Yappy Hour with Cupcakes

MAS Rescue (Maryland Animal Sanctuary Rescue) is a volunteer and foster-based animal rescue that is very special to me because my husband, Ken, and I adopted our wonderful puppy (now almost two years old) from them. We can’t thank them enough for caring so much about her before she found her forever home with us. On the first Tuesday of every month they host an event called “Yappy Hour” where people can meet some of the dogs looking for new homes and purchase wine and/or beer to support MAS Rescue (a dollar of each sale goes directly to the rescue). Last week, in addition to beer and wine, they were selling Guinness and Baileys cupcakes donated by Honey Bee Delights.

MASRescue_YappyHour1

This flavor was very appropriate since St. Patty’s Day is right around the corner. Once I heard that this month’s Yappy Hour would have cupcakes, I knew I would be stopping by after work to try one and support my favorite rescue. The cupcake was made with a Guinness chocolate cake base, Baileys Irish Cream frosting, and topped with green sugar sprinkles. They were being sold for $2 each and a hundred percent of every sale was going towards the rescue.

MASRescue_YappyHour2

If I’m being honest, this wasn’t my favorite Guinness and Baileys cupcake, but the standards have been set pretty high. The cake had a nice stout flavor and was light and fluffy, but was a bit dry. The frosting seemed to have a cream cheese base and I was having trouble tasting any Irish cream in it.

Even though it wasn’t my favorite, I was happy to support MAS Rescue and try cupcakes from a new baker at the same time. I would definitely go to the next Yappy Hour for a drink and to buy more cupcakes from Honey Bee Delight, knowing that it’s going towards a great cause.

If you want to learn more about MAS Rescue and Yappy Hour, please visit their website or Facebook page.

- Review by Cupcake Crusader, Stacy (Baltimore, MD)

After 13.1 miles, I needed a “Cake Break”

A few weeks ago I ran my second half marathon in Ocean City! (As Stacy mentioned in this post, I recently became a more serious runner.) Of course when traveling, whether it be for a 13.1 mile run or for pleasure, we Crusaders have to find cupcakes to try. So after doing our usual research, I settled on Cake Break in Rehoboth Beach, DE.

The OC race was very early on Saturday morning and ended at Assateague Island; from there the racers were shuttled to Seacrets where I was lucky enough to have my Mom, Dad, Nona, Rich (Nona’s boyfriend), and a bunch of friends waiting to celebrate. I then headed up to Bethany Beach, where my family and I spent the evening at my Uncle’s beach house, ate a fantastic celebratory dinner in Rehobeth, and got some well deserved rest.

   (My metal and bib from the race! #2 in my metal collection.)

The next morning, I trekked up to Cake Break for some cupcakes, breakfast, and coffee. The staff were very friendly, welcoming, and even knew about the Crusaders! I settled on an everything bagel and a caramel latte - which was delicious – for breakfast, and picked six cupcakes to take home with me:

Carrot Top

Carrots, raisins, cream cheese – oh my! This cupcake had a fantastic spice to it and the icing was very sweet, but paired well with the savory cake. Filled with white raisins and carrot pieces, the cake might be the best carrot cake I have ever had, and I loved the decoration on top too.

Lemon Head

This cupcake was a must, as one of the owners (who helped me choose my six flavors) said it was one of their BEST… and boy were they right! I loved the true lemon flavor of this cupcake and the fact that it was not overly sweet. The lemon curd on top of the icing was an added bonus of lemon pleasure. A great cupcake that I will order again.

Red Velvet

Of course I had to bring home a red velvet! This moist and truly deep, dark, rich, cake really shone all on its own. Then there was the icing, which was very smooth, and not overly sweet. The hard sprinkles on top added an interesting new texture to this already great cupcake.

Cannoli

It is impossible for me not to order a Cannoli cupcake, because they are one of my favorite desserts. Sadly, this cupcake doesn’t come close to the dessert original. The filling was good, but not great and had a bit of a grainy texture to it, and the cake was just okay, as I felt it lacked flavor. I did love the presentation of this cupcake, but it isn’t one I would try again. (They also offer a chocolate version, which I would like to try, just to see if the addition of a more flavorful cake would help overall.)

Chocolate Overload

WHOA. Chocolate, chocolate, and MORE chocolate! If you love chocolate, this cupcake is for you! I was amazed at how moist the cake was, while not being overly sweet! I love when cocoa is allowed to be the star of the show and this cupcake was its own musical!

I-rish I Had Another

I do wish I had another one of these cupcakes! Having created my own “Car Bomb” cupcakes, this flavor was one I didn’t want to pass up. While the cake was moist, I wish it had more stout/beer flavor. The icing was divine, smooth and very Irish Cream flavored. The best part was the Jameson chocolate fudge filling; it melted in like a chocolate truffle and had the perfect hint of whiskey. All together this cupcake truly tasted like the drink and the next time I make them I might have to ditch my jelly and fill them with Jameson chocolate fudge.

Running my second half marathon felt fantastic and is quite an accomplishment on my running journey. Having friends and family there to support me (and my crazy habit) makes me feel like I’m the luckiest person… and having delicious cupcakes to eat isn’t a bad deal either.

- Posted by Cupcake Crusader, Elisa (Baltimore, MD)

Green, Green, and More Green! Gotta Love St. Patty’s Day!

What could possibly make St. Patrick’s Day any better when you already get to wear green, act a bit crazy, drink lots of beer, and eat your weight in corned beef, cabbage and potatoes? You guessed it! Cupcakes!

Local bakeries and cupcakeries seemed to have a ton of fun this year with St. Patty’s Day offering everything from Chocolate Mint, Green Velvet, Irish Cream, Guinness, and even Corned Beef and Cabbage cupcakes. Below is a sampling of some that the Crusaders were fortunate to try!

