Sweets for Your Sweet

Ana Picazo - San Francisco Bay Area
February 1, 2012

Valentine's Day is coming, and if there was ever a time to treat your family to something sweet, this would be the day.  Whether your tastes run towards a velvety-smooth Red Velvet cupcake, a luscious, chocolate-dipped strawberry or a candy apple, there's nothing quite as sweet as a valentine you can eat. With that in mind, here are some places to take your little sweethearts for some sweet treats that even Cupid would love:

Miette's Patisserie

With glass jars filled with goodies and pink interiors, Miette Patisserie's, located in San Francisco's historic Ferry Building, is as sweet and charming as their desserts. Known for their classic American cakes that are minimal in decoration and small in scale (but big on taste), Miette was named one of the top ten pastry shops in the world according to Conde Nast, and their Beer-Spiked Cupcake topped Alton Brown's 2010 "List of America's Top Ten Sweets." They also offer cupcakes, tarts, cookies, confections, cake stands, and other vintage dessert ware at their Ferry Building store, as well as in San Francisco's Hayes Valley, Oakland's Jack London Square, and Larkspur. If handmade confections are more your style, head over to Miette's Confiserie in Hayes Valley for artisan lollipops, chocolates, organic cotton candy, and more.

Sibby's Cupcakery

Sibby's Cupcakery, based in San Mateo, makes custom cupcakes to order.  They don't have a retail storefront.  They don't consign to other bakeries or supermarkets.  They don't even advertise -- yet cupcake lovers around the Peninsula beyond know and rave about their delectable cupcakes.  The moist texture, homemade taste and have won them rave reviews and coverage in publications like The Knot, the San Francisco Chronicle, Lucky Magazine and Modern Bride California.   Two-day advance notice and a pick-up appointment or delivery are required for all orders, but the taste is definitely worth the wait. 

The Prolific Oven

For over 30 years, Palo Alto families have looked to The Prolific Oven for cakes and desserts for their most special occasions. Located in downtown University Avenue, this family owned and operated establishment has built a reputation for fresh-baked cakes, pastries, and breads made from scratch with real butter, pure vanilla extracts, quality chocolate and other natural ingredients. They've since opened locations in Saratoga, Santa Clara and Fremont so more dessert-lovers can enjoy their award-winning baked goods. Each location has a cafe serving sandwiches and soup—don't forget to order a slice of their heavenly chocolate on chocolate or carrot cake for dessert!

Icing on the Cake

From 1985 through 2000, this bakery was Los Gatos' "best-kept secret," tucked behind a gelato shop. In 2001 they moved to their current Main Street storefront and quickly became a South Bay favorite, winning accolades for Best Bakery, Best Desserts and Best Cakes from the Mercury News, Metro Newspaper, and other local publications, almost every year since then. They're best known for their delicious all-butter desserts, cakes, pastries, pies and other baked treats, but they also have an extensive selection of vegan, egg-free, dairy-free, wheat-free, or flourless products for folks with dietary restrictions.

Powell's Sweet Shoppe

If Willy Wonka had a store in the Bay Area, it would probably look like Powell's Sweet Shoppe in San Jose's Willow Glen area. This old-time, old-fashioned old-world candy store sells practically every candy known to man. From caramel creams to Good-N-Plentys to Necco Wafers to Zagnuts, Powell's has candies from the 1920s all the way to the 21st century. It's all laid out in a nostalgic re-creation of the classic corner store, complete with barrels of penny candy, trays of fudge and vats of ice cream. More than just a candy store, Powell's is a great place to immerse yourself in some sweet childhood memories while giving your little one the chance to create some sweet memories of his own.

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