Cupcakes may be in the name, but when it comes to desserts, N V Cupcakes is no one-trick pony. Sure, the bakery whips up fresh batches of buttercream-topped cupcakes every day, but those are only one of the decadent, handcrafted treats on display here. On any given day, you'll also find gourmet brittles, brownie cupcake cups, and marshmallow crispy treats. And then there are the bite-size cake balls and cookie "sammies", the latter of which feature two freshly baked cookies stuffed, as most sandwiches are, with rich buttercream. For special occasions such as weddings or birthdays, the bakers create custom full-size cakes or build cupcake towers that hold dozens of their pint-sized specialties.
For bakers Nancy and Carisa Newsom, no cake is too difficult to master. They specialize in both decorative cakes that are sculpted into three-dimensional pieces of art, as well as allergen-free cakes that can be made without gluten, sugar, or dairy products. No matter what goes into their cakes, they take great pride in creating their own signature flavors, such as pink champagne cake with mimosa filling. For special occasions, they can customize their creations both inside and out, adding a splash of liquor to the cake or piping polka dots or bows on the icing. The two also whip up cupcakes, cookies, and cake balls if you prefer desserts that fit in the palm of your hand or the tailpipe of your neighbor's car.
Flavors from around the world converge at Oasis Café, from the grilled lamb and beef of Greek gyros to the sweet chili sauce of Thai chicken. Sandwiches and wraps emphasize organic and natural ingredients, and both meat and vegetarian options are well-represented. Coffee splashes tongues in hot, iced, or blended forms, as in the Oasis macchiato, which swirls caramel and vanilla into double espresso. The aromas of freshly baked muffins and percolating soups drift across the long wood counter and over checkered booths, where diners groove to soft jazz melodies so they don’t have to bridge conversational lulls with knock-knock jokes that might offend people who live in tents.
A family-owned-and-operated shop, 8th Wonder Cupcakes bakes moist, handheld morsels every morning to provide customers with fresh, elegantly iced treats crafted from family recipes that have been passed down a long line of bakers. Customers can browse the menu and sample everyday flavors such as chocolate or red velvet, or taste featured flavors that include root-beer float, honey maple, zucchini chocolate, dark-chocolate bacon, and cotton candy. The shop even takes suggestions for new flavor combinations.
Some quick Texas facts: the state bird is the mockingbird; the state motto is "friendship;" and the state cupcake is berry pecan. Lisa Britten didn't think that her baked goods had governing potential until 2010, when her signature flavor was sworn in as the official cupcake of Texas after winning a statewide contest. The famed cupcake didn't receive any bodyguards, however. On the contrary?anyone can eat it if they time their trip to Sugar Queen Cupcakes just right.
Berry pecan is one of several rotating favorites on the shop's menu. Others include snickerdoodle, coconut cream, and even pancakes and bacon. Thankfully, though, mainstays such as cream cheese lime and chocolate chocolate chip are available every day. Lisa can also stack her cupcakes in tiers for special events. Her creative themes might delight the eye with cheery sunflowers or add a rustic charm to pumpkin-spice cupcakes by arranging them atop a slice of tree trunk.
Crickle's and Co. treats visitors to breakfasts and brunches defined by a farm-to-table ethic. Every bite of an egg-and-applewood smoked bacon taco or blueberry muffin is a testament to simpler times—times when people knew exactly where their food came from, meals were family gatherings, and parents had to ask kids to be excused from the table. Local, preservative-free cream, eggs, and butter find their way into menu items such as egg sandwiches, bacon-stuffed tortillas, and fluffy, fresh-baked muffins. Texas pecans put the crunch in banana-nut bread, and locally roasted coffee and organic tea from Austin pair perfectly with homemade pastries. Outside Crickle's walls, its catered meals grace corporate events, baby showers, and birthday parties with feasts of Texas-style barbecue, 15-layer lasagna, and bite-size brownies and cheesecakes.