Cocktails and cake were always two of Tracey Glover's guiltiest pleasures. When she discovered that her friends felt the same way, Glover tinkered with the idea of combining the two. Fast-forward to the opening of Guilty Pleasurez Cocktail Cupcakes, the culmination of Glover's passion for sweets and spirits. Here, she custom bakes cocktail cupcakes: alcohol-infused treats that mimic the flavors of popular mixed drinks.
Depending on the order, Glover may bake chocolate and caramel cupcakes that taste of Baileys Irish Cream or whip up a batch of fuzzy navels that, like the piñata at a 21st birthday party, come filled with peach schnapps and orange Patrón. She also makes alcohol-free versions of many flavors, and every batch is a custom job.
You don't need a degree from pastry school to get your hands on exactly the cupcakes you're craving. At Cupcakeologist, creativity flows as you put together your own edible, handheld masterpieces. With a cakey canvas in hand, begin by approaching the sprawling selection of toppings where spatulas let you add colorful seas of icing before you ladle on sprinkles or arrange decorative candies. Afterward, you're free to devour your cupcakes or plant them so they can grow into handsome cake trees. There's more to Cupcakeologist than its build-your-own cupcake bar, though: special birthday packages give kids the chance to don lab coats before they design their desserts and catering services let party hosts take specialty treats home.
There are thousands of ways to enjoy the customizable frozen yogurt at CherryBerry Self-Serve Yogurt Bar. That's because the shop features some 50 rotating flavors such as snickerdoodle cookie dough, crushed candy, and sprinkles. They can cater to fruit-loving, healthier taste buds with honey vanilla greek frozen yogurt or dairy-free pink lemonade sorbets, topped with chunks of fresh fruit and granola. The customizations can accommodate most food allergies, and thus ensure everyone can have their favorite dessert without just eating a printed-out picture of it.
In 1988, Auntie Anne's founders Anne and Jonas Beiler purchased a Pennsylvania farmers'-market stand, where they experimented with dough until they created a pretzel that seemed to strike the perfect chord with their customers. Today, at their more than 1,350 locations worldwide, the pretzel makers still hand roll the original recipe but have added to the menu with inventive options such as the eight signature dipping sauces. The team constantly explores new uses for the pretzel dough, such as wrapping it around hot dogs and slicing it into bite-size nuggets. To transform the snack into a meal, they accompany it with specialty drinks, including frozen-lemonade desserts.
When not twisting dough, Auntie Anne's team partners with the national charitable organization Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which raises funds to fight childhood cancer. Auntie Anne's also reaches out to the community through fundraising opportunities.
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.
Behind John Dough Bakery's brick façade, a display case flush with pastries and shelves stacked with bread loaves volunteer ocular and aromatic reasons to sit and nosh. A lunchtime menu contains classic American sandwiches accompanied by pickle spears and kicked up with components such as fresh goat cheese. Half-soup, half-salad fusions sate indecisive eaters and Harvey Dents, and bite-size confections covered in chocolate or drizzled in icing satisfy sweet tooths.