“Car Bomb” Cupcake from Hamilton Bakery – Baltimore, MD

This cupcake screamed “GUINNESS” and “BAILEYS!” The cake was moist and rich, and the frosting was not sweet, but instead, it was buttery and very booze-infused. I’ve had several cupcakes from Hamilton Bakery, and this is my favorite so far!

Irish Cream Cupcake from Kupcakes & Co. – Elkridge, MD

Kupcake & Co. paired their amazing chocolate cake with a sweet and smooth Irish Cream frosting. The frosting was so flavorful that there’s no need to sit down with an after dinner Baileys on the rocks when you have this cupcake.

Green Velvet Cupcake from Starry Night Bakery and Coffeehouse – Westminster, MD

Crusader Jenn said that while the green cake on this Starry Night cupcake was really fun and festive, unfortunately it didn’t have much flavor that she could pinpoint. But her exact words about the frosting: “The chocolate ganache…oh the ganache! So good!” I’d say that she enjoyed it.  ;)

Corned Beef and Cabbage Cupcake from Starry Night Bakery and Coffeehouse – Westminster, MD

Some may argue that this is not a real cupcake due to its savory nature, but as always Starry Night stepped outside of the box and offered up something different. This Smithwicks cupcake was topped with corned beef in a Guinness glaze and finished with whipped potatoes & cabbage. Crusader Jenn said that it was the perfect pre-dinner appetizer!

We hope that you were able to enjoy some fun green-themed cupcakes this St. Patty’s Day! If so, share them with us!

- Posted by Cupcake Crusader, Stacy (Baltimore, MD)

Spotlight: Snickerdoodles Bakery and Coffeehouse, Part 1

Named after the common cookie, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Snickerdoodles Bakery and Coffeehouse (Hampstead, MD). Would it just be a take-out bakery that you stop in on your way to work for a quick cup of coffee and a muffin? When I finally went to their shop, I was surprised and pleased to find a sophisticated bakery and high-end coffeehouse, with plenty of room to bring friends and gather around one of their many tables, or just to come yourself and relax in their cozy surroundings. The mom in me loved seeing that they even have a miniature table with chairs, inviting guests to bring their kids with them.

After taking in the great atmosphere, I began investigating the goodies. My first thought? “WOW! Those cupcakes are HUGE!” My second thought? “How much are they?” With their size and the decoration and toppings on most of the cupcakes, I thought they would be pricey. However, they aren’t! At $3.00-4.00 for the large cupcakes, they are very reasonably priced. And the best part is that they are large enough to share (or to have more than one helping for yourself)!

On this day I was fortunate enough to leave with one of each flavor in the shop, making 12 cupcakes in total. Due to the grandness of these cupcakes, and the number we have to show you, we’ve decided to break our review into two parts, featuring 6 of the cupcakes in each post. Here are the first ones we’ve selected to show you:

Irish Car Bomb:
During the St. Patrick’s Day season, we see a lot of these cupcakes based on the popular drink (Guinness and Bailey’s Irish Cream) pop up. I’ve had a few takes on the idea, and this one is a clear stand out for me!

I usually see these cupcakes done with a chocolate cake, however Snickerdoodles has choosen to make this a true Guinness stout cake. None of the smooth Guinness flavor is lost and, just like an Irish Car Bomb, the Bailey’s Irish Cream filling and frosting complement the cake perfectly. It is so moist and flavorful!

Cannoli:
I think the best way to describe this next cupcake is with a photo.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that IS a whole (mini) cannoli on top! This cupcake has a chocolate chip cake that is moist and delicious, with a cannoli filling that I think even the toughest critic would appreciate, and is topped with a chocolate ganache frosting, American buttercream, and more chocolate chips.

Almond Raspberry:
For the Crusaders, this has become a classic combination. We love the pairing of almond and raspberry.

This cupcake has an almond cake, whipped raspberry filling and American buttercream frosting. I think the whipped raspberry filling is a nice change from the usual jam filling and also helps keep the cupcake light.

Red Velvet:
This Red Velvet cupcake has been taken to the next level.

I was really happy with the moistness of the cake! I’m always disappointed with red velvet cake, however this one is not only moist, but also has a great flavor. It’s paired with a cream cheese filling, American buttercream frosting, and topped with a chocolate shaving and toasted red velvet cake crumbs. The frosting makes this cupcake really sweet, but I enjoyed every bite!

Toasted Coconut:
This is another classic flavor. With the decoration, this cupcake needs no label.

All together the cupcake works, however it isn’t as “coconut-y” as I prefer. That being said, the moist poundcake-like cake, whipped filling, buttercream frosting, and generous toasted coconut shavings on top are still really tasty!

The Rainbow Cupcake:
This cupcake is a new one Snickerdoodles is working on and there’s only one way to describe it: Fun! Based on their “famous” Rainbow Cake, the Rainbow Cupcake is a miniature version.

I think it’s necessary to also show a photo of the inside of this cupcake, to really get a good idea.

As you can see, this cupcake has a rainbow cake, raspberry puree filling, chocolate buttercream frosting, dipped in chocolate, then piped with more chocolate buttercream, and topped with sprinkles. The cake is moist and the jam and chocolate combination is delicious!

If you have a chance to visit Snickerdoodles, please do! Whether you are looking for a special treat, a great beverage, or a place to just hang out, Snickerdoodles has it all! They also have beautiful full-size cakes, pastries, and cookies. I can’t wait to return! And, keep a look-out for Part 2 where we’ll be reviewing Strawberry White Chocolate, Carrot Cake, Boston Cream, Black Bottom, a fun, fancy, party cupcake and Death by Chocolate!

- Posted by Cupcake Crusader, Jenn (Westminster, MD)