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Baked Goods

Desmond & Beatrice

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on June 23, 2011

desmond beatriceDesmond & Beatrice has finally opened its long-awaited shop at Queen and Broadview, and it's already selling out of its famous cupcakes before close. Desmond & Beatrice was previously a wholesale and catering operation, supplying cafes such as Green Beanery, Te Aro, Thor Espresso, and others. But a stand-alone cupcake shop was always the dream, says Amanda, the brains and baker behind Desmond & Beatrice. Though the catering and wholesale will still continue.

desmond beatriceDesmond & Beatrice's shop looks exactly as anyone who has long devoured one of its cupcakes would imagine. It's bright, white, and airy, decorated with framed pictures of paper dolls and cupcake anatomy graphs, and populated with two tableclothed tables sharing a window seat at the front.

desmond beatriceThe focal point, of course, is the counter of fresh cupcakes, made from Amanda's recipe developed through baking with her mother. I drop by Desmond & Beatrice on just its second day, and it already looks like it's on its way to selling out. On opening day, it ran out of cupcakes before close.

desmond beatriceSadly, Desmond & Beatrice's famous red velvet cupcakes have already been snatched up, but I still have five to choose from; Very Vanilla, Lemon Heaven, Coconut, Cookies and Cream, and Black and White. I eye the rest of the treats--cookies, squares, and whoopee pies--and Amanda suggests I try the latter ($2.75). The chocolate whoopie pie with vanilla frosting tastes just like a Desmond & Beatrice cupcake but in a different form; the cake is crumbly and moist, the frosting sweet and rich.

desmond beatriceI nibble at it as I chat with Amanda, who talks animatedly about her baking, tossing in the occasional sharp quip. "It's all back to basics," she says, noting that she uses real butter and natural ingredients in her cupcakes. Amanda hopes the new shop will be a place to kick back and enjoy the freshly baked treats. "I want this to be a place where you can just come, hang out, and have a cupcake."

desmond beatriceThe cupcake flavours will be switched up each day, and Amanda hopes to bring in coffee from Te Aro sometime soon. In the meantime, I select a Cookies and Cream cupcake ($2.75), which is just as good as I remember from sampling Desmond & Beatrice at other Toronto shops. The cupcake has a little substance to it, with a moist, rich chocolate cake and buttercream cookies and cream icing. As I leave I make a mental note: next time, come early to ensure Red Velvet.

desmond beatricePhotos by Jesse Milns

Discussion

52 Comments

Khristopher / June 23, 2011 at 12:59 pm
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As good as they look, $28 for a dozen cupcakes? That's ridiculous.
Peter C / June 23, 2011 at 01:05 pm
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$2.33 per cupcake is ridiculous? This isn't Tim Hortons.
Ryan / June 23, 2011 at 02:04 pm
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Really great job, really cute shop, amazing people!
Rico / June 23, 2011 at 02:11 pm
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So how much does a dozen cupcakes usually go for?
Kat / June 23, 2011 at 03:13 pm
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Cute shop- but the cupcakes are too expensive!
Morgan / June 23, 2011 at 03:38 pm
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The cupcakes are worth every penny!
Susana / June 23, 2011 at 03:50 pm
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Congratulations Amanda! Since the moment I met you when you came over to my place to drop off dozens and dozens of cupcakes to donate to Cupcakes for Haiti bake sale, I've been in awe of your work ethic, sincerity, kindness and your impeccable care to all things you put your name and heart to. Way to go!!!
Karen / June 23, 2011 at 05:40 pm
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A stylish shop where the best cupcakes in Toronto are made!
Marieke / June 23, 2011 at 05:47 pm
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In all seriousness...best cupcakes I've ever had.
Anna / June 23, 2011 at 06:47 pm
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Absolutely amazing cupcakes and fantastic shop! The cream cheese and the peanut butter icings are to die for. Definitely recommend!

And the prices are reasonable for a cupcake shop, the same as you would find all over Toronto - I didn't find anything out of the ordinary.
Geraldine replying to a comment from Khristopher / June 23, 2011 at 07:25 pm
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Well, just buy a couple and see how fabulous they are!

When I first tried the coconut cupcake with Key Lime icing - I thought I'd found perfection - not too light or to dense, not too sweet, and just the right piquant zest in the icing.

AND they come to our farmers' market at Riverdale Farm - who could ask for better service?
Jamie / June 23, 2011 at 09:35 pm
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Completely adorable shop - so much fun and the cupcakes really are little bits of buttery heaven! SO happy to have stopped in!
Jamie / June 23, 2011 at 09:36 pm
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Completely adorable shop - loved the whole set up - and those cupcakes are little bites of buttery heaven. Amazing!
Brandon Smith / June 23, 2011 at 09:40 pm
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I imagine that from this coast they taste pretty awesome. Cupcake shops have been hitting are coast hard and I'll tell you, $2.33 a piece ($28 a dozen) is a pretty good price for a decent baked good. I mean, this isn't Betty Crocker you know.
ivor replying to a comment from Brandon Smith / June 23, 2011 at 11:35 pm
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Totally agree Brandon, specialty shops are gonna be more expensive since it is usually labour extensive.

