Mind Over Batter, a confectionery delight in the heart of Tempe, opened its doors on Valentine's Day 2011 and shortly thereafter won the Phoenix New Times' annual Best Cupcakes award. After being dismayed by the banality of store-bought desserts and the lack of business ethic among shadowy sheet-cake cartels, the team at Mind Over Batter decided to set out on their own, eventually expanding their labor of love to two different locations in Tempe and Gilbert. The shops bake cupcakes in an array of traditional and less common flavors, such as peanut butter and strawberry or chocolate chip and fudge, with the bite-sized cakes come adorned in glittering sugar crystals or technicolored layers of creamy icing. Cake pops weigh down skewers with cake spheres dunked into various buttercream icings and candy coatings. Custom-made cakes commemorate baby showers, weddings, or the weddings of love-struck babies with batters such as chocolate red velvet or classic butter yellow, and fillings such as chocolate ganache or seasonal fresh fruit.
Crafting creative concoctions with culinary prowess and playful whimsy, Honey Moon Sweets proffers pastries, cookies, and cakes made from scratch and adorned as edible art. Sweetness-savvy suitors can court beloved companions, hoped-for heartthrobs, and favored dentists with the light but decadent gift of a 6-inch tiramisu specialty cake. A base of cloudlike sponge cake holds mascarpone cream between layers of espresso- and kahlua-soaked ladyfingers, which are delicately blanketed in a sheath of whipped cream, dusted with cocoa, and ornamented with curls of chocolate. After being gilded with gems of fresh fruit, the tempting treasure is topped with a valentine ribbon and a marzipan plaque announcing “I love you,” mending the bruised egos of pouty mouths after being teased by vindictive cheesecakes.
A delightful neighborhood cafe and bakery offering fresh flavored croissants, muffins, cupcakes, cookies and seasonal delectables voted by GetOutAZ as the Sun Devils Best Gourmet Breakfast. For more than twenty years, Pleaissant Croissants (Pcroissant) has been baking delicious croissants fresh every day. Ranging from Almon
Eating dessert first may be a classic faux pas, but no one could blame you at Essence Bakery Café. Chef and owner Eugenia Theodosopoulos studied in France and has earned quite a reputation for her macarons. Unlike the chewy, coconut-based variations commonly found in American bakeries, Eugenia’s macarons are crafted with finely ground almonds and then shaped into tiny sandwiches with decadent fillings like chocolate ganache, salted caramel, or tart raspberry jam. Of course, it's also hard to pass up mini desserts such as white chocolate and raspberry cream petits fours or fresh, buttery croissants, which the chef makes from scratch, and uses as the base for savory breakfast sandwiches topped with fried eggs and melted Dubliner cheese. But while many of her best-loved pastries originated in France, Eugenia makes a point of sourcing her ingredients locally. As such, the cafe’s sandwiches and salads are simple by design—the only proper thing to do with such high-quality meats and produce is to show them off. After all, what's not to love about dishes like a grass-fed steak and mushroom sandwich, served opened faced with cabernet butter and bleu cheese? Or organic greens tossed with caramelized onions, pecans, and warm pears poached in red wine? And, to further demonstrate their commitment to the environment, Eugenia’s team has also taken pains to ensure that all of the menus are printed on recycled paper, all of the to-go cups are biodegradable, and all of the cafe’s furniture is constructed from marzipan.
At more than 2,600 stores in more than 30 countries, Dunkin' Donuts serves coffee and iced beverages, fresh-baked donuts and desserts, and savory breakfast sandwiches. Since Bill Rosenberg opened the first location in Quincy, MA, in 1950, the donut shop has blossomed into a one-stop coffee and breakfast restaurant familiar to millions of morning rushers and afternoon sippers.
Behind the counter of each location, glazed french crullers twist and curve like Parisian city streets, and Bavarian Kreme donuts are filled with a sweet, golden custard. A cavalcade of meats is available for piling onto breakfast sandwiches, such as sausage, cherrywood-smoked bacon, or ham enveloped with fluffy eggs and melty cheese between a choice of crisp crusts. Health-conscious risers can fuel strenuous bouts of lifting cars in the drive-thru line with a Wake-Up wrap, which offers options such as egg whites with turkey sausage or veggies that add up to as few as 150 calories. Both sweet and savory selections pair well with a freshly brewed cup of coffee or a creamy, frozen Coolatta drink.
Though commuters can snag a quick pick-me-up within minutes, the wafting aromas of baking confections invite patrons to sit inside and embark on nostalgic reminiscences of syrup-coated playground slides. Beyond the bakery walls, the company aims for social responsibility with its support of community volunteer efforts and use of 100% fair-trade-certified espresso beans.
When Pennsylvania native Mike Abeyta moved to the West Coast, he noticed that something he loved was absent from the culinary landscape: Philadelphia-style italian ice. To rectify this geographical oversight, he opened Joe's Italian Ice. Today, the ice shop's red, white, and green awning serves as an oasis of refreshment amid sun-baked parking lots throughout Arizona and California. Inside, more than 50 flavors are made on-site with real fruit, ranging from lemon, chocolate, and passion fruit to weirder variations that boast names like "Dangerberry" and "Smurf Poison."
Joe's isn't a one-trick pony, though; the shops also specialize in a soft-serve ice cream that's found in only a few places back east. The Pennsylvania dairy that ships the ice cream to Joe's cooks it at ultra-high temperatures to give it a markedly creamier texture and sweeter finish. Joe's frozen wares can also serve as the base for shakes and sundaes and overly whimsical skyscrapers topped with candy or fruit.