Boasting baking savvy showcased in magazines and on Food Network's Cupcake Wars, Ivey Childers devises decadent confections in more than 20 playfully named flavors. Each miniature morsel is baked from scratch daily, then adorned with a balanced dose of creamy frosting before taking its place amid the shop's Victorian-inspired décor. Customers can savor the pillowy sweetness of Big Dreams, a strawberry cupcake crowned in cream-cheese icing whose recipe came to the owner in her sleep. Or they can dive into the rich custard center of the Boss cupcake, which infiltrates French dessert armies with an éclair-frosting disguise. The Good Kisser tops the ganache-covered goodness of chocolate cake with the zest of mint buttercream frosting and Andes mint pieces, merging light and dark sides more sweetly than Jekyll and Hyde’s grandma.
Cold Stone's ice cream inhabits a quantum flux between soft-serve and traditional ice cream, with a rich, creamy texture that whispers tales of its super-premium quality as it glides over taste buds. The ice cream generously welcomes dozens of toppings, as traditional as crumbled cookies and chopped nuts or as quirky as granola and black licorice. Choose your favorite ice cream from among dozens of silky flavors, such as Irish cream and butter pecan. Then make certain no one will try and steal a taste by topping it protectively with brownies, gumballs, and peach pie filling. Whatever Frankencream you create, it'll be scooped cold off the frozen granite stone into a freshly made waffle cone or bowl. Cold Stone's ice cream and toppings vary between seasons and location, and they also offer non-dairy sorbet and an array of lighter toppings such as fruit and honey. Ice-cream creations run between $4 and $6, depending on size.
Ever since Baskin-Robbins began its dessert fashion show in 1953, more than 1,000 original flavors have sauntered across the nation's tongue runways. With the ice creamery's iconic pink sampling spoons as your guide, taste-test as many as you like until you find the flavor that gives your soul a back rub, whether it's a classic flavor such as rocky road single scoop ($2.59) or a seasonal serving of Love Potion #31—white chocolate and raspberry ice cream loaded with raspberry-filled chocolate hearts—and America's Birthday Cake. Otherwise, keep it simple and bury your face within the flavor of the month—Picnic Punch, a sherbet swirl of tantalizing watermelon and green apple flavors in a bright-pink and green twirl. The ice alchemists at Baskin Robbins can also transmute their ice cream and sherbet into drinkable desserts such as floats, freezes, and shakes.
Unlike jerk-chicken pudding or fried-tuna Twinkies, ice cream makes for a delectable dessert that properly caps off any meal. At MaggieMoo’s Ice Cream and Treatery, patrons can sample a huge menu of ice cream and other treats that are sure to slap a smile on any face and massage taste buds with sugary strokes. Try ice cream in flavor combinations such as Strawberry Skateboard with sprinkles, gummy bears, and marshmallows, or Cotton Candy Ski Jump with M&Ms and marshmallows. With one mix-in, prices range from $2.99 to $4.99 for a cup or cone, $3.99 for a pint, and $6.99 for a quart. Ice-cream cupcakes ($8.95 per 4-pack) can be enjoyed with a spoon or spoon-fingers. Dream cakes ($19.99+), on the other hand, come in appropriately oneiric flavors such as Pecan Perfection and Strawberry Cheesecream, and most are available in six-inch, eight-inch, and sheet-cake sizes. Health-conscious hedonists can indulge in strawberry-banana, mango, and mocha smoothies (starting at $3.95), whereas ice-cream pizzas ($19.95+) topped with white-chocolate curls will perplex pizza-party attendees before blasting away reservations with deliciousness.
As a child, CeCe looked forward to her family’s summertime trips to North Carolina, where she could reconnect with faraway relatives over cookouts. One of her fondest memories from this time is making homemade blackberry ice cream with her Grandma Ruby. Years later, CeCe would look back on these days with nostalgia; she dreamt of opening a business that would bring families together over a tasty summertime treat.
In 2008, her dream became a reality with the opening of Sweet CeCe’s. Like wig salesmen to the Constitutional Convention, families flocked to the self-serve frozen-yogurt shoppe, where they could create their own desserts from dozens of yogurt flavors and toppings. The small shoppe got so popular that CeCe franchised the business. Today, families in 11 states can create sweet memories within the sherbet-colored walls of a Sweet CeCe’s.
Naticakes is in the business of making life a bit sweeter. They do so by supplying customers with frozen yogurt and cupcakes in more than 30 flavors, including lemon-merengue cupcakes with toasted frosting, and rich devil's food cake with caramel buttercream frosting, sea salt, and dark-chocolate curls. Patrons also can opt for bite-size cupcakes or specialty cakes to share. Crafting delectable desserts isn't the only way Naticakes sweetens things up; the company also donates 10% of profits to support the Natalie Wynn Carter Foundation, an organization committed to improving the lives of children throughout the world.
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