REVIEW: CUPCAKE HEAVEN, WESTCHESTER NY (DELIVERY TO NYC)
My mom got a Groupon coupon to try a dozen of these cupcakes…so we gave it a shot! At first, they had so many people wanting cupcakes, they had to reschedule our delivery to two weeks later. When I first saw them, I thought they looked gross—kind of like supermarket cupcakes with plain vanilla frosting and confetti sprinkles. But when I took a bite…I was so surprised! The cupcakes were very fresh and moist and not too sweet. The chocolate was the best; red velvet came second and vanilla third. The vanilla was actually weird: one cupcake tasted dry, but my mom gave me another and this one was perfection. The cupcakes were a little sunken in on the bottom and a little dense—they probably overbeat the batter. And they could be a little more original with the frosting (all the same?) and the decorations. f they improve on that, they would really have a perfectly delicious cupcakes…and my vote!
MY RATING: 4 ¾ CUPCAKES
To order (they deliver to NYC and cater) www.cupcakeheavenny.com
We Take the Cake, Orlando Florida (ships)
A pretty pink and green box arrived filled with HUGE cupcakes the size of baseballs. They looked pretty, too: with lavender and pink shimmery flowers on top. I tasted the Golden Butter Vanilla first: it was way too sweet. The combination of the buttercream flower on top of the cream cheese frosting made me a little sick! Then I tried the Southern Red Velvet: the color was a nice, bright red, but it tasted too chocolatey and was almost sticky. The last one I tried was the Chocolate Buttermilk. Not bad; not great. The cake was moist, but again, too, too much chocolate cream cheese frosting and flower. We Take the Cake is supposed to be one of Oprah's fave things (she loves their key lime cake), but I just don't agree. It left a bad taste in my mouth. I give it 4 CUPCAKES.
Wonderfully Made Cakes, NY (in Dean & Deluca stores)
These cupcakes were on display at Dean & Deluca. They didn't taste as good as they looked! First, I sampled the Cookies and Cream. It was dusted with gold and had an oreo on top. The cake was a dark, dark chocolate. My first reaction: "Ewww!" Everything was wrong! The cake was dry; the frosting was whippy and sugary; the Oreo was soggy. Then I tried the Coconut Passion. Again, dry cake, whippy frosting and really no flavor. I couldn't taste the coconut at all! My dad ate the Nutella and thought it was okay, and Mom tried the Raspberry and Lemon and spit it out (she said it was gross and kind of sour). I had the Toasted Almond left to try but couldn't bring myself to do it because the other cupcakes were a disgrace! I give Wonderfully Made Cupcakes 3 CUPCAKES because they're NOT Wonderfully Made. I would have given them a lower score, but they're decorations were impressive. Just make the cakes better!!!! Decoration is not all that matters. Nuf said!
Interview with THE CAKE BOSS
CARRIE’S Q&A: Baking with BUDDY, VALASTRO, THE CAKE BOSS!
I was so excited to hear that Buddy Valastro has a new cookbook out! It's called Baking with The Cake Boss: 100 of Buddy's Best Recipes and Decorating Secrets! He's running around on tour right now, but he was nice enough to answer my questions! Thanks, Buddy!
This is your SECOND cookbook--how is it different from the first?
My first book was a cross between my story and some of my favorite recipes. For this book, I wanted to take the reader through the steps of making some of my favorite cakes from start to finish. I took pictures of each step, and then put in little tips and tricks to help people making them at home.
What is your fave recipe you've included in the book?
That's hard to say- I really wanted to give people different recipe options for the cakes, like we do in the bakery. I think people are really going to like some of our fillings- especially the ganache!
How are things going with the new factory in Lakawana? When can we order some Carlo's cakes to be shipped nationwide?
Our new Cake Factory is great- there's so much potential to be able to serve our customers. We're currently testing out ways to ship our products- check out the Carlo's Bakery Facebook and Twitter for
What is your BEST decorating tip you can share from the book?
I tried to focus on the techniques, so there is an entire section on handpiping and tools to create textures on the cakes. It's all in the hands and wrists.
Tell us about NEXT GREAT BAKER...what can we expect?
