a peek inside the fishbowl

12 Sep, 2013

Calling all cupcake aficionados in Ottawa!

Posted by andrea tomkins in: - Westboro|Giveaways and product reviews|Ottawa

We have a winner! Thanks for your entries!

Have you been to the Cupcake Lounge in Westboro yet? I have. It is fortunately (or unfortunately, I’m not sure) located close to The Works. And it’s good. TOO good. I don’t even want to think about what this means for my waistline.

Important shopping!

Have I mentioned I’m back on the treadmill again? :|

But here’s the question. These are pretty good, but are they THE BEST cupcakes in Ottawa? Who else does it well? Thimblecakes? Isobel’s? Hmm. Maybe we should put it to a vote. If you add your two cents below or on the Fishbowl Facebook page (or both) you’ll be in the running for a wee surprise. One randomly selected winner will receive a half-dozen cupcakes from the Cupcake Lounge… which I will personally deliver to their door. (Er, provided they live in Ottawa of course.)

I’ll choose the winner at noon on September 20.

Sounds pretty sweet eh? Ok. GO.

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58 Responses to "Calling all cupcake aficionados in Ottawa!"

1 | Amy Karlin

September 12th, 2013 at 3:41 pm


I adore the Cupcake Lounge! Their red velvet and their key lime cupcakes are my absolute favourites – both feature their cream cheese frosting which is perfectly tangy and not overly sweet. I also love their pop-up shoppe inside Holt Renfrew on Fridays: it’s close to my office and makes for the perfect weekend treat!

2 | Jodi

September 12th, 2013 at 3:46 pm


Cupcake lounge is my favourite all time cupcakes! Though I love Flour Shoppe too!!

3 | Brenda A

September 12th, 2013 at 3:47 pm


I NEED to go to the Cupcake Lounge. Yesterday! Those look amazing. I have had Thimblecakes and Isobel’s and they were both nice, but the Lounge cakes look above and beyond!

4 | Marylen Milenkvoic

September 12th, 2013 at 4:00 pm


Cupcake Lounge is my favourite! All of their flavours are to die for.

5 | Greg Baker

September 12th, 2013 at 4:17 pm


I simply love the Cupcake Lounge both locations ! I occasionally stop in for a sweet treat and coffee and even pick some up for family events and coworker s sometimes!

6 | Caroline C-G

September 12th, 2013 at 4:22 pm


Wish I had a different answer but Cupcake Lounge it is. They are the tastiest, moistest, best proportioned cupcakes in the city, and pretty much anywhere. I’m told it’s because of the ingredients (all natural and high quality) and the fact that the icing covers the whole surface down to the wrapper. Yum!

7 | Kate S.

September 12th, 2013 at 4:23 pm


We have yet to try the Cup Cake Lounge but I imagine it won’t be long. I mean, Key Lime cupcakes..? Seriously.
We do love Isobel’s. Their white chocolate is delish..

8 | Jen Covert

September 12th, 2013 at 4:31 pm


best cupcakes = The Flour Shoppe!

9 | Sarah

September 12th, 2013 at 4:32 pm


I have to agree with most everyone else…. Having tried the other options I know of (Isobel’s, Thimblecakes), the Cupcake Lounge cupcakes are the moistest (most moist?), and just the right sweetness – especially the key lime flavour.

As an aside – my 5yo son saw the pic of your puppy who is afraid of thunderstorms, and thought he looked very sweet, and as though he was smiling. He calls him ‘cutie’. :)

10 | Gwen

September 12th, 2013 at 4:35 pm


I have not had Cupcake Lounge cupcakes yet, but I have only heard good things!

My vote is for the amazing and delicious Thimblecakes cupcakes! I love that they offer something for everyone. Organic, nut-free, gluten-free, vegan, you name it and they can do it!

11 | Thin is best

September 12th, 2013 at 4:41 pm


Cupcake Lounge cupcakes are good and beautiful but the icing is um….thick…no? A bit too thick for folks who enjoy a bit of icing with their cake (and not vice versa). Is it time for thick and thin cupcakes – like thin and thick crust pizza?

