Find a rundown of the most Bodacious Bakeries, in rank order after the jump.
10. Sweet Cakes Café in Mesa, Arizona. The customers pack Kellie Huntington's establishment for many different treats, but "Best Food Ever" highlighted two things: her made-from-scratch cinnamon rolls and the "Better Than Sex" brownie, which has a layer of cream cheese.
9. Highland Bakery in