Before Pam Turkin flung open the doors to the first Just Baked in 2009, she was just baking cupcakes on the weekends. But after her corporate travels took her past a growing number of cupcake shops outside of southeastern Michigan, she decided to turn her hobby into a career. She now helms 17 shops in the area, where she and her staff of dessert experts whip up eclectically flavored cupcakes such as red velvet cheesecake, chocolate chip cookie dough, and grumpy cake. In addition to the mouthwatering flavors, all of their items boast real butter, real eggs, and real milk as opposed to artificial ingredients from artificial cows and chickens.
Sweet 220 Pastries & Specialty Cakes, a second-place winner in WDIV’s best cake category, is owned and operated by husband and wife Hass and Dalia Maki. The couple pours their baking energies into crafting classic flavors, such as vanilla buttercream and red velvet, and creative concoctions such as chocolate-caramel crunch, mint-chocolate chip, and lemon cream cheese.
After greasing the Slip 'n Slide with vegetable oil and shedding winter's fluffy bathrobe and insulated socks, the best way to celebrate summer's approach is with a handful of velvety-soft frozen custard. The Ritter's menu features a cast of five to seven rotating daily flavors, including everything from fruit-based favorites such as cherry cordial and fresh banana to candy-inspired creations like caramel Snickers swirl. Order a cone of the flavor du jour ($1.99 and up), or opt for a signature Glacier ($3.29 and up), Ritter's frozen custard mixed with your topping of choice and served upside down to confuse your already delicate perception of reality and emphasize the delicacy's extreme thickness. If a list of 25+ toppings dizzies your decision-making noodle, submit your fate to the friendly ice-cream slingers and opt for a pre-designed signature sundae ($4.29) such as the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup–filled, whipped-cream-topped peanut-butter mountain. Celebrate your newfound superpowers and exploit your nemeses' weaknesses for chocolate and caramel with a frozen Snickers pie ($25.99).
The master bagel bakers at Detroit Bagel Factory bake appetite-provoking batches of bagels fresh each day, as they’ve done for more than half a century. Upon selecting a worthy entry from the bagel menu–stacked with varieties such as egg, everything, and blueberry–patrons can enjoy the famously versatile food in several manners such as slathering it with the shop’s homemade cream cheeses, pairing it with freshly brewed coffee, or infinitely searching for its end. At lunchtime, diners might trade cream cheese for deli fixings such as hot corned beef, baked ham, or tuna salad.
In business since 1927, West Fenkell Bakery upholds a tradition of creating preservative-free breads, sweets, and sandwiches with an Italian spin. The staff bakes fresh bread each morning, complementing it with everything from stromboli, pizza, and Italian subs to cannoli, cookies, and cupcakes. Visitors can pick up favorites such as banana-nut sweetbread, creative sweets such as chocolate-peppermint Sicilian cannoli, or seasonal holiday breads.