The best cupcakes are made by my daughters. :-)

12 | Tara

September 12th, 2013 at 4:51 pm


After extensive sampling of Ottawa’s offering of cupcakes, I’m loyal to the Cupcake Lounge. The cake is moist, the flavours are intense and the icing is decadent. Perfect balance in my books!

13 | Gerry

September 12th, 2013 at 6:15 pm


Thimblecakes. Minis rule. As does the vast and vegan array of choice. Besides they were incredibly generous in donating to my favorite NGO. :)

14 | Tricia

September 12th, 2013 at 6:38 pm


Sad to say I haven’t tried the Cupcake Lounge yet…but I will. I have to say that my favorite that I’ve found was the Flour Shoppe. The icing alone is worth a trip!

15 | Alison in Ottawa

September 12th, 2013 at 7:54 pm


I love Isobel’s cupcakes and cakes but recently tried the Cupcake Lounge and they’re fantastic. I have to do a head to head tasting. They have different flavours though so I think I might have to like both best. The Mango for the Cupcake
Lounge is incredible, the key lime w buttercream and lime curd at Isobels is the most amazing cupcake ever. Apparently they have key lime at the lounge but since they have cream cheese icing, I have no interest in trying it.

The flour shop has fantastic icing but their cake isn’t my favourite.

16 | Gal

September 12th, 2013 at 8:19 pm


I tried the cupcake lounge once (in the market) but I liked thimblecakes better. Their prices were also more reasonable if I recall correctly.

17 | L

September 12th, 2013 at 9:01 pm


Thimblecakes! The Smores cupcake is amazing…..

18 | Stephanie

September 12th, 2013 at 9:35 pm


I’m fond of Little Cakes in Kanata/Stittsville however Alice’s Cafe in Carp is a close second. Their Red Velvet is to die for!

19 | Shannon

September 12th, 2013 at 9:57 pm


I haven’t tried the cupcake lounge, but definitely will. I love the icing. They look fantastic, very different from the average cupcake!

20 | Nicola

September 12th, 2013 at 9:57 pm


I’ve tried a few cupcake locations in Ottawa (Isobel’s, Thimblecakes, Second Avenue Sweets) but I generally found that they have icing that is too dense and/or overly sweet, smothering the cake flavour itself. I’m not sure who does the cupcakes at the Bagel Shop, as I did taste a decent red velvet one there. I’d love to try the Cupcake Lounge based on all the reviews, with the hope that they have just the right ratio of icing to cake…

21 | Maria

September 12th, 2013 at 10:00 pm


i have never even heard of the cupcake lounge..i know, i know. i do love a thimblecakes cupcake every now and then though. last time i was there with a friend i really enjoyed the carrot cupcake with creamed cheese. yum!

22 | Roz

September 12th, 2013 at 10:48 pm


Leurve the cupcake lounge! Lemon coconut all the way!

23 | Lindsay

September 13th, 2013 at 6:53 am


We don’t buy a lot of cupcakes and I haven’t heard of most of the places mentioned :-( I’ve had them from The Cake Shop before they moved to Westboro and they were yummy. Honestly, my favorite cupcakes are homemade with that storebought icing… brings me right back to childhood. :-)

I’m willing to try some from the Cupcake Lounge though! ;-)

24 | Lindsay

September 13th, 2013 at 6:53 am


We don’t buy a lot of cupcakes and I haven’t heard of most of the places mentioned :-( I’ve had them from The Cake Shop before they moved to Westboro and they were yummy. Honestly, my favorite cupcakes are homemade with that storebought icing… brings me right back to childhood. :-)

I’m willing to try some from the Cupcake Lounge though! ;-)

25 | Alison in Ottawa

September 13th, 2013 at 6:57 am


I think the bagel shop cupcakes and small cakes are Dufflet from Toronto. They are good but I think they come frozen from Toronto.

