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Trick Or Treat: Baton Rouge’s growing sweets scene

Images: Sean Gasser

Just in time for the holidays, Baton Rouge has seen a surge in the places offering sweet treats. Along with all the old favorites, you’ll want to add these three confectioners to your must-try list for desserts and other tasty goodies. They’re so delicious, you won’t be able to pass off the treats as yours at the next family function, but no one will blame you for buying instead of baking.

Cupcake Junkie: Robyn Selders is a junkie, and her goal is to get the rest of Baton Rouge hooked — on cupcakes.

The 35-year-old former English teacher opened the Cupcake Junkie cupcakery on Aug. 25. The opening was a whirlwind for Selders, who left her teaching career in May with the dream of one day opening her own store, only to have the pieces fall into place within months.

Selders credits her relationship with the Lord for helping her realize her dream, and said she views baking as a way to share her gifts and bring joy into the lives of her customers. Each morning she bakes her “temptations” from scratch with the freshest ingredients, ensuring her customers receive light, moist and boldly flavored treats to “feed their addictions.”

The Coursey Boulevard shop is a funky mix of bold teals and oranges with a mid-century modern lounge area and vintage accents that reflect the warmth and good cheer of the store’s owner.

Selders’ cupcake flavors range from the vanilla “Gateway” to her crowd-favorite banana pudding, featuring a banana cake filled with homemade banana pudding and drizzled in fresh caramel. Aside from cupcakes, Selders also whips up her signature Junkie Jars, fresh Junkie Juice and an assortment of cookies and other treats.

Cupcake Junkie is located at 12240 Coursey Blvd, Suite B. It is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Smallcakes: There’s nothing small about the taste of Smallcakes Baton Rouge’s sweet treats. Perfectly textured and brimming with bright flavors, the bold taste of the cupcakes is befitting the store’s striking white marble and gold infused decor.

The cupcakery has already been a smash hit, particularly for its signature Smallcakes Smash, a customizable concoction featuring scoops of cupcake-infused ice cream wedged between cupcake halves. For patrons looking for a simpler sugar fix, the menu includes 12 signature cupcake flavors and a daily special, as well as small treats including brownies, cookies and cake pops.

The franchise location is the brainchild of Michelle and Bart Salim. Michelle, two weeks into retirement after a 30-year career in IT, stumbled onto Smallcakes in Rosemary Beach, Fla. and was hooked. Barely two months later she and her husband signed on to open the company’s first location in Baton Rouge.

Everything is made fresh in house, yielding the quality product and rich flavors that set Smallcakes apart, she said.

Salim said she envisioned the store as a sophisticated retreat where families — and their furry friends — could come in happy, but leave happier. Aside from human treats, the store also features water bowls and Zoe’s Pupcakes, dog-friendly cupcakes named after the couple’s Rhodesian Ridgeback, Zoe.

Smallcakes Cupcakery and Creamery is located at 18135 E. Petroleum Drive, Suite D. It is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Tredici Bakery: Nestled just off Government Street in the Capital Heights neighborhood, Tredici Bakery’s charming storefront transports visitors to the warmth of their grandmother’s kitchen.

The shop’s homey feel pays homage to owner Monica Shaughnessy’s first baking lessons in her great-grandmother’s home, located just several blocks from the Tredici storefront.

Shaughnessy’s family nurtured her love of baking as a teenager while working in the kitchen at Calandro’s Supermarket, her family’s beloved local grocery, and later as a student at the Louisiana Culinary Institute. Over the years, Shaughnessy has honed her skills and established herself through her out-of-the-box flavors and eye for detail.

In store, Shaughnessy offers a rotating schedule of delectable macarons, sugar cookies, brownies and seasonal pastries. Aside from her hallmark macarons, Shaughnessy said her work truly shines in her custom cake orders and seasonal offerings, including themed sugar cookies and pies, where the culinary artist can play with design, color and texture.

Shaughnessy said she’s always looking for new ways to utilize ingredients to avoid waste and delight her customers. Her most recent creation, her popular cannoli cake, features a cinnamon cake base iced in cannoli filling with a rim of chocolate chips.

The 29-year-old said every day in the shop is an opportunity to have fun and make what she loves — simple but delicious treats made with care.

Tredici Bakery is located at 5078 Capital Heights Avenue. It is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

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