Tag Archives: Carrot Cake

Simply Sweet Cupcake Boutique – “How Sweet It Is!”

12 Mar

A “six pack” of cupcakes (above) — Simply Sweet style.

Simply Sweet Cupcake Boutique has only been open a few months, but they have already established themselves as a force in the rapidly growing cupcake industry. Cupcake industry, you ask? May sound funny to you, but there is more than a bit of truth to it. Cupcake shops – once primarily an urban phenomenon – are now popping up just about everywhere.

Simply Sweet owner Ashley Sassaman developed a passion for baking at home. Someone suggested she try selling her delicious cupcake creations, which eventually led her to open her own commercial bakery along busy Cottage Hill Road in West Mobile, Alabama. She now has 8 employees and a rapidly expanding business. It’s obvious she has struck a nerve with the surrounding community. Timing is always important, location is critical, yet nothing can compare to a well made product. That attention to detail comes across in each cupcake produced by Simply Sweet. This is not easily done when you’re turning out hundreds (if not thousands) of these beautiful little artistic creations five days a week.

Key Lime (top), Red Velvet and  Strawberry Lemonade (bottom).

The sheer number of daily choices at Simply Sweet is, well, stunning. They offer 4 everyday flavors including Chocolate, Vanilla, Red Velvet, and their signature (and most popular) Key Lime. Beyond that, you can choose from 9 daily specials highlighted by fun flavors such as Banana Pudding, Hummingbird, Mississippi Mud, Apricot Nectar, Cracker Jack, and Snickerdoodle. You hungry yet?

We visited on a Thursday and we were treated to six glorious cupcake creations. The flavors incorporated in our version of Simply Sweet’s “six-pack” were Peppermint Patty, Red Velvet, Key Lime, Carrot Cake, Strawberry Lemonade, and Pina Colada. They were all very good and disappeared fast. My personal favorites were the tart Key Lime, the decadent Peppermint Patty, and the tropical Pina Colada (seen below adorned with toasted coconut shavings and a bright red cherry on top).  

Cupcakes at Simply Sweet cost $2.50 each, $13.50 for 6, and $24 per dozen. I suggest you order on the heavy side because these babies are really crowd pleasers. Their physical beauty may command your attention, but it’s ultimately the satisfying flavors which will have you returning time and time again to that bright, cheery pink cardboard box. Great job, Ashley. Here’s to your success —- how sweet it is!

www.simplysweetcupcakeboutique.com or call 251 665 3003.

Caroline’s Cakes – Taking It To The 7th Layer

28 Dec

We came across Caroline’s Cakes while surfing the web for mail order desserts.  Sure, we realize Annapolis, Maryland is not exactly the Heart of Dixie. But these cakes looked amazing and we were open to giving them a try. I reached out to Caroline via email and she was quick to respond to our inquiry. Eager to impress our loyal Southern palates, she kindly sent us a couple treats to sample and enjoy with our friends over the holiday season.  The first cake we tasted was their famous 7-Layer Caramel (pictured above). This is the marvel of nature that put Caroline’s on the culinary map (including a feature on the NBC Today Show). One mouthful and I was experiencing a pleasant, sugary sweet buzz — sooo deeee-lish!

We also received the Carrot Caramel Delight Cake (shown above). My wife is a carrot cake fanatic and she was gushing with praise for this one. The alternating layers of caramel icing are what make this cake so unique.  

Here’s Caroline’s story as it appears on her web site …

As many of you already know, I first served my Seven-Layer Caramel Cake at my youngest son’s Christening in 1982. The power of word-of-mouth spread this incredible tasty treat across the country. Before I knew it I had customers as far away as Alaska and Hawaii wondering how soon they could get a Caramel Cake. WOW!! Initially I had a baker in South Carolina who made the cakes and I would pick them up and ship or deliver them to customers. Unfortunately she became ill and I had to decide whether or not I could continue the business. The answer was quite simple thanks to my wonderful customers who kept asking for more cakes! This labor of love was a rough start because Caramel is so difficult to perfect. I can remember days when it would take me an hour and a half to get the icing to stay on the cake. I was determined to make it work and through great perseverance I finally conquered and owned the process.

Caroline’s Cakes offers several other cake varieties as well. Visit their mouth-watering  web site for pricing and additional details. You will not be disappointed! In fact, we predict you’ll be floating in 7th heaven.  


Lunch at Ginny’s and Jane E’s

17 Feb


I enjoyed a pleasant lunch today at Ginny’s and Jane E’s on Anna Maria Island. This is not your typical resort area diner — that’s for sure. This is a very eclectic place that once housed the island’s IGA grocery store.


The day’s special was written on the chalk board out front — and it sounded pretty good to me. And with weather conditions of 77 and sunny, how could you not grin a bit?


Ginny’s and Jane E’s doubles as the island coffee shop in the morning hours, although they continue to serve a variety of fine coffees all day long.


Whimsical? Eclectic? Colorful? Artsy? All these adjectives apply.


My chicken salad (served with crisp lettuce and tomato on a fresh baked baguette) was nicely done, although I wished that the portion size was just a touch larger. The salad featured sliced grapes and almond slivers … the latter giving the dish some added texture. The highlight for me was the homemade Roasted Red Pepper soup — a fresh and fabulous puree of flavor straight from the garden. If this is any indication of their soup quality here, I can’t wait to try the Carrot Ginger variety! 


The Carrot Cake I ordered for dessert was good, but the cake portion was pretty dry. Maybe that was because I got stuck with a corner piece — they always tend to be lacking in moisture. Thankfully, the cream cheese frosting was really light and fluffy due to some extra whipping. Nice touch, ladies! 


All in all, this is a very cool place that we can confidently recommend. Their frittatas looked amazing and we’re told the Creme Brulee french toast is to die for. You can even build your own Chicago style hot dog complete with that funky neon green relish. But that will have to wait for another day. Stop by and visit our new friends Ginny and Jane E — just follow the footprints on the outside wall!