Thursday 15 March 2012

Review: ThimbleCakes, Ottawa Ontario

Warning: The content provided herewithin is intended for information purposes only and may contain some serious cake porn. Take precautions when reading this post if you are hungry, prone to being hungry, enjoy delicious baked goods, or have taste buds. MWM takes no responsibility, and will not be held liable, for any calories consumed as a result of this review.

Thimble Cakes
369 Bank Street
Ottawa, ON

When helping to plan a shower for my dear friends Val and Marty I wanted only the best for the celebration of their precious little one. Of course, as that Pampers commercial that never fails to make me cry says, every baby is a little miracle. But Valerie and Marty put so much time and effort into creating Gabbi that we were all extra motivated to pour our hearts into an event that the moms would not soon forget.

There is something special about celebrating with cake. Although my thirty-year-old self has evolved from the Betty Crocker birthday cakes of my youth, adorned with candles and hiding wax-paper wrapped pocket change, there is still a part of me that believes that a cake can turn a regular day into an event.

There were going to be some guests with serious nut allergies in attendance so I turned to my old friend, the internet, in search of a nut-free bakery in Ottawa. As always, she came through and I was soon given a recommendation for ThimbleCakes from a local bride. I sent the owner, Wendy, an email explaining what I needed and her sweet response assured me that we were in good hands.

The day before the shower Tracy and I arrived early in the morning to retrieve the cake. The shop sits in the middle of Ottawa’s Centretown with a sweet exterior that houses a treasure inside.   

Wendy and her staff were all smiles as we entered (showing absolutely no signs of weary why-do-I-have-to-work-so-early-on-a-Saturday-morning? eyes). 

Shop owner Wendy

 The interior of the shop is an adorable mix of classic style and modern chic. If we didn’t have somewhere to be we may have just settled in and spent the morning eating cupcakes (full disclosure: we did spend the morning eating cupcakes but it was en route rather in the shop).  

Of course I need at least one gratuitous picture of Mac
After oohing and aahing over the cake Wendy made for us, we spent some time admiring the other cakes in her store.

As we flipped through the catalogue of previously made cakes it quickly became clear that we were in the right place (hi Shirley!). 

But the star of the show at ThimbleCakes is the cupcake. They offer full size cupcakes at $3.30 each or, if you’d rather a sampling of the many delicious flavors, you can buy a dozen minis for $8.99. All are nut-free and there are sugar-free, gluten-free and vegan options available as well.

The Minis

OK, OK, I know what y’all are thinking. This sounds lovely Kristin but enough with the foreplay! How did it all taste? Of course, Tracy and I had to order some cupcakes and coconut milk lattes for the road. 

We tried the following flavors: chocolate love, red velvet, latte, and gluten-free banana vanilla bean. Here is the breakdown:

Chocolate love: This was Tracy’s choice and it was so good that she wouldn’t even let me try it. Not even when I played the “blog research” card. So you’ll just have to take her word for it. She ate it like an ice cream cone, savouring the chocolate buttercream frosting.

Red velvet: I ordered a red velvet cupcake because it seemed like the thing to do but, to be honest, I’ve been fooled by the pretty allure of the red velvet cupcake craze in the past. I usually find that, at best, they taste like an inferior version of a chocolate cupcake. And although I am a sucker for pretty things, when it comes to cake I’ll choose taste over form any day. My expectations were low for this one, which just meant that I was even more amazed when I bit into the moist red cake that seemed to melt in my mouth. I kept trying to convince Tracy to taste just a little piece because I was so astonished by the flavour but she was feeling far too monogamous about the chocolate love to indulge me.

Latte: This was my second choice and I can say with complete honesty and no hesitation that it was The frosting was plentiful and decadent and the cake was fluffy and delicious. Have you ever eaten something so good that you couldn’t stop thinking about it after? That’s how I’m feeling about this one right now.

Gluten-free banana vanilla: This was Tracy’s second choice and as it sat alone in the box she was wishing she had just ordered two of the chocolate loves instead. That is so my wife! Always happy with what she has and never looking elsewhere (lucky for me not so lucky for the cute-as-a-button cupcake left alone in the box). After a few moments of pouting she finally tried the last cupcake and was no longer disappointed. The cupcake seemed to be a combination of banana bread and vanilla cake and the icing was every bit as delicious as her precious chocolate love.

Well, I am hungry now! Aren't you? I need to grab a quick snack before I tell you about the cake.

OK, I’m back. Damn I wish that snack had been a cupcake. So, where was I? Oh, yes, the cake. It was everything I hoped it would be and more. It served as a centre piece to the table filled with treats made with love for the moms-to-be. And the room was cheering as they made the first cut.

With one chocolate layer and one vanilla layer (both stuffed with delicious butter cream frosting) everyone was happy. Including me. Who tried both. You know, for “blog research purposes."

We buy local and organic as much as possible, compost, recycle and use environmentally friendly papers and cleaning products. Monthly we host a charity day where proceeds go to a local animal rescue shelter and we welcome opportunities to partner with charities for fundraisers. Proudest of all, we do this without sacrificing quality, deliciousness or customer service. We truly hope you love our cupcakes & cakes.

Follow ThimbleCakes on Twitter: @ThimbleCakes

Like ThimbleCakes on facebook: facebook/ThimbleCakes

*I haven't tried this DIY cake but what a great idea for a tween/teen's birthday, engagement party or shower:
*disclaimer: ThimbleCakes supplied me with a review product but the opinions expressed here are mine alone and were not coerced in any way.

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  1. I should not have read this before breakfast. Cupcakes are not appropriate for breakfast. All I want are cupcakes.

  2. Yes!!! Money cakes!!! In our group of friends there would always be a toonie, and you were so special if you found it!

    Droooool. Delicious looking.

    1. Or maybe loonie. I'm old. Did toonies exist way back then?

    2. Kelly I guess you are younger than me! The luckiest we could get was a quarter.

    3. Loonie was released in 1987. I was six. There must have been a few good money cake party years in there. :)

    4. Really? 1987? I was only 7 then. But I only have memories of quarters. I guess my parents (and friends parents) were too frugal for loonies!

  3. Laughing at the comments above. I suddenly felt very old when I read Kelly's comment. LOL! The birthday parties with money in the cake were wicked!! Getting a quarter was jackpot. Loonies did not exist then.
    Great review, Kris! Now I want to try their GF fare.

  4. What do you think the chances are of ThimbleCakes opening a location in the Niagara Region?? If not, I may just have to make a road trip to Ottawa ... I wanna try that latte cupcake!!!

    And the DIY cake sounds so freaking cool!!

  5. Oh yum! I should have heeded your warning. We're in Ottawa this weekend and I have just put 369 Bank Street into my phone so I can make sure I stop in.

  6. Beautiful photos! Are you a photographer? If not what kind of camera are you using?

    This is food porn at it's best.

  7. I love Thimblecakes!!! The chocolate cupcake with raspberry frosting so good!!

    1. I took a picture of that one. Very pretty. But didn't try it... maybe next time!

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  9. Replies
    1. It didn't help that the cupcake in question had white icing with a cherry on top... looking a lot like his favorite snack ;)

  10. It all looks SO GOOD Kris!!!! Poor Mac too young to be able to share with his mom'

  11. I just came across this in my google search for an Ottawa wedding cake and now I ready to forget fitting into my dress and head to Thimblecakes to eat a dozen cupcakes.

    1. Ack! Me too! I guess I can tell the hubs that our search for wedding cupcakes is over at least.


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