- $21 for two dozen mini cupcakes: one dozen each of red velvet and vanilla with strawberry swiss meringue buttercream. ($36 value)
Delicious Arts' founder and resident pastry chef Donna Liu knows that when it comes to flavor, it's as much about what you don't put into a cake as what actually goes into the mix. The proud pastry graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Los Angeles and student of NYC's The French Culinary Institute eschews things that—in her opinion—make baked goods "too sweet," namely shortening and artificial flavoring. Instead, she only uses real butter when making anything from a 1920s-themed wedding cake to birthday cakes decorated to look like cartoon characters. (Ms. Liu's B.A. in Visual Arts from the University of California shines through in these particular designs.)
By 2014 Ms. Liu's growing number of fans led her and co-owner Jack to open up a physical location for Delicious Arts, where anyone can stop in for a daily menu of baked treats: chocolate chip cookies, layered cakes, and French macarons to name a tasty few. The shop's trademark aroma also speaks of Intelligentsia coffee, Jack's domain. The skilled barista pairs brews from the celebrated coffee roasters with his own house-made chocolate and caramel sauces.