Favorite Instagram Photos from Crave Cupcakes.
1. Be patient
2. Share – it feels good
3. Practice may not make you perfect but will give you confidence
4. Mix well – it makes things better
5. When you have the opportunity to be prepared – do it – it will save time and frustration in the end
6. Sometimes things don’t work out, clean up, try again, but try it differently
7. Always say thank you when given a compliment – you baked it, you earned it
8. Sometimes recipes need a little more sugar sometimes a little more salt
9. Never be afraid to try something new
10. There is always time…for dessert!
This weekend I was on a quest to find the perfect breakfast “eat on the way to work” or a “something quick to eat before a run” item. These were my criteria, had to contain breakfast type items that I am currently eating, healthy and something other than a smoothie or a muffin. My go-to ingredients for breakfasts, at the moment, are oatmeal and peanut butter so I started with those key words in my searches.
I found so many recipes, it was hard to choose, so I started with two. The first from Whitewater Cooks the at home cookbook by Shelly Adams and the other from a blog Watching-what-i-eat by Vickie E.
Energy Balls – Whitewater Cooks at home
1 cup of sunflower seeds – toasted
1 cup of seasame seeds – toasted
1 cup of rolled oats
1 cup chocolate chips – I used dark chocolate
1 cup dried cranberries
½ cocoa powder
2 cups of peanut butter – I used natural peanut butter
½ cup honey
1 ½ cups of toasted coconut – used for rolling the energy balls
Method: Put everything except coconut in a large bowl. Mix all ingredients together well with your hands. Roll ¼ cup scoops of dough into balls and then roll them in the toasted coconut. These can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week or the freezer for a couple of months.
When I make these again I will not make them as big as I found them a bit much to eat all at one time. The size that I made this time I would cut it in half and eat in two parts. They are delicious, but super messy to make!
Ready to take with me!
Banana Oat Breakfast Cookies
1 ½ cup oatmeal
2 ripe bananas
1 cup applesauce
1/3 cup raisins
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix vanilla and cinnamon into applesauce. Blend applesauce mixture into other ingredients and let sit for 10 minutes. Drop cookies onto sheet and flatten. Bake 20-30 minutes until golden brown. Remove and let sit on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes.
I would have made these a little bit bigger as mine were on the smallish side and I only baked them for 15 minutes, instead of the suggested 20-30. I used a cake tester to check the doneness as the cookies turned golden brown rather quickly. The recipe also called for walnuts but I did not add them. I would add some kind of crunch next time, maybe flax seeds or a flake type cereal, or a toasted nut as the cookies ended up being kind of chewy.
These recipes are both fabulous, quick to make, tasty, healthy and of course homemade!
Within our Crave Cupcakes family we have had the fortune of working with Cynthia Blindenbach for the past 8 years. Cynthia was one of the first Crave employees hired and we are pleased to be able to say that she is still an amazing member of our team.
Cynthia designs cakes and cupcakes for many celebrations: birthdays, weddings, corporate promotions, all with her personal flair and class.
Cynthia is an Honours graduate of the Pastry and Desserts Culinary Program at Dubrulle French Culinary School in Vancouver BC, Honours graduate of SAIT in the Hotel and Restaurant Management Diploma program and earned her Bachelor of Hotel and Resort Management from The University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business.
The following is written by Cynthia; when we asked her what have been her greatest accomplishments since starting her career with Crave Cupcakes in 2005.
- Meeting my husband almost 8 years ago! (thanks Carolyne & Jodi)
- Helping open 4 of our 6 locations. Challenging but also such a reward to be a part of.
- No longer being able to keep count of the number of wedding cakes I have created. I enjoy meeting with couples to create cakes that reflect their style and help make their day a little more special.
- Helping design and set up the cake table for Cirque du Soleil’s Calgary Opening Night for OVO in 2011.
- Creating the cakes for the yearly issues of Weddingstar Magazine (starting in 2006).
It’s been an honour to work for two amazing women and watch the success of their company grow. Eight years ago this was a dream job that became a reality. And I’m still here!
Cynthia is able to create amazing works of art. You can contact her at (403) 209-4906 or email@example.com to work together to create your custom cupcake and cake design.
Happy Creating Cynthia, such a pleasure to have you on our team.
Cupcakes are a great celebration dessert and such a fun and pretty way to decorate for parties. We have plated, tiered and arranged many fun “cupcake displays” for many different celebrations.
These are a few of our favorite.
A girl themed baby shower
To arrange this display we styled 3 hand decorated cupcakes, 6 Vava vanilla cupcakes, and 6 Chocolate cupcakes with pink Vava icing on white plates.
