Review: Lemon Blast Cupcake at Epcot’s Sunshine Seasons

You know how we love our big, over-the-top cupcakes here at the DFB.

We take ‘em filled with cream cheese, topped with Darth Vader, sprinkled with edible glitter, and any and all combinations of the above!

Cupcakes tend to take some of the top spots in any Disney World bakery case, so typically they aren’t remotely hard to spot.

But there is a little cupcake gem that really hasn’t received its proper due… The Lemon Blast Cupcake can only be found in the Sunshine Seasons bakery case in Epcot’s Future World, and more often than not, it’s hidden on the bottom shelf, well below the croissants, cookies, and muffins.

Here is a small batch, just waiting to be discovered like the “Charlie in the Box” on the Island of Misfit Toys…

Lemon Blast cupcake on the bottom of the case

Lemon Blast cupcake on the very bottom of the case

(By the way, the Lemon Blast Cupcake is $4.49 and a snack credit on the Disney Dining Plan.)

One of our rad readers (thanks, Jessica!) reminded us of this one, and it’s high time to give the Lemon Blast Cupcake a little DFB love!

Aside from the zig-zaggy, criss-cross-y pattern of lemon (!) drizzled over the top, the rest of the cupcake is pretty basic… or so it seems. Vanilla frosting covers a yellow cupcake base.

Lemon Blast Cupcake

Lemon Blast Cupcake

Frosting and lemon closeup

Frosting and lemon closeup

Before we find out what’s inside, take a look at this…

Lemon Cupcake Topping

Lemon Cupcake Topping

Weird, right? The piped lemon gel topping is a little stringy and a little sticky. So be warned. ;-) I’m not sure how I feel about it. Physically it’s kind of gross, but it tasted fine. So, there ya go.

So what is inside, anyway? A [Read more…]

Review: Strawberry and Cream Cupcake at Epcot’s Fountain View Starbucks

When visiting Fountain ViewEpcot’s Starbucks location – you’ll primarily find food items similar to what you’ll likely see at any Starbucks across the country: cake pops, muffins, breads, and Danish pastries, to name a few.

However, at the two Starbucks locations in Disney World Parks (the other being Magic Kingdom’s Main Street Bakery), there are a few treats specific to these locations – primarily, cupcakes!

And it’s always good to see those gems in the case amidst the more standard fare… especially since they come out along with all the other treats at breakfast time, and it’s practically a vacation rite of passage to start your day with a cupcake ;) . The previous selection from Fountain View included the Mickey Cupcake and the Cappuccino Chocolate Cupcake. And we love the Peanut Butter Cup Cupcake at Main Street Bakery!

Disney cupcakes at Fountain View

Disney cupcakes at Fountain View

Peanut Butter Cupcake at Main Street Bakery

Peanut Butter Cupcake at Main Street Bakery

A little while ago, Fountain View debuted a new cupcake next to to the Mickey Cupcake (replacing the Cappuccino Chocolate Cupcake), and I decided to give it a try: the Strawberry and Cream Cupcake. (Note that the bakery changes out items seasonally, so these may or may not be there on your visit. :-D)

Strawberry and Cream cupcakes in Fountain View case

Strawberry and Cream cupcakes in Fountain View case

I’m starting to realize that I’ve been completely spoiled by the humongous cupcakes found all over Disney World at places like Starring Rolls Cafe, Contempo Café, and the BoardWalk Bakery, because this cupcake struck me as rather small… when, in actuality, it’s a just, like, a normal-sized cupcake :).

The swirled strawberry and vanilla frosting is a really nice touch.

Strawberry and Cream swirled frosting

Strawberry and Cream swirled frosting

I prefer a thicker frosting, and though this frosting was airy and light instead, I appreciated that I could spot vanilla bean seeds in the “cream” side of the swirled frosting as well as strawberry seeds from the puree in the strawberry side.

