Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Double Take Doughnuts

If you follow me on Instagram (@sk_gonzales), you might have noticed that I constantly post pictures of desserts. I love sweets! Cupcakes, chocolates, macarons... you name it. If sugar is involved, chances are I'll eat it. And that is especially true with doughnuts! I almost always pick up a box of Moonshine Doughnuts whenever they are at the University of Alberta Farmers' Market, or a pack of Frickin' Delights Donuts whenever I visit the Old Strathcona Farmers' Market (although it has been awhile). You may be aware of my informal "macaron adventures," where I write about macarons made by local businesses. Now I think it's time I do a similar series for "doughnut adventures" as well! My latest doughnut adventure? Double Take Doughnuts!

Double Take Doughnuts.

I first learned about Double Take Doughnuts browsing through #yegfood photos on Instagram. They are a fairly new business, making their first debut back in June. Although I absolutely loved how fantastic the doughnuts looked in the photos, I never really found the time to place an order. Luckily, I heard that Double Take Doughnuts would be at the Santa's Little Helpers Christmas Shopping Extravaganza event at the River Cree Resort & Casino, an easily accessible location for me. Finally, a chance for me to try doughnuts that I spent a long time admiring behind my phone's screen!

Contact information.

When I arrived at the Santa's Little Helpers market, I immediately located the table for Double Take Doughnuts (surprisingly really quick too, given that there were so many other vendors in a crowded room!). I was greeted by Kayla Harris, owner and operator of the business who bakes the doughnuts in her own home. She typically sells them from her home as well. If you check out the ordering process on their Facebook page, you'll find that your doughnut order can be very customizable. At the market, however, set flavours were being sold as a pack of 4 doughnuts for $10. The doughnuts were specifically Christmas themed to kick off the holiday season.

So cute!

My first impression when I opened the box was that the doughnuts smelled SO GOOD! Seriously. Opening the box was just like stepping into a bakery... a sweetness that entices you to indulge in the desserts laid out before your eyes. Another thing that really sets Double Take Doughnuts apart from other businesses is the presentation: it's fun and playful, colourful, but expertly put together.

Vanilla base + green coloured icing + sprinkles.

The first doughnut I decided to try was the vanilla base with a thin, green coloured glaze and festive sprinkles. The doughnut had a lovely bakery smell to it, while the cake base was denser compared to other cake-like doughnuts I've tried/baked myself. Not a bad thing though - this doughnut was excellent! It wasn't too sweet (and I was worried about this because of its sweet, sugary smell!), and the icing made each bite even better. A few people told me that they liked the appearance of this particular doughnut the best as well.

A reindeer! Chocolate base + chocolate buttercream.

I initially wanted to save the reindeer for last (because I perceived it to be the best one in the box since I'm a big fan of reindeer), but I also wanted to eat it at its freshest. The chocolate cake base was not as dense compared to the vanilla, so I thought this doughnut was much "lighter" overall even with the thicker chocolate buttercream as a glaze. I would describe the chocolate taste of this doughnut as being delicate... this is a doughnut that I would eat more of without feeling guilty about overloading on sugar. Pretzel antlers added a contrasting saltiness, chocolate chips for a bit of texture, and a maraschino cherry for a bright red nose complete this super cute Rudolph doughnut.

Vanilla base + chocolate glaze + white chocolate peppermint bark.

The reindeer doughnut was the best looking one in my opinion, but this vanilla base doughnut with chocolate glaze, white chocolate peppermint bark, and crushed peppermint was hands down the best tasting one! I was actually expecting the base to be chocolate, but I soon found out that the subtle vanilla allowed for the glaze and peppermint to be the stand out features on this doughnut. I loved every single bite... the cooling sensation of the mint combined with the sweet chocolate was absolutely delicious. I also really enjoyed the handmade white chocolate peppermint bark for some extra sweetness. I would devour another one (or more...) in a heartbeat.

Snowman: vanilla base + vanilla buttercream.

Last but certainly not least was this snowman doughnut made up of a vanilla base with vanilla buttercream. Along with its pleasantly sweet smell, this doughnut was soft and moist despite its denseness. The buttercream was also stiffer compared to its chocolate counterpart on the reindeer, giving the glaze a slightly gritty, sugary texture. The thin layer of buttercream ensured that the glaze wouldn't make the doughnut overwhelmingly sweet as a whole. Chocolate chips dusted with powdered sugar and a candy corn nose were perfect touches for the snowman!

