Sweet Relief Pastries

Cupcakes are perfect for any celebration, so there’s no better way to kick off a brand new blog than with a post about my favourite new bakery, Sweet Relief

Sweet Relief’s new storefront is small and sparsely decorated, which means your eyes are immediately drawn to the pastel and jewel-toned treats inside the gleaming, glass pastry case. Cupcakes, chocolate-covered Oreos, macarons, various bars and mini cheesecakes are staples in addition to the cavity-inducing Calgary-Os, Sweet Relief’s answer to the cookie sandwich.

Calgary-Os come in a few different flavours, but my favourite is the confetti sugar cookie filled with vanilla buttercream and strawberry jam. I would share a photo, but those cookies have yet to make it back to my place in one piece in all the months I’ve been a fan. This is merely because I am an enthusiastic supporter of local entrepreneurs. I can stop gobbling those Calgary-Os any time I want, I swear…

I bravely fought the snow and slush on Friday to pick up some happy hour cupcakes ($2 each between 5-6 pm Tuesday through Friday). You can usually find classic flavours here like double chocolate, red velvet or vanilla, but they rotate through so many interesting combinations that I haven’t seen the same array of flavours twice. Their chocolate cupcake with peanut buttercream is a favourite at our house, but one of the more memorable ones was filled with cinnamon-laced baked apple pieces and drizzled with caramel.

To spite the depressing weather, I picked up two of the most summery flavours I could find: Raspberry Vanilla and Mango Coconut.

As you can see, the raspberry buttercream was made with a fruit preserve – see the beautiful little droplet that didn’t quite get swirled all the way in? There were raspberry preserves baked into the centre of this cupcake… a very tasty surprise! The vanilla cupcake was firm with more of a muffin-like texture than some of the fluffy, crumbly cupcakes you see around town. I liked this dense style as it holds up well against the frosting.

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The mango coconut buttercream on the next cupcake was what I was truly excited about. We came back from Hawaii last month and this cold weather has been hurting my feelings more than usual, so being able to bring a bit of the tropics home today was a lovely surprise. I expected more bright, tart mango to come through, but a smooth, sweet coconut flavour ended up dominating this time. Still a delicious cupcake and one I definitely recommend you try on your next visit!

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Calgary has a lot of beautiful wedding and cupcake bakeries already, but the things that set relative newcomer Sweet Relief apart for me are their Alberta-based suppliers, their cupcake happy hour and the unbeatable Calgary-Os. Their accommodating customer service extends to delivery service via SkipTheDishes.com as well as gluten-free products upon request. The smell of vanilla and sugar wafting out of this place as you walk by is enough to provoke a detour for people much more disciplined than I am, so good luck resisting! Sweet Relief (120 13 Ave SW, open Tuesday through Saturday) is definitely worth a stop.

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