that is, until I had the pleasure of trying the European buttercream, and then my taste changed completely :)

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kwass

                                                                                                                                                                                          I've tried quite a few of the places raved about on CH for the uncooked and I just didn't like it. Too fluffy and no fun! However, I'm always ready to try something new that is well considered just to see if I have that Cupcake Moment with any one of them.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ediblethoughts

                                                                                                                                                                                            I thought it was the uncooked style that you preferred.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kwass

                                                                                                                                                                                              It is. Sorry, not sure how I gave another impression. I just meant that if people on CH rave about some place with the uncooked, I'm willing to give it a go for one cupcake if I'm near. Just to see.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: kwass

                                                                                                                                                                                        So I called Petite and Sweet today and apparently they use a cooked italian buttercream. I'm not sure what Italian buttercream means, but I'm going to go sometime within the next 2 weeks, so I'll let you all know :)

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kwass

                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, yes, we should like it then!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Full tummy

                                                                                                                                                                                            Exactly!! I was really excited when she told me that it was a cooked buttercream :)

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: kwass

                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks for thinking of me! I am trying to remember if I've been there... it looks a bit familiar. But it's worth a try again since I don't remember.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I actually tried one of the chocolate with white icing cupcakes from J’adore and I quite liked it. My kind of icing.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ediblethoughts

                                                                                                                                                                                    Good to know! I have to find the time to get out there.

                                                                                                                                                                                3. For those of you who like the European buttercreams, an off-the-beaten-path recommendation is the cupcakes at Hammersmith's at Gerrard and Logan. It's a restaurant, not a bakery, but one of the owners, Britney, is a fabulous pastry chef and she usually has some of her amazing scones, cookies and cupcakes available at the counter. She makes my absolute favourite chocolate chip cookie in the city, and her cupcakes are just right -- moist cakes with good flavour and perfect buttercreams. She doesn't do crazy flavours or even have a lot of different flavours, but if you're in the area, it's worth a stop. Or call ahead and order some or just to check if she has any that day.

                                                                                                                                                                                  And as I just found out from millygirl, Britney is now the pastry chef at Stock, which explains why my panna cotta the other night was the highlight of my meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                                                                      Scarberian went and had a cupcake at Hammersmith's today and liked it:

                                                                                                                                                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7985...

                                                                                                                                                                                      :o)

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                                                                        I read that on the Hammersmith's thread. It's definitely on my "must-try" list!