If your sweetheart has a sweet tooth and you want to make them squeal with delight, you’re in luck! Atlanta is blessed with a cornucopia of creamy baked confections to make anyone’s mouth water. Whether it’s donuts, cupcakes, or chocolate-covered delights, here are some go-to sugary stops to make before Valentine’s Day.
Sweet Cheats in Cabbagetown, owned by Shirley Hughes, formerly a national contender on the physique competition circuit, took a break from her rigorous training diet to indulge her sweet tooth. Founded with the help of her husband Robert Tubbs, Sweet Cheats gets its café all decked out in glittery red Valentine’s Day glamor. The displays are full of cakes, cupcakes, petit fours and special surprises. The café and catering company cranks out chocolate-covered strawberries, heart-shaped cakes, and packages of red glittery chocolate-covered Oreos that are individually stamped with letters that spell out “LOVE.” They also make custom cakes, which are their best-sellers.
Micah Johnson, the Head Baker at Sweet Cheats, has been creating perfect confections for three years. She says preparing for Valentine’s Day starts months in advance; they order in December to make sure there are enough ingredients for the holiday rush. Weeks leading up to the big day, she says business “kind of skyrockets.” They learned from past years to put items up on their website on their “Valentine’s Sweets” page well before February to allow customers to pre-order their Valentine’s goodies, including some old classics and new favorites.
This year they anticipate their busiest year yet, doing catering for the Georgia Ovarian Cancer Alliance and events like the Atlanta Cookie Grab, where Atlanta bakers come together to bake for the benefit of Planned Parenthood Southeast.
“We’re going to have a cookie in that – it’s going to be a White Chocolate Salted Caramel Cookie with a little painted see-saw on top,” she said.
Another sweet stop in Atlanta comes in the form of delectable cupcakes. CamiCakes was originally founded in Orange Park, Florida by Andra Hall, who brought her sweets to the south eventually opening seven locations in Florida and Georgia. Camicakes started with 18 cupcake flavors, including sweet potato and strawberry shortcake but every year for Valentine’s Day, they introduce a new cupcake flavor. If the flavor’s a hit, they continue to sell it throughout the year. Recent years Valentine’s specials include Chocolate Cake Cream Cheese Frosting dipped in chocolate ganache, chocolate-covered Strawberry, the Cami sweetheart, the Strawberry Passion, and the Chocolate Raspberry Almond Cream.
Bridget Bradley, a froster at the Buckhead location says that this year they plan to be even busier than years past. On certain days, cupcakes sell out before noon, and Valentine’s Day will be no exception. Red Velvet Cake is a perennial best-seller, including one with a Raspberry Cream Frosting, and it goes fast according to Bradley. They also make heart-shaped Bundt Cakes drizzled with cream cheese frosting, sprinkled with hearts. Customers can also buy a longer-lasting gift, a special wooden keepsake box with a glass lid and 12 cupcake-sized compartments filled with the frosty treats.
“That sells really well during Valentine’s Day,” says Bradley.
For Endulge Cupcake Boutique in Ormewood Park, founded by former educators and friends Cherita Kempson and Patricia Williams, talking about Valentine’s Day gets them antsy. They begin planning for the holiday in early January, stockpiling ingredients and planning their special holiday menu. On a typical day leading up to the holiday, they start baking at 2 am in the morning and won’t stop until closing time.
“It’s definitely a tiring day but one that we are thankful to be a part of,” says Kempson. Endulge offers a Valentine’s Day “Love Cake,” customized with any of the cake flavors they offer, frosted in any color and flavor. On the weekends, they offer “liquor infused cupcakes.” But on Valentine’s Day, all of their treats are fair game for customers because demand is so high.
Like CamiCakes, Red Velvet Cake is a favorite for the holiday. Another favorite is their Banana Pudding Cake, filled with banana pudding and topped with Banana Cream Cheese Frosting and a Chessman Cookie. Endulge Cupcake Boutique uses organic ingredients when possible, and also offers a limited supply of vegan cupcakes for Valentine’s Day on a first come, first served basis.