City Bites

INTRODUCING: Thimble Cakes

Bank Street's brand new cupcake cafe carves out a mini-niche within the seemingly insatiable market for sweet cakes

The cutie-pie ‘cupcakery’ craze continues. First there was Isobel & Company on Beechwood, then Auntie Loos on Bronson, next came The Flour Shoppe in the Glebe. Am I missing one or two? There are probably dozens more home bakers who sell cupcakes as a wholesale and/or special-order business, and even more frosted darlings to be found at dessert shops and supermarkets around town. Let’s just say, if you’ve got a hankering for a cupcake, you’ve got options.

And now, there’s one more. Thimble Cakes, a cupcake café, occupies a former gym next the Herb & Spice on Bank Street in Centretown. Where there were once barbells and elliptical machines, there is now vintage-inspired seating, girly chandeliers, buttercream frosting, and mismatched teacups.

When I stopped by earlier this week, owner Wendy Velthoven was listening to show tunes while preparing spiced buttercream frosting for her pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes. In another life, she buys and renovates houses and keeps them as rental properties. But with cupcakes she says she has found a new love. When she learned that two out of ten people have some kind of food allergy, she decided to enhance her lineup of traditional baking with recipes that are gluten-free as well as others that are free of egg, dairy, and sugar.

So where does the name Thimble Cakes come from? The little girl in Peter Pan, also named Wendy, gives Peter a thimble and he thinks it’s a kiss, says Van Velthoven, “The thimble is a gesture, a little gift.” In addition to regular-sized cupcakes ($3.26 each), Van Velthoven sells miniature cupcakes (for 83 cents each) that are not much bigger than a thimble.

Thimble Cakes, 369 Bank St., 613.889.9017 www.thimblecakes.ca

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