Ice cream cools hot mouths, gives spoons a purpose, and turns into soup, so it's both a dessert and second course. Try one of Baskin-Robbins's ice cream cakes—including flavors such as fudge crunch, Oreo Cookie, Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, and brownie a la mode—or indulge in soft serve, ice cream, sundaes, and more. For other sweet treats, go with doughnuts, which are renowned for being a superior form of bread; standout flavors include blueberry cake, Bavarian creme, Boston creme, glazed cake, jelly filled, French cruller, apple crumb, and more. If you prefer non-sweet food, bite into a bagel or one of the oven-toasted flatbread sandwiches that come in flavors such as chicken parmesan, ham and swiss, and turkey, bacon and cheddar.
After more than 20 years of delighting family and friends with her decorated cakes, owner and head cake designer Sharon White decided to turn her love of all things sweet into a full-time cake-design business. Following the success of her 1950s-inspired shop, Nostalgia Cupcakes, Sharon was ready to test her sugar-sculpting skills on more opulent sweets, and so she left the retro-theme desserts in the past and forged a more sophisticated future with a custom couture-cake boutique, The Cake Courtesan. After just one year in business, the shop had already earned a spot on the 2012 Platinum List from luxury wedding source Grace Ormonde thanks in part to the detail of Sharon's designs, which have been known to include everything from giant handmade sugar flowers to frosting-based lacework. Her boutique crafts its gourmet treats in fresh, limited amounts every day, offering a long list of rotating flavors as well as daily favorites that prefer to sit still.
Every day, Rita's serves up fresh, fruitified Italian ice ($2.39 for a regular) in more than 30 flavors, with sugar-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free, and trans-fat-free ices available. Achieve Ty Cobb–like levels of coolness with the Georgia peach ice, get caught in the rain of the refreshing piña colada, or visit the Sunshine State without leaving the comforts of your bomb shelter with the Florida orange. Other flavors include strawberry, root beer, Swedish Fish, chocolate chocolate chip, vanilla, key lime, the unearthly RitaBerrious (formerly Mystery Ice), and even a Peeps flavor. All ices are served within 36 hours of mixing, ensuring that Rita's customers are getting drinks as pure as the driven Technicolor snow.
Cotton’s made-from-scratch cupcakes are each meticulously crafted and aesthetically presented. Flavors include the cream-cheese-topped sweet-potato pound cake and the White Raspberry Dream (white chocolate cake crowned with luxurious buttercream and fresh raspberries). Cotton’s red velvet cupcakes tickle taste buds with red buttermilk-cocoa cake and creamy icing. Cake cravers can use the value of this Groupon toward any bakery item, from the zesty lemon-butter-filled Lemonicious cake ($33) to a dozen soft chocolate-chip cookies ($16). Celebrate the birthday of your sapphire-encrusted washing machine with a scrumptious custom cake in a flavor such as 24-Carrot Gold ($33) and piña colada ($35). Call at least 72 hours in advance to place your order.
Real-estate agent LaKisa Taylor may have been a longtime whiz in the business of brokering homes, but brokering cupcakes began as a hobby. As a thank-you to clients and potential buyers, LaKisa would bake and decorate batches of the confectionary delights. Her sweet tooth and background in event planning eventually propelled the pastime into a full-fledged career when she dreamed up Pretty Girl Cupcakery, named for her still-flourishing real-estate campaign, Pretty Girl County. Inside the shop's recently opened doors, LaKisa and her staff bake treats fresh each morning in an atmosphere more welcoming than a doormat carved from peanut brittle. Their classic menu keeps it simple with chocolate and vanilla, double chocolate and vanilla, half and half, and red-velvet cakes topped with rich buttercream frosting.
LaKisa and her team spread their passion for edible artistry at classes that broach subjects such as basic frosting techniques and crafting fondant that deliciously embellishes cakes. They also host themed bashes at the bakery, enveloping birthday kids and their guests in a world of pretty princesses or doll and tea parties.
Yogi Castle brandishes the Live & Active Cultures seal from the National Yogurt Association, assuring spoons that the dessert is populated with active cultures that may bolster immune and digestive systems and encourage weight loss. Dispensers sculpt cool towers in 14 flavors of kosher-certified frozen yogurt ($0.49/oz.), including offerings infused with essences of New York–style cheesecake, Heath toffee, Euro tart, and Abe Lincoln's birthday cake. Dessert chalices overflow with more than 40 toppings, including crunchy granola, cookie dough, fresh fruit, and gummy bears. Smoothies ($4.95–$5.95) meld the vitamin-packed sweetness of fruit with fortifying add-ons ($0.75 each), such as whey-protein isolate. The Forbidden Fruit smoothie blends an exotic mix of pink and white guava with passionfruit, and Red Apple Orchard bursts through straws to remind sippers to pick up scarecrows from daycare.