This allergy-friendly restaurant was reviewed by guest blogger, Liz Frederiksen. Liz is a proud Torontonian and a lifelong food allergy thriver. A copywriter and social media coach by trade, Liz is happiest when hula hooping, hiking, or sharing good food with her family. All opinions are her own.
Editor’s Note: While the Cupcake Shoppe is not a designated sesame-free facility, no sesame oil or sesame seeds are used in the baking of their goods. If you have any questions about whether a particular item contains sesame (or any allergen), please ask to speak to the owner or head baker before ordering. Not all staff are trained to know the answer to specific allergen-related questions.
Nestled in an alcove off Yonge Street, just north of Eglinton, is Toronto’s first—and in my opinion, best—cupcake shop, aptly named The Cupcake Shoppe. (Full disclosure, I’ve been a happy customer for at least eight years. They did our wedding cupcakes and, much more recently, my daughter’s full-sized birthday cake. Maybe that makes me biased, but I don’t care!)
The Cupcake Shoppe has been free of peanuts and tree nuts for their entire 13 years in operation, and they bake cupcakes fresh daily using only natural ingredients. The result is moist, delicate flavours that taste like they’re homemade. As a life-long nut allergy thriver, it is both a joy and a relief to go into a bakery, buy whatever I want, and never be worried about my safety or disappointed about the flavour.
Chatting with the store’s owner, Suzanne Cooper, I learned that in addition to being nut-free, they can also accommodate some gluten-free requests. (Although the gluten-free cake option is limited to vanilla at this time, there are many icing choices to liven it up.) They make gluten-free orders on separate equipment at a different time of day to avoid cross contamination. However, all cakes are baked in the same ovens, so there is a small possibility of airborne exposure. Since the rest of the cupcake production is halted during the making of gluten-free orders, they need 72 hours notice to adjust their baking schedule.
Allergies to fruit, such as strawberries or bananas, can be accommodated as well. Be sure to discuss any cross-contamination concerns when placing your order. Given the basic recipes they use to build their cupcakes, they cannot accommodate egg or dairy allergies.
The Cupcake Shoppe’s bright pink storefront has a small order counter only, and no seating. Mostly, I opt to take 4-6 cupcakes home for the family, but buying one cupcake as a treat to enjoy on a city bench is a guilty pleasure of mine. They rotate their offerings for walk-ins, so if there’s a specific flavour you have in mind, it’s best to order the day before. I will admit there have been times I’ve gone in hoping for something specific and have been disappointed. However, there are always other yummy flavours available to make up for it. On this particular visit, I went all out and ordered 6 cupcakes + 1 white chocolate dipped vanilla cake pop + 1 Cinnamon Toast Crunch marshmallow square (a new offering – their take on Rice Krispy squares).
This was a bigger order than I usually make, but it was for research, right? Right?! As expected, the cupcakes were moist and delicious. My daughter tried red velvet for the first time and demolished it—laughing and squealing the whole time!
Most of their flavours hit the right balance of sweet, so I was a bit surprised to find the marshmallow square was completely over the top! It was still tasty, but in the future I will share my square with at least one other person. Next up: the cake pop! I had never tried one before, so that was a fun new experience. Despite it being delicious, I am not sure I will order another, because two bites of cake are altogether too few for me!
What I appreciate the most about the Cupcake Shoppe is their reliability. Any flavour that tickles your fancy will be fresh and tasty. Special orders are done on time and can even be delivered. I have always been impressed with their cake decorating skills. After all, they even gave me a different kind of “butterflies in my stomach” (see photos below) on my wedding day!
Friendly. Supportive. Encouraging.
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Restaurants that appear on AllergyBites may have updated their menu or changed management since a review was posted. Please confirm that they are still allergy-friendly & that menu items don’t contain your allergen(s) before visiting or placing your order.