Red velvet cake dipped in dark chocolate, strawberry cake dipped in pink chocolate, chocolate cake dipped then rolled in toasted almonds. The cake-smiths at Cakepops For You never tire of dreaming up new confectionary surprises and delightful flavor combinations for their shop’s eponymous treat. The creativity doesn’t stop there. They’ve handcrafted cakepops in the shape of snowmen, spring flowers, and zoo animals, and their imaginative creations make great centerpieces at showers for upcoming babies, weddings, or mortgage payoffs.
DIY desserts are the main order of business at Planet Swirl, an intergalactic-themed fro-yo shop that rotates 21 different flavors and more than 70 types of toppings. The yogurts come chock full of live and active cultures, and the nondairy fruit sorbets contain no artificial colors, fat, or bad vibes from bummed-out cows. Dispensers also twist out seasonal flavors, such as pumpkin pie, cheesecake, raspberry lemon tart, coconut cream pie, and cookies and cream.
What began as a traditional German konditorei nearly 80 years ago has transformed a lot—by changing its name, adding an espresso machine, and hiring French Culinary Institute grad Cristina Nastasi as pastry chef—but when it comes to the essentials, not much has changed. Rudy's Bakery & Cafe still packs its gleaming display cases with cookies, danishes, cupcakes, and cakes, the latter of which can also be customized for weddings, birthdays, and baby showers for mothers or rain clouds that are expecting. But the spot also features more novel treats, such as gelato and cake pops, along with a range of specialty espresso drinks.
Cupcakes bring out the child in people, so who better to make those treats than a child? Patrick DeBiase, the owner of Stud Muffins Cupcakes, is just 13 years old. He first started baking at the age of four with the help of his grandmother, who is a classically educated pastry chef. With her help, he creates Stud Muffins’ variety of cookies and cupcakes, which are delivered to doorsteps when customers order them through his online shop or through wishing really hard. In the future, Patrick has big plans to attend culinary school and open a storefront for his business, but for now, he's content serving the community—his business donates 50 cents to the Tourettes Syndrome Association for every dozen cupcakes sold.
It's easy to find a dessert that meets dietary requirements at YoFresh Yogurt Cafe. That's because the staff only offers 100% natural, kosher yogurt, with most flavors containing no gluten. They also eschew artificial sweeteners, and instead rely upon the natural sweetness to create flavors such as blueberry, pomegranate tart, and peppermint stick. These flavors can be enhanced with the fruit and candy options at the toppings bar, as well as cones studded with chunks of cookie or M&Ms. For those who prefer their flavors more uniform, staff also whip up fruit smoothies made with yogurt, fresh fruit, and the power of peer pressure.
Little Scoops looks just like an ice-cream parlor from the ‘50s—if it mistakenly got zapped by a shrink ray. That’s because the shrunken-down shop is designed for kids, giving parents a family-friendly kid-sized space for children's meetups, play-dates, or ice-cream socials. At the U-shaped ice-cream bar, pintsize stools capped with red vinyl beckon kids to sidle up and check out the flavors of Welsh Farms ice cream, soft serve, and shaved ice. A jukebox plays kid-friendly tunes as little ones decorate their scoops with colorful toppings, taking care not to spill their sweets on imaginary friends or the black-and-white checkered floor.
The parlor also hosts children’s post-game meetups, play dates, and parties. Parents can opt for party packages that include pizza and soda; during the festivities, Little Scoops staffers take the lead on setting up, cleaning up, and organizing interactive games.