Vanilla frosting

Vanilla frosting

Strawberry frosting

Strawberry frosting

That, unfortunately, is where my appreciation [Read more…]

Review: Croissant Berry Bread Pudding at Sunshine Seasons in Epcot’s Land Pavilion

When it comes to Disney World, sometimes I think there are morning park people and there are night park people.

I’ve always considered myself a night park person… I’m always up for a viewing of any of the nighttime spectaculars, and I’ve never been able to pick a favorite out of Illuminations, Wishes, or Fantasmic!

And the lights on the buildings on Main Street or the torches surrounding World Showcase only add to atmosphere. Plus, the blazing Florida sun has set, so you know… bonus!

But even I have to admit that sometimes the early bird really does catch the worm. Check out this unbelievably peaceful atmosphere for an early morning breakfast of Croissant Berry Pudding at Epcot’s Sunshine Seasons!

Early morning at Sunshine Seasons

Early morning at Sunshine Seasons

Sunshine Seasons Sign

Sunshine Seasons Sign

Can’t you just hear the music from Soarin’ somewhere in the back of your mind :) ?

Anyway, while the crowds are lining up for their morning java over at Fountain View (Starbucks) Cafe, Sunshine Seasons has a few great A.M. treasures (available until 11:00AM) that shouldn’t be overlooked.

You can find plenty of bakery pastries alongside hot breakfast dishes, including an Egg and Bacon Breakfast Panini; a full Breakfast Platter featuring eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, and a biscuit; and – the reason for today’s visit – a Croissant Berry Bread [Read more…]

Review: Espresso Gelato “Affogato” in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion

We’re in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion, and that means it’s GELATO TIME!!!

Unless, of course, it’s pizza time, but for now we’re just going to focus on the sweet stuff :).

Italy’s simple Gelato Stand is located just before you enter the Pavilion coming from Germany.

Gelato Stand

Gelato Stand

We’ve enjoyed grabbing Gelato Ice Cream Sandwiches during a stroll or two around World Showcase, and you can always get a scoop of your choice of gelato in a cone or cup.

Gelato Selections

Gelato Selections

But there are some additional items on the menu as well. For instance, the Coppa Delizia pretty much rocked our world. Given that bit of awesomeness, we were curious to try one of the other “Gelato Creations” (designated as such on the menu): the Espresso Gelato “Affogato.”

Gelato Stand menu

Gelato Stand menu

I’m going to steal the description directly from the menu: this creation is “Italian Espresso poured over Fior di Latte Gelato topped with chocolate coffee beans.” And here’s what it looks like:

Espresso Gelato Affogato

Espresso Gelato Affogato

You’re getting a few treats in one here: a scoop of vanilla gelato, a shot of espresso, and several accompaniments: two simple cookies, chocolate coffee beans, and a wafer “straw”. By the way, am I right that the cookies stuck just so into the scoop of gelato make a Mickey?

Mickey?

Is that you, Mickey?

Affogato means “drowned,” and that pretty much sums up the consistency of this gelato creation. The weird thing is, even though [Read more…]

Review: Green Tea Cheesecake at Katsura Grill in Epcot’s Japan Pavilion

We’ve been enjoying snack time at Walt Disney World as we launched our Disney Food Blog Guide to Epcot Snacks e-Book, 2014 Edition earlier this week!

To continue the celebration, let’s check out one of my favorite spots in World Showcase. And while we’re there, we’ll sample a never-featured-here-before snack today!

I think Epcot’s Japan Pavilion boasts some of the loveliest landscaping in Epcot, and a lot of it can be enjoyed from an outdoor seat at Katsura Grill.

Katsura Grill

Katsura Grill

Outdoor seating

Outdoor seating

The greenery, the paper lanterns, and waterfall all contribute to a sense of beauty and peace — even on the busiest of park days — so I’m always looking for reasons to spend more time in this spot.

A view from Katsura Grill

A view from Katsura Grill

Lanterns

Lanterns

Waterfall

Waterfall

One of those reasons, recently, was to try the Green Tea Cheesecake. I adore cheesecake, but have had both good and bad experiences with green tea infused food, so I was curious about what I might discover.