26 | Sarah

September 13th, 2013 at 7:16 am


Love any cupcake! Have only enjoyed Isobel’s cupcakes…maybe that should be my fall quest…try all the new places out there!

27 | Jennifer

September 13th, 2013 at 8:22 am


I’ve had the cupcake lounge cupcakes and they’re delish! They come up with flavours beyond my imagination! And they have the best icing in town!

28 | Kristen

September 13th, 2013 at 8:54 am


Cupcake lounge are delish. BUT – I’m giving it to Auntie Loo’s. I’m not vegan or gluten free, but LOVE their cupcakes. They are 100% vegan – most are available in gluten free, and are absolutely some of the BEST cupcakes ive ever had – vegan or not. You NEED to try them.

29 | Natalie Joy

September 13th, 2013 at 8:56 am


I’m a big fan of Little Cakes. They’ve been a staple for my kids’ birthdays for a couple of years now.

30 | Joy

September 13th, 2013 at 9:01 am


I am no aficionado – but I love all cupcakes – I have never had any of these, but I am not picky – I am sure they are all delicious!!

31 | Sarah McCormack

September 13th, 2013 at 9:37 am


love the Cupcake Lounge…..but there is a small place in the lower East side of Manhattan called SUGAR SWEET SUNSHINE where I had the best lemon cupcake EV-ER!!!

32 | Stephanie

September 13th, 2013 at 9:51 am


I’ve never had Cupcake Lounge. I feel totally deprived now!!! Can I be honest and say that I make great cupcakes? They don’t look very pretty, but they are yummy!

33 | Lina

September 13th, 2013 at 11:38 am


Cupcake Lounge wins hands down. Their cupcakes are flavourful and moist. I also like that they flatten the icing so there is even coverage on the top! :-)

34 | me@sdesros.ca

September 13th, 2013 at 11:49 am


So far, Cupcake Lounge is the best I’ve found. Too many other places seem to focus on the icing and ignore that the cake portion needs to be good as well.

35 | Tiana

September 13th, 2013 at 12:47 pm


I’ve tried the cupcake lounge in the market and it was really good. i do usually get them from Thinblecakes though because they are consistently great and I’m in that area way more often.

36 | Jane

September 13th, 2013 at 1:09 pm


In my line of work, I think I have tasted cupcakes from just about every shop in the city, and Cupcake Lounge is definitely my favourite. The cake part is always moist and flavourful and the icing is the perfect consistency and just the right amount of sweet. I recently had the German Chocolate one and it was amazing…all my favourite things in one cake.

37 | Dough.

September 13th, 2013 at 3:00 pm


The best cupcakes are at Suzie-Q. ;-) Donuts rule!

38 | Bonny

September 13th, 2013 at 7:44 pm


I haven’t tried the Cupcake Lounge yet, but Thimblecakes are my go-to cupcake fix. Simple, moist and oh-so pretty ????

39 | Danielle

September 13th, 2013 at 7:45 pm


I have never been to the cupcake lounge… but Isobel’s cupcakes are pretty freaking amazing.

40 | Ann

September 13th, 2013 at 8:42 pm


Isobel’s are tasty although the kids say mine are better :p

41 | Charlene

September 14th, 2013 at 9:09 am


If I’m choosing my fav cupcake in Ottawa it goes to Little Cakes in Kanata. But they don’t have a storefront location. My fav cupcakery in town WITH a store front is Cupcake Lounge. Key Lime all the way :)

42 | Heather

September 14th, 2013 at 9:20 am


Thimble cakes is pretty delicious, however cupcake lounge icing is amazing!

43 | Shawn MacDonell

September 14th, 2013 at 9:43 am


As someone who has been around the block (probably not as often as I should be considering all the cupcakes I eat) a few times in the cupcake scene I gotta say I’m pretty loyal to 2nd Avenue Sweets in the Glebe. They have cupcakes the size of your head and just the right amount of icing for my likes. You really get the true taste of a cake every time.