3 hand decorate Special Arrivals cupcakes $14.25
18 mini cupcakes $26.90
6” Moser Cake Plate $35
2 white square plates from Crate & Barrel
This is a great way to incorporate any of our specialty packs into your celebration and adding mini cupcakes in similar colours.
Purple Themed Party
For this arrangement we placed 6 ruffle cupcakes, topped with a white hand crafted sugar paste flowers, and 9 custom coloured purple swirled cupcakes on 3 Moser Cake Plates, stacked into a tier.
You can add any of the Specialty Cupcakes from Crave Cupcakes to this arrangement and add regular cupcakes swirled with coloured buttercream.
6 hand decorated ruffle cupcakes with sugar paste flower $28.50 ($4.75 each)
9 custom colour regular sized cupcakes $28.35 ($3.15 each)
6” Moser cake plate $35
9” Moser cake plate $65
12” Moser cake $80
Number Themed Party
Placed on a flat surface we arranged mini cupcakes into a numbers to celebrate a birthday.
For the #16 we styled 18 mini Vava cupcakes and for the #50 we styled 24 mini Just Chocolate cupcakes. This would be fun to do with any of number for a birthday celebration. If you wanted to make it larger you could add more cupcakes!
2 dozen mini cupcakes $33.90
Happy Birthday Plate
Using a 13.75″ platter we placed a hand decorated Happy Birthday cupcake and arranged 24 assorted mini cupcakes on the platter – the perfect birthday cake because everyone will get their favorite and the birthday person can have their very own cupcake.
1 hand decorated Happy Birthday cupcake $4.75
2 dozen mini assorted cupcakes $33.90
Crate & Barrel Round Platter 13.75” $16.95
Designed by Crave Cake Artist Cynthia Blindenbach our final styling is a really fun display of birthday Monsters.
For this styling we placed a Happy Birthday cupcake on a 6″ Moser cake plate, 3 hand decorated monsters and a custom colour swirled cupcake on a 9″ Moser cake plate, and placed 7 custom colour cupcakes on a 12″ Moser cake plate.
4 hand decorated cupcakes $19.00
8 custom colour regular sized cupcakes $25.20
6″ Moser cake plate $35
9″ Moser cake plate $65
12″ Moser cake plate $80
Our hand decorated and custom colour cupcakes are the perfect way to add a little something special to your celebrations. To see the specialty cupcakes we have designed please have a peek at the following link http://www.cravecupcakes.ca/menu/specialty-cupcakes.html. Alternatively you may contact Beth at 403-270-2728 to discuss your event and to place an order. To work with our Cake Artist and create something that is not on the Specialty Cupcakes Page please contact Cynthia Blindenbach at (403) 209-4906 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
We would love to feature your displays and arrangements of Crave Cupcakes, please send us your pictures to Beth at email@example.com
Last fall a few of the gals from Crave Cupcakes had the fabulous job of attending the New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF).
We arrived in New York, day one, bouncing with excitement and headed straight to our hotel, once there we changed and headed to Rockafeller Centre where we grabbed a coffee and a pastry from Bouchon Bakery. We needed coffee and comfort to start our planning. We had heard great things about where to eat in NYC and especially Hell’s Kitchen. Hell’s Kitchen in New York City is a foodies dream come true. There are so many choices of food – everything from Hot Dogs to French cuisine. We had an extremely tough time deciding but finally decided we would carb up as we had some serious miles to put on at the gift show the next day. The pasta was home made, wine perfectly paired and the atmosphere fun and upbeat.
The next morning, day two, we headed to the New York International Gift Fair, by far the biggest exhibition of giftware in North America. Being three strong we headed out with very clear tasks and products in mind to bring back with us to share with our lovely Crave customers. A few of our purchases include:
Studio Patro – tea towels
1 Canoe 2 – Cookbooks, cards and recipe cards
Paper Eskimo – birthday banners, cups, plates, napkins, candles and cupcake flags
Rosanna Cake Plates
One of our must stops was the Rifle Paper booth – we love the cards and carry them in all of the Crave Cupcakes stores. We were so excited to meet Elizabeth Sloane, it was such a lovely experience and we bought some lovely new cards and gift tags.
On Day three we felt some product development and of course testing was in order. We started our day at Ess-a-bagel shop. There may have been one or two of us to exclaim that we would never eat a full bagel – let’s just say there was barely a smudge of cream cheese left on the paper. We headed over to Chelsea Market for the afternoon and evening. This market is a dream come true, shops selling kitchen wares, Fat Witch Brownie, a milk and cookies bar and our favorite Chelsea Market Basket – where we stocked up on McClure’s pickles, home-made ketchup and Mast Brothers Chocolate Bars. We had dinner in Chelsea at Cook Shop where we were completely amazed with the food including the fabulous desserts.
