At Milwaukee Cupcake Company, visitors can appease sweet-tooth flare-ups with a variety of delectable cupcakes crafted from scratch and high-quality, pure ingredients. Fusing Wisconsin butter, Madagascar vanilla, and Callebaut Belgian cocoa and chocolate, these cupcakes pack a flavorful wallop into a pint-sized form. Patrons can pick up a box of palate-percolating cupcakes such as the chocolate and coconut Fox Points, salted caramel and pecan Tosas, cookie dough South Siders, and green-tea and crystallized ginger Rishi Matchas. Additionally, Milwaukee Cupcake Company offers a new flavor every week (this week's flavor is piña colada) and gluten-free options for those who suffer from gluten allergies or gluten-induced nightmares involving professional baseball players singing Frank Sinatra songs.
Most of Wild Flour's loaves are crafted with traditional old-world European techniques, which exclude fat, oil, sugar, eggs, dairy, and preservatives and replace them with high-quality flours. Artisan favorites, such as the olive rosemary and cranberry walnut, complement any meal, while health-conscious selections such as the whole-grain flax-seed bread and the multigrain sourdough will allow nutrition-minded architects to nosh guilt free. Each of Wild Flour's four cozy stores serves hot lunch daily, with a rotating soup selection that pours the likes of Catalina chicken, cream of potato with bacon, and tomato red-pepper bisque alongside hot grilled sandwiches such as the zipper (ham, salami, provolone, tomato, onion, jalapeños, and mayo, $5.50) and the hot vegetarian (marinated eggplant, red peppers, portobello mushrooms, and pesto sauce, $4.90). Cold deli classics also sashay out of the kitchen, including egg salad ($4.90) and chicken salad ($5.50) and a wide selection of salads (starting at $3.25).
It'z My Party Cakery is truly a family business, with owner and lead cake artist Judi Dadtka overseeing a staff that includes several of her children. Judi has been making cakes since she was 13, and her experience shows. Towering princess castles, SpongeBob under the sea, and an edible Lakers jersey all stand as vibrant examples of her and her kids’ baking skills, which blend design, carpentry, and art with tasty desserts. On a smaller scale, they whip up cupcakes, cake pops, truffles, and other baked goods, sharing these dainties with the general public and also delivering custom treats locally to terminally and critically ill children via the nonprofit organization Icing Smiles.
The family at Grebe’s Bakery have honed their fresh breads, pastries, and cakes since 1937, developing dainties sought after by more than 300 stores throughout the Midwest. Visitors scan the display case for a single cake donut ($0.75) to sate a sugar hankering or a baker’s dozen of cinnamon rolls ($3.99) to lure Sunday morning cartoons out of the television. In the oven, small loaves of white bread ($1.79) and hard rolls ($2.29 for a package of six) develop fluffy interiors that greedily sop up gravy, as chocolate chips melt inside a butter-pecan danish ($4.29). Nimble hands decorate custom cakes ($19.99–$61.99) with designs and messages that distill the essence of an occasion or screen photos onto the icing that accurately depict the aftermath for private investigators.
In the fall of 2010, a young couple named Jake and Heather strolled down the street in front of Simma's Bakery, enjoying the brisk Wisconsin weather. Heather chatted away lightheartedly as they walked their small, fluffy dog together, but Jake's heart and mind were racing. As they approached the storefront, the young man made his long-planned gesture toward the window, where, flanked by two white roses, sat a Simma's cheesecake. The signature chocolate ganache had been decorated with six red flower buds, swirling green vines, and five life-changing words written in white: "Heather, Will You Marry Me?" Jake got down on one knee and pulled out a ring to say with words what the cake had already said with icing.
Simma's Bakery has been a Milwaukee staple for more than 25 years, and its decadent desserts have shared more laughter and tears than a soap opera about birthday clowns. The mom-and-pop shop was founded by Simma Yundov, a woman who immigrated with her husband and two children to the United States from Russia in 1979. She built the bakery from the ground up, making a name for herself and touching the lives of countless people. After her death more than a decade ago, Simma's daughter carried on her mother's work and recently passed the brûlée torch to Mark and Peggy Carollo, who, Veil magazine, have years of experience in the family-run bakery business. Today, the walls are covered with awards and recognitions—tributes to Simma's legacy. The bakery was named one of the The Knot's Best of Weddings 2013 vendors, a top Wedding Cake Designer in the Shepherd Express Best of Milwaukee 2012 awards, and has been a winner or finalist in CityVoter's Best Cakes category for six years running. According to a 2009 article by the Badger Herald's Allie Demet—who grew up in the area and remembers celebrating childhood birthdays with Simma's cakes—the shop is one of the International Restaurant & Hospitality Ratings Bureau’s Top 25 Bakeries in America. The shop has also been voted the Best Place to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth in 2012 by both the editors and readers of M magazine.
Sweet Frog’s frozen-yogurt flavors go beyond the norm. In addition to cookies ‘n’ cream and greek yogurt with honey, the lineup of 75 varieties includes maple-bacon donut, cake batter, and dulce de leche. Patrons can sprinkle on toppings such as fresh fruit and candies, then savor their confetti’d confections in the lime-green-and-pink restaurant. Smiling frogs and funky white hanging lamps give the stores an air of fun, but founder Derek Cha is interested in giving more than that to the community; through Sweet Frog, he sponsors children in need and dispatches frog mascots to those who need encouragement.