It's always flattering when your dessert is the party's favorite. Carousel Cakes—and its bite-size offshoot, Cupcakes by Carousel—knows this feeling well. The bakeries' creative confections have received commendations from every corner of the media, from Time Out New York and InStyle to The View and, perhaps most notably, Oprah, who featured their red-velvet cake in O Magazine and named their blue-velvet cake one of Oprah's Favorite Things in 2012. "Gayle fell hard for this blue velvet cake with cream cheese icing and sugar snowflakes," the media icon gushed. "Just add coffee, milk, or a flute of champagne." The treats also sweeten meals at more than 1000 restaurants, including Zabar's and the American Museum of Natural History in New York and Aldo & Gianni Ristorante and Sear Restaurant in Closter, New Jersey.
As a sister company to the family bakery that Martin Lefkowitz opened in 1965, Cupcakes by Carousel specializes in handheld versions of the treats that won all this acclaim. Besides a mini adaptation of the famous red-velvet cake, the staff creates confections such as the Curious George—a vanilla cake filled with banana custard and topped with peanut butter buttercream frosting and chocolate ganache—and its version of Hostess’s Pink Snowball. All the shop's cakes and pies are certified kosher, and staff can even fill up glasses with swirls of their famous frostings and toppings for clients who like their cupcakes sans cake. Cupcakes by Carousel also lends its hand in local communities. Recently, the Englewood shop raised money for girls' education in developing nations through the nonprofit organization She's The First.
Twist Frozen Yogurt treats guests to a self-serve spread of up to 24 different frozen desserts, with yogurts and sorbets in a wide variety of tastes and styles. Guests can cool off their palates by packing their cups with health-conscious dollops of nonfat or low-fat yogurt or non-dairy sorbet—available flavors include coffee, sea salt, caramel corn, cake batter, and coconut. They can then crown their creations with 90-plus toppings, including chocolate syrup or fresh fruit. Twist Frozen Yogurt proudly displays all nutritional info on the menu, with options for no-sugar-added and nonfat desserts as low as 80 calories—fewer calories than are burned while yawning through a bad novel or a well-written PC manual.
Whether putting cupcakes, ice cream, or creamy soft serve into their customer’s hands, the staff of Sprinkles Sweet Shop connects visitors with a wide world of sweet treats. On hot days, guests wander in to cool off with italian ice, fresh fruit cups for sorbet, or three-scoop banana splits with a toppings and whipped cream. Sprinkles staff also scoops ice cream into specialty cones that have chocolate chip cookies, pretzels, or M&Ms rolled into their crunchy walls. For special occasions, the bakers make custom cake pops, red and blue velvet cakes, and put together cups of sprinkles to throw at newlyweds.