Whether she’s baking for a birthday party or to simply sate a sweet craving, Melissa “Missy” Armbrecht is hard at work in the kitchen. At the cozy Let Them Eat Cake Balls kitchen—conveniently located inside of Missy's very own home—she crafts decadent cake balls and pops for clients across Waterloo and the St. Louis area. In total, she concocts nearly two-dozen flavors ranging from traditional chocolate and vanilla to more complex creations, such as mandarin orange or s’mores varieties. She also allows customers to order treats by the dozen and welcomes requests for custom decorations, such as soccer balls for a post-game party or heart-shaped bites for the anniversary of your first Cupid sighting. Determined to monitor quality from oven to table, Missy delivers all orders herself and can travel to customers located within 15 miles of Waterloo.
After honing her baking and decorating skills for more than a decade at a French-pastry shop in the New York City suburbs, Sugar N Spice Creations’ owner, Chris M'Gonigle, started her own cakes, cookies, and pastries business. Along with a team of adept decorators, Chris squeezes colored icing into intricate floral bouquets and coaxes seasonal figures such as turkeys, snowmen, and hearts. She and her staff pass on their baking acumen to visitors in cookie- and cupcake-decorating classes, where they demonstrate how to create icing designs and ancient baker hieroglyphs.
After graduating from cake-decorating school in Basel, Switzerland, Karl Knodel immigrated to America and opened his own cakery in 1901. In the 109 years since then, his family members have inherited recipes for his signature baked delights and used them to continue delighting discerning St. Louis sweet teeth and winning acclaim from picky incisors far and wide. Knodel's cakes, which vary in price depending on design decadence, are available in flavors such as caramel fudge, strawberry shortcake, red velvet, and eternity. For handheld treats, there's a 1 lb. cookie box ($9.95) or individual decorated cookies ($0.65+). Cupcakes strut down tongue catwalks in a variety of edible outfits (individual cupcakes start at $0.80). Call no less than five days in advance for custom cakes.
The yogurt-minded staff members at Chill serve all-natural frozen yogurt that is mixed in small 10-gallon batches or less and delivered daily from a St. Louis dairy to ensure freshness. The active cultures, along with calcium, protein, and vitamins, blend together in low-fat flavors such as biscotti, dark chocolate, and red-velvet cake. Patrons fill their cups with the frozen treat, then crown their creations with a selection of fruity, salty, and sugary toppings.
It all started in the restaurant where Tom Harte's daughter was a waitress. She convinced him to bake a few cakes and sell them there. The rich, creamy indulgence his cheesecakes promised became a hit in no time, and My Daddy's Cheesecake Bakery was born. Today, a team of confectioners crafts fresh cakes daily at its state-of-the-art 5,500-square-foot storefront and production facility. The demand for their cakes is so high, however, that they offer cakes by mail, ensuring everyone can have their cake and eat it, too. Whether grabbing them in store or online, cakes sate sweet teeth with more than 20 flavors, such as N'Orleans praline, peanut butter and chocolate, eggnog, and dreamsicle. They also welcome guests to stop by the shop for fresh-baked muffins, artfully assembled sandwiches, and cups of gourmet coffee.
At Black Bear Bakery, every batch of Lickhalter sourdough-rye bread, sweet pastries, and crunchy granola is made with the care of a shop owner. That’s because each staff member serves as a partial owner of the communal shop. This makes each staff member feel a personal responsibility for creating a shop they’d like their family to come to, encouraging them to use eco-friendly processes and locally sourced, organic ingredients. Along with whole-grain recipes filled with specialty ingredients such as kalamata olives and rosemary, bakers use century-old recipes passed down from the owners of Lickhalter Bakery. These recipes create hearty sourdough-rye loaves sprinkled with caraway seeds or twisted together with pumpernickel dough.
While breads are their specialty, bakers fill their ovens with more than just bread loaves. They craft handmade, boiled bagels that come sans holes, as well as cookies, baked granola, pizza crusts, and a variety of buns. On the weekends, they welcome the community for a vegetarian and vegan brunch, which features staples such as pancakes, quiche, potatoes, and bread pudding made from their loaves. These dishes can be washed down with pours of fair trade coffee, juice, tea, or pastry filling.