vancouver sun

VA VA VANILLA and other delights

The Vancouver Sun
Mia Stainsby
September 4, 2008

VA VA VANILLA and other delights – Cupcakes worth a detour of a few kilometres

I’m familiar with Tracycakes cupcakes and they pass the yummy-in-the-tummy test with flying colours. I happened to be passing through Abbotsford one Saturday and thought I would try Tracycakes’ savoury side.

This is the second Tracycakes, the first having launched in Fort Langley (9090 Glover Road.)

The one in Abbotsford looks like a page out of Liberty furniture store with dark antique tables, crystal chandeliers and a heritage feel – it’s feminine but not in a frilly way.

I ordered the salad special, a taco salad, which looked like an alarmingly generous heap of salad. It was topped with ground beef, but I was relieved the bulk of it was greens studded with taco chips. My partner hoovered down his soup/salad combo for $9.95, both ample and homey. We were glad we’d ordered our cupcake dessert ahead of time because suddenly, during our lunch, a blizzard of customers came in for cupcakes, one woman wanting two dozen for guests. The kitchen had more coming out but we wouldn’t have had as many choices.

The most popular cupcake, interestingly is the simplest – Va-Va-Vanilla. Other flavours include Sleepless in Seattle (chocolate mocha cake with chocolate buttercream and a shot of java); A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts (coconut cake with vanilla cream icing and shredded coconut); Twenty Four Karat (carrot cake with cream cheese icing); Princess (white cake with pink lemon buttercream and sprinkles); Creamsicle (vanilla cake filled with Bavarian cream, topped with orange buttercream and candied orange); It’s Five 0’Clock Somewhere (vanilla cake filled with raspberry filling, topped with lime buttercream, raspberry-like a cupcake margarita). Anyway, there are about 35 in the roster (not all available at one time) and come in baby size or normal size ($1.50 & $3.25). There worth a detour of a few kilometres. On Sunday the farmer’s market is just down the street from Tracycakes so it will be double worth it.

Lunch items, by the way, include quiche, chicken pot pie, chilli, shepherd’s pie, sandwiches, soups, salads. Afternoon tea is also served with finger sandwiches, scones, lemon curd, dainties, baby cupcakes, fruit and, of course, tea.


Cupcakes: Love at first bite

Mia Stainsby
Vancouver Sun
May 24, 2007

Fort Langley bakery whips up 200 fresh-baked cakes each day in 35 delectable flavours

I haven’t been able to find it but apparently there’s a Tracycake Fanatics fan club somewhere on Facebook.

“They post their experience when they come in,” says Tracycake Bakery Cafe owner Tracy Dueck. “It made my day to hear about it.”

All she knows is that they’re women between the ages of 20 and 30.

Ahhh! An age when cupcakes aren’t lethal to waistlines.

And cupcakes are what Dueck does well. She has 35 flavours and you can buy the baby cakes for a buck each or the normal sizes for $2.65. They go by teaser names like Love at First Bite (apple spice doused in caramel butter icing filled with Bavarian whipped cream), Va-Va Vanilla, Peppermint Patty, Smartie Pants, Sleepless in Seattle (“chocolate mocha with whipped cream infusion and shot of java for when you need a lift”), Fill-me-up Buttercup (lemon cake filled with whipped cream and iced with meringue). She offers about 10 flavours a day.

Back down on earth, Tracycake sells an assortment of lunchy items — soups (including the Doukhobor style of borscht with a dill tomato base), salads (the apple Waldorf is the big seller), sandwiches, quiche, crepe, pot pie, and chili.

Every afternoon, from 1 to 3 p.m., there’s a high tea ($23.95 for 2) with finger sandwiches, scones with Devonshire cream and lemon curd, assorted dainties, baby cupcakes and fruit.

“Everything’s made from scratch,” says Dueck, who opened the business last fall. She was previously a stay-at-home mom who loved to cook. “I’m living out my dream,” she says.

Tracycakes is in historic Fort Langley in the historic Marr House. The entrance is on the side and opens out to a garden in the back.

She’s open every day from 10 to 5 p.m. and her 200 fresh-baked cupcakes sell out each day.
© The Vancouver Sun 2007