Named one of the top-five bakeries in the Kansas City area in 2009 by CityVoters, Dolce Baking Company whips up small batches of delicately beautiful specialty pastries every day. Dolce's menu features traditional sweets as well as creative treats that incorporate seasonal ingredients and flavors, such as an apple cinnamon roll drizzled with a local apple-cider reduction ($3), sweet-potato scones donning a maple glaze ($2.65), and pumpkin whoopee pies teeming with cream-cheese filling ($3.25). Perennial favorites include cupcakes ($2.25), rustic apple tarts ($4 per slice), and the chocolate blackout cake ($17 for a 6 in., serves 4–6), which may cause power outages.
Ceramic Cafe arms artists of all ages with the artistic instruments necessary to transform unfinished earthenware into pottery masterpieces. Guests can adorn two 12-ounce mugs, two 8-inch round plates, or one mug and one plate in more than 60 different colors of nontoxic ceramic glazes that will not flake off and add unwanted seasoning to swordfish-casserole dishes. Idea books, stencils, sponges, and stamps supply sources of artistic inspiration, and staff members stand by to demonstrate techniques, or to pose for a mug-side replica of Whistler's Mother. The studio fires pieces in its kiln to ensure designs are food safe and long lasting, and customers can retrieve their work the following week.
Evoking the enjoyable meltiness of a cool scoop of gelato on a hot day, Paciugo Gelato takes its name from the Italian word for messy concoction, rousing palates with unique gelato flavors crafted with Old-World tastes. Founder Cristiana Ginatta’s family recipes come to life as staffers fuse fresh fruits and all-natural ingredients into decadent milk-, water-, or soy-based gelato and sorbet. The sweet scoops boast 70% less fat than regular ice cream or soft-serve obtained from chilly Alaskan cows. Patrons can test-drive the shop’s diversely flavored bounty before committing to a flavor such as carrot cake, butter pecan, or tiramisu in its less solid form. Guests can score flavors without added sugar—including strawberry milk—to trick their sweet teeth into happiness. Paciugo also carries a host of coffee drinks ranging from Paciugo Miscela, a bold Vienna roast, to Gran Crú, a light roast from Kenya.
As a child, Lisa Clark would conjure up chocolate cakes for her mother through an Easy Bake Oven. While the first batch had mixed results, she was diligent about perfecting her cake recipes. This dedication came in handy later in life when she and her husband, Daniel, left their careers in the customer service and hospitality industries to establish Cupcake Á La Mode. Since then, the pair have watched their boutique cupcakerie grow from a home-based business to three brick-and-mortar locations, each decorated with hot pink hues and contemporary black baroque chandeliers. The newly opened Roseville location is the most recent addition, following four years of success in the Kansas City area.
Believing that presentation is just as important as taste, Lisa and her team handcraft cupcakes from a vanilla or chocolate batter base before artfully decorating them with homemade buttercream frosting, candies, and fruit. The decorative cupcakes—which come in flavorful variations such as marshmallow fondue and bella nutella—are best enjoyed with a blended coffee or tea amid the boutique café setting, though larger batches can also be made for weddings or as bribery gifts to sweet-toothed monsters. When not baking up sweet treats in her shops, Lisa and her team are giving back to their community by supporting local charity events such as Dolls and Desserts for Down Syndrome.