After catering for two years, Blackberry Soul Bakery and Cafe finally settled in a brick-and-mortar building, where owner-baker Rene prepares her Southern-influenced cakes, cookies, and savory snacks for visitors. The 2004 winner of the Taste of the Bay award and a requested favorite of the 100 Chefs Can Cook United Negro College fundraiser, Rene applies plaudit-earning skills when mixing fresh butter, real vanilla beans, just-harvested wooden spoons, and a few of her grandmother's recipes to whip up delectable, tooth-ready treats. She specializes in sweet-potato pie, pound cake, oatmeal cookies, and cobblers, though the piping-hot menu also includes cakes, cupcakes, and puddings. Red velvet cake supplies means of satiation for sweet teeth, and two types of cornbread furnish the means of satiation for teeth made out of bread. The caf? takes custom orders for pickup or delivery, and Rene accommodates customers out and about by supplying treats at many local jazz festivals and community events.
Husband-and-wife team Keisha and Brian Williams, nostalgic for the basic confections crafted by their grandmothers, opened That Takes the Cake with the hopes of escaping back to that simplicity. Under Keisha’s capable command, a team of cooks brings playful accents to the treats as they bustle about the kitchen, baking and frosting by hand and grinding snowflakes down into flour. Out of the warm embrace of ovens emerge treats in unique flavors such as green-tea cake crowned with lychee buttercream and The Professor’s Favorite, a ginger and spice cake draped in lemon buttercream with a gentle tartness. Along with traditional cupcakes, Keisha also whips up variations on the sugary theme with a roster of filled cupcakes and cocktail cupcakes infused with a variety of libations.
The bewitching bakers at James and the Giant Cupcake whip up their signature cupped cakes with impeccable ingredients, using unrefined sugars, organic ingredients, and fresh fruits from local farmers’ markets whenever possible. Choose one from a selection of rotating daily flavors; past hits have included delectable classics such as red velvet, sea-salt caramel, chocolate, and vegan carrot. Pushing the frosting-smudged envelope are heavy-hitting neophytes such as chocolate chili, french toast and maple bacon, and Guinness and Bailey's—chocolate cupcakes made with Guinness stout and topped with Bailey's Irish Cream frosting to whisk eaters back to that term they spent abroad in Dublin, reading Joyce at Trinity College and subsisting on corned-beef shamrock shakes.
Dimond Café's sandwich artists pile toppings on fresh bread, assemble salads, and enclose veggies in wraps daily, as well as jolting bodies awake by pouring them gourmet coffee. Mornings start with a selection of omelets, including the Greek omelet ($7.25) with kalamata olives, feta cheese, and peppers. Signature sandwiches such as the veggie delight ($5.50), which arrives piled high with avocado, tomatoes, cucumber, and shredded veggies, provide hearty bites that keep mouths busier than their daily recitation of all known factorials. Albacore tuna, avocado and tomatoes roll together inside the spinach shell of the tuna wrap ($7.50), and bacon, avocado, and grilled chicken rest atop a bed of romaine in the cobb salad ($7.75).
In 1997, friends Dena Tripp and Debra Shwetz set out to create a luscious, melt-in-your-mouth bundt cake. What began as an endeavor in their own home kitchens soon blossomed into a bustling business with bakeries in 14 states. Rich cocoa browns and soft pastels lend a nostalgic feel to each bakery, where every day lava-powered ovens warm up batter made from fresh eggs, real butter, and cream cheese. Flavors such as chocolate chocolate chip, pecan praline, and white-chocolate raspberry remain constants on the menu, and a new flavor makes a guest appearance each month. Cakes come in several sizes, from the standard 8- or 10-inch bundt to the single-serving bundtlet and the bite-size bundtini, all frosted with a signature blend of cream cheese and butter.
Each Nothing Bundt Cakes location also houses its own stock of gifts. Patrons may come across the brightly hued handle of a confetti cake knife or opt to take home an old-fashioned tin, perfect for stowing coffee and imprisoning gingerbread men who have tried to run away. Contact the location of your choice for gift pricing and availability.
Cotton Pik'N Candy adds a sweet touch to birthday parties and events with individual bundles of fluffy spun sugar. Delivered at the beginning of get-togethers, the cotton candy is made with organic sugar and 12 different flavors including cheesecake, lemon meringue, blue raspberry, and pi?a colada.