CamiCakes, Vinings GA and Sugar Shack, Atlanta GA

Sweet stuff! Normally, Marie tackles the little chapters about snacks and desserts, but in today’s post, I wanted to share about a couple of treats that we enjoyed a couple of Saturdays back.

Cupcake boutiques have been growing in popularity a lot lately, probably led by the success of the Gigi’s chain. It’s led to a few other locally-owned places that we have visited once or twice, and a few other small chains. One of these is CamiCakes, which has two stores in Florida and two in the Atlanta area. The second of these opened up in Vinings, and a part of me swears that they moved into a space that, until recently, housed another cupcake place. Then again, I’m so old that I remember when the ground that this strip mall occupies was home to a Majik Market.

Marie and I took the children over to my mom’s house, and she watched the baby while the three of us and Neal, whom we had not seen in a few weeks, had lunch at Vinings’ Figo Pasta. We then walked over to get some desserts here. This was not very easy, as Vinings is really, really pedestrian unfriendly.

I think that these probably do the job better than anyplace else in town. They are just terrific, and so rich that a single cake is perfectly satisfying. I had a “black and white” of chocolate cake with vanilla frosting, Marie had the chocolate raspberry almond cream – yes, you read that correctly – and Ivy had mint chocolate. We brought one back for my mom as thanks for watching the baby while we ate, because we’re even sweeter than cupcakes, we are.

So, some hours and one heck of a great football game later, we came back down I-75. This time, we were without my daughter, who went over to a friend’s house to stay up all night and drink lots of soda, as tween girls do. We had supper with friends, as you’ll see in the next chapter, and as we were leaving, I started thinking about some place we could get a late-night treat. I recalled that we passed a place called Sugar Shack in the strip malls across the street from the Brookhaven MARTA station, and hoped that it might be open.

This appears to be the only Sugar Shack around at this time, but it is looks to be corporate-designed by an ownership group, Metrotainment Cafes, for easy exporting into other locations should the demand arise. I have to say, though, that when we stopped by, things were pretty slow and there wasn’t a lot of demand for their cakes and treats.

Marie had a slice of one of their extremely good chocolate cakes, but my eye was taken by a great big round red thing. It was a red velvet Whoopie Pie. I had never heard of these treats before, although, in a really weird coincidence, my friend Natalia, who’s from upstate New York, mentioned literally three days later that she had just tried to bake one for a friend and failed. Whoopie Pies are two big “cookies” of cake surrounding an icing. The layers are softer than cookies yet firmer and less crumbly than cake and, in the case of the red velvet variety, the icing is cream cheese. It’s apparently more traditional to see them as chocolate cakes surrounding vanilla frosting.

I looked up Whoopie Pies on Wikipedia and was amused to see that Pennsylvanians and Mainers are in a long-running war of attrition as to which state can claim the delicacy. Each side has my sympathies; as a Georgian, I’m not about to cede the origin of Brunswick stew to anybody who thinks it came from some county in Virginia. The idea!

The other Camicakes store in town, on Peachtree, was where I snuck off to find myself a banana cream cupcake, and it was wonderful. I’m conspiring to stop by one or the other location again really soon for another.

Other blog posts about CamiCakes:

Amy on Food (May 7 2010)
Pandas and Cupcakes (Oct. 5 2010)
Cupcake Crusade (May 14 2011)

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