I brought in 13 contestant to compete to be the next baker in my shop, and we put them through the ringer "Hoboken Style" There's a lot of crazy stuff that happens this season-- you gotta watch the premiere on November 28th!
BOOK REVIEW: THE CUPCAKE DIARIES
BOOK REVIEW: THE CUPCAKE DIARIES
By Katherine Kallinis and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne
My mom was the collaborator on this book—which means she helped the DC Cupcakes ladies write their story! I helped to: I researched all the DC Cupcakes episodes and wrote summaries! I was surprised that the book was organized into seasons.
After that, there is a behind-the-scenes section with every episode from Seasons 1 and 2! I love that there are dozens of recipes, but I wish they weren’t all scrambled around the book. I had to skip over the recipes to keep reading Sophie and Katherine’s family stories which were so much fun. I enjoyed the pictures they shared of themselves as little girls. They also explained how they watched Oprah with their grandma afterschool and always dreamed of being on her show. Well, they did it! They made champagne New Year’s Eve cupcakes for her, their idol! I also like that there aren’t just cupcake recipes in this book. There’s also Mommy’s Mint Lemonade, Babee’s Baklava and way more! This was a delicious book to read—and I wanted to gobble it up!
MY BOTTOM 10 (JUST MY OPINION!)
CARRIE’S 10 WORST CUPCAKES
10. Ballaboosta (Delivery)
9. Shari's Berries (Delivery)
8. Make My Cake (NYC)
7. Ruthy's Bakery & Cafe (NYC)
6. The King of Cupcakes (NYC)
5. Soutine Bakery (NYC)
4. SoBe Scoops (Miami, FL )
3. Green Mountain Cupcakes (Burlington, VT)/Bella's Bakery (Milburn, NJ)
2. Big Man Bakes (L.A.)
1. Treat Cupcake Bar (Needham Mass.)/ Fairway (NYC)
MY TOP 10 (JUST MY OPINION!)
CARRIE’S 10 BEST CUPCAKES
10. Cupcake Crew (Truck NYC)
9. Candy Cakes (London)/Gigi’s (Vegas)
8. Lola’s (London)/Sugar Daze (Paris)
7. Alice's Tea Cup (NYC)/Two Little Red Hens (NYC)
6. Purple Elephant (NYC)/ Oh La La Cupcakery (Baltimore)
5. Cupcake Stop Truck (NYC)
4. Tribeca Treats (NYC)/ Butterlane (NYC)
3. Buttercup Bake Shop/Billy's (NYC)/Sweet E’s (L.A.)
2. Les Glaceurs (Montreal)/Baked by Melissa (NYC)
1. Georgetown Cupcake (D.C.)/
L.A Sweets (Miami, FL)
CONFESSIONS OF A CUPCAKE CRITIC!
Carrie’s Cupcake Critique: 25th anniversary issue!
confessions of a cupcake critic!
Since the day I was born I have always loved cupcakes---well, at least as long as I can remember. I was just one year old when I had my first cupcake. My mom brought me a Vanilla cupcake with red and green sprinkles from Orwasher’s Bakery and put it on my highchair tray. My birthday is near Christmas, so I had a Christmas decorated cupcake! From the big smile on my face, you could tell that was a good cupcake! I had vanilla frosting all over my mouth, and sprinkles all over my pink shirt. I had never tasted anything so delicious!
Another important cupcake was when I was 4 years old at Alice’s Tea Cup. It was my first Red Velvet Cupcake. When I saw the name of the flavor on the menu, I didn’t know what it was. I thought it might taste like strawberry because it was so bright red. When I tried it, it was moist, chocolatey and rich. But the frosting tasted like cream cheese. What a delicious combination, I thought! I continued loving cupcakes and ordering them everywhere, until one day, when I was seven and a half.
I was coming out of ballet dance camp with my friend Darby and her mom, “Aunt” Kathy.
