[Review & Giveaway] Real Layers Gourmet Buttercream Frosting

Real Layers Gourmet Buttercream Frosting is the first and only ready-to-spread, shelf stable frosting in the Canadian Market.

Real Layers flavours

Photo credit: Taylor Stinson (@thegirlonbloor)

This post is sponsored by Real Layers with the samples complimentary to test out. The opinions in the post are entirely my own.

I usually make my own buttercream for my occasional baking but now that Real Layers has created this fabulous product, this is a real time saver. At the end of the post, enter to win a gift basket from Real Layers, so you can try out the buttercream frosting at home.

Please note that the give-away has ended. 

Quick overview of Real Layers Gourmet Buttercream:

  • Real Layers Gourmet Buttercream’s Mission is “To provide our customers with convenient and wholesome baking products made with premium quality ingredients and a homemade taste.”
  • Started by sisters Lucy, Rose & Ana who identified that the market needed a ready-to-spread frosting that tasted like real buttercream; one that is rich, buttery and creamy.
  • The 3 flavours are vanilla, chocolate and maple.
  • The frostings are made with real butter and have no artificial ingredients. The frosting is also peanut/nut-free, gluten-free,  shelf-stable and kosher.
  • One container can frost a 13’x 9′ cake or a 2 layer cake, or up to 24 cupcakes.
  • The products are now available at your local Longos, and other grocery stores in Toronto/GTA, and selective Ontario cities (Find a store near you).
  • Also, the frosting is versatile and not just for cakes.

(Selective details derived from Reallayers website)


It is definitely worth the buy! I put Real Layers Gourmet Buttercream for a test and here is what I found.

  • After a few stirs after opening the containers, the consistency was creamy.

  • It was easy to pipe! I added the vanilla flavoured frosting on my homemade cranberry carrot muffins.
Real Layers Vanilla Flavour Buttercream Frosting

Real Layers Vanilla Flavour Buttercream Frosting

  • The taste was the right amount of sweetness for all 3 flavours. When I make buttercream at home with butter and icing sugar, I need to keep tasting my mixture to get it “right” for my tastebuds.
  • I also tested the versatility of Real Layers buttercream frosting. The Real Layers website provides many recipes for using their buttercream outside of cakes and cupcakes. I made mini smores jars which was adapted from a recipe on their site (recipe here) which used their chocolate frosting. My advice is to keep the jars super small (a few spoonfuls), as the dessert can feel overly sweet with the addition of marshmallows. Still, a great idea!

Real Layers Chocolate

Real Layers Chocolate

  • In my last test, I spread Real Layers maple flavoured buttercream frosting on graham crackers and topped it with salted toasted almonds for a quick snack idea. The flavours went well together and it was well balanced with the salted almonds.

Real Layers Maple Flavour Buttercream Frosting

  • I love that Real Layers Gourmet Buttercream is made of real butter and doesn’t use artificial ingredients. With its versatility, you can pull off a quick dessert board for your guests quickly. Saving time is always a plus!
Real Layers Dessert Board

Real Layers Dessert Board


Please note that the give-away has ended. The Winner of the Real Layers Gourmet Buttercream gift basket is Nancy M. (@thenancy2880 on Twitter).

I was lucky to try out Real Layers Gourmet Buttercream Frostings and I want you to as well!


The prize will be a gift basket with the vanilla, chocolate and maple flavour, and other goodies including a cookbook and baking utensils.

Contest Rules: 

  • The contest will run from Monday June 12th, 2017 to Thurs. June 15th, 2017 11:59 PM EST.
  • There will be only 1 winner and the prize is not transferable.
  • All winners must be willing to provide their full name, e-mail address and a mailing address.
  • The contest is opened to Ontario, Canada residents only.
  • I will also be running a contest on my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/maryshappybelly/. The contestants from the IG contest will be combined with entries from my blog. There will be only one winner for this contest.
  •  The winner will be chosen randomly using  https://www.random.org/. Mary’s Happy Belly will conduct quality checks.
  • I will contact the winner by direct message on Twitter, e-mail or Facebook.
  •  The winner will be notified before June 18th, 2017  and the winner will have 24 hours to respond. Failure to respond in a timely manner means that another prize winner will be chosen.
  • The winner will eventually be announced on the blog. I will post the winner’s first name and initial of last name only, with the winner’s Twitter/Instagram handle if applicable.

Good luck!

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[Event] Inside an Ontario cattle and mushroom farm

With a bus load of food bloggers on May 23rd, 2017, I had a an opportunity to visit 2 Ontario farms as part of the #blendandextend campaign from Mushrooms Canada and Beef Farmers of Ontario. The #blendandextend concept is to combine mushrooms and beef in recipes. I will highlight the benefits of the blend in my post.

Our tour was strategically planned where we visited a cattle farm first, followed by a mushroom farm. The tour wrapped up with a “blend and extend” themed dinner at Borealis Grille and Bar where local ingredients were used including the beef from YU Ranch we had visited.

I love farm tours as most times I get to meet the farmers that produce our food, and I get a glimpse of the hard work that goes into the production. The best part of blogging is to be able to share what I learned with you.

