While the rest of the world is preparing for beach season, I am stuffing my face with scrumptious desserts. Finals are just around the corner, which means a stress-induced panic attack is in my foreseeable future. The only thing that can prevent said panic attack is sugary goodness, so therefore it’s totally okay for me to be shoveling piles and piles of sweets into my mouth, right? Either way, if you’re like me and need sweets to function or if you just crave desserts, I’ve complied a list of the best places to grab a sweet bite near campus.
Sweet Elizabeth’s Cakes:
Sweet Elizabeth’s specializes in the ultimate treat: cupcakes. If you’re looking for designer cupcakes with unique flavor profiles, Sweet Elizabeth’s is the place for you. Located in Manayunk, it’s a bit of a hike from campus, but it’s totally worth the adventure. Each month, new flavors of cupcakes are on display in the store. If you find a cupcake that you love, there’s a high chance it won’t be there for the next month, but the best thing about Sweet Elizabeth’s is they always have unique flavors they’re creating! Don’t be afraid to try something different! This month they’ve got flavors like Sweet Mojito, Le Chocolat and Carnival Cake.For the adventurous eaters out there, why not try out their Chocolate Bacon cupcake? They also take customer requests, so if you think you have a great idea for a cupcake or if you’re craving s’mores or key lime pie, don’t be afraid to submit a request! Not only are the cupcakes delicious (moist cakes with just the perfect amount of frosting), the staff is ridiculously friendly. They greet you the minute you walk in and they help you through the process of what you want. While the cakes are a bit on the expensive side ($3.50 per cupcake), I’d gladly sell my soul for a delicious cupcake, so to me it’s completely worth it.
The Drunken ‘Yunker Cupcake $3.50
Stout cake, Whiskey ganache filling, Bailey’s buttercream
Velvet Sky Bakery:
Located a bit closer to “home”, Velvet Sky is a blossoming bakery in Jenkintown. The bakery just went under new ownership, so stop by and help the new owners out! The shop itself is quaint, and there are tons of choices. Anybody with a sweet tooth will find a cupcake they enjoy. Seriously, there were about a dozen on display when I was there and I wanted to eat them all. Like Sweet Elizabeth’s, Velvet Sky specializes in custom cake design, offering tons of cupcakes to buy in store. While they’re not as decadent as Sweet Elizabeth’s, they’re just as good. The prices are also cheaper ($3 for a “special” cupcake and $2.75 for the others). While you’re there, you might actually catch the owners in action decorating some of their cakes. The cupcakes are sugary deliciousness and are the perfect treat for anyone, including you!
Peanut Butter Cup Cupcake $3.00
Chocolate cake, peanut butter frosting and topped with a mini Reses Peanut Butter Cup.
The Night Kitchen:
Not into the whole cupcake trend? No problem. Night Kitchen offers a huge selection of sweet treats. It’s not nearly as far as Sweet Elizabeth’s, being only a 10 minute drive away. Night Kitchen is less of a bakery setting, gearing towards a café style instead. So, even if you’re not into desserts, there’s regular food for you as well, but seriously, who doesn’t want to chow down on delicious cookies, muffins and cake? Night Kitchen is always busy, even if there are no customers in the store. Like the previous two, they also offer custom cake design, so when they’re not busy selling to customers, they’re taking orders, baking, and decorating away. The best part is that they set up a video feed in the kitchen so while you’re stuffing you’re face, you can get a glance at the super-secret back room (AKA where all the magic happens!). They’re known throughout Philly for their brownies, which have even been seen on the Rachael Ray Show! Night Kitchen is a great place to grab a small meal and a delicious dessert.
S’mores Bar $2.25
Soft graham cracker crust topped with chewy chocolate and melted marshmallow, all served in an easy to eat bar.
Bredenbeck’s is pretty famous throughout the Philadelphia area. They’ve been featured on the Food Network and many wedding-planning sites for their excellence in cake decoration. They even made Elton John’s birthday cake! The fame associated with Bredenbeck’s might get customers in the doors, but it’s the delicious sweets that keep them coming back. The best part is that they offer in-store purchases as well as custom cake decoration, so you can chow down on your favorites anytime. Cannolis, cookies, cheesecakes, cupcakes….you name it, they probably have it and there’s no doubt it’s going to be delicious. It’s only a ten-minute drive from Arcadia, and trust me, it’s worth it. Like the others, they also have seasonal items, so be on the lookout for the new spring additions like carrot cake cupcakes, strawberry shortcake and banana cheesecake. Oh yeah, did I mention that they also have an ice-cream parlor? While it’s still closed for the season, once it opens you can be sure to find hand-dipped cones, banana splits and ice cream galore.
Chocolate Chip Cheesecake $4.50/slice
A New York style cheesecake made with rich chocolate garnished in chocolate shavings and whipped cream, featuring a whole layer of chocolate cake. Available in whole cake forms as well as slices.
Last but not least, there’s Michael’s. It’s not a bakery, but their delicious desserts certainly get the job done when you’re craving something sweet. If you’re ever in the situation where you need chocolate pronto (this happens to me often), but don’t want to have to drive ten-minutes, just cross the street and I’m sure you’ll find something to settle your sweet-tooth. I swear by the Dark Side of the Moon Cake. It’s chocolate upon chocolate upon more chocolate. It’s even topped with a cute little chocolate moon. It’s delicious and you need to go and eat it because it is perfect. It’s soft and creamy and chocolaty goodness all in a heavenly cake form. They also have muffins, pies and other cakes, too, for those who aren’t man enough to handle the amount of chocolate that the Dark Side of the Moon offers. While there’s only a limited amount of options, Michael’s is still always there when you need it.
Dark Side of the Moon Cake (obviously) $3.75
Chocolate cake with a chocolate mouse filling topped with chocolate icing.
I hope this list helps settles your sweet tooth as well as prevents future panic attacks, but don’t be afraid to comment. Is there some place I missed? Where do you think you can get the best cannoli, cupcakes or pie? Don’t be shy, share you’re favorite places to grab a yummy dessert with the rest of us!