“If you like cupcakes so much, why don’t you write a blog about them?” Aunt Kathy suggested. I thought that was a great idea! So I went home and created a newsletter called Carrie’s Cupcake Critique. As I got older and learned to use the computer in school, I redesigned it, used Word Art to create the new logo, and changed all the colors and boxes. My newsletter got so popular, that we were printing out 100+ copies each month—and using up all my mom’s printer ink cartridges! So we put it online—and now we have almost 200 people who are members!
I love being a cupcake critic. I like that I can be tough but also fair, and I love trying all kinds of cupcakes all over the world!
WICKED BIRTHDAY CUPCAKES!
For my 8th birthday, I took my 4 BFFs Jaimie, Darby, Sadie and Julia to see WICKED on Broadway—and we celebrated with my favorite cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake. I asked Sophie and Katherine if they could bake me WICKED cupcakes. My idea was Red Ruby Slipper Red Velvet and Chocolate Ganache with a Yellow Brick Road. They had never done anything like this before, but they said yes. I was amazed they made special custom cupcakes just for ME! I was honored! They did an amazing job! We served them with a Glinda and a Wicked Witch topper—and everyone agreed that it was the best cupcakes they had ever tasted. Papa even had one of each…and wanted another! I would give them 5++++++ CUPCAKES because they were good as always and also so special, just for my birthday!
Of course, no holiday would be perfect without… GEORGETOWN CUPCAKES! They do the most amazing Hanukkah cupcakes—dark chocolate, vanilla and red velvet with a blue Jewish star on top. YUM! We had my neighbors Brynn and Dale and my BFF Jaimie over to celebrate the first night. They couldn’t stop eating them! Then, because I ams playing a reindeer in the Yorkville Nutcracker, they sent me a dozen Rudolph Red Velvets. When I saw the box, I froze! It was like heaven…all red velvet with an adorable chocolate reindeer on top. I inhaled it!
REVIEW: CUPCAKE NOUVEAU, MIAMI
I first saw them on a show called Cupcake Wars on the Food Network. They came in third place, but their cupcakes were great! I saw they were in Miami, which is where my family was going on vacation. So we called them and they agreed to make us custom cupcakes AND deliver them to our hotel! They made us Chai Tea, Red Velvet, Vanilla Bean, Chocolate, Vanilla with Raspberry Filling and Guava. On top of each cupcake, they made ballet stuff, like tutus and ballet slippers out of modeling chocolate and fondant. I stuffed the Red Velvet in my mouth--I gobbled it up, right down to the wrapper! The frosting was amazing. The Vanilla Bean really tasted like Vanilla, and the Cream Cheese wasn't too cheesy. It just melted in my mouth! On a scale of 1 to 5 cupcakes, I would give Cupcake Nouveau 4 3/4 CUPCAKES. I wish they had a store in New York so I could go there all the time!
Smush the NY Deli of Desserts
CUPCAKES at FAO SCHWEETZ CAFE
NEW REVIEW: Sweet Revenge, NYC
Carrie's Q&A: Sweet by Good Golly Miss Holly, Florida
Carrie's Q&A: Two-time Cupcake Wars champ Doron Petersan!
WICKED cool Cupcake Wars winner!
Fabiola and Janelle
Wicked cupcakes by The Cake Mamas
The winning cupcake for Cupcake Wars WICKED episode!
Bieberlicious Bday Cupcakes by Cake Mamas
Cookie Monster Cupcake by Cake Mamas
Fabiola and Janelle
Designer bag cupcakes by The Cupcake Mamas
Cupcake Mamas' Moulin Rouge cupcakes
I Love Lucy cupcakes by The Cake Mamas
Green Eggs and Ham Cupcake by THE CAKE MAMAS!
Interview with CUPCAKE WARS winner Jason Hisley of Flavor Cupcakery, Maryland
The winning cupcakes!
REVIEW: Muppet Cupcakes
The Making of PEACE LOVE & CUPCAKES: THE CUPCAKE CLUB
My book cover...work in progress!
peace love logo 2.jpg 2011-10-26
The final art for the cover!
Screen shot 2011-11-21 at 5.jpg 2011-11-28
Sleepover Squad art by Julia Denos
My fave Julia Denos book: Being Audrey
Julia Denos_Books_Just Being Audrey.jpg 2011-10-25