BY HEATHER CHARLTON
The past few years have seen an influx of TV shows focused on incredible pastry chefs who create outrageous cakes and pastries. Their creations are so over-the-top, it is almost impossible to consider them food, and not art. I often sit at home and think to myself, "Dang, where can I get a cake like THAT?" Well, friends, you don't have to go to Baltimore or New York to find quality, ridiculous pastry work anymore, because Rochester has a set of talents that are working day and night to provide you with anything from the most fanciful, delicate wedding cakes to that cake shaped like your beloved cat, Mittens. Or your favorite cowboy hat. Or just about anything you can think of.
While it would be impossible to list every bakery producing over-the-top items, below find a sampling of local bakery outlets doing some pretty incredible work. Think of it as a conversation starter. Did we miss your favorite bakery or pastry chef? Please add it to this article in the Guides section at rochestercitynewspaper.com.
Premier Pastry is a Rochester staple located in the South Wedge, and is known all over town for its magic way with flour and sugar. Like many bakeries that specialize in detailed, fancy work, a lot of Premier's bread and butter comes from wedding cakes. But don't tell that to fans who regularly order birthday, baby shower, bar mitzvah, and cakes for any other occasion imaginable. Premier's décor work is flawless, with delicate flowers and impressive fondant pieces formed into anything from jungle scenes to a Fender guitar. And with cake flavors like chocolate praline, lemon gateau, orange passion fruit, and chocolate Grand Marnier, how can you go wrong? The bakery also offers a selection of pastries in its retail store that can be special ordered as mini pastries and cookie plates for your simpler gatherings, or when you just really need a platter of mini-pastries. No one's judging.
Premier Pastry is located at 433 South Ave. For pricing information visit the retail store, call 546-1420, visit premier-pastry.com, or find the bakery on Facebook for a beautiful gallery of photos and a quick answer to any of your questions.
Take a little drive with me, outside the city limits, to the lovely town of Williamson. It's about 30 minutes away, but trust me, it's worth it for the cake you are about to pick up. You've arrived at Erindipity's Cake Studio, a fairly new addition to the Rochester-area cake scene, and a formidable one at that. Owner Erin Metcalfe's repertoire is expansive, and incorporates everything from the most flowery, pristine tiered wedding cakes, to neon soccer balls, cowboy boots, and some of the craziest frosting flowers I've ever seen. Faced with some of Metcalfe's creations, I was unsure if they were cakes or centerpieces, so lifelike were the "blooms." Along with the basic chocolate and white cake flavor options, Metcalfe's staples include red velvet, applesauce spice, and dark chocolate mocha cakes, to name a few, with a choice of 11 fillings. If for some reason you don't think that you need a whole cake, Erindipity's also offers cupcakes, which are, as far as I am concerned, always a good decision.
Eridipitiy's Cake Studio is located in Williamson, but does not have a retail shop at this time. You can contact Metcalfe at 315-945-1093, check out the website at erindipitys.com, or find the business on Facebook for more information on pricing and appointments. If you really don't feel like driving out to Williamson, know that delivery to Rochester is complimentary for all wedding and tiered cakes, and can be set up for a small fee for other cakes as well.
Has all of this talk got you itching for a novelty cake? Wedding cakes are fantastic, but what if you need a cake shaped like a hot dog, or an accordion, or a bottle of ketchup? If that's the case, then Cakes by Karen is definitely what you want. After going to art school and becoming a stay-at-home mom, graphic designer Karen discovered her ability to create what she calls "creatively different" cakes. Yeah, I would call a giant bacon-wrapped pork chop "creatively different." I would also call it awesome. At Cakes by Karen you can also get any of the standard, gorgeous, flowery wedding stuff that you can get elsewhere, but you can also get an Oreo cookie-flavored cake shaped like your cat. That's fantastic. Cakes by Karen also does cupcakes, cookies, bars, pumpkin bread, and cookie cakes.
Cakes by Karen is run out of a certified kitchen in the owner's home, so there is no retail location at this time. For orders or more information call 426-7804 or get pricing and see pictures at the website, cakesbykarenonline.com.
If you're like me, then you've actively desired a basket full of kittens at some point in your life. Well, if you would like to see that desire fulfilled in a cake, then look no further than The Upper Crust. With a mission to make cakes that are both beautiful and delicious -- a very important mission, in my opinion -- Upper Crust says that its customers claim the bakery's cakes are "the best cakes they have ever eaten." That being said, if you need a cake shaped like a tractor, a gorgeous three-tier modern flowered wedding cake with some incredibly real-looking flowers, or even three dozen cupcakes with tiny, swaddled gumpaste babies, this is the place. If you are having trouble coming up with ideas, visit the website at uppercrustcakes.com, view the huge gallery, and let your imagination run wild.
The Upper Crust is located at 2094 Five Mile Line Road in Penfield. It delivers to the Rochester and Finger Lakes region. For more information or to place an order call 385-2253, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop in to the retail location. (Feel free to pick me up a cupcake or two.)