Cupcakes are fast becoming their own art form in the culinary community, following in the footsteps of elaborate wedding cakes and hand-painted Fabergé Skittles. Consume creativity with this Groupon.
$18 for One Dozen Cupcakes ($36 value)
Mix and match both daring and classic cupcake flavors, from cookies ’n’ cream to the Mr. Man—a ginger cake with cinnamon cream-cheese frosting, topped with a gingerbread-man cookie. The menu includes winners from the Food Network's Cupcake Wars, such as the Battle Royale, an almond cake dressed in açai-berry cream-cheese frosting with blueberry-tequila filling.
Sift Cupcake + Dessert Bar
Though Andrea Ballus's wedding frustrations propelled her into reality-television fame, the camera never focused on personal drama—instead, it zoomed in on the cupcakes. As she planned her marriage, Andrea couldn't find a bakery innovative enough to cater her reception. Rather than settle for tired designs, she decided to create her own cupcakes, mixing confections in signature flavors and garnishing them with edible art. These concepts led to the first incarnation of Sift—a dessert venue whose ingenious edibles have since won first place on the Food Network's Cupcake Wars and returned to compete on Cupcake Champions.
Sift's current cupcake menu pays homage to classic tastes as well as cunning combinations, from the snickerdoodle and red velvet cakes to the Knock Your Sox Off—a bavarian-cream-filled vanilla cake dipped in chocolate ganache. Visitors can pluck their favorites from the onsite displays or order custom servings that suit a wedding or party theme. In the past, Andrea and her staff have festooned cakes with images of cheerful dragonflies, company logos, and Pink Floyd album art as well as holiday graphics for New Year's and Christmas. They can even infuse the cupcake batter with a chosen wine, resulting in nearly perfect food and drink pairings.
Alongside their signature item, Sift prepares a separate catalog of nostalgic desserts, including whoopie cookies, macarons, and ice-cream sandwiches.