In its centennial year, Williams Bakery’s batter mixers fill the air with the aroma of just-baked breads, cakes, pies, and pastries made from scratch every day. Ciabatta or loaf breads ($2.59–$2.99) house sandwich fillers without relying on crutches such as preservatives or flying buttresses made of toothpicks. Patrons can transform humdrum mealtimes with life-changing desserts such as Mom’s carrot cake, chocolate-lover’s cake ($12.99+), or pecan pie ($9.69). Oodles of pastries ($1.19+) and stacks of cookies by the dozen ($3.59) perch on kitchen counters and peek out from state-of-the-art cookie receptacles.
The husband-and-wife chefs at Jean Jacques Bakery and Cafe have kneaded and frosted French- and European-style breads and pastries for more than three decades. Jozef and Emmanuelle Bindas oversee the ovens as they roll out steaming, flaky baked goods such as brioches, almond croissants, and the assorted pastries that fill the bakery?s glass display case and infuse the air with a buttery scent laced with cinnamon. French batards and baguettes join fluffy bread baked into novelty shapes, such as crabs and the human genome, and holiday treats ring in the season with stollen and b?che de No?l. Cakes in flavors such as chocolate truffle and cassis mousse help celebrate the occasions in between, from anniversaries to birthdays. Jean Jacques Bakery and Cafe also serves lunches of soups, salads, and sandwiches, and Emmanuelle helms the shop?s wedding-cake designs.
Carytown Cupcakes' team of bakers, affectionately known as "Team Buttercream," handcrafts the shop's preservative-free treats from scratch daily. Proprietor Dawn Schick harnessed the epicurean skills she gained as a personal chef and caterer to open her own cupcake shop in 2009 and has been baking alongside her expert team ever since. Her permanent menu of classic cupcakes woos sweet teeth with the familiar, comforting flavors of red velvet, vanilla, and baby blanket. Meanwhile, her seasonal menus rotate weekly to include vegan and gluten-free selections that fit into themes ranging from wine country to candy bars. For those 21 and over, Carytown Cupcakes is now offering beer, wine, and prosecco.
Each morning, Montana Gold Bread Co.'s bakers make their way to a stone burr mill where they grind red wheat from a farm in Montana into flour. That flour goes into dough that they knead by hand before baking it into preservative-free breads such as cherry-apple challah or honey whole wheat. They carve loaves into slices for sandwiches with housemade chicken salad or roast beef and horseradish. Patrons can also find sweet treats such as pecan-encrusted cinnamon rolls and fresh cookies.
Owner and certified pastry chef Peggy Johnson whips up tasty southern and traditional cakes and other treats using high-quality ingredients and a keen aesthetic flair. Southern sweets such as the sweet-potato pound cake and the ever-popular banana-pudding cake are available by the slice ($2.50–$3) to replace missing Trivial Pursuit pieces. The Punch Bowl cake floats strawberries, walnuts, coconut, cherries, and pineapple in a sea of whipped cream ($3/slice), and the Sock-It-To-Me cake intermixes fluffy layers with cinnamon and pecans ($2.50/slice). Peggy also waters mouths with brownies ($1.29 each), cookies ($0.50 each), and strategically placed sprinklers.
The enticing aromas of housemade cupcakes and fried sweet-potato pies waft from Slice of Grace Bakery Boutique’s kitchen, where a team of bakers concocts new variations on traditional Southern treats. Their penchant for integrating unusual flavors into old-fashioned desserts has earned them national attention on programs such as The Real Housewives of Atlanta and Cupcake Wars.
The bakery’s recent surge in popularity hasn’t changed its formula for success; the bakers still start from scratch early each morning, filling the shop’s display case with frosting-swirled cupcakes in flavors such as strawberry shortcake, chocolate peanut butter, and maple-bacon cider topped with sprinkles of actual bacon. Fans of the miniature treats can build their own full-size cake, as the bakery’s gallery of custom creations will attest. Aside from their flagship cakes and fluffy whoopie pies, boxed lunches with a sandwich, a choice of side, a cupcake, and utensils for mixing all three together offer a change of pace.