Prudence Manolov is an artist. But you don't have to stand at a distance when viewing her work. Not even for the pieces that take her up to 20 hours to create.
She wants you to eat them.
Manolov's most-prized works of art are her specialty cakes, whose sculptural, airbrushed designs and unusual flavors have earned her feature spots on Fox-35 News and at events celebrating everything from marriage to a baby's first insulin spike. She initially honed her sugar-sculpting skills at a cake-decorating class at Michaels, where she discovered fondant and an outlet for her artistic talents. Along with elaborate cake creations, which have taken shapes ranging from footballs to seated mermaids, she and her bakery staff create gourmet cupcakes, cream puffs, cannolis, brownies, and other pastries.
In 1997, friends Dena Tripp and Debra Shwetz set out to create a luscious, melt-in-your-mouth bundt cake. What began as an endeavor in their own home kitchens soon blossomed into a bustling business with bakeries in 14 states. Rich cocoa browns and soft pastels lend a nostalgic feel to each bakery, where every day lava-powered ovens warm up batter made from fresh eggs, real butter, and cream cheese. Flavors such as chocolate chocolate chip, pecan praline, and white-chocolate raspberry remain constants on the menu, and a new flavor makes a guest appearance each month. Cakes come in several sizes, from the standard 8- or 10-inch bundt to the single-serving bundtlet and the bite-size bundtini, all frosted with a signature blend of cream cheese and butter.
Each Nothing Bundt Cakes location also houses its own stock of gifts. Patrons may come across the brightly hued handle of a confetti cake knife or opt to take home an old-fashioned tin, perfect for stowing coffee and imprisoning gingerbread men who have tried to run away. Contact the location of your choice for gift pricing and availability.
Stainless steel spouts, set into a wall inlaid with aqua mosaic tile, let customers flex their culinary creativity by filling cones and cups with Penguin Frozen Yogurt’s refreshing fro-yo in flavors such as chocolate truffle and Valencia orange. Patrons can then add slices of kiwi and strawberries, candies such as gummy worms and rainbow sprinkles, or slices of almonds and walnuts to finish off their own custom sundaes. Penguin also serves iced coffee topped with whipped cream, and cake pops wrapped in blue frosting to match the shop's color scheme and customers' chilly tongues.
Italia by Café Noam offers Italian-style café eats, including an assortment of baked goods. Customers can grab a cup of Lavazza coffee and espresso for a jolt of energy to hopscotch across the outdoor patio. Stop in for a scoop of gelato, which comes in a range of flavors, including mango, tiramisu, and cookies and cream.
Andrea discovered her talent for baking when she was still a young child. While she was serving up cakes for family gatherings, she dreamed of one day owning her own bakery. Andrea’s father had the idea to start a cheesecake business, and seeing her natural talent, encouraged her to join him. After experimenting with more than 40 mixtures, she found just the right combination and founded Andrea Quality Cheesecake.
For nearly 30 years since then, chef Andrea has enticed sweet-toothed citizens into her pink-trimmed bakery with more than 20 varieties of freshly baked cheesecake. The confectionary savant selects all-natural, preservative-free fillings for residency in graham-cracker crusts, and blends in sugary morsels such as Oreos, fresh fruit and splashes of Kahlua. In addition to classic cakes, Andrea showcases the versatility of cheese beyond its use in luring astronauts to the moon with cheesecake milk shakes, fried cheesecake à la mode, and multitiered wedding cheesecakes.
Gwen Willhite founded Cookies by Design in 1983, when an unsatisfying brainstorming session about gift ideas led her to ponder one question: why should flowers and sweets remain separate? Her solution was to design the cookie bouquet, where custom, hand-decorated cookies are displayed on sticks and arranged like flowers in gift baskets. Her invention quickly became a popular gift among locals, particularly those allergic to real blooms or too bashful to look at naked cookies.
Twenty-five years later, there are more than 200 Cookies by Design locations across the country. Each shop's team of bakers creates cookie baskets with a degree of care that matches Willhite's original vision, decorating and arranging sweet shapes for birthdays, holidays, and any other special occasion.