You also dont go to this kinds of establishments everyday since that will break the bank for a lot of ppl but once in awhile as a treat why not?

a pack of smokes nowadays cause you 12$ and thats known to kill you for a 2 min thrill of smoking, id rather spend that 12$ eating a cupcake lol

Sandman / June 24, 2011 at 09:16 pm
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I don't understand the complaints about the pricing of a cupcake?

Are the complainers voracious cupcake eaters?
Do they eat a single-serving of half-dozen cupcakes?
I can understand if one consumes a dozen cupcakes daily -- it can get pricey.

No wonder Ontario is +60% obese??????
Rico replying to a comment from Sandman / June 24, 2011 at 09:23 pm
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It's about all the socialists that think people owe them something.
Stephanie / June 25, 2011 at 02:10 pm
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I can't believe that someone compared the cupcake shop to Tim Horton's! Coming from the States $2.33 isn't bad for a cupcake. Remember this is supposed to be a treat to yourself. I've yet to partake in the delight of these cupcakes, but m darn sure they are 100x better than TH!
Stacey / June 25, 2011 at 06:57 pm
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Cupcakes taste amazing. Especially the peanut butter cupcakes. Everyone needs to try one of those and the cinnamon buns are to die for. Good job Amanda.
Cupcake lover / June 26, 2011 at 06:33 pm
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Stopped by there today. Service was friendly. Cupcakes were fantastic! I had the salted chocolate and my friend had the red velvet. I will be back, and highly recommend giving them a try.
Jude / June 27, 2011 at 09:57 am
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Fantastic delicious cupcakes a very good price when you cosider the cost of all the fresh ingredients.
Jude / June 27, 2011 at 09:59 am
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That would be consider not cosider
Rick / June 27, 2011 at 01:28 pm
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Its like anything. You get what you pay for. I purchased a couple of boxes for my staff. The presentation was absolutely first class. The cupcakes were beautiful. If you want to buy cupcakes on price - go to Walmart and fill your boots but personally I wouldn't touch that stuff. In New York City, speacialty cupcake shops are way more expensive and they fly off the shelves. You pay for quality made the old-fashioned way.
Tammy / June 27, 2011 at 03:28 pm
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Quality products are few and far between these days...I guess when you are not used to quality then you have the nerve to complain about price. I found these cupcakes so superior that I ordered not only the cupcakes but cookies and squares as well...and I live in Ottawa. A fantastic bakery with real quality; way to go Amanda!
Ben / September 29, 2011 at 11:20 pm
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Un-F-in-believable Cupcakes and treats. I love them but equally hate how many I can consume in one sitting. I further love that I don't feel like a total piece of s**t after I eat all 6+ cupcakes. That alone screams quality to me, in fact the whole dynamic of the place is 100% on point.

I support D&B because there's very little room to feel bad spending hard earned money on a treat or twelve that will leave you stoked on life and that gives back to a team of individuals who actually care about service/consistency.

They'll support you too if you make treats as good as theirs.

