When ESPN asked chef Mario Batali in 2013 what he was planning to eat during the biggest pro-football game of the year, his Baltimore-related dessert answer was simple: Charm City Cupcakes. With 65 flavors, a choice of mini and regular cupcake sizes, and four area locations, it's easy to see what may have inspired Batali's answer. The bakery’s pastry chefs slather just-whisked buttercream atop classic vanilla, chocolate, and red-velvet cake bases, and they also go more exotic with Grand Marnier or peaches 'n' cream cupcakes. Animals and TV characters often top kids' creations, requiring chefs to call upon the same decorating techniques they reveal to students during their specialty classes. At lessons, cupcake-artisans-in-training learn piping techniques, how to make frosting, and how to make iced flowers without the hassle of fertilizing regular flowers with milk and butter.