The bakers at The Cupcake Express blend fresh eggs, sugar, and cream to whip up moist, flavorful cakes topped with puffs of velvety frosting. Their cupcakes and mini cupcakes tempt sweet teeth with 14 epicurean flavors—including strawberry lemonade and chocolate with raspberry cream cheese—and icings that range from fluffy meringues to sweetened cream cheese. In addition, they dole out cheesecake bites that would be a hit at any Lilliputian birthday bash.
B&B Bagel's name refers to the traditional process of making a bagel: boiling and baking. Whereas many places skip the boiling step, B&B considers it crucial ("If it's not boiled, it's not a bagel," their website states definitively).
It's hard to argue with the results. Any of the shop's classic bagels can be topped with flavored cream cheeses or breakfast meats; there's even a pizza bagel that comes with melted cheese and pepperonis. Of course, bagels aren't the only items on the menu. The shop also serves cinnamon rolls and traditional sandwiches, neither of which are boiled.
Once, upon adding the finishing whiskers to her custom wedding cake, Cherie stared in horror at what she had done. The cake looked exactly like an armadillo: beady eyes, bulbous armor, spindly claws. Concerned with its semblance to the rodent, Cherie insisted that her client come by and assess the cake before making her final decision to present it as her wedding centerpiece. The bride-to-be let out a squeal of joy. “I love it! It’s exactly what I wanted.” Cherie let out a sigh of relief.
Cherie, who has been decorating cakes for 30 years, admits that there’s no accounting for taste. Despite her personal opinions on armadillos, she was heartened by her client’s elation, which is ultimately why she began baking in first place. “It’s so much fun watching kids eat their first birthday cake that you’ve worked on for hours, or to get thank-you notes from brides who say your cake tastes just as good a year later, at their one-year anniversary.”
To ensure that smiles and thank-you notes continue to pour in, Cherie collaborates with clients to design the ideal treat for their celebrations. She reviews photos with them during in-person consultations, and even requests napkins and invitations in order to design a cake to complement each event’s aesthetic. After assembling her cakes, she swathes their fluffy exteriors with her sherry cream frosting, which adds an oaky and sweet finish.
Homemade cakes, cookies, and cinnamon rolls emerge from ovens at Mary’s Morsels, tag-teaming taste buds with a menu of breakfast and lunch fare in an intimate bakery and café. Mollify petulant sweet teeth with slices of old-fashion cheesecake ($3.99/small, $6.99/large) and giant cinnamon rolls ($2.49), which diners can affix to ears as an edible ode to Princess Leia. Fifteen cookie varieties ($3.99/dozen) provide an appetizing epilogue to an ample spread of lunch fare, including classic sandwiches, honey cornbread, and, on Thursday, home-style chicken and dumplings ($4.29/small, $5.29/large). Gobs of rich gravy ooze over fresh-baked biscuits ($3.99/small, $4.99/large), appeasing early-morning appetites alongside open-face croissants crowned with fluffy scrambled eggs ($6.99).
Frustrated by bakeries that lacked imagination, Laulie Cakes' namesake Laura began steadfastly whipping up custom confections in her home kitchen before moving into the business's first storefront in 2011. Each day of the week, Laura artfully bakes batches of traditional and specialty cupcakes and helps party hosts to plot out their soiree's sweets. The shops cake artists work with event planners of weddings and birthdays, embellishing cakes in the flavors and design of the customer's choice, whether it be a dulce-de-leche cake adorned in lovely swirls of realistic flowers or a coconut cake topped in fondant figurines of a bride and her ostrich groom. Cupcake vase centerpieces and other elaborate confections are freshly baked each day, often with help from Laura's young daughters, who share their mother's passion for great-tasting icing.
Established in 1902, Valenti's Bakery & Deli has been luring curious noses into its aromatic shop with baking breads and italian pastries for more than a century. Bakers slice up their signature italian and hearth breads each day before delivering loaves to numerous local restaurants. Display cases showcase colorful cakes, ricotta and cream cannolis, and assorted fruit and cheese stollens, and custom cakes showcase iced messages, flowery designs, or detailed furniture-assembly instructions. A full-service deli appeases appetites with hot sandwiches, holiday hams, and salsiccia sausages.