Glancing inside Made With Love Not Gluten, any unsuspecting visitor would think it looks like any bakery: rows of cupcakes topped in colorful frosting line the display cases and the expert bakers diligently paint scenes atop customized cakes. But all the delicious baked goods are gluten free and crafted by a baker with Celiac disease, meaning that all the treats can be enjoyed by those with a gluten intolerance.
Like a cookie godmother, Missy Hintze transforms humble ingredients into taste bud-pleasing royalty with original recipes and a wave of her bakery wand. More than two-dozen cookie ($10 a dozen in-store), cupcake, and brownie varieties ($1+) line the shelves, with favorites such as snickerdoodles and frosted sugar cookies mingling with newcomers such as the toffee-and-chocolate-filled Original Ugly Cookie and crispy treat tucked under a peanut butter and chocolate blanket. Sugar-seekers can also opt to fill large orders with an assortment of cakes ($30) and cookie gift boxes ($15+).
Tarsha Eaddy had large cupcake pans to fill when she, the eldest of all her family's grandchildren, decided to take on the role of the family baker and establish MBK Fine Desserts. But upon starting off on her own, Tarsha didn’t stray far from her family’s confectionary roots. In fact, she extended them right into her bakery by turning to her grandmother—lovingly known as Mother Boyd—for her highly praised recipes.
Now, Tarsha handcrafts those Southern-style pies, puddings, cupcakes, cakes, and cake pops, ensuring each batch is made from scratch and preservative free. Her buttery piecrusts envelop sweet fillings of peach cobbler and bourbon pecan, and her cakes come moist and tasteful in Italian cream, coconut, and lemon flavors.
Even though Tarsha uses decades-old recipes, she takes a modern approach to her craft by transforming her sweet treats into edible works of art, whether by custom decorating wedding cake pops or making logo-covered cakes and graduation-themed cupcakes.
A totem pole shaped like a four-scoop ice-cream cone stands as a beacon in front of Jim Mack's Ice Cream, beckoning passers-by to experience the nostalgic establishment's homemade ice cream, 24-hole miniature-golf course, and resident black bear, Ricky. The ice-cream stand and snack shop, which opened in 1958, crafts a menu of ice cream, malts, burgers, hot dogs, fries, and other specialties. The outdoor picnic area allows guests to enjoy their treats to the sounds of chirping birds and whistling winds, which also serve as the mini-golf course's full-time commentators. The expansive, family-friendly facility also features a pinball arcade and a miniature zoo. Llamas and goats roam the petting-zoo area, grazing from the delicious pellets that grow in children's hands. The facility's mascot, Ricky the bear, also greets guests from inside of her large enclosure where she climbs on logs and tells jokes for nickels.
With some things in life, it's best never seeing how they're made. Cupcakes, on the other hand, have a much more pleasant creation?and at Sweet Escapes Cupcakes Bar, you can witness the process first-hand. Here, cupcakes are custom-made to order, meaning visitors are free to choose the flavor of cake, filling, and frosting that goes into their cupcake. Creations can be as simple as a vanilla cupcake with vanilla-bean frosting, or they can be as unique as a red velvet cupcake filled with peanut butter and topped with chocolate. Customers can also put the kibosh on sweets cravings with non-cupcake treats, including scones, cinnamon buns, puff pastries made with fresh fruit, and seasonal sweets, such as pumpkin rolls and yule logs.
For Darmayne Robinson, an off-the-wall cake-design request is nothing more than a chance to flex her creativity. With a cake as her canvas and icing as her palette, the owner of Sweet Confections Cakes can transform any item––including sports cars, high heels, and scuba divers––into a three-dimensional dessert. When it comes to the 3-D cake’s taste, however, clients take the creativity into their own hands, selecting from a list of more than 100 options that include white-almond cake and Italian wedding cake, and fillings such as french apple and peanut-butter mousse.
Each cake is made from scratch incorporating such high-quality ingredients as imported white chocolate, pure vanilla, real cream, and butter, and the staff can also bake gluten-free and vegan options upon request. Those without a design idea of their own can peruse Sweet Confections’ display room, where artsy cakes are showcased alongside a delectable selection of cupcakes, which can be sold solo, by the dozen, or sewn together as a giant cupcake cape.