Upon receiving my slice, the first thing my eyes took in was the color. As expected, it’s rather green :), but a very light hue.

Green Tea Cheesecake

Green Tea Cheesecake

Green Tea Cheesecake

Green Tea Cheesecake

The portion size, I must say, seemed [Read more…]

Review: New Cinnamon, Caramelized Apple & Crumble Crunch Ice Cream at L’Artisan des Glaces

So, here we are on our second trip to L’Artisan des Glaces in Epcot’s France Pavilion in one week!

You may have seen our review of the new Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich, but we just had to make it back right away to taste their brand new flavor. Take a deep breath, ‘cuz this one is a mouthful:  Cinnamon, Caramelized Apple & Crumble Crunch Ice Cream.

And it’s good to be back so soon for another visit, because let’s face it – if there’s a list of places at Disney World that merit more than one trip during your vacation, L’Artisan des Glaces deserves to be on it.

That case full of 16 homemade flavors of ice cream and sorbet just doesn’t disappoint.

L'artisan des Glaces ice cream case

L’Artisan des Glaces ice cream case

Cinnamon, Caramelized Apple & Crumble Crunch in the case

Cinnamon, Caramelized Apple & Crumble Crunch in the case

There are so many words in the name “Cinnamon, Caramelized Apple & Crumble Crunch,” it barely fits on the menu!

Flavor Menu

Flavor Menu

Menu close-up

Menu close-up

Fortunately, the Cast Member knew exactly what I was going for when I said, “May I have one scoop in a cup of the… um, Caramel, Cinnamon… uhh, Crumble … stuff? Please?”

Smooth. As. Silk. ;)

So, with that little tongue-twister out of the way, it was time to give it a try.

A cup of Cinnamon, Caramelized Apple & Crumble Crunch

A cup of Cinnamon, Caramelized Apple & Crumble Crunch

The name, of course, is a full description of a very full-flavored ice cream. You can immediately see the [Read more…]

Review: NEW Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich at L’Artisan des Glaces in Epcot’s France

Being that it’s July – the month we celebrate America’s independence – it’s not surprising to find a little extra red, white, and blue around Disney World these days.

Fife and Drum Corps at the American Adventure Pavilion

Fife and Drum Corps at the American Adventure Pavilion

Fourth of July decorations at the American Adventure Pavilion

Fourth of July decorations at the American Adventure Pavilion

Red, White, and Blue flowers at the American Adventure Pavilion

Red, White, and Blue flowers at the American Adventure Pavilion

All-American Mickey!

All-American Mickey!

Of course, Americans aren’t the only ones who claim these colors in their flag. Among others, our friends in France do, too!

French flags

French flags

Still, you don’t really expect to see these colors incorporated together in your food, which is why I was so surprised to spot the new Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich at L’Artisan des Glaces in Epcot’s France Pavilion, sporting the colors of the French flag!

Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich sign

Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich sign

Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches in case

Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches in case

I have to applaud the creativity of the chefs who came up with this treat. Check out the incredibly vivid red and blue making up each side of the macaron!

Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich blue side up

Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich red side up

Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich blue side up

Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich blue side up

Of course, those colors may make you question the flavor of the macaron surrounding the ice cream – it’s vanilla. Essentially, this is the vanilla version of this treat’s counterpart, the Chocolate Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich. In fact, the vanilla version comes to you in that same French “newspaper” wrapping.

Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich in French "newspaper"

Vanilla Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich in French “newspaper”

If you’ve enjoyed the housemade ice cream at L’Artisan des Glaces, then you know how very creamy, dense, and decadent it is, and this is certainly true of the rich vanilla ice cream in the center of this sandwich.

Vanilla ice cream in center

Vanilla ice cream in center

The vanilla macaron surrounding the ice cream differs from the one surrounding the chocolate version in that [Read more…]

Disney Recipe: Soft Pretzels from Epcot’s Germany Pavilion

Ready for another fun project? Haha! I thought you might be!

