Artrageous's chef Teri Scheff has award-winning backgrounds in both ceramic sculpture and the culinary arts, using her dual talents to mold, chisel, and hew only the most scrumptious, statuesque sweets. Snag cute custom cupcakes ($0.65––$3.50 each) topped with icing poodles, ladybugs, or sunflowers to add character to bare cupcake trees. Or choreograph flavors such as chocolate turtle, opera cream, and peanut-butter cup into numeric arrangements to commemorate a birthday, anniversary, or improved credit score. Rich tortes such as the apricot- and raspberry-filled amaretto stone sour refine blasé dinner parties in petite 6-inch ($20) and buff 8-inch ($37) varieties, and the ganache-covered chocolate-mousse bomb makes a perfect visual aid for schooling young CIA agents in the art of defusing an explosive with your mouth.
Voted the best stop for chocoholics by Ohio magazine, the Dayton-based Esther Price infuses its old-fashioned chocolate concoctions with dairy-fresh cream and butter—pairing rich cocoa with several fruity and savory flavors. Sample an array of aromas with the 18-ounce light and dark assorted chocolates ($12.30), with each box containing a sampling of Esther Price's most popular pieces—coconut cream, peanut butter cream, caramel pecans, cherries, almond toppers, and more. Other options include the chocolate-coated pretzels ($9.75), which come dipped in light or white chocolate, and the 8-ounce sweetheart mints ($7.55), which offer a decadent way to freshen one's breath before a hoverboat driving test. For those who prefer their sweets minus the sucrose, the confectionary also offers plenty of sugar-free options. Tentative tasters can use the Esther Price candy key to determine what flavors are contained within each morsel before tasting.
With graduations, weddings, and whale-wrestling season fast approaching, a customized party cake serves as a tasty treat for groups of gathered revelers. A 10-inch party cake from Maribelle serves about 30 people, and the cakery's abundant bounty of flavors and fillings will please even the most picky cake connoisseur. Plump a lemon almond cake with red raspberry filling, or infuse a rich German chocolate cake with fresh sliced strawberries or Frangelico cream. Any combination of bakery beautifying extras—be they fresh-cut or frosting flowers, chocolate-dipped strawberries, chocolate curls and shavings, or curly ribbons—are included in the price, so pile on the ornamentation to construct a memorable masterpiece.
Invented by microbiologist Curt Jones in 1988, Dippin Dots now satisfies sweets-lovers across the world with unique and cryogenically frozen confections. Dive into spherical servings of 10 different flavors, including Oreo, orange sherbet, or mint-chocolate-chip dots, all of which have been flash frozen using liquid nitrogen and an evil eye from Old Man Winter. With two area locations, Dippin Dots silences cross-state stomach rivalries with small ($3.25), medium, ($4.25), and large ($5.25) servings, as well as dot sundaes swimming in caramel and chocolate sauces and buried under a fluffy feather pillow of whipped cream ($4.50). Satisfying eyes and ears with the ping of each pellet scooped into your cup, Dippin Dots’ nontraditional treats signal the next wave in frozen sweets, and will inspire you to start cryogenically freezing other childhood flavors such as ginger snaps and tire swing.
One taste of Aroma’s more than 100 flavors—including chocolate amaretto, green apple, peanut butter, pistachio, watermelon, even earthworm—and you’ll understand why gelato is like ice cream multiplied by itself. Sporting a svelte 10% butterfat content (compared to ice cream’s 18%), gelato is also healthier and made by a process that doesn’t inject air into the mixture, resulting in a dense, delicious flavor that can only be adequately expressed with joyful bursts of Italian gibberish and interpretive dance battles. Aroma’s gelateria keeps 24 of its 100 flavors chilling in the display case at a cozy 5–10 degrees Fahrenheit, which you can sample in a variety of sizes, such as small ($2.75), medium ($3.25), large ($4), pint ($8), quart ($12), 1/2 gallon ($20), full pan (serves 40, $35), and wheelbarrow (party-sized, served with a giant spoon).
You won’t find stale cookies and days-old cakes within the glass display case at Sugar Darlin’s Sweets and Such. In fact, you won’t even find a display case. That’s because Sugar Darlin’s is an online sweet shop, helmed by loving couple and resident bakers Candece and Greg. The duo makes each of their decadent treats to order, from batches of red velvet whoopee pies to signature 3-D cakes customized for special events. They use an old family recipe to craft their decadent pie crust and pour more than a dozen fillings, such as pumpkin, cherry, and blueberry, inside. Crust-less desserts also reign supreme at the shop in the form of cakes and cheesecakes in nearly 30 different flavors, such as carrot cake, banana pudding, and sweet-potato streusel. Because they make everything by scratch and by themselves, Candece and Greg require at least 48 hours notice or a time machine for most orders.