At Something Sweet, bakers whip up a spread of gourmet confections, including fresh-dipped caramel apples covered in toppings such as M&Ms and walnuts. They also craft turtles, peanut-butter cups, and rocky road squares for desserts, special occasions, or to fuel chocolate-powered locomotives. When it comes to cupcakes, they keep it simple, whisking together a slew of sweet batters that include red velvet, chocolate, and yellow cake.
Much like the concoctions they’re named for, the story behind The Cupcake Shoppe is short but sweet. In 2011, Yolanda Diaz and her daughter Rosie started an online bakery. Within months, their treats became so popular that they had to invest in a full-sized confection facility. Since then, the Cupcake Shoppe has expanded their menu to include traditional, liquor-infused, and specialty cupcakes, including a french-toast-and-bacon version that nabbed top honors at the 2012 San Francisco Cupcake Challenge.
Yolanda and Rosie’s other cakes stretch the size spectrum, from cake pops and mini cupcakes to full-size custom cakes decorated for holidays and special occasions. The ladies also craft caramel apples and cookies that, like most thermometers, work best when dipped in chocolate. Their treats have even attracted some celebrity crushes: comedian George Lopez and 49ers running back Frank Gore have been spotted in the shop, and the cupcakes were also featured in the gift bags at the 2012 Daytime Emmy Awards.
The Sweet Art of Cake’s pastry pundits whip up gourmet baked goods from traditional, gluten-free, and vegan recipes. Cupcakes ($2.45 each, $28.50/dozen) in flavors such as red velvet and banana crown ruched wrappers with cream-cheese frosting, lemon curd, and an alternative to hair gel. Customize cupcakes with simple icing designs of bees and flowers ($36/dozen) or more elaborate confections such as fondant flowers, marzipan miniatures, and sugar sculptures of The Thinker (an additional $12–$15/dozen). An array of other sweets, such as seasonal holiday pies ($12–$15), triple-chocolate-chip cookies ($1.49 for two), and vegan cheesecake bites ($0.99, available every other weekend) fill the bakery’s cooling racks with golden-brown crusts and enticing aromas. All of The Sweet Art of Cake’s treats are crafted without preservatives, additives, or gelatin.
Determined to produce menu items made from the best all-natural ingredients possible, Swiss Delices bakes its decadent dainties without the use of preservatives, high-fructose corn syrup, or fruits that aren't pesticide-free. When available, the pastry shop supports local growers to craft its made-from-scratch goodies, which has been a great boon to the Bay Area's struggling cupcake farms. Guests can kick-start their mornings with butter croissants ($1.95), pecan sticky buns ($2.95), blueberry danish ($2.75), or apple strudel ($2.80). Swiss Delices offers freshly brewed organic coffee to help frosting-filled mouths regain flexibility. Linzer cookies ($2.25), fruit tartlettes ($3.95), and Zeus's Sin ($3.50), butter cookie shells that gently cradle the Grecian god's Achilles heel—hazelnut ganache—are all baked from scratch daily. For those who favor salt over sugar, there is a savory selection of sandwiches, such as goat cheese and pesto ($6) and curried chicken with pineapple ($6.50), to appease multi-tiered appetites. Today's Groupon is good for everything on Swiss Delices's menu, and the staff will gladly hand out gift cards to those who don't spend their entire balance in a single visit.
At Nubi Yogurt, customers decorate blends of self-serve frozen yogurt with seasonal fruit slices and slivers of chopped-up candy. Georgia-peach- or pineapple-flavored yogurt waits for a complimentary showering of kiwi slices and mocha beads, while café-latte yogurt perks up customers with caffeinating chunks of Snickers or Kit-Kat. Most of the shops’ smooth, sinful flavors are fat-free, and are made with live-cultured probiotics that can help improve digestion. Each Nubi location boasts a bright, contemporary atmosphere with wireless internet, satellite radio tunes, and sleek tables polished enough to admire your new fro-yo moustache in.