Who doesn’t catch themselves daydreaming about their favorite Disney snacks? And one salty treat that you write to me about over and over are those amazing Soft Pretzels that you can get in the Germany Pavilion in Epcot!

Hand-Twisted Pretzel in Epcot's Germany

Hand-Twisted Pretzel in Epcot’s Germany

These are the real deal — warm, salty, chewy, and perfect with a little mustard and a lot of beer!

Well, if you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at making them at home, now’s your chance!

I have a feeling that I know what I’ll be doing this weekend…

Authentic German Soft Pretzels

Epcot’s Germany Pavilion

Yield: 10 pretzels
Ingredients: [Read more…]

Review: Pineapple and Coconut Frozen Yogurt at Epcot’s Refreshment Cool Post!

Refreshment Cool Post is a stop along the way around World Showcase. You’ll find it after you cross the bridge from the China Pavilion towards Germany. The Cool Post typically offers a menu of pretty standard quick-eats: hot dogs, frozen slushes, and fruit cups are among the choices.

Refreshment Cool Post

Refreshment Cool Post

Refreshment Cool Post Menu

Refreshment Cool Post Menu

However, this unassuming spot has been chosen as the only place to offer a special summer treat unique to Epcot: Frozen Yogurt soft-serve, available in Pineapple, Coconut, or a swirl of the two!

Pineapple Coconut Swirl Frozen Yogurt

Pineapple Coconut Swirl Frozen Yogurt

It’s next to impossible, of course, for most Disney food fans to hear the words “pineapple” and “soft-serve” in the same sentence without thinking of the original pineapple soft-serve treat: Dole Whip!

Dole Whip!!

Dole Whip!!

So, we thought we’d present this review by bringing you a little side-by-side comparison of the two.

We’ll start with the most obvious characteristic: color. While the Dole Whip is a light yellow, it’s still a definite yellow, where the Pineapple Frozen Yogurt’s yellow is so pale, it’s almost white. My yogurt was a pineapple-coconut swirl, and you can just barely make out the yellow of the pineapple yogurt against the white of the coconut.

Pineapple Coconut Swirl Frozen Yogurt

Pineapple Coconut Swirl Frozen Yogurt

Next: texture. Okay, so that’s [Read more…]

Review: Café Liégeois at Les Halles in Epcot’s France Pavilion

When you’re visiting Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in Epcot’s France Pavilion, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the huge array of choices and just stick with what you know. (In the case of the frangipane, I forgive you.)

Bakery Case at Les Halles

Bakery Case at Les Halles

Frangipane -- Cross Section

Frangipane — Cross Section

Now, maybe you’ve been tempted to step outside the box, but just haven’t known enough about the other options to trust that it would be a good use of your snack credit on the Disney Dining Plan or your dining dollars.

Les Halles dessert and pastries menu

Les Halles dessert and pastries menu

Well, that’s why you have us! Today we’re going to demystify one of those lesser-known items: the Café Liégeois!

Cafe Liegeois

Cafe Liegeois

You’ll spot the Café Liégeois among the soft desserts in the bakery case near items like Chocolate Mousse and Fruit Parfaits.

Cafe Leigeios in bakery case

Cafe Leigeios in bakery case

My understanding is that while a Café Liégeois is traditionally an ice cream treat, the Les Halles take is a coffee and cream mousse, which offers the full coffee-flavor experience in three layers.

Cafe Liegeois

Cafe Liegeois

Taking it from the top, the white layer is an airy sweet cream, and reminds me of the flavored coffee creamers that you can buy in the store (and thank goodness for those — they are what get me through the morning!).

Top layer of the Cafe Liegeois

Top layer of the Cafe Liegeois

The second, dark layer is an intense espresso flavor for the serious coffee connoisseur, and the most dense in texture of the three.

Second and third layers of the Cafe Liegeois

Second and third layers of the Cafe Liegeois

And the third and final mousse-layer is what we like to call [Read more…]