Determined to produce menu items made from the best all-natural ingredients possible, Swiss Delices bakes its decadent dainties without the use of preservatives, high-fructose corn syrup, or fruits that aren't pesticide-free. When available, the pastry shop supports local growers to craft its made-from-scratch goodies, which has been a great boon to the Bay Area's struggling cupcake farms. Guests can kick-start their mornings with butter croissants ($1.95), pecan sticky buns ($2.95), blueberry danish ($2.75), or apple strudel ($2.80). Swiss Delices offers freshly brewed organic coffee to help frosting-filled mouths regain flexibility. Linzer cookies ($2.25), fruit tartlettes ($3.95), and Zeus's Sin ($3.50), butter cookie shells that gently cradle the Grecian god's Achilles heel—hazelnut ganache—are all baked from scratch daily. For those who favor salt over sugar, there is a savory selection of sandwiches, such as goat cheese and pesto ($6) and curried chicken with pineapple ($6.50), to appease multi-tiered appetites. Today's Groupon is good for everything on Swiss Delices's menu, and the staff will gladly hand out gift cards to those who don't spend their entire balance in a single visit.
Molten dark chocolate. Long-stemmed never-frozen strawberries. A dusting of coconut flakes. At HerBerries, confectioners put thousands of fresh berries through this process, alternating between types of chocolate and toppings such as sprinkles, candy bars, and nuts. Their more gourmet varieties call for rum or tequila-infused berries, coffee or cheesecake flavors, and sprinkles and edible glitters customized to match the colors of a wedding party or favorite supernova.
Much like the concoctions they’re named for, the story behind The Cupcake Shoppe is short but sweet. In 2011, Yolanda Diaz and her daughter Rosie started an online bakery. Within months, their treats became so popular that they had to invest in a full-sized confection facility. Since then, the Cupcake Shoppe has expanded their menu to include traditional, liquor-infused, and specialty cupcakes, including a french-toast-and-bacon version that nabbed top honors at the 2012 San Francisco Cupcake Challenge.
Yolanda and Rosie’s other cakes stretch the size spectrum, from cake pops and mini cupcakes to full-size custom cakes decorated for holidays and special occasions. The ladies also craft caramel apples and cookies that, like most thermometers, work best when dipped in chocolate. Their treats have even attracted some celebrity crushes: comedian George Lopez and 49ers running back Frank Gore have been spotted in the shop, and the cupcakes were also featured in the gift bags at the 2012 Daytime Emmy Awards. The Cupcake Shoppe was also featured in the 2013 edition of Cupcake Wars.
Though Malika and Adeyinka Awobajo's baked goods are decorative and tasty, they are made with more than dessert in mind. The pair, who founded Mika’s Cupcakes in May of 2011, began constructing confections years prior in order to help feed and care for homeless families in the area. Today, they apply a portion of proceeds toward helping the homeless population in the Bay area, as well as set some money aside for a future youth transitional shelter.
Mika's ovens breathe life into a multitude of signature cupcakes, which come in both classic and inventive flavors. Nearly hedonic ingredients such as amaretto and mocha infuse Indulgent Treats cupcakes, whereas sundae cupcakes come with a cherry on top to render them as sweet as a kindergartner's plea to go see CSPAN on Ice. Fondant-coated gourmet cakes serve as personal-sized desserts for giants, and cake pops offer convenient sugar consumption during games of double dutch. Strawberries and pretzel rods doused in chocolate take a dip into chopped almonds or chocolate chips, whereas granny-smith apples submerged in caramel break the surface smothered in chocolate or nuts.
Part salon and part spa, The Total Package staff weaves myriad body-beautifying services into its comprehensive aesthetic offerings. Stylists twist and turn hair into braids and updos or straighten and color locks with chemical procedures. Aestheticians turn their trained eyes to the body’s finer details by waxing away unwanted hair or tending to wrinkles and pores with rejuvenating facials or spare Halloween masks. For nails, technicians are also on hand to manicure and polish each digit until it shines.
The Sweet Art of Cake’s pastry pundits whip up gourmet baked goods from traditional, gluten-free, and vegan recipes. Cupcakes ($2.45 each, $28.50/dozen) in flavors such as red velvet and banana crown ruched wrappers with cream-cheese frosting, lemon curd, and an alternative to hair gel. Customize cupcakes with simple icing designs of bees and flowers ($36/dozen) or more elaborate confections such as fondant flowers, marzipan miniatures, and sugar sculptures of The Thinker (an additional $12–$15/dozen). An array of other sweets, such as seasonal holiday pies ($12–$15), triple-chocolate-chip cookies ($1.49 for two), and vegan cheesecake bites ($0.99, available every other weekend) fill the bakery’s cooling racks with golden-brown crusts and enticing aromas. All of The Sweet Art of Cake’s treats are crafted without preservatives, additives, or gelatin.