The first week of my cake and pie tour was a HUGE one. Out of the four bakeries on the poll, two of them were at the top with 25 votes each so I decided to visit both. On Monday, I headed to Ye Ole Sweet Shoppe in downtown Erie. They always have a large supply of cookies and muffins on hand. There weren’t too many cake options seeing as how it was the first day of the week for them, but they had a couple of things that I was able to try. They sell whole 9 inch pies in assorted flavors like apple, pumpkin, and berry as well as mini pies and even hand pies. I bought some of each pie that they had on hand home with me for dessert Monday night.
First, Amanda and I tried the Very Berry Pie.This pie was overflowing with a fresh gooey mixed berry filling. The crust was wonderfully buttery and flaky and really held up to the weight of the filling. The berries were sweet, but still had some of their natural tartness. It was delicious at room temperature, but would have been even better warmed up with some ice cream on top. I’ll remember that for next time.
I also brought home a Pumpkin Apple Mini Pie. Yes, pumpkin AND apple in one pie. The 4 inch pie was a combination that I had never had before, but I was excited to eat it. The pie did not let me down; it was amazing. Each bite had both the rich and creamy pumpkin taste and texture that I expected, but the chunks of fresh cut apples were an incredible addition, I really don’t know why I’d never thought of combining the two before. The crust was buttery and melted in your mouth. The apple provided small pockets of sweetness to the almost savory pumpkin. This was a perfect and heavenly dessert.
The other stop on this week’s tour, Icing On The Lake, is closed on Sunday and Monday so I headed in around lunch time on Tuesday. They offer cupcakes, cake pops, chocolate dipped confections, and many other sweet treats all the time, and full sized cakes and pies are available made-to-order. They sell smaller personal pies from time to time and yesterday, they had some on hand. I decided that I would try everything they had to offer in terms of cake and pie so I left with a lot. This would be another big night of desserts.
Amanda and I started with a Coconut Cream Pie. This was the first of four. The crust was a buttery, crunchy crumb crust that had a lot of flavor. The pie itself was layered with silky smooth custard that was loaded with rich coconut flavor. The custard was topped with a very light and slightly sweet meringue and some toasted coconut shavings. Each bite was filled with a great variety of textures and flavors and it was truly fantastic.
We moved on to an Apple Crumb Pie. When I cut through the pie, it felt as though the crust was very thick. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it wasn’t the crust, but the sheer number of apples. The crust was actually perfectly thin. The apple chunks still had some of the skins on which gave this pie another textural component. The apples tasted so unbelievably fresh, it was like they were picked right off the tree seconds before the pie was made. The crumb topping was sweet and buttery without being too heavy. This is something I want to wake up to on Christmas morning. Who said pie is only for dessert?
Next was the Peanut Butter Pie. The filling is incredibly thick and rich, but I could eat this pie all day long. The crumb crust was super crunchy and really paired well with the peanut butter and chocolate drizzle. The peanut butter itself had a muted sweetness to it that helped mellow the entire thing out. It was my favorite dessert of the selection we tried.
The final pie was pumpkin. This pie had a toasted pecan and walnut crumb topping that gave it a real, nutty taste that you don’t get with most pumpkin pies. The pumpkin filling was smooth and well-spiced. The crust, like the apple, was buttery, flaky, tender, and rolled out to the perfect thickness.
We also tried a few of their cupcakes. They offer a ton of different cupcakes featuring flavors that change with the seasons as well as some that are offered year round. Their signature cupcake is the Strawberry Fields cupcake. A simple white cake with a taste slightly reminiscent of angel food, but with a more dense texture, is topped with a delicious fresh strawberry butter cream. The vanilla flavor of the cake paired perfectly with the strawberries. The frosting was a bit sweet, but definitely not overpowering.
Next was the Red Velvet cupcake. This bright right cake has a slight cocoa taste and was light and moist. On top was a white chocolate cream cheese frosting that is to die for. It is rich, and incredibly creamy. The cupcake is called red velvet, but it was the texture of the frosting that was truly velvety.
The first of the seasonal cupcakes we tasted was the pumpkin. The cake was very moist and incredibly flavorful. It was topped with the same cream cheese frosting previously mentioned and is as close to perfect as you can get. It was a wonderful demonstration of the delicious flavors of Autumn.
We then tried the Cookies and Cream cupcake. It started with a basic Devil’s Food cake with Oreo frosting on top. The cake itself is rather standard, but if you like Oreos, this frosting is the way to go, there are small chunks of Oreo throughout and the base of the frosting tastes like and has the mouth feel of Oreo crème.
We ended our dessert sampling with two more Devil’s Food-based cupcakes that couldn’t have been more different. The Peanut Butter Cup cupcake was topped with a delicious peanut butter frosting that really transformed the Devil’s Food into basically a Reese’s cake. If chocolate and peanut butter is your thing, you have got to try these, especially because they’re garnished with a piece of Reese’s Cup on top. The last cupcake was The Nutella Dream, which is also seasonal. Devil’s Food cake is filled with a surprise ball of Nutella in the middle, topped with decadent chocolate frosting and a whole hazelnut. This was a little too rich for Amanda’s taste, but it was perfect for mine. I can never get enough Nutella, so this was a great way to end our tour of desserts.
Thank you again to Lea and Heidi for creating such outstanding baked treats. I visit both of these places far more than I should, but the creative concoctions coming out of those kitchens are well worth every calorie. If you haven’t tried any of these, I highly recommend you do so; your taste buds will thank you.