Knoxville, Tennessee-based Fit Sweets is obsessed with cupcakes, sweet homemade cupcakes. After a year's worth of experimenting with recipes that combine the tastiness of a cupcake with the nutrition of a protein bar, Fit Sweets was launched in October 2012. Prioritizing both deliciousness and healthiness, the nutrition-motivated bakers prepare low-calorie, gluten-free, sugar-free cupcakes sweetened with Stevia. To top it all off, each cupcake is laden with 18 grams of protein. Vanilla and chocolate butter cream are just two of the bakery's flavors, which staff prepares in dozens.
Jennifer McRoberts took a cake-decorating class that ignited an already present passion for baking. In 2008, she decided to open her own business, House of Cake, from which she sells a variety of handmade, hand-designed treats, such as birthday and wedding cakes, cookies, cupcakes, cake pops, and cake in a jar, shippable mason jars stuffed to the brim with sweet frosting, fillings, and cake bites. McRoberts also brings her skills to her kitchen at home, where she’s licensed to teach lessons in cake decorating.
"My mom has always be a wonderful cook and baker, we use some of her recipes," Brenda Henkel told The Daily Times. Herself a mother, Brenda and daughter Jennifer Wilder opened Cake Girlz Bakery after outgrowing a basement-based operation. But the family line doesn't end there. Jennifer's 7-year-old daughter Isabella lends a fourth-generation hand from time to time, presumably measuring out scoops of flour and taste-tasting new frostings. Not all of the inventive flavor combinations are for young ones though, such as in the Mr. Daniels cupcake with Jack Daniels–infused buttercream frosting.
Alongside the impressive array of cupcake varieties, the team whips up gourmet scones, chocolaty brownies, and creamy cannoli made from gourmet ingredients such as Ghirardelli chocolates. But their culinary expertise truly shines in intricate cakes for weddings and other special occasions. Versatile fondant frostings can be molded into sculptural masterworks shaped like gift boxes, peacocks, or a healthy bushel of asparagus.
Drawing from an archive of more than 130 flavors, Chadwick's Churn scoops up a dozen varieties of homemade ice cream at a time. The refrigerated roster can tickle all areas of the taste-bud map with luscious lickables such as key-lime pie, candy corn, and cookie dough. Owner Andrea Brooks Mount doles out the dairy in a variety of denominations, from bowls ($3.30–$4) to conical waffles ($3.75–$4.75) to shakes ($4.20–$5). Unlike at buffets or art museums, take-home containers are readily available and encouraged, carrying treats by the pint ($4.30) or quart ($7.40) for extra enjoyment.
Gleaning her baking skills from her mother and grandmother, Gigi opened her first cupcake hub in 2008, drawing upon her entrepreneurial spirit and gift for crafting beautifully topped cupcakes. The franchised cupcakery now has 50 locations, each of which churns out 12 daily-rotating flavors that are made fresh every morning, along with a section of cheesecake cupcakes. Gigi's Cupcakes was also named the official cupcake of the 2013 American Country Music Awards, and was named Best Cupcake in 2012 by Lagniappe and Nashville Scene. The Knoxville shop recently changed management and is now owned by GiGi's brother Randall Butler and offers a selection of more than 40 flavors, including Canadian Maple, Southern Comfort, and Champagne—a bubbly-flavored base topped with an edible pearl. Patrons can pick out sweet treats from the daily selection or preorder them at least one day in advance online, by phone, or via singing telegram.
Roi Shlomo never liked ice cream much. He preferred a tarter treat–yogurt. "I was always eating plain yogurt and adding everything into it," he told the Atlanta Business Chronicle. In 2009, Shlomo turned his favorite snack into a business, opening the first Yogli Mogli in Atlanta. And while patrons can savor tart flavors such as zesty mango tango and watermelon sorbet, the shop also caters to sweeter palates with flavors such as dutch chocolate and dulce de leche.
Live, active cultures and nutrients such as calcium and vitamin B12 make Yogli Mogli's frosty frozen yogurt a healthy treat. The menu includes nonfat options, flavors made with no added sugar, and dairy-free fruit sorbet. On the flip side, those craving decadence can load frosty swirls with indulgent toppings such as cookie dough and chocolate sauce.