The pastry chefs at Gone Cupcaking Across America share a wealth of gourmet cupcake experience with aspiring dessert artisans, in flavors that include whisked buttercream atop classic vanilla, chocolate, and red-velvet cake bases, and more exotic choices such as Grand Marnier or peaches 'n' cream. At lessons, students learn piping techniques, how to make frosting, and how to make iced flowers without the hassle of fertilizing regular flowers with milk and butter.
After Vernon Rudolph acquired a closely guarded yeast-raised Krispy Kreme Doughnuts recipe from a New Orleans pastry chef, he shared his appreciation for delectable disks by opening shop in 1937 and selling the first Krispy Kremes to grocery stores. The wafting aroma of glazed Krispy Kreme Doughnuts increased demand for the sweet treats and caused Rudolph to redesign his building's layout to include a walkup window, Rudolph was able to sell them directly to any passing customer who demanded a snack. Later, he joined forces with equipment engineers, creating baking equipment that guaranteed uniform shape and dough consistency.
Rudolph's departure to a pastry-filled afterlife in 1973 did not stop Krispy Kreme from expanding into a global sensation and continuing to innovate. In recent years, the company enhanced the treat-retrieving experience by introducing a Hot Light that, when illuminated, indicates when Krispy Kreme Doughnuts are fresh off the conveyor belt.
Naked Chocolate Café serves a myriad of house-made chocolate goodies, cupcakes, and refreshing drinks. Step to the counter and ogle artfully composed cupcakes such as the savory red velvet and spiced carrot cake ($2.50–$2.75). Those who ache to acquire decadent chocolate can simply order the café's rich hot chocolate ($3.75–$6) or its refreshing frozen counterpart, which is topped with whipped cream and garnished with sprinkles ($4–$6). Or, fulfill a dream of having a computer in one's noggin with the café's computer-shaped chocolate molds ($4). A variety of other creatively shaped cocoa concoctions are also available on a daily changing basis.
Miller's Twist bakes warm and buttery soft pretzels in its cozy corner in the Reading Terminal market. Pretzels come fresh from the oven crisp and salty on the outside, pillowy and warm on the inside, like a crotchety professor with a heart of gold ($1.95). A roster of dipping sauces, including melty cheese, sweet honey mustard, and hot-and-spicy mustard, make flavor-diving decisions difficult ($0.40), and a brisk small lemonade washes down salty vestiges, making the experience unperceivable to the pizzeria you're dating ($2).
Perch like a provocative peacock under scarlet-hued umbrellas studding the expansive patio during the summer months, or retreat inside and cozy up with a hazelnut cappuccino ($3.90/medium). Capriccio offers a full drink menu that doesn't discriminate against temperature, only extraterrestrials. Enjoy lattes ($3.50/med.), mochas ($3.90/med.), and chai tea ($3.35/med.) served hot or cold, flavored or unflavored. If the taste of a Ghirardelli mocha frappe ($4/med.) only brings back memories of the last time you ordered a Ghirardelli mocha frappe, time travel your taste buds further back to childhood with steamed milk flavored with your syrup of choice. A vanilla-seasoned cup is just like drinking liquid marshmallows ($3.35–4.20). Breakfast treats—including crumb cake ($2.25), yogurt loaves ($2.50), and danishes ($2.75)—call out enticingly from their glass case like the three Sirens at the Philadelphia Zoo. Lunch eats include crisp salads ($6 and up), plus grilled panini and regular sandwiches ($5 and up).