In our dessert-obsessed culture, cake is the standard variable at all celebrations. The mention of the cake’s impending arrival alone has a magical effect upon its audience. The room darkens, the crowd is hushed and all eyes turn in one direction. Had I a super power, I would choose to be able to summon cake simply in order to garner the attention of my husband and children.
It’s truly an astonishing phenomenon. I’ve witnessed women at a 40th birthday party transition from discussing the merits of Paleo, low-carb, Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig to throwing caution to the wind when a multi-tiered chocolate beauty with pink icing rolled out. I’ve watched children miraculously recover from bouncy house-induced nausea at the sight of a cookie cake larger than their pet dogs. A PJ Mask-themed cake had the power to render an entire room of three-year olds speechless. In today’s tumultuous times, America may be divided on most topics, but let us agree that what unites us as a nation is a deep and strong love of cake.
Not all cake, however, is created equal. Some bakeries feature cake artists who literally put the icing on the cake. Westchester residents are fortunate in that they can stop drooling over the confections on “Cake Boss” and “Cake Masters” and turn to the talented bakeries in our own backyards. Booked Parties has partnered with the finest local shops that each have super powers to guarantee that your next event takes the cake.
Flour & Sun
Tucked away on Pleasantville’s main road, boutique bakery Flour & Sun specializes in creating unique cakes and cupcakes “from scratch.” In-house baker, Cait Dwyer, expertly constructs one-of-a-kind cakes that can be as elaborate as the customer desires. She helps guide the process with her own artistic vision, saying, “I’m currently loving incorporating the ombre trend into cakes for showers, birthdays and weddings. Depending on the event, I may even add fresh flowers.” Beyond flowers, Cait has incorporated candy and edible designs made of icing and fondant accents, noting that “anything is possible!” What’s inside definitely counts as she explains, “Our most popular cake is our vanilla with chocolate buttercream filling.”
Upon entering Pleasantville Bakery, owner, baker and cake designer, Kemar “Q” Newell, cheerfully greets customers. Recently celebrating the bakery’s one-year anniversary, Q labors almost 17 hours every day to design cakes that go beyond his customers’ imagination, incorporating accessories such as ribbons and crystals and imagery using fondant and gum paste. The filling, however, is what truly sets his cakes apart. He explains, “There isn’t one flavor that draws customers. We do everything from red velvet with cream cheese, carrot cake, chocolate with cannoli cream, vanilla custards, chocolate mousse, mocha mousse, fresh strawberries and cream and more. We have an amazing gluten free and vegan option as well. The options are endless!” Furthermore, he creates specialty cupcakes and cookies printed with images or monograms. And, these desserts are truly made with love. Q says, “I love being part of the community and making people happy. I put the work in and get so much love back in return.”
SPOTS NYC takes a nontraditional spin on the cupcake craze. Their tagline, “You Dream It. We Print It,” describes the process by which they print custom imagery on every single mini cupcake that is baked. Owner Lily Barnes expands, “The majority of orders we send out are so adorable, but my favorite recent order was a Michigan “M” cupcake mural for a bridal shower (pictured) that incorporated color-tinted photos of the couple on the cupcakes! We love doing cupcake murals because it really brings projects to life.” The biggest, crowd-pleaser is the birthday cake flavor, which happens to be Lily’s favorite as well. The company prides itself on providing a high level of customer service to ensure that each cupcake is designed to support an event’s theme.
News of Sugar Hi’s opening in Armonk last year spread similarly to the opening of Wonka’s factory, with excited whispers amongst everyone from children to grown-ups. The shop itself doesn’t disappoint, loaded with classic candies to drool-worthy baked goods. Baker, Hillary Assael describes her artistic vision for the shop’s creations, saying, “I specialize in fun, whimsical sculpted cakes. The most impressive cakes are those that actually look nothing like a cake. I’ve created cakes in the shapes of handbags, upside-down dripping ice cream cones, play-doh containers and minions.” Sugar Hi differentiates itself by these non-traditional designs, but is also well-known for scrumptious flavors including its signature yellow cake with cookies and cream filling, which is ordered approximately 90% of the time!
For those of you “Pinterest moms” who know your way around a hand mixer and appreciate the distinction between baking powder and baking soda, Cakest is your one-stop shop for DIY cakes. Simply select your cake kit and receive all of the supplies necessary to create an Instagram-worthy work of edible art at your doorstep. Geared for children’s birthday parties, the themes include rockets, monsters and mermaids and more!
Shauna Levy is a writer, communications professional and stay-at-home mom. Her interests include flaunting her discount shopping finds, cooking food her children reject and restoring her 125-year old home. She is currently raising her three boys, ages 9, 6 and 4 alongside her husband in Chappaqua, NY