Loooooved these doughnuts.

My first box of Double Take Doughnuts was amazing! My personal favourites were definitely the reindeer and the chocolate + peppermint. So how do you order doughnuts for yourself? It's simple - just head on over to their Facebook page to view their order form and then send an email to with all the requested information. You'll be able to choose between 1.) chocolate or vanilla bases, 2.) buttercream, white chocolate, dark chocolate, or cheesecake for the icing options, and 3.) toppings which include mini eggs, cookies and cream, oreo and more! You can get really creative with the doughnut flavours. Check out this review by Ms. Hangry Foodie for doughnut flavour ideas, or give Double Take Doughnuts a follow on Instagram (@doubletakedoughnuts) to check out more photos! I'm looking forward to trying out more delicious doughnuts in the future! Feel free to take a look at my past reviews for Moonshine Doughnuts and Frickin' Delights Donuts as well. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015


There have been quite a few new bubble tea spots opening up in Edmonton recently, particularly in the southside. One place is Simply Yours Cafe, which I visited back in October (read my review here). Exactly a week later, I checked out Yumioca - the latest addition to Edmonton's bubble tea scene.


Yumioca (5940 104 Street NW) is a bubble tea and dessert shop located next to Tropika Malaysian Cuisine along 104 Street. It is in the same strip mall where you'll find Let's Grill Restaurant and Escape City. I can imagine many people stopping by for bubble tea after dinner at either of those restaurants, or after trying out an escape room (which is really fun, by the way). 

The interior.
The interior - check out those chairs!

Now to describe the interior: not too big or too small, modern light fixtures, and fun, colourful chairs to contrast the textured gray carpet and walls. The atmosphere is very cozy... it's a place where you can spend awhile just hanging out with friends over bubble tea and snacks. 

Drinks Menu.
Shaved Ice Dessert Menu.

Yumioca offers a variety of drinks, including a signature cheesecake + red/green tea drink I'm curious about. They also serve shaved ice dessert, which I prefer to call shaved snow (because it's not just plain shaved ice like in halo-halo, it's softer and the 'snow' already constitutes the flavour). To be honest, I wanted to check this place out just to try their version of shaved snow! 

They have a food menu!

One thing I was worried about was if Yumioca offered a (savoury) food menu since they currently do not have one shared on their Facebook page. Good news - they do! These menus are found on each table but there is also one next to the cash register. I thought the menu could have been organized better... smaller snacks first, more filling options, and then desserts? I didn't really like seeing a green onion cake listed under two desserts (but that's just me). 

Taro Bubble Tea.

I think CJ was a bit overwhelmed by the number/variety of drinks available, so he wasn't really adventurous and ended up going for a classic Taro Bubble Tea ($4.75). I thought the taro was great... perfect consistency, prominent taste - I would totally order this for myself but without tapioca. CJ also noted that the quality of the tapioca pearls was much better at Yumioca compared to Dream Tea House... I guess you could say they were "yumi-oca" (haha I'm funny right?). 

Chocolate Shaved Ice Dessert.

I picked their Chocolate Shaved Ice Dessert ($6.95) for myself. Although there are a lot of choices for toppings, each topping costs an extra $1. I obviously did not want to go overboard with toppings, so I only asked for strawberries in my dessert. Surprisingly, I was given some chocolate sauce and chocolate rolled wafer sticks for no extra charge - thank you Yumioca! However, in spite of the free extra toppings, I was disappointed to see very little shaved snow in the bowl... I was expecting a lot more for the price I paid. Imagine how this dessert would look without any toppings... yea, I wouldn't be happy either receiving such a small amount. Furthermore, the quality of the shaved snow wasn't the best... most of it had an icy consistency instead of a melt-in-your-mouth softness. At least the chocolate taste itself was okay. The toppings were the best part of this dessert, but overall I felt that the $7.95 I paid wasn't worth it. To improve this, I think Yumioca should 1.) reduce the price to match the amount of shaved snow in the bowl or, 2.) increase the amount of shaved snow and keep the price and finally, 3.) either add set toppings for each flavour (at no extra cost) or reduce the price of each topping (so people are more able to pick and choose how many toppings they want). 

