Halifax Cupcake Quest


This week my friend Mitch prepared a cupcake quest for me! Seriously, this was the easiest food quest I’ve ever done. I got off the ferry in Halifax and he was waiting for me in a car with 4 little boxes of cupcake magic. Truth be told, I’m not really a sweets fiend. I became attuned to the gourmet world of cupcakes, doughnuts and cream puffs when I was in Calgary where shops such as Crave Cupcakes, Bliss & Co. and Jelly Modern Doughnuts were all the hype. In Vancouver I was amazed at the amount of vegan cupcake shops. Then I moved down the street from Susie Shortbreads in Halifax and lived happily ever after... or did I?

Socrates once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living”, so what about the unexamined cupcake? Years of facepalming at The Coast’s Best of Food results is what initially called me to foodie duty, and I’m not stopping at hamburgers. We examined cupcakes from Susie Shortbreads, Smith’s Bakery, Sweet Jane’s and Layers.

Sweet Jane's New York Cupcake

Sweet Jane’s New York Cupcake

This whole thing got started when Mitch began ranting and raving to me one day about the “New York Cupcakes” at Sweet Jane’s. It’s safe to say he is a fan. Apparently Sweet Jane’s acquired a cupcake recipe from a restaurant in New York, hence the name. This cupcake was larger than the others, and had an off-white icing with playful sprinkles. It reminded me of a birthday cake. This would be a good cupcake for those who are easily disgruntled by the rich mountainous icing that preoccupies gourmet cupcakes. The icing-to-cake ratio here is modest, and doesn’t bombard your palate with sugary fervor.

Smith's Bakery - Red Velvet

Smith’s Bakery – Red Velvet

We had the red velvet cupcake from Smith’s Bakery (located on Agricola St). This time playful sprinkles adorned a rich cream cheese icing. The red velvet was spiked with a spunky cherry flavouring. I deliberated for some time about my cherry flavoured sentiments, before deciding I like my red velvet sans cherry. I also noticed that the cake was a tad dry. Overall it wasn’t a bad cupcake.

Layers - Red Velvet

Layers – Red Velvet

The elegant red velvet cupcake from Layers was divine! This was the smallest cupcake of the contenders but easily the tastiness. The cake was so moist, and the icing was absolutely luscious! I prefer a denser icing, but despite my preferences this was still my favourite cupcake of the bunch.

Susie Shortbreads - Susie's Classic

Susie Shortbreads – Susie’s Classic

Susie Shortbread’s Classic cupcake is my runner up. This is a solid cupcake. Literally. The cake is really quite dense. Out of all of the cupcake contenders, this is the one I would choose to throw at somebody (thud!)… if it wasn’t so delicious. This is a cupcake fit for a long-lasting friendship. The icing proudly towers above its cakey foundation and is perfectly creamy and rich. If this is the Halifax standard, we have it pretty good.

Appendix A

Red velvet cupcake at Little Red Kitsch'n

Red velvet cupcake at Little Red Kitsch’n

When I originally published this cupcake quest, I asked you if I missed any cupcakes of merit in this fine city of ours. It was then brought to my attention that I had neglected Little Red Kitsch’n of the Seaport Market. So I decided to re-investigate the cupcake matter and include it in this appendix.

Little Red Kitsch’n is located next to the apple cider guy, right down the stairs from Bramoso Pizza and Java Blend. I went for the red velvet, my standard, which was decorated with sprinkles and pink icing. This cupcake was perfectly moist, and delicious. It is a worthy addition to your weekly market haul. My only disappointment was that I’m an icing fiend and that cute little swirl of icing left me wanting more! Little Red Kitsch’n also offers frozen take-home dinners, like lobster mac’n’cheese and peanut mushroom udon (which I took home). Follow Little Red Kitsch’n on Twitter: @littleredkitsch, or by blog: http://littleredkitschn.blogspot.ca/

Layers Cakes | Gourmet Cupcakes
1276 Barrington St.
Halifax, NS

Susie Shortbreads
1589 Dresden Row
Halifax, NS

Sweet Jane’s
5431 Doyle Street
Halifax, NS

Smith’s Bakery
2525 Agricola St.
Halifax, NS


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