From behind a frozen granite slab, the staff of Cold Stone Creamery blends custom servings of ice cream and creative mix-ins to fit customers’ exact specifications. Founded by Donald and Susan Sutherland in 1988, Cold Stone began under the hot Arizona sun, eventually spreading its frosty fingers to encompass more than 1,400 locations worldwide. Despite the size of the company, each location’s staff keeps up the handcrafted quality, making ice cream onsite every day and using those signature spades to create delicious pointillist art against the freezer wall.
The skilled pastry chefs at Charm City expertly whip up batches of joy-inducing indulgences on a daily basis. This cute cupcake boutique offers more than 65 varieties of small, tempting treats to suit nearly any occasion, whether you're celebrating a birthday, birth, day, or simply hoping to fill cupcake-sized pockets. When you call to place your order, you'll be able to chat with a cupcake consultant and custom-design a dessert platter to suit your sweet teeth. Choose from flavor favorites including classic chocolate and vanilla, Baltimore Black Bottom, Black-Eyed Susan, and Pimlico, all of which follow fine-tuned recipes of the freshest ingredients, careful mixing, and the giggles of hundreds of babies.
Gifford's claim to deliciousness is in the production of rich and delicious ice cream and sorbets. The company's overlarge butterfly net catches ingredients from across the world, such as Swiss chocolate and vanilla extract from Madagascar, which are then mixed at local Gifford's locations for fresh ice cream. Choose from a dizzying array of flavors, including pistachio, chocolate marshmallow, roasted coconut, and caramel toffee swirl, to name just a few. Traditional cups and cones stack up at $3.75 for a single scoop, $4.75 for a double, and $5.65 for a triple. Gifford's seasonal ice cream flavors shift with the tide of time, and include such tasty oddities as banana Bailey's & cream, blueberry pomegranate, and cantaloupe. Savor delightfully traditional sundaes in waffle shells ($5.50) and classic banana splits ($6.95), far preferable to other ice creameries' ultrafuturistic sundaes made out of spools of film and wool overcoats.
The Otterbein’s Family Bakery was established in 1881 when Adam Otterbein arrived at Fort McHenry from Germany. The original sweet shop sold a full selection of traditional German cakes, breads, and pastries, but the bakery's thin sugar cookies always drew the greatest number of discerning dessertistas. Today's side deal gets you one pound of the time-honored treats, letting you choose your favorite flavor from chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, ginger, sugar, or lemon sugar. Order a tin to treat your own family to a taste of the Otterbein family recipe, or take a tin to work to show the vending machine it should never have taken your crinkly dollar for granted and that you've moved on for good this time.
Gathered around Shaquille O’Neal in front of the chalkboard scribbled with the day’s ice cream flavors, the staff of Taharka Bros. is positively beaming. While the visit from a basketball legend brings a crowd of admirers into their shop, Taharka’s ice cream wizards have no problem attracting throngs of fans sans the help of Shaq’s presence. Voted one of Baltimore's "Great Milkshakes" by The Baltimore Sun in 2011, and crowned "Best Ice Cream" by Baltimore Magazine in its Best of Baltimore 2010 edition, devotees are drawn in by the eatery's "irresistible ice-cream menu," which includes decadent flavors such as honey graham and salty caramel. Adding to the draw is its ability to "satisfy [your] ravenous social conscience" with its management training program that "offers the chance for urban youth to get a foothold in the workplace." Throughout the day, the entrepreneurial young staffers hone business skills as they hand-make batches of frozen confections using fresh ingredients such as fruits and magic beanstalk beans plucked from local farms. The sense of community and teamwork that goes into the creation of every scoop reflects Taharka Bros.' support of initiatives that uphold civic involvement, social justice, and cultural exchange through the arts.
At the helm of Baltimore Cakery—a certified-green bakery—skilled chef and co-owner Jill uses all-natural European butter and organic ingredients to create a menu of decadent and beautifully adorned cakes tailored to client’s preferences and dietary restrictions. Rich dark-chocolate ganache and absinthe infuse two layers of velvety chocolate cake in the 9-inch Raven ($18), named in honor of the Baltimore Ravens, Edgar Allan Poe, and the boozy tendencies of birds. Iced buttercream and wasabi croquants crown four 9-inch layers of peach and ginger-hinted cake in the Peaches B. Demented ($30), and a quarter sheet of Little Italy ($35) attacks taste buds with cinnamon-dusted cannoli cream and cream-cheese icing. The sweetsmiths also churn out flaky crust creations, including the Pleasant Living pie ($16)—spiced sweet potatoes and cream cheese atop a graham-cracker crust—and concoct cupcakes by the dozen ($24) to share with 11 friends or pelt at 11 hungry zombies. Customers with dietary restrictions may request gluten-free and vegan options.