At Art and Cake Bakery, bakers Eric and Alfie elevate sweet treats to fine art. The seasoned bakers have constructed edible versions of floats from the Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race and have even festooned wedding cakes with sugary renditions of Dali’s melting clocks and van Gogh’s iconic swirling stars. The sunlit storefront is an extension of the staff's artistic sensibilities: colorful cases display delicate pastries, and lime-green walls tout local artwork as well as reward posters for cookie-jar thieves.
On any given day, the skilled pastry chefs and bakers bustling around Bakery Express’s and Ms. Desserts’ kitchens can be found whipping up all manner of mouthwatering nosh, from gourmet cheesecakes to quiches. As chefs throw open oven doors to withdraw their creations, the newly baked brownies, loaves, and cookies therein flood the air with fragrant wafts of fudge, peanut butter, and lemon. Along with batches of handheld treats, the bakers also craft custom cakes for special occasions ranging from birthdays and weddings to evolutionary mutations. In the factory store, glistening glass cases host trays full of baked goods, and a menu of deli sandwiches, soups, and wings quells the grumbles of stomachs in search of a savory repast.
A stack of pumpkins, a penguin, and a Barbie doll rarely share an origin story, but the pastry chefs at SugarBakers Cakes have hand-crafted all three from moist cake and frosting. They create cakes that range from classic carrot cakes to lifelike 3D confections, incorporating ingredients such as chocolate mousse, lemon curd, and coconut pecan icing. Honored by The Knot, WeddingWire, and four other establishments for their 2013 wedding cakes, the chefs can tailor their designs to suit a wedding’s unique theme or a reception venue.
A coffee shop is a great place to get work done without being actively social but still feeling completely social. Use today's Groupon to be productive in the comfort of the crowd instead of alone at home. For $10, you get $20 toward anything edible and drinkable (does not include intangibly consumable events) at Peace & A Cup of Joe. You can snag up to three Groupons, which will be converted into gift cards the first time you head into the quaint, independent shop. These will act just as regular gift cards act, with composure and class. Groupons are also good toward daily specials.
Midnite Confection’s mother-and-son chefs slather delectable toppings on a menu of petite sweet-tooth satisfiers. Six varieties of signature cupcakes compete for dessert domination, loaded with rich, frosting-capped flavor. Bourbon madagascar vanilla invades the Eclipse and Full Moon flavors, and the Black Velvet's cocoa and cream cheese frosting and Sublime-inal's lemon-flavored cake and lime frosting make jealous Christmas fruitcakes overcompensate by working on Flag Day. The Midnite variety tempts recovering chocoholics with its chocolate buttercream frosting and chocolate-chip cream-cheese center. Meanwhile, the carrot-cake-style Playboy, made with organic carrots, a dash of pineapple, a secret storm of spices, and fluffy frosting, plants veggie-augmented sweetness in fertile stomach gardens.
Every day, Old Mill Bakery Café's amiable bakers craft cupcakes, scones, cookies, and other confections from scratch using fresh, premium ingredients. Patrons can customize assortments of one or two dozen cupcakes from more than 20 flavors, including traditional chocolate and vanilla, and can enjoy their treats in the café, or take them to go for midnight snacks. Candy bars finally obtain the VIP parking spots designated for baked goods with the Butter Finger cupcake, and red velvet gets promoted from wedding-day-sheet status to a handheld dessert. Peanut-butter, Oreo, or italian-cream flavors whet sugary cravings, and lemon or strawberry varieties pack a fruity punch like a boxing glove filled with applesauce. The homey café also serves teas and coffee, and flaunts mint-green walls and an eclectic jumble of decorative trinkets, which crowd around a counter and small table fenced in by wooden chairs. Fresh blooms trim windowsills jutting out over a diminutive bookshelf, perfect for storing literature made to feel smaller after a critic's scathing review.
Sorso's menu features a variety of tasty Italian treats that will teach even the crudest of stomach growls to elegantly roll their r's. Start your morning right with a swift sip of organic espresso ($1.65), a creamy cappuccino ($3.35 for 16 oz.), or an icy frappe ($4.25 for 20 oz.). Sorso Cafe serves only Chesapeake Bay Roasting Co. coffee, a company committed to quality and eco-friendly production practices. Calm your caffeine jitters with a hearty breakfast sandwich ($3.55), a refreshing yogurt and granola cup ($3.95), or one of Sorso's sweet pastries ($1.45–$1.95).