The first gourmet cupcake shop I was ever introduced to was four years ago when my father brought home a box of six giant cupcakes from his co-worker dressed and boxed so beautifully that I didn't want to eat them! Eventually my sweet tooth came over me and I picked a cupcake that looked like chocolate with vanilla icing, (or so I thought!) I took one bite of it only to realize that it was chocolate with peanut butter icing (mmm!)
I finished that box of cupcakes in less than a week and threw out the box afterwards. I never remembered the name of the store, but what I remembered was the taste of those cupcakes and just one year ago while randomly Googling dessert places in Toronto, I was finally able to find the store that sold them (while coming across a macaron shop called Nadège Patisserie that I have learned to love even more)!
The following is a review of my favourite cupcake and macaron shop in Toronto:
*hover over the titles for a direct link to their websites!
Prairie Girl Bakery
Prairie Girl Bakery has three locations in Toronto: one on Victoria Street (18 King Street East) which is in the alley right where you see a Tim Hortons entrance after you get off the subway at King Station, the second location is in First Canadian Place (in the Marketplace) and last one is in Yorkville behind Louis Vuitton which was opened just a few months ago!
Cupcakes from Prairie Girl still remain my favourite of all time - they icing is never too sweet and the cake is moist and fluffy! They offer two cupcake sizes: Regular ($3.25) or Mini ($1.99) they also offer gluten free and vegan options too! They have a range of icing flavors on their classic buttermilk and dark cocoa cakes and also include specialty flavors such as red velvet, carrot, and banana. They also have "Treats of the Week" which are their creations only available for the week (refer to the site for upcoming "Treats").
I most frequented the location on Victoria Street, but now I head to the one conveniently in Yorkville It's always nice to enjoy a cupcake outside the sitting area after a day of shopping the strip of Holts, Tiffany and Louis!
*Prairie Girl Bakery on Victoria Street is not open Sundays, the one in FCP is closed on weekends and the Yorkville location is not open Sundays but only for July and August from 12pm - 5pm!
On my frantic internet search to find Prairie Girl, I discovered a macaron shop by the name of Nadège Patisserie, now I was extremely excited because I didn't even know that there were macaron shops in Toronto, and if I ever did see macarons, they were in supermarkets and looked weird...
What made me so excited about Nadège is that the owner and pastry chef (Nadège Nourian) came straight from Lyons in France, so I had high hopes for her pastries. Why France? Well for those who don't know, the store Laudurée was rumored to be the first pastry store to invent the French Macaron and although there is no store location in Toronto (there were rumors that there was going to be one, but they quickly got shut down) the closest store is in the Upper East Side in New York (remember Gossip Girl and Blair's obsession with Laudurée?) So my verdict: if it's French, it's good and it's authentic.
I frequent the one in Rosedale (as it is closer to Yorkville), but their first store opened on Queen West which is much brighter and bigger and has more cake selection and dining space.
Macarons are not cheap at all, and from my review of other macarons places later on, I still recommend spending your money at Nadège first for the most authentic and closest experience. I always recommend going to the store bright and early for the freshest new batch of macarons before the popular flavors get sold out (especially seasonal flavors)!
Right: Dark Chocolates
Right: Lychee and Rose marshmallows and 6 pack macaron
Right: Assorted cakes and tartes, Pur Noir is on the right side