Wow, these lingerie cupcakes are lookin’ good. I’ll be sure to keep Look Cupcake in mind next time I hear someone needs treats for their bachelorette party! They’re stuff isn’t cheap, but it’s conveniently located next door to me in Seattle (on Queen Anne Hill) and you cannot beat their presentation. Too bad they only do events – if they had a storefront, I’d stop by to see if these taste as good as they look!
My hometown is just full of cupcake news this month. Cakespy got the scoop that Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners, is now also home to some gigantic gourmet cupcakes. The stadium just revamped their concessions stand menus and decided that they just couldn’t leave out our favorite baked good. Cupcakes at the ballgame, cupcakes at the art gallery…where will they show up next, Seattle?
Here are a bunch of pictures from my Saturday adventure at Cupcake Camp Seattle: 5,000 cupcakes, 70 bakers, mobs and mobs of cupcake fans. I met some great bakers and ate a lot of delicious cupcakes – more on both those topics in the next few days.
In my time writing with ATC, I’ve seen a lot of things cupcake: clothing, tattoos, furniture, events, drawings, and of course the genuine article in many shapes and sizes. What I have not yet seen is a cupcake-themed art gallery. Until now.
The beloved Emerald City-based and cupcake-themed artist Cakespy just bought her own art gallery in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. As of April 1st, Cakespy, a.k.a. Jessie Oleson, and her husband became owners of Bluebottle Art Gallery. They will keep the gallery open as they transition and will have a grand-opening/re-opening party on May 8th when Bluebottle officially merges with Cakespy Shop. As you might expect, the event will feature cupcakes as art and in their edible form.
I recently got the chance to take a cupcake run with my friend Amy down to Belltown’s Yellow Leaf Cupcake Co. I’ve heard good things about them for awhile, but I’d never had a chance to try their wares.
Amy and I decided that since this was for a review, we’d be adventurous. Between the two of us we sampled some of the more interesting selections from Yellow Leaf’s menu: Pancakes and Bacon, Tomato Soup, and Mexican Chocolate.
Pancakes and Bacon tasted like it sounds: it was just like a bacon-studded cupcake with maple butter and bacon bits on top. Even the texture of the cake was reminiscent of pancakes. The finish was identical to the aftertaste of breakfast at a pancake house, sans eggs. (Amy said it was a “breakfast sensation”, but she couldn’t say it with a straight face). The cake was very good, firm and moist with enough bacon to give a nice smoky accent to the sweetness, though hard-core bacon fans might wish there were was more bacon.
I really wasn’t sure what to expect from Tomato Soup. As it turns out, tomato cake totally works – it’s like carrot cake but with more acidity, basil accents, and none of the texture from carroty bits. The cake was the driest and densest of the three cupcakes we sampled, but it wasn’t too dry and was complimented well by the rich, moist frosting. As for the frosting – I felt like I was eating dark chocolate butter. The cake and the mousse went well together, but the dark chocolate overpowered the subtle accents of tomato soup.
Mexican Chocolate turned out to be less chocolate and more cinnamon and spice. The cake was great, light and fluffy with a muffin-y texture and a wonderful crunchy top. The buttercream frosting was very rich and buttery with a light cinnamon flavor. The cake flavor was similar, spice cake with a hint of cocoa.
All in all, excellent cupcakes. I can safely say they’re the best I’ve had in Seattle so far. One word of warning – Yellow Leaf’s buttercream frosting is very rich. One and a half cupcakes was almost too much for one sitting. These are cupcakes with gravitas – make sure you approach them with an appropriately empty stomach :)
I think cupcakes are pretty great. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be writing for All Things Cupcake, right? But it takes something special for me to bestow an “OMFGBBQ CUTECAKES!” award. CakeSpy has it…CakeSpy, in fact, takes the cutecake.
I first discovered CakeSpy a few years ago at I Heart Rummage, a local artist swapmeet that goes on every other month at Chop Suey (Capitol Hill, Seattle). I stood at the booth for at least five minutes paralyzed and making cute noises over freakin’ adorable drawings of wee little cupcakes living their little cupcake lives: checking the interwebs at a coffeeshop, falling in love, and running from zombies. It made my week.
Turns out that CakeSpy (aka artist and writer Jessie Oleson) not only does prints of the wee lives of cupcakes, she also have a blog and plenty more merch. I mean really – what says awesome like a hip cupcakes and unicorns tee in the closet, a cupcakes and unicorn checkbook in your purse and teeny-beeny cupcake and unicorn magnets on the fridge?
As the recession stretches on and jobs stay hard to find, more people are turning to self-employment to pay the bills. The name of the game is to use your pre-existing skills in a venture with a low start-up cost. Like, say, using your many years of cupcake-baking experience to start a business selling cupcakes.
Carrie Spindler of Hudson County, New Jersey did just that when she started GoodieBox Bakeshop. After losing her job, Spindler decided to take the leap and put her fifteen years of baking experience to entrepreneurial use. Spindler started her business online and created a dedicated following (especially for her signature red velvet cupcakes) before moving into her own retail space.
Mini Empire Bakery of Seattle, Washington has much the same business plan. Christy Beaver and Morgan Greenseth started their cupcakes and more concern online this last December and have just started selling their goods in local cafes as well. Just as Spindler did with GoodieBox, Beaver and Greenseth plan on building a following before setting up a brick and mortar shop.
Besides the relative ease and low-cost of starting up an online catering company, these cupcake entrepreneurs have one more thing on their side: the robustness of the small luxuries market. While many of us can no longer afford big luxuries, we still have money for little luxuries like cupcakes. Thus cupcake-making is a potential source of jobs as well as sweetness, even in tough economic times like these.