Moist double chocolate chip cookies speckled with rich chocolate chunks. Coconut cheesecake brownies drizzled in chocolate syrup. Chocolate mousse-filled buttercream cake frosted with tufts of dark chocolate. It’s clear that Loving Nutrition’s desserts embody indulgent excess. It may come as a surprise then that they also embody vegan ideals, containing no gluten, dairy, egg, soy, or nuts. A pastry mecca for those with vegan beliefs or food allergies, Loving Nutrition stems from the brain of Suraya Iller, a pastry chef and mother of two. After noticing that many children with food allergies were excluded from eating birthday cakes and holiday treats, she swooped to the rescue, baking desserts that everyone could enjoy. In addition to whipping up red velvet cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies, and buttercream cakes, the shop also serves a variety of gluten-free breads, including tomato focaccia and pumpkin cranberry.
Early every morning, the bakers of Devilicious Donuts start whipping together the batter for their cake and yeast donuts to create their menu of unique and oddball pastries. They offer everything from the relatively demure popskotch—a cake donut drizzled in caramel and topped with buttered popcorn—to the truly eclectic flavors of the yeast donut cheeseburger. The chefs combine only fresh, organic ingredients and premium chocolate to craft their donuts, then sizzling them in 100-percent soy bean oil to avoid the use of animal fats.
For more than 60 years, the innovative cake artists of Cinderella Cakes have been creating celebratory desserts that push the boundaries of both flavor and physics. Prominently featured as winners on TLC's The Ultimate Cake Off and in episodes of WE tv's My Fair Wedding and Bravo's The Real Housewives of Orange County, the bakery's team of artists sculpt impeccable carved cakes for specific occasions, such as a golf bag to celebrate retirement, or a guitar to mark a successful instrument restringing. The same artists also lend their expertise and personalized touch to elegant and innovative wedding cakes, cupcakes, and bouquets of theme cookies. They stock their shelves with fresh ready-to-go cakes, ideal for unexpected celebrations such as a surprise engagement or the birth of a mayfly. Professional decorators also spread their sweet wisdom during private cake-decorating classes and birthday parties.
The bread pans and baking trays begin clattering early at Cinnamon Productions, announcing the bakers’ 4 a.m. arrival. It’s during these hours before dawn that the bakery’s team brings everything from sandwich bread to signature cinnamon rolls, which they pepper with actual ground cinnamon, to golden brown fruition. Once out of the oven, the freshly made goods crowd the eatery’s display case, tempting patrons to pair them with cups of coffee, scrambled eggs, or one of seven gourmet sandwiches. Every now and then, one of the staffers will pluck a few of the fresh cinnamon rolls to create a catering order, gift basket, or convincing Princess Leia headpiece.
Arnabal International produces the gourmet infused oils and vinegars of Gourmet Kitchen O&V and Les Lavendes and features cookies from Gloria’s Gourmet. Sprinkle salads, marinate meat, or fill a hot tub with a fragrant field of lavender vinegar (200 ml. for $9.99). For an aromatic cooking choice that's finely aged but not quite over the hill, order a balsamic vinegar, naturally sweet and aged for 20 years (200 ml. for $19.99). Blood-orange oil (200 ml. for $7.99) makes a sweet and tart topping for chicken salads, sautéed seameat, and numerous veggies that would otherwise become indistinguishable to the indifferent tongue. Gloria’s Gourmet Cookies are ideal as after-dinner treats while entertaining or delectable for munching solo in a darkened room. Savor a yellow packet of caramel lemon-drop bites ($2.60), or go decadent with choc-orange sandwich cookies stuffed with raspberry jam ($5.50).
Tucked away in the kitchen of each Paris Baguette, bakers trained in French techniques craft buttery, flaky croissants and tart crusts, and their success at this has earned attention from the likes of the New York Times. In addition to pastries and sweets such as mocha rice balls, the bakers knead bread for their namesake baguettes and yeasty creations that hold an Asian twist, such as red-bean-paste-filled donuts. The experts also create fondant-cloaked cakes that venture beyond classic flavors into green tea, cappuccino, and sweet potato, delighting partygoers bored of the same laminated sheet cake that makes its appearance at each year’s birthday celebration.
To wash down these treats, patrons sip cups of java or more exotic drinks such as wheatgrass and black-sesame lattes, persimmon smoothies, and bubble tea. At lunchtime, many locations layer sandwiches, filling hungry stomachs with croque monsieurs and baguettes stuffed with chicken and pesto.