At The Cupcake Kitchen and Luncheonette, owner Jennifer O’Connel shows off her cupcake making skills. Mixers churn locally made butter and natural extracts into batter, creating delectable flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, and red velvet to bake into individual puffs. After pulling pans from the oven, the baking team swirls on frosting and sprinkles toppings, dressing each pastry for attendance at parties, holiday dinners, or liquid diet breakdowns. Before patrons come by to claim their frosted dozen, the pastries take up temporary residence in the 1950s-themed shop, basking in the glory of an artificial-additive-free existence.
The bakers at Sofia’s Creations prepare cupcakes, occasion cakes, and other pastries in a completely nut-free environment. Although they're adept at making classic cakes, they excel at personalizing cakes for special occasions. In the past, they've topped custom cakes with fondant Disney characters, and sculpted cakes to resemble gumball machines, baby blocks, and edible paperweights. Demonstrating creative flair, the cooks accessorize cupcakes with swirled buttercream or fondant cutouts, and perch-cake balls atop ice-cream cones.
Every day, Breadsmith kneads and breeds made-from-scratch breads, honoring the practices of centuries-old French bakers. The delectable dough sculptures receive the royal treatment, with all delicate yeast bubbles bursting inside of a 6-ton stone-hearth oven. The oven's sweltering heat creates a cushy crust for American-style breads. In the presence of lightning-quick steam injections, European-style breads take on a crisp, crumb-dressed outer core. Daily bread offerings range from $3.95 to $8.50 a loaf and include French baguettes ($3.95), Russian rye ($5.95), sourdough ($5.25), raisin walnut ($6.95), and pepperoni bread ($8.50). Use today's Groupon to fill up the family with lusciously leavened loaves fresh from the oven—or wait for them to go stale and then wield them as harpoons during the next potato-soup hunt.
Inside Buttery Bake Shoppe, bakers spend their days crafting a range of homemade treats using only kosher ingredients. They create custom cakes, which they decorate for special occasions, or hearty loaves of bread that add a rustic feel to meals throughout the day. They are perhaps best known for their pastries and sweets, such as soft cookies straight from the oven or chocolate-covered brownies on a stick, which burst with rich flavors like a stock brokers' food fight.