But hey we are talking about cupcakes so all of them are good! I mean come on people it’s CAKE, yum!

44 | Laurel

September 16th, 2013 at 11:46 am


The Flour Shoppe!

45 | Laurel

September 16th, 2013 at 11:50 am


oops wasn’t finished!
Little Cakes and Flour Shoppe
I’ve tried them all I think-Cupcake Lounge are okay but too much icing for me and Thimblecakes are great for the allergy and gluten ridden. Of course Magnolia in NYC!!!

46 | sara

September 17th, 2013 at 3:19 pm


I will send my vote to Thimblecakes. They are DELISH and I love that I can treat my little guy who can’t do dairy. Plus they always have some day olds on hand for an affordable treat.

Cupcake lounge looks great too, and I’ve been told they will have more dairy free soon. Yum!

47 | Meghan

September 18th, 2013 at 10:27 am


Yummm! I have to say my kids make great cupcakes – they decorate the best! I also love Isobel’s in Hintonburg :)

48 | Natalie Fraser

September 19th, 2013 at 8:34 am


My favorite (and I have tried them all many times), is the Cupcake Lounge! Especially with their pop up shop in holt renfrew on Friday’s, I can sneak one on my lunch break.

49 | Brooke

September 19th, 2013 at 9:31 am


Cupcake Lounge is my pleasure (no guilt there)! The perfect amount for a reasonable price. Oh my goodness. I haven’t gone in over a month and now I need to go get one from the market after my lab work finishes up. I’m not even mad- I’m excited!

50 | Sara

September 19th, 2013 at 9:41 am


The Flour Shoppe gets my vote! Their flavour creations always hit the mark and seeing their finished product always puts a smile on my face.

51 | Jennifer

September 20th, 2013 at 12:20 am


Wow, looks like Cupcake Lounge is the front runner! I’ve never tried them but have to say Isobel’s are my fav!! The icing is perfection! Not too sweet and just creamy enough!!

52 | Christian

September 20th, 2013 at 8:46 am


I love cupcakes and the cupcake Lounge is pretty awesome!!! I would say if you want gourmet amazing cupcakes check them out for sure… and… of course… I think winning delivered cupcakes would be ridonculously amazing!

53 | Nici

September 20th, 2013 at 8:46 am


Oh my goodness – these look delightful! How have I not heard of this before?! Wonder if they taste as good as they look! I will be keeping my eyes out for this place :-)

54 | Annie @ PhD in Parenting

September 20th, 2013 at 8:58 am


I do definitely think the Cupcake Lounge cupcakes are the best (I work not far from their Byward Market location). I do have to pick and choose my days though, because if I am going to spend the money and calories on a treat like that, I want it to be on a day when they have one of my faves.

55 | Dan P

September 20th, 2013 at 9:03 am


If I only stumbled across this I would have known such a place existed! I’m actually looking for a place for my DD9’s bday to see if someone can create a bunch of cupcakes for her gymnastics team, but not sure if anyone can do it short notice. These two may get a call!

56 | HollyStar

September 20th, 2013 at 10:46 am


I haven’t tried the Cupcake Lounge yet! Shame on me for not supporting a business in my neighbourhood. Friends have brought Isobel’s over before and I’ve enjoyed them. Agree with other posters that it’s important to get the icing to cake ratio right and also that the cake is moist. I make a LOT of cupcakes at home so it isn’t usually my go-to treat when I’m out. Fall is a perfect time to take a walk up Richmond though . . .

57 | andrea tomkins

September 20th, 2013 at 1:22 pm


Comments are closed to new entries! Stay tuned for the winner!

58 | andrea tomkins

September 20th, 2013 at 3:00 pm


I tallied the names from this post and from the FB entry and we have a winner! It’s commenter #19 – Shannon – who wrote:

“I haven’t tried the cupcake lounge, but definitely will. I love the icing. They look fantastic, very different from the average cupcake!”

Congratulations Shannon! I will send you an email ASAP.

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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