The leaves are changing from green to gold, the air is crisp and cool, you no longer melt into a pool of perspiration as soon as you set foot out the door…fall is officially here. This season happens to be my favorite time of year for baking. The tastes and smells of the harvest along with the aroma of spices that permeate bakeries during this season are not to be missed by any carbophile or sucker-for-sugar. Little Rock bakeries are rolling out some of their brightest, most creative treats for the fall. Here is just a sampling of what’s going on out there:
Sweet Love Bakery is fanatical for caramel this time of year. They are serving up dulce de leche cupcakes-white cake with milk caramel filling, topped with a caramel-vanilla bean buttercream and a drizzle of salted caramel sauce. Another fall cupcake includes their caramel apple pie, filled with Granny Smith apples that have been sautéed in butter, brown sugar, walnuts and cinnamon. Lastly, the spiced rum cupcake is a pumpkin spiced batter with a shot of rum, topped with cream cheese frosting and caramel. They’ll also be doing a pumpkin spice cookie as well-a butter cookie with pumpkin spice, dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled in cinnamon sugar. And for only $0.50, you can pick up one of their salted caramels made from butter, cream, and agave nectar.
Sugar Shack Sweets, Little Rock’s first (and currently, only) dessert food truck, will be rolling out pumpkin whoopie pies, caramel apples, and caramel-apple snickerdoodles. You’ll definitely want to check out their mini apple bundts which are spiced with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and allspice. Also thrown into the bundt mix are Granny Smith apples, toasted walnuts for added crunch, and cinnamon chips. The mini bundts are then finished with a brown sugar buttercream frosting. You’ll be amazed to see what these girls are able to create from the tiny confines of a food truck. Look for them this Saturday at the Main Street Food Truck Festival.
More delicious desserts after the jump...
Cupcakes on Kavanaugh, Little Rock’s pioneer in the haute cupcake scene, will be dishing up a number of tantalizing fall treats. First is a hot chocolate cupcake-housemade hot chocolate is infused into chocolate cake topped with marshmallow buttercream, dusted with hot cocoa, drizzled with Ghirardelli chocolate and topped off with marshmallows…it is the definition of decadence. Next is “Natalie’s” apple cake-freshly diced apples get tossed into a spiced cake, the cake is then topped with buttercream, drizzled in dulce de leche and caramel bits. Their s’mores cupcake will have you yearning for the glow of a blazing campfire. It finds vanilla cake with pieces of rich chocolate folded inside, housemade marshmallow buttercream, graham cracker crumbs, chocolate drizzle, and roasted marshmallow. Lastly comes their always-popular pumpkin cupcake with lemon infused cream cheese frosting dusted with cinnamon.
Dempsey Bakery, Little Rock’s greatest bakery catering to the needs of the gluten intolerant, will be serving up a number of fall-inspired treats. They’ll be whipping up decorated cookies, fluffy pumpkin spiced cloud cookies, pumpkin pies, and pumpkin roulade-a pumpkin cake roll with a cream cheese center.
I spoke with Leah Greenfield of Pie in the Sky about her seasonal specialties and she reports that her best selling pie for fall is cranberry-walnut. “It's tart and sweet and smells like the holidays…the perfect pie for entertaining because no one else is sure to bring anything like it, it slices beautifully, and can be served at room temperature.” It’s best served with a dollop of sour cream or whipped cream sweetened with brown sugar.
Lastly, The Cupcake Factory at Chenal, one of Little Rock's newest bakeries, will be serving a pumpkin spice cupcake with buttercream frosting, s'mores cupcake, and chocolate-caramel nut cakes all garnished with a hand poured chocolate leaf or pumpkin. They'll also be offering a number of fall inspired pies such as pecan-pumpkin and sweet potato. New to the store is a selection of handmade candies for the holidays such as peanut brittle, peanut butter balls, white chocolate pretzels, and more. They've recently expanded and are now offering a larger dining room and party room, should you feel inclined to make your indulgence a group affair.
Get out there and enjoy the fruits of the harvest! You’ll never find a better time to indulge in your favorite sugary pleasures.