Loard’s Ice Cream beguiles ice cream connoisseurs with more than 40 flavors of cold culinary comfort. Experience the tastes of fall without sautéing leaf piles by slurping up regular-sized scoops of pumpkin or maple-walnut ice cream crafted with cream from local suppliers ($2.50 each). Popular concoctions such as cookie-dough, bubble-gum, and ube-taro-root ice cream color tongues’ opinions on nothing-but-dessert diets, swaying them to beg for milkshakes for breakfast ($3.85), double scoops for lunch ($3.85), and kids’-sized scoops for post-cardio workouts ($1.90). The punch cards unlock further treasures of Loard’s loaded menu, including ice-cream-free italian sodas, shaved ices, and freshly made cookies.
The modest size of Cheesecake Kitchen’s bakery stands at odds with its extensive menu of cheesecakes and cheesecake-flavored desserts, many of which include copious toppings of peanut butter, candy bars, and fruit. The 5-, 7-, and 10-inch cheesecakes nestle side-by-side within a display case that proudly exhibits more than 25 concoctions laced with flavors such as chocolate mocha and eggnog rum. In addition to traditional cake slices, the expert staff bakes their signature cheesecake tastes into brownies, cannoli, cupcakes, and elegant pillbox hats. Cheesecake Kitchen’s freezable cakes can also be slathered in customized decorations to celebrate a birthday party.
Known throughout the Central Valley as The Cupcake Lady, Troyce Fraga has certainly earned the moniker emblazoned on the side of her bright-pink delivery truck. Her first batches of cupcakes came shortly after her first steps as an infant, and the recipes she has perfected since those early days have gone on to win state-fair ribbons and local acclaim. These recipes draw inspiration from cocktails, candies, and even Mexican cuisine, resulting in flavors as diverse as minty mojito and horchata.
These days, throngs of dessert lovers sprint after Troyce’s cheery delivery truck as it drives along a route of Central Valley destinations such as Turlock City Hall, Latif’s Restaurant, and Emanuel Medical Center. When she isn’t packing marshmallows and raspberry preserves into her specialty cupcakes, Troyce dumps the gooey fillings out the window to slow down cars driving too close for comfort. Those lucky enough to be around when her truck stops can sample buttercream frostings and classic cake flavors such as red velvet and triple chocolate. In addition to her fresh-baked cupcakes, Troyce’s truck shuttles cake pops, whoopie pies, and cupcake parfaits to parties and other catered events.
Michelle's bustling bakers handcraft a variety of sweet and savory breads from seasonal ingredients, sourced from area farmers' markets. Handpick a preservative-free loaf ($8.50) or half-loaf ($5.50) in one of more than 25 flavors, from traditional options, including zucchini walnut and lemon, to zanier selections, such as papaya, pear, and jalapeno-cheese cornbread. Michelle's crew also bakes a line of vegan breads, as well as gluten- and sugar-free constructs made with rice or tapioca flour and Splenda. Sway sweet teeth with a saccharine medley of cookies and brownies ($2.50–$3.50 each), or teach a precocious terrier basic fractions with a pumpkin or sweet-potato pie ($10).
At first it seemed like the only people who would ever hear about Patrick Caldwell's pies were his friends and family. Using a recipe born in North Carolina and passed down from his mother, he'd craft his specialty white-sweet-potato pie for every family gathering. But it was his mother-in-law who gave him the final push to turn his pie-making hobby into a full-time endeavor. Using the family recipe as a blueprint, Patrick began to tweak the formula to make it perfect, aging his white sweet potatoes in a wine cellar for nine months to enhance their natural sweetness and cure them of their fear of the dark. Before long, Patrick's Famous Pies were in high demand at area farmer's markets, where he still sells them today alongside other specialties like sweet-potato bread and peach cobbler.
Named Best Bakery 2010 by San Joaquin Magazine, M&W Dutch American Bakery uses tried-and-true European recipes to bake up a mixed bag of delectable cakes, cookies, and other treats. Take home a dozen of M&W’s wholesome cookies ($4–$5) in flavors such as Florentine, chocolate chip, and soft, chewy oatmeal. Loaves ($2–$3.50) of sourdough, wheat, french, and challah bread spring from the oven perfectly roasted and ready to be consumed by a hungry breadivarian. The bakery also offers danishes ($1.25), croissants ($1.50), and a plethora of other meticulously crafted pastries. M&W even whips up a variety of lunchtime bites, with specialties such as jagtwurst ($3.50) and sauerkraut-covered pastrami ($3.50) to feed the German national polka orchestra when it plays impromptu shows in your backyard.