Being in the research mode we knew that we could not leave NYC with out a stop in SoHo, so began Day four. Here we stopped at Balthazar Bakery, and what would NYC be for the Crave Cupcake gals with out a stop at a cupcake shop, or two. Georgetown cupcakes was a first, a very cute shop with lots of cupcakes, alas there will be no comments, as alliance will always remain with our favorite Crave Cupcakes. We ate pizza at Lombardi’s Pizzeria and topped it all off with fabulous yogurt from Pink Berry. This perfect day was ended with a jaunt up to the very top of the Empire State Building; we were in awe of the view in the evening of the fabulous NYC
Day five was spent walking around downtown Manhattan, we ate more cupcakes at Sprinkles, bought candy at Dylan’s Candy Bar, popped into the Magnolia Bakery in Bloomingdales’s and soaked up some sites at the Guggenheim permanent collection. We also scouted out Milk – which we have been very curious about and grabbed many samples to share including a whole pie! Our last evening was spent attending a NY Yankees baseball game – we loaded up on t-shirts, hats and big glasses of beer and joined in with the NY fans to cheer the Yankees on to a win
It can definitely be concluded that the gals from Crave Cupcakes enjoyed NYC and it is agreed that we shall return sooner rather than later!
Happy Happy Travels
A question we answer a lot in the Crave Cupcakes bakeries is what is Red Velvet Cake?
When we opened the doors of our Crave Cupcakes location in Kensington the red velvet cupcake was not on the menu. After many requests we introduced it onto the menu, held a naming competition, and now the Red Velvet Elvis is definitely one of the most popular cupcakes in our stores.
So what is Red Velvet Cake? The exact origins of the cake are unknown, and there are plenty of theories out there that try to explain how the cake got to be red. The original red velvet cake is said to have had a reddish hue that was caused by the reaction between natural cocoa powder and an acidic ingredient, like buttermilk. Now a lot of red velvet cakes get their red tone from food coloring. (Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes) At Crave Cupcakes we do use the red food coloring in the batter but only the tiniest amount!
Crave cupcakes red velvet cake, in a nod to the theory mentioned above, does contain buttermilk and a small amount of cocoa powder. These ingredients give our cake a subtle, yet distinctive and delicious flavor that is not quite chocolate and not quite plain vanilla.
The Red Velvet Elvis is definitely one of the most popular cake flavors in our stores, and is perfect for adding a bit of festive charm to your Christmas holiday table.
A couple of years ago during a dinner conversation in early fall a discussion of favorite treats came up. Our friend Blair Christianson mentioned how much he loved his mother’s very own hand crafted popcorn balls at Halloween. He looked at us with wide eyes and exclaimed “You gals should offer popcorn balls this Halloween in your shops!”
The following year another dinner in later fall the topic came up again a friendly banter of who’s mom makes the better popcorn ball. This year – another conversation and action! Last weekend we speant the afternoon with our mom making popcorn balls.
We have many happy memories of Mom making popcorn balls for our classes while in grade school and when we opened the doors of our Crave location in Kensington Mom brought them into the staff for our first couple of Halloweens.
But it is thanks to Blair and his fond memories of his mom and her popcorn balls that the idea to share them with our customers has happened. Thanks Blair and thanks to our moms.
This summer we were fortunate to work with Calgary Director Brock Mitchell of Shot at the Dark to make our first short film “Celebrate the Little Things”. We are so thrilled to to share the film and celebrate it’s completion with our new Photo Contest where we will be giving free Crave cupcakes for a year to the Grand Prize Winner!
A little about Brock Mitchell and the Film:
One of the best parts of making “Celebrate the Little Things” was having the chance to work with Brock Mitchell. Not only is he a seriously talented filmmaker, he is the nicest, most generous guy we have ever met. When we met with Brock for the fist time he told us about his vision to incorporate a bicycle built for two, sparklers, and a dress-up birthday party and we knew we had found a kindred spirit. After a whole lot of hard work, Brock presented to us what we think is an amazing piece of work that truly captures the spirit of Crave. Not only does it share a little about how we do things at Crave- baking from scratch and using fresh ingredients but it also incorporates a few of the special celebrations (big and small!) that we are so fortunate to be a part of. We can’t thank Brock enough for all the heart he put into making this fantastic film and inspiring our new Celebrate the Little Things Photo Contest. To see more of Brock’s video work check this out. Following is a statement by Brock about his inspiration for the film.