Info about where we visited:

  • Yu Ranch in Tilsonburg, Ontario. They raise grass-fed Texas longhorn cattle. Owned by Bryan and Cathy Gilvesy and family.
  • Whitecrest Mushrooms Ltd. in Putnum, Ontario. Owned by Murray Good, his wife Chantelle, and two sons. They grow brown agaricus (aka Portabella and cremini/crimini mushrooms).
  • Dinner at Borealis Grille and Bar in Kitchener, Ontario.
  • The farm tour organized was by Mushrooms of Canada.

Watch a short video to see the inside scoop of the farms, and a snapshot of our day:

Beef Facts:

  • Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) represents 19,000 beef farmers in Ontario
  • All beef cattle spend the majority of their lives eating fresh and dried grasses
  • There are many breeds of beef cattle in Canada. Common breeds in Ontario include Angus, Charolais, Hereford, Limousin, Simmental and Shorthorn
  • Each serving of beef contains 14 essential nutrients and is a protein powerhouse. A person would need to eat 104 almonds (728 calories) to get the same amount of protein found in 75g (184 calories) of cooked beef
Yu Ranch, Cattle, Farm Tour

Yu Ranch

Mushroom Facts:

  • Mushrooms Canada represents mushroom growers from across the country, including 20 commercial mushroom farms in Ontario
  • Agaricus mushrooms (Brown and White) are grown in a pasteurized substrate, which is 100% bacteria free dirt
  • Mushrooms are harvested by hand. The harvesters treat the mushrooms tenderly to avoid bruises and scratches
  • The most popular mushroom variety in Canada is the White mushroom (Button) followed the Brown mushroom (Cremini and Portabella)
  • Mushrooms contain B complex vitamins, minerals, fibre, as well as vitamin D
  • Mushrooms are 90% water content and are low in calories, sodium, cholesterol and saturated fat
Whitecrest Mushroom Farm, Brown mushrooms

Whitecrest Mushroom Farm

Blend and Extend Benefits (blending mushrooms with beef):

  • Decreases calories
  • Increases vegetable intake
  • Adds flavour and boosts umami
  • Lowers saturated fat and cholesterol content

(Facts are provided by mushrooms.ca)

Prior to this tour, I did not know that Portobella mushrooms are the mature version of cremini mushrooms. They are the same but just bigger and more mature!

And last thing, Borealis Bar and Grille is launching a Blend and Extend menu from June 12th to July 15th, 2017. Check it out!

Borealis Menu

Borealis #BlendandExtend summer menu

For more information, check out:



Want to learn more about where your food comes from? Read about my Canola Connect and apple farm tour , and the cucumber and dairy farm tour.

*Disclosure: The farm our was sponsored but the post is not. All opinions in the post are my own.

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[Product Review] Adagio Teas ships to Canada

Adagio Teas is a US tea company that has retail locations in Illinois and an online store that carries loose leave teas and tea ware. Currently, the company has free shipping with orders over $49 USD in the US, and also ships to Canada for a fee.

I have never heard of this company before, but are well known in the US with features in Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Time Magazine (other press coverage). I am not a tea connoisseur but I liked what I tried.

Some cool things about Adagio Teas:

  • Ordering was super easy online. I received an e-mail where I was able to track my package, which arrived about 5 business days from the order date.
  • The pricing was reasonable. I ordered about seven tea packages (23 grams each) for about $24 USD before shipping and tax. The cost is affordable as the teas come directly from the growers.
  • They have promotions often and have a point system to benefit frequent buyers. I received a free chai sample by sharing my purchase on social media.
  • Each package was resealable.

Teas I ordered…

Adagio Teas

Adagio Teas

I really enjoyed the Genmai Cha which is a classic Japanese green tea, blended with toasted and popped rice. It was smooth and light tasting (More info here: http://www.adagio.com/green/genmai_cha.html).

Adagio Teas, Genmai Cha. Mary's Happy Belly

The Masala Chai was my favourite of the teas I had sampled, as I enjoyed the hints of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and ginger in the black tea.

Our Masala Chai tea blend combines premium Ceylon black tea with cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and ginger. Adagio teas, Masala Chai

Masala Chai

If you love tea, or know someone who does love tea, Adagio Teas is a great option to consider.

*Disclosure: The teas were complimentary but this was not a paid post. The opinions in the post are my own.

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[Event] Buy your tickets for Toronto Taste 2017

Mark your calendars and get your tickets for Toronto Taste 2017, presented by The Daniels Corporation. Toronto’s original premier culinary fundraiser supports Second Harvest; the largest food rescue program in Canada. Get ready to eat your heart out, as there will be over 60 of Toronto’s top chefs serving tasty eats. I will be there with my camera ready and my appetite!

Toronto Taste Details:

Website: http://www.torontotaste.ca/
Date: Sun. June 4th, 2017, 6:00 pm
Address: Lakeside, Corus Quay, Toronto, ON
Ticket Prices:  $260 with a $150 tax receipt. Buy tickets. Unlimited food and drinks. 19+

Toronto Taste

Chefs at the 2017 Toronto Taste

Make sure to follow along on social media and join the conversation with hashtag #TorontoTaste.

My Instagram:@maryshappybelly
My Twitter:@maryshappybelly
Second Harvest Instagram: @2ndHarvestTO
Second Harvest Twitter: @2ndHarvestTO

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