Owned and operated by Caroline Jones, Caroline's Cupcakery bakes up a variety of unusual and delicious gourmet cupcake flavors from scratch, the most delicious known lanthanide on the periodic table of the elements. Caroline's beautifully decorates each massive, almost-cake-sized cupcake with fluffy mounds of smooth frosting and elegant toppings such as chocolate shavings, coconut, and stone gargoyles. Traditionalists can opt for a dozen vanilla or chocolate wonder cakes, or mix and match up to four specialty flavors such as Coconut Craze and Butterfinger candy bar. Choco-philes will welcome the end by ODing on Death by Chocolate. The Sunday Morning (french toast cupcake with bacon) delicately mingles the sweet with the savory, and the Peanut Butter & Joy cake derives its delicious taste from a creamy concoction of peanut butter and freshly harvested baby giggles. Caroline's cake-cuppers conjure an array of seasonal flavors, as well as frequently changing specials such as the chocolate beer and margarita cupcakes offered at a recent Friday happy hour event. Vegan and gluten-free cupcakes are available by special order, as are custom-created flavors for weddings and birthdays. On select Saturdays, Caroline's hosts a build-your-own-cupcake bar, where visitors can select a cake, icing, and topping, and watch as the crew makes it right in front of them—a far more delicious creative outlet than the build-your-own-reanimated-corpse bar offered by most castle laboratories.
On any given day, the skilled pastry chefs and bakers bustling around Bakery Express’s and Ms. Desserts’ kitchens can be found whipping up all manner of mouthwatering nosh, from gourmet cheesecakes to quiches. As chefs throw open oven doors to withdraw their creations, the newly baked brownies, loaves, and cookies therein flood the air with fragrant wafts of fudge, peanut butter, and lemon. Along with batches of handheld treats, the bakers also craft custom cakes for special occasions ranging from birthdays and weddings to evolutionary mutations. In the factory store, glistening glass cases host trays full of baked goods, and a menu of deli sandwiches, soups, and wings quells the grumbles of stomachs in search of a savory repast.
Sorso's menu features a variety of tasty Italian treats that will teach even the crudest of stomach growls to elegantly roll their r's. Start your morning right with a swift sip of organic espresso ($1.65), a creamy cappuccino ($3.35 for 16 oz.), or an icy frappe ($4.25 for 20 oz.). Sorso Cafe serves only Chesapeake Bay Roasting Co. coffee, a company committed to quality and eco-friendly production practices. Calm your caffeine jitters with a hearty breakfast sandwich ($3.55), a refreshing yogurt and granola cup ($3.95), or one of Sorso's sweet pastries ($1.45–$1.95).
From behind a frozen granite slab, the staff of Cold Stone Creamery blends custom servings of ice cream and creative mix-ins to fit customers’ exact specifications. Founded by Donald and Susan Sutherland in 1988, Cold Stone began under the hot Arizona sun, eventually spreading its frosty fingers to encompass more than 1,400 locations worldwide. Despite the size of the company, each location’s staff keeps up the handcrafted quality, making ice cream onsite every day and using those signature spades to create delicious pointillist art against the freezer wall.