“There is so much magic to the brand, and everything they encompass. Cupcakes, cakes, cookies, etc., are all intertwined with some of the most important and unforgettable days of our lives. Whether it’s birthdays or weddings, or just a good mark on your report card, or a first date, being treated with a beautiful dessert makes your eyes and smiles light up, and really fall in love and appreciate those moments. The focus of the Crave film was to bring that feeling of magic onto the screen, and communicate that Crave, although is a brand with many locations, it’s where their product ends up that makes them so special. Crave cupcakes have been seen walking down the street, or laid out on a picnic spread, and it’s safe to say that Crave was a big part of that person’s life for even just a little while. We wanted to create something that would make people feel a connection to the brand.”
Some Thank-yous from Brock
I really want to thank everyone involved with the film. Laura Christensen for recommending me and believing that I could convey Crave’s message on screen. Thank you so much to Carolyne McIntyre Jackson, and Jodi Willoughby for inspiring myself, fellow artists and Calgarians, that anything is possible if you believe and have passion in what you care about. And for inspiring me to create not only for myself, but for the community around me.Thank you to Mac and Griffin Willoughby, Sophia and Harlow Babcock for having so much fun with us and showing us how important imagination and smiles are! Thank you to Mike and Rachelle Babcock for being so cooperative and understanding, and for being such a great example of family. Thank you to the Crave family, for all their hard work and for making Calgary such a sweeter place. Thank you to Lauren Mann for her magical song, without her passion for storytelling through music this film wouldn’t have been possible. Thank you to Nick Thomas and Chris Krieger at Deluxe Design Group. And thank you to Jacqueline Larkin for the endless support, and being my truest and deepest inspiration to smile everyday.”
A Little More about the Film
The film’s soundtrack is a tune by local artist Lauren Mann called “I lost myself today” from the Album “Over Land and Sea”.
The boys in the film are Crave Co-owner Jodi Willoughby’s children – McIntyre and Griffen along with their friend – Atticus Pickerel. The little girls and the good-looking couple are the Babcock Family – Rachelle, Mike and their daughters Sophia and Harlow. They are friends of Brocks, who graciously agreed to be a part of our film! The bakers are our very own Ashley Daoust, Christina Kranenborg, and Aldene Atkinson – we are so lucky to have such sweet staff!
Celebrate the Little things Photo Contest
When we first thought about creating the film, we thought we would keep it simple and load it on the website and be done! However, after seeing the film, we thought it was so fabulous that simply loading it on the front of the website would not be giving it the justice it deserved. For the month of October we are inviting customers to celebrate the little things with us by submitting a daily photo and story about how they celebrate the special things in their lives. To enter the photo contest and for more details on how to win visit our Facebook page.
With Mother’s Day fast approaching we gathered some very special thoughts from the fabulous Crave staff. ENJOY!
What my mom means to me….
It would be hard to put in words what my Mom means to me. She is a lady full of strength, never gives up and is always a phone call away when I need her. She is my best friend and my Mom means the world to me! – Aldene
Someone I can turn to that will always be an unbiased advisor, someone that I can count on to always be there and someone who is a spectacular role model in life! – Jayde
My mom is my world and I can only hope that one day I can be as amazing as her – Melannie
My mom is everything to me. My best friend, my teacher, my biggest fan, my therapist, and so much more. I love her more than words can say. – Amanda
She is incredibly considerate, gentle and giving. Plus she makes the most delicious suppers and goodies – Lyndsay
She is my #1 supporter – a great mom is better than a best friend. She is hard-working, independent and extremely loving – Kathryn
She is my role model of an empowered, driven woman – Kayla
She knows me better than anyone and supports me in anything I do – Sara
My mom is my best friend – Maria
I love my mom, she cooks me bacon – Shannon
My mom is the best person I’ve ever met – Emma
My mom is so amazing I can’t put it into words – Courtney
I haven’t felt the embrace of my mother in over 18 years but I can still feel her overwhelming love. My mother had 13 years to shape me into the woman I am today. She taught me to never second guess myself to trust my abilities and to never give up. I am where I am today because of her. I am lucky enough to be a mother now myself and can only hope I can leave the same impression on my kids. – Catherine
I learn from my mother every day! She’s a teacher; it’s in her nature. She is also the most caring. Loving, open-minded person I know. I love her very much – Alex
My mom taught me everything there is to being awesome. I love her and she gives me great life advice whenever I need it. Lovely lady she is! – Joe
My mom is the reason I choose to get into culinary arts. If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t have the passion for cooking or baking that I have now, Whether it’s a simple dinner or an old Ukrainian favorite she’s the reason I learned to cook and the reason I continue to love it. – Anonymous
My mother taught me how to be the person I want to be – Jodi
Aren’t Mom’s swell – we wish all the mom’s out there a very Happy Day….