Cupcake Throwdown [East Vancouver]


I know some of you are waiting for the next instalment of Coast Starlight photos, and I promise they are coming. But, for now I had something recent to share with you.

On Wednesday night was Vancouver’s first annual Cupcake Throwdown at Café Deux Soleil on Commercial Drive. When I first moved to Vancouver I spent a lot of time on the east side of the city since there is so much rich community there. Alas, I eventually made my way to Kitsilano and I think I’m stuck here [it's the sea I'm sure of it]. Occasionally I’ll jump on a bus [or two] and head back over that way to revel in the art and culture that’s so plentiful in that neighbourhood. Anyone that lives in Vancouver knows just what I’m talking about.

I do believe Café Deux Soleil is the perfect venue for a cupcake competition. I’m always so impressed by their food and they also have a liquor license for those who feel like a beer. While I enjoy a really good cold beer every now and then I think I may have overindulged far too much in my late teens and early twenties since I really dislike being even slightly drunk these days. Luckily there’s always a good coffee or tea available in this city!

The contest was a fundraiser for the amazing H.A.V.E culinary school. There was a great mix of professional and hobby bakers and the range of cupcakes on offer was really interesting. Of course cupcakes are a huge trend all over the world right now and I feel like sometimes Vancouver has gone cupcake mad (I keep seeing more and more cupcake-only bakeries opening). I definitely have a sweet tooth, but my threshold for very sweet things is fairly low. I grew up on English fairy cakes, which, while a lot like cupcakes they traditionally don’t have the huge mound of buttercream frosting that N. American ones do.

The deal with the throwdown was this: a $10 entrance fee and all the cupcake testing you could possibly fit in and then all you had to do in return was write down your favourites on a ballot. Simple, right? Well, I think I tried six different cupcakes in total [they were offered in smallish slices] and I had to give up. I’d estimate there were maybe 12 or more different kinds on offer, and I’ll be impressed if anyone managed to try them all. The few I did manage to squeeze in were so delicious. There were the classics [Red Velvet et al], but also some contestants willing to go out on a limb with some unusual flavours.

My friend Tanya Muller is a fantastic pastry chef who won first place with her Vegan Mexican Spiced Chocolate cakes. Look out for her adorable sugar skulls in the photos below. Two of my own personal favourites were the Lavender Brownie [sounds weird but if you grew up on sweets like Parma Violets you'd love that delicious icing] and an interesting “Tres Leche” which was a cupcake soaked in three different kinds of milk.

The winner of best presentation had a beautiful mini cupcake vegetable patch complete with peas, radishes, carrots and more. You can see most of the fun creations below. What a great night it was. I can’t wait for next year – I almost want to try out myself! Too bad my friends tell me that my cupcakes often end up looking like breasts [even if they always ask for more!]

This entry was posted in shows and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. laz
    Posted January 29, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    who would not ask for more breasts? seriously.

  2. Posted January 30, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    I’ve had your cupcakes, they were amazing and not at all breast like!
    Thanks for coming down, it was so great to see you.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>