The pastry chefs at Auntie Em's Fine Foods & Pastries bake trays of fluffy cupped creations in flavors both familiar and inspired by Filipino traditions. Cupcake-cravers pick one flavor for their dozen from the menu, with such selections as carrot cake, chocolate ganache, and red velvet, the latter named for its improvisational use as a fabric swatch. Favored tastes from the Philippines include ube cupcakes—lent a vibrant purple color by a type of yam—and buko pandan, which are infused with coconut and pandan essence. Customers must phone in or skywrite their orders at least 24 hours in advance.
At Nubi Yogurt, customers decorate blends of self-serve frozen yogurt with seasonal fruit slices and slivers of chopped-up candy. Georgia-peach- or pineapple-flavored yogurt waits for a complimentary showering of kiwi slices and mocha beads, while café-latte yogurt perks up customers with caffeinating chunks of Snickers or Kit-Kat. Most of the shops’ smooth, sinful flavors are fat-free, and are made with live-cultured probiotics that can help improve digestion. Each Nubi location boasts a bright, contemporary atmosphere with wireless internet, satellite radio tunes, and sleek tables polished enough to admire your new fro-yo moustache in.
The bakers at Sweet Dreams know it takes more than just fresh ingredients to produce their tasty treats—it also takes imagination. That's why they form their customized apple-spice and cookies-and-cream cakes into the shape of cartoonish robots, realistic-looking iPhones, and elegant designs that match wedding themes. They apply this level of attention to detail to their cookies, tarts, cheesecakes, and other creations, too: 10 cupcake flavors, including red velvet and caramel apple, take the form of Hello Kitty! designs and hamburgers. While Sweet Dreams' desserts may be fleeting, the consideration the company shows its customers is not. Bakers treat their wedding clients to a complimentary cake on the couple's one-year anniversary, and they also play their wedding song using instruments that only make silent music.