Last week, something incredible happened.
I got to eat a ton of cake.
But unlike most days that I eat a ton of cake, on one very special day (March 17, in fact) I got to eat cake all day with Molly Allen, who runs the website CakeFYI.com and is a contributor for Best Friends for Frosting, and with Joy the Baker, overall Big Important Foodie Person and a sweet fan of CakeSpy Shop. She had won an all expenses paid trip to Seattle after the "So You Wanna be a CakeSpy?" contest!
It was a contest to support my amazing book.
Now, I should say thanks in advance to Molly because some of the photos below are hers. Thanks!
I had solicted some suggestions for where to take Molly, but I also had a few favorites in mind--especially considering that she is a fan of red velvet cake.
I can sense that you're getting bored of all of these words and starting to wonder where the cake is, so why don't I tell you what we ate now, ok?
First, since it was St. Patrick's day, we stopped at Nielsen's Bakery in Queen Anne. This little gem is the home of the snitter, fine cinnamon rolls, and most notably, something called the Potato. As Molly put it, "A sweet potato. A pastry puff filled with custard and whip cream, then topped with marzipan and cocoa powder." NOM!
Next, we hit up Pinkabella Cupcakes in Queen Anne. This store has gone through some management changes (it used to be Wink Cupcakes) but it had been highly suggested by a Sasquatch Staffer as a great place for Red Velvet. I took a moment to ask Molly what makes a great red velvet cake:
Oh, and I should assure you: of course we brought our magical ponies.
The Pinkabella cake was highly respectable: a great cake-crumb, moist and flavorful, and a surprisingly light frosting--though I like a thicker and weightier frosting personally, the flavor was very good.
Next, I took her to Trophy Cupcakes. After all, Molly clearly needed a Neapolitan cupcake after her winning recipe, and it's overall a magical place to visit. So we got a few flavors, including the Neapolitan and a "green velvet", the St. Patrick's day version of Red Velvet.
I should also tell you, we brought our ponies here.
As usual, Trophy was delicious. If you've never been there, I have a question: what's wrong with you?
They were super-sweet at Trophy, and knowing that Molly and I would be hanging out with Joy the Baker soon, they sent us on our way with a cupcake for her, too! AND some to share with the guests. Thanks, Trophy!
Next, we went over to Ballard and picked up some gelato at D'ambrosio. This time, I tried the caramel-fig and the nougat. It did not disappoint--this place is awesome.
Next, we made a quick drive-by at Bakery Nouveau, where the floors are paved in butter and the walls are made of sugar. Not really, but I hope that gave you the idea that this palace of pastry is stuffed with delicious. We got a few sweets including a croissant, and cheated a bit and got some savories too. But we had to get going quick, because it was time for...Joy The Baker!
Joy was passing through town on book tour and stopped at CakeSpy Shop. It was packed--naturally! Here we are together, looking cute. Hey, how'd they get so tall?OK. So after hanging out at the signing for a while, we headed up to our final destination for the day of the pastry: Cupcake Royale. Also made of magic, we picked up a Tiramisu, Red Velvet, and Lemon Pistachio. Yum.
And, you might be wondering: how awesome are we? About this awesome:
At this point, we declared "oink oink" and gave up for the day - but oh, what a MAGICAL day it was.
So, as you may have noticed, Molly tasted a lot of Red Velvet on this glorious, sugar-filled day. At the end of the day, she said that she had a favorite. Can you guess what it was, based on the pictures above? Here's a quick roundup of tasting notes:
Red Velvet Tasting
- Pinkabella: A standout cake, a lighter than expected but very good frosting.
- Trophy: A delicate cocoa flavor, lovely frosting, cute decorations.
- Cupcake Royale: A firmer and less moist cake style, decadent and denser frosting.
If you've been to these shops, which is your favorite? I'll do another post to let you know which one she chose in the next day or two!