Wednesday, 27 February 2013

National Cupcake Day: The Reveal

I'm happy to report that National Cupcake Day was a success! Last time I checked their website Canadians across the country had raised over $143, 000. Way to go Canada!

As promised, here is a picture of the cupcakes I made.

If you made cupcakes for the big day, email pictures and a description (and how much you raised if you'd like) to sugarflourflavour(at)outlook(dot)com and I'll share them with my readers so we can ooh and ahh over them and appreciate all the work we put into giving our furry friends a little help when they need it most.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

A Post about My Other Favourite Thing...Books!

I came across a pretty great contest today that I had to share with you. It's Live to Read's 100 Book Giveaway! Those of you who know me know I have a huge book addiction - if I'm not baking, I'm probably reading - so I just had to enter and you should, too. Two winners will each receive 50 books!! Best. Contest. Ever.

There are lots of other book giveaways on the blog, too! Head on over to Live to Read right now to enter. Good luck!

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Valentine's Day Cookies and Cupcakes

I call bullshit on Valentine's Day. Yep. You read that right. Bullshit. I happen to think it's a pseudo-holiday that exists for two reasons and neither of them is love. The first reason: the creation of order and control. A long time ago, society realized they could exploit the chemical reactions that occur in people's brains when they think about sex (among other things) to control people. Valentine's Day just helps solidify that control. The second reason: money. We can always use another excuse to boost the economy whether the individual can really afford it or not.

All that said, I never turn down a reason to bake, so even though I'm calling bullshit, I'm still baking my heart out.

Using your favourite shortbread cookie recipe (or sugar cookie recipe if you like to go that way - blech), these pretty little cookies take hardly any time at all. When you mix up your shortbread, just add red food colouring to part of the dough. Chill then roll out the white dough and cut it out with a scalloped circle cutter. Place the cutouts on a parchment-lined baking sheet, then cut out the centre with a heart shaped cutter. When you're finished with the white dough, roll out the red and cut out hearts using the same cutter you used to remove the centres from the white dough. Place a red heart inside each circle and bake.

With two heart shaped cookie cutters and the same technique, you can also make these gorgeous cupcakes.

Roll out some gum paste, cut out your hearts and use them to top your Valentine cupcakes. Adding some disco or pearl dust to the gum paste decorations gives them a little extra festive sparkle.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Book Review: Chloe's Kitchen by Chloe Coscarelli

Awhile ago I bought a book called Chloe's Kitchen by Chloe Coscarelli. If you're a fan of Food Network's Cupcake Wars (and really, who isn't), you might remember her as the vegan baker who won her episode. Her book is full of vegan recipes - which look absolutely mouthwatering! - including one of the recipes she used on Cupcake Wars. Because this is a baking blog, I focused on the baked section of the book for my review, but I've also tried recipes for real food.

The first recipe I tried was a chocolate cake with mocha icing and almond slices. I baked it as a cake in August with the icing recipe included in the book the first time, then I turned it into cupcakes with different icings the second and third times. I guess telling you I've used the recipe three times in six months probably means I'm stating the obvious when I say I loved it. The cake has a rich cocoa flavour without being too sweet and it's so moist! The price of the book is worth it for this recipe alone!

The next recipe I tried was for yoga cookies. These little treats use agave syrup instead of sugar and lots of yummy but healthy ingredients to make a cookie that tastes amazing without pushing the indulgence meter too high.

The third dessert recipe I chose for this review was for the cupcakes that won Cupcake Wars. The texture of these vegan cupcakes was a bit different from a traditional cupcake in that it was actually something I wanted to put in my mouth. I also liked that they weren't overpoweringly sweet, making them balance nicely with any icing you choose to pile on top. Moist. Delicious. Perfect. Now wonder these were winners!

Based on the other recipes I tried and the face that this book makes vegan food that is delish with ingredients that are easy to find and affordable, I recommend picking up a copy for yourself! And if you want to check out some of Chloe's recipes before you buy the book, her website has some freebies for you.

Note: I purchased this book on my own because I found it interesting. I was not compensated for this review in any way. I just love to share amazing food finds with my readers!

Friday, 1 February 2013

National Cupcake Day for SPCAs and Humane Societies


I think by now it's pretty clear that two of my biggest passions are baking and animals. That's why I'm so excited to tell you about National Cupcake Day for SPCAs and Humane Societies. National Cupcake Day, which is on 25 February, is designed to get Canadians baking for a good cause. Anyone can register to make cupcakes for this special day by visiting Once you've registered you'll have your very own online bakery to collect donations. It's really that easy. Sign up, bake, collect donations for your treats through the website. And in addition to doing something great for our furry friends, if you upload a picture of your cupcake creations to National Cupcake Day's facebook page you have a chance to win a prize pack, too!

I'll be participating this year (you can view my online bakery here) and I think you should, too. If you don't feel like baking cupcakes yourself, why not buy some from someone you know? Or feel free to make a donation to anyone participating whether you know them or not. Even if you don't get a cupcake out of it, the puppies and kitties will thank you.

Check back here at the end of February for pictures of my National Cupcake Day creations and don't forget to make an animal happy today!