Run by a duo of longtime friends with a mutual love for baking, Cupcake Craving rocketed to popularity from its modest beginnings?within a year of the first store?s grand opening, Sacramento Magazine awarded it the Diners? Choice Award for the area?s best cupcake. Since then, the bakery has become a mainstay on CityVoters and KCRA 3's top-five dessert lists, and its handcrafted creations continue to earn new fans. Artful swirls of buttercream or cream-cheese frosting top the bakery?s diminutive cupcakes, which come in more than 20 traditional and signature flavors. The bakery can also handle orders for large parties and special occasions; an on-site artist designs custom cupcake cakes with special flavors and decorations to celebrate birthdays and welcome new gallons of milk into the home.
At first glance, Ciocolat appears no different than the cozy homes it neighbors. But a few steps closer reveals aromas of melting chocolate, baking pastry crusts, and fresh fruit fillings, not to mention views of french macaroons arranged in gleaming cases. During lunch and dinner hours, servers transport plates topped with creamy pasta dishes, vegetable frittatas, and wild-mushroom lasagna to dining customers, who can end their meals on a sweet note with éclairs, entire pies, or seasonal fruit tarts. The shop also accepts reservations for four-course high-tea services, which transport groups to another era with mini sandwiches, berries with Chantilly cream, flux capacitors, and gourmet teas served with Miss Match china.
Ciocolat donates a portion of its profits to local nonprofit agencies. The staff takes charity suggestions into consideration at the beginning of each month.
You won't find Let Them Eat Cake!'s indulgent cake recipes published anywhere, since founder Paulette Coffman and her daughters Brittany and Chelsea fiercely guard their culinary secrets from competitors and town criers. But an interview with Sacramento Press in 2010 reveals three signature flavors that are served each day: red velvet, Guinness Stout chocolate, and vanilla. "We’re really kind of geared towards childhood favorites,” Paulette divulged. "But we’re also a little bit more innovative…You can find your standard red velvet here, but you can also find a margarita cupcake here."
In fact, the mother-daughter trio's three staple flavors are joined by a weekly rotation of 24 flavors, and customers can also commission more than 80 other flavors—including vegan and gluten-free options—via special order. These desserts always include real butter, fruits, and pure vanilla, and forgo preservatives since they're baked fresh each morning. Paulette, Brittany, and Chelsea stack the cupcakes into towers, line them up in boxes, and fashion them together as specialty cakes, donating $2 of their Flavor of the Month sales each Wednesday to charity. Alongside steaming mugs of Ritual coffee and Mighty Leaf tea, the Coffman women also dole out scones, breakfast sandwiches, and gourmet cookies that, like hand weights divvied up in a divorce settlement, weigh in at a 1/4-pound each.
Just Cakin’ It’s executive pastry chef, Jennifer Anderson, with the support of fellow cake designer and business partner Shelly Bakosh, dug deep into her creative consciousness to conjure up more than 100 cupcake varieties handcrafted out of dark Dutch-process cocoa, fresh fruit, and pure butter. The pastel-colored bakery's lineup of cupcakes serenade sweet teeth with five permanent flavors, including triple chocolate and red velvet, and nine funkier flavors that rotate every Tuesday. The talented bakers also personalize regular-size cakes for life's momentous occasions, such as weddings, birthdays, and babies' first speeding ticket. Creamy milkshakes, frosty scoops of ice cream, and fresh-baked cookies round out the shop's saccharine selection.