Word.
Kelly / November 20, 2011 at 05:56 pm
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Sorry but the cupcake I had was very dry and the icing was grainy. Waste of money.
peter / January 10, 2012 at 03:42 pm
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if the cupcakes taste as good as they look,then we need them inour nation's capital
Uh Oh / January 10, 2012 at 10:46 pm
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Seems I picked the wrong flavour. It was dry and the icing was a big yawn! It was chocolate on chocolate. I found it expensive but frankly I would not mind if they were stellar.
Lauren / January 19, 2012 at 09:10 pm
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I grew up in the east-end and was thrilled to find this wonderful gem of a cupcake shop. Not only are the goodies incredible, but the people that work there are top notch! I go in every time i walk by and will think of D&B first when i need to throw an impressive party!
Yummmmm / January 19, 2012 at 09:53 pm
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Yummmm!
D&B cupcakes are the beeeeezneeeez.
Seriously, they are mouth watering orgasmic!
I don't understand how anyone could not love these babies... Especially the classic
Flavours like double chocolate and very vanilla.
If i could bring just one thing to a deserted island where I would spend the rest of my
Life, it would be a Desmond and Beatrice cupcake or an oat chip cookie.
Congrats for making it to top ten! You guys rock!
Keep baking, and I'll keep wakin.... Up.
Laura / January 19, 2012 at 10:01 pm
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D&B is my favourite cupcake shop in Toronto! Worth every penny, and the people who work there are the best and the friendliest! Anyone in the neighbourhood should check it out.
sarah / January 20, 2012 at 12:25 am
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i am assuming the folks complaining about the prices have not been to D&B and tasted the cupcakes. this place is great- not only are the cupcakes THE BEST (hellooo the pics speak for themselves), but the vibe of the super cute shop is great- i love treating myself because i feel good supporting this small business where its clear the owner and staff really care about making delicious, homestyle cupcakes- and you can taste the love!
palomar / January 20, 2012 at 09:11 am
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D&B Is the bees knees!!!! these cupcakes are mouth-wateringly delicious. Serious taste-insanity. You can tell each and every cupcake is made with careful precision and care. Don't forget to be a little adventurous and try the whoopie pie!
celiaaaark / January 20, 2012 at 11:52 am
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D&B IS MY FAVVV place to drink earl grey tea and deliciously pick at a cupcake. I would love to just pop one if my mouth but i really try and savour the delicious texture and natural flavours by taking small bites....also it means I can hang out there longer without feeling like a lingering customer hehe. THe staff are Soo friendly..I just want to hang with them. And seriously, actually, for real, best cupcakes in town...and I've been around.
wahoo Congrats on all your success!!!!
TheSpyWhoShaggedMe / January 20, 2012 at 12:11 pm
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I have been a spy for the CFIA (CupFake Intelligence Agency) for over 25 years. I know a good cupcake when I taste one. These are the real deal people.
rza / January 20, 2012 at 12:44 pm
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I've mowed many a cuppa at D&B and they are uber delish. Plus I once had the pleasure of meeting one of the bakers and she generously agreed to autograph my left buttcheek with her personal icing bag (was then discontinued from use for baked goods and gifted to me as a souvenir). It was a glorious moment for me, all in the name of delicious cakes. The scones are a highlight as well, closest thing to you'll get to roight Bri'ish scone in Toronto, innit.
cupcakemonster / January 20, 2012 at 05:06 pm
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These cupcakes are the absolute best in show. There is this dulche de leche one that will change the way you think about cupcakes forever. i just wanna eat them all. they are the most beautiful pieces of cupcake art you have ever seen. the only shameful part is that you need to eventually devour it after looking at it and then the physical beauty goes away because it is in your stomach, but the good news is they are always making more :), they are so dang cute!
M.H.H / January 22, 2012 at 02:25 pm
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The cupcakes from this wonderful little shop are to die for. They melt in your mouth, and they are perfectly buttery and sweet. They always leave you satisfied but in a an hour, you could go for another one, which is why you should at the very least buy two at a time!!!!
Coreen / February 27, 2012 at 05:34 pm
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Cupcakes look like a muffin with frosting on top. Very stale cake and gritty frosting. I could not taste any flavor only sugar. You are better off buying cupcakes at Safeway.
Thuy / March 6, 2012 at 01:46 pm
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I recently heard about this cupcake place and it is only 5 minutes away from my house. I haven't tried it yet but I am extremely excited to. I read some comments that their prices are expensive at $2.75/cupcake and I would have to 100% disagree! The average price for a cupcake is around $3.50...I really don't know how $2.75 is expensive.
Joan / March 6, 2012 at 04:46 pm
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Whats with all the animated bees knees reviews? Sounds like these reviews were all very well planned out maybe by friends.... Anyways, tried these cupcakes, love they are made from scratch. Hate that they are so crazy sweet.. my teeth were aching. By no means the BEST Cupcakes I have ever had... and how was this shop is loonoog awaited...? Never heard of them before they opened?
Carly / March 19, 2012 at 06:59 pm
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Bought a couple of cupcakes this past weekend and I've had better tasting cupcakes from my local Metro. The girl behind the counter was on the phone and ignored a couple of people who walked out the door. Bad service and way to sweet cupcakes, I felt gross after I had one.
Eastender / April 1, 2012 at 10:08 am
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All I have to say is butter. Yes the iceing is super sweet but it dosent leave that awful hydroginated film on you toung like a shortning iceing will. I love these cupcakes.
Nelly / April 1, 2012 at 03:09 pm
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I have a tooth ache from eating one of their overly-sweet cupcakes. NOT GOOD.
Hazel / June 6, 2012 at 04:35 pm
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I tried the vanilla and it was not cooked properly. I could taste the flour. Worst cupcakes experience ever.
Brit / July 10, 2012 at 06:39 pm
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Clerk had no personality which matched the lack of flavor in the cupcakes I purchased. The cake part was dry and very bland. I found the icing to be on the sweet side.
crumbs / October 15, 2012 at 02:06 pm
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Loblaws cupcakes (from Carlton or Queen & Portland) are surprisingly good.
jare / March 6, 2013 at 06:37 pm
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The cupcakes are great! I always find the staff friendly and talkative. Right now my D&B's addiction is to the cookies. I love the one with white chocolate and cranberries. They are a perfect treat - so buttery and mmm mmm good :) I kind of like they are higher price point...it limits me to over doing it.
Adan / May 26, 2013 at 04:56 am
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Hello are using Wordpress for your site platform?
I'm new to the blog world but I'm trying to
get started and create my own. Do you require any
html coding knowledge to make your own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Jessica / June 9, 2013 at 08:53 pm
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Bought some cupcakes here last week and they were awful, not fresh at all. My daughter who is 7 commented on the icing being like "sand". Will never step foot in this place again.
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Ron Mexico / April 27, 2014 at 01:02 pm
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Cupcakes are great. Usually get them for special occasions and has never disappointed. Red velvet, strawberry, cookies and cream.......wow.......have a craving now.

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