Vanilla Bean Bakery?s ovens constantly churn out moist cupcakes, cakes, and cookies in a lengthy roster of flavors. Once the treats are cool, the bakery?s frosting artists decorate them using glaze, frosting, and fondant. With two to three days' notice, the team can create custom cakes to celebrate anything from baby showers to tax-filing day. Cupcakes come in luscious flavors such as red velvet, lemon, coconut, and peanut-butter cup. The bakery?s gallery of custom cupcakes showcases its decorators' diverse repertoire. They adorn dozens with prom proposals and fondant ghosts. In addition, bouquets of cake pops in flavors ranging from pink champagne to butter pecan brighten up parties, or patrons can opt for stickless arrays of cake truffles instead.
Operating out of the kitchen of an Episcopal church, the talented bakers at The Cakehole offer only customized, made-to-order treats. Their sucrose skills allow them to replicate stills from a movie for Oscar-themed cupcake trays or create a whole nest of Angry Birds-adorned cupcakes. Armed with sugar, water, and dye, bakers create decorative, multi-tiered cake art emblazoned with characters and themes from pop culture, comic books, and outdated tax codes. They can also fuse cakes and cupcakes together for a full mise en scéne, such as a zombie-themed wedding cake with accompanying cupcakes topped with tiny gum paste body parts.
Kolache Factory sates handheld cravings with its sweet and savory sachets stuffed with more than 25 flavorful fillings. The pastry purveyor's innovative bakers put a tasty twist on the traditional fruit-and-poppy-seed kolaches that originated in Eastern Europe, packing them with delectable stuffings, such as pepperoni and mushroom ($1.65 each, $17.82/dozen), bacon, egg, and cheese ($2.19 each, $23.65/dozen), and sausage, jalapeño, and cheese ($1.45 each, $15.66/dozen). Greet the slowly receding swirling darkness of morning with nibbles of sausage and gravy kolaches ($1.69 each, $18.25/dozen), or take a bite-size break with one of seven fruit options ($1.09 each, $11.77/dozen).
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Froyo Bella scoops four flavors of frozen yogurt onto their menu monthly, all of which carry the National Yogurt Association's seal denoting live and active probiotic cultures. After garnishing a 5-ounce cup of yogurt with one of more than 40 toppings, spoons can burrow into mounds of classic chocolate, only to be lured from their lairs by mouths promising roomy kitchen drawer-organizers. Clouds of Blueberry Burst flavor-drench granola or cheesecake clusters in a sweet, purple downpour, and nonfat flavors such as Classic Tart bedeck themselves in kiwi cross-sections. In addition to hoarding stores of calcium and riboflavin in their frosty nooks, many of Froyo Bella's flavors contain less than 100 calories per half-cup serving, which guests can shed by performing blinking calisthenics at the shop's flat-screen TV.
Stepping into The Sweet Tooth Fairy shop is like walking into another era: round tables and high-backed chairs surround an old-fashioned soda fountain, and oldies music plays softly nearby. Pale-blue walls and white crown molding stand behind a glass case full of sweet treats, which are baked daily and earned proprietor Megan Faulkner Brown two appearances on The Rachael Ray Show—one when she was still baking in her basement kitchen, and the next three years later, when her business had grown to nine locations.
Megan uses the "most ordinary" ingredients to whip up her extraordinary pastries, which include chocolate-chip and iced oatmeal cookies, brownies, lemon bars, and a variety of cupcakes and full-grown cakes. Signature cakebites don coats of chocolate or white chocolate flecked with sprinkles. Flavors of baked goods rotate monthly, with some favorites available on a daily basis. Gluten-free options are available, as are frosting shots designed to save time usually spent licking every drop of frosting off the top of a full-size cake.