Green Onion Cake.

I knew CJ would want something to snack on (the reason why I hoped for a food menu!), so I got us a Green Onion Cake ($2.95) to share. The version at Yumioca is the big, soft, and fluffy kind of cake, with a surprisingly strong green onion taste. I thought it paired well with the sauce we were given, although it would have been nice to see some specks of green colour throughout the cake (really just a minor detail though). 

A variety of games to play at Yumioca.

CJ and I were in a hurry to do some errands, so we weren't able to stay longer to play some of the board/card games available. I really liked how the games are organized on big, roomy shelves - you can see what's available clearly and easily grab it off the shelf. It also looks like there's space to add even more games in the future!

Yup, we arranged the Jenga blocks to be a rainbow.

I think Yumioca makes for a great hangout spot in south Edmonton. The inside is very clean, modern, and cozy, and the bubble tea drink we tried was quite good. The only issue I really have is with their shaved ice dessert... it needs to be improved by adjusting either the price or the portion accordingly. As for the rest of the food - well, I'm interested in seeing how they serve yam fries and what their tiramisu cake is all about. I also had no problems with their service... very quick and friendly which is always great to see (although I do question why there were so many staff near the cash register when we visited lol. But again, not a big deal). My first time at Yumioca was good overall, but for my next visit I think I'll go for their bubble tea drinks instead of shaved ice (until they improve it, that is). I love seeing Edmonton's bubble tea scene continue to grow! 

Holiday Gift Idea: TLC Package

Yay, it looks like the snow is here to stay! It's mid-November, which means Christmas is coming up really soon. Every year my friends and I have a Secret Santa gift exchange, something I always look forward to. Here is a simple and (for the most part) inexpensive holiday gift idea I put together last year: a Tender Love (or Loving) & Care (TLC) Package! 
The contents of the TLC Package.

The theme behind this box was rest and relaxation. In addition to the items the recipient (my friend June) wrote on their wishlist, I added some things that I thought would complement the gift as a whole. 

Face masks.

One of the items June wrote on her wishlist were Face Masks. These ones are from The Face Shop for just $2 each. I decided that the pink, brown, and gold packaging of these masks would be the colour scheme for the rest of the items in the package. 

Bath bomb.

I also threw in the Twilight Bath Bomb from LUSH for $6.55. I was actually with June when I was shopping for this, so I had to be super sneaky hahaha. I was careful not to pick one with glitter since I was told it would be difficult to remove. 

It's Raining Men Shower Gel.

Another wishlist item was the "It's Raining Men" Shower Gel, also from LUSH. I picked the smallest size (100 ml) for $9.95 so I could add a few more things to the box. 

More snacks hehe.

Last but not least: Snacks from T&T! These cost around $1-2. Here's what I had envisioned: after using the shower gel, take a bath bomb bath with a face mask on while munching on some snacks. How lovely is that? 

A note.

Optional: I wanted to add a note listing the items of the care package as well as the usual holiday greetings. I think it adds a nice, personal touch to the gift. 

TLC Package complete!

When you have everything you want for the package, put it in a box! This one was from Dollarama for either $1.50 or $2. Dollarama actually has a lot of hard boxes available for wrapping presents, but I recommend stopping by the store early this holiday season so there's more selection/variety of boxes. I bought mine quite close to Christmas Day when there weren't many boxes left. 

The Secret Santa presents! Apparently we all went with blue for our wrapping paper theme...

And that's a wrap (literally lol)! The centre and right present at the front are the ones I wrapped (I also got her a David's Tea tumbler (I believe that's what it was), but obviously that didn't fit with the TLC theme). The budget for the entire TLC Package: ~$26 (approximating this because I bought the face masks as part of a sale, and I don't remember the exact cost of the snacks). The LUSH products are what really upped the cost of the care package, so you can definitely find other products that aren't as pricey. 

Hopefully my TLC Package gift idea inspires you to create a similar package for a loved one this holiday season. You can customize it however you want - add in things to match their interests, change up the colour scheme, anything really. The best part: wrapping it all up! Can't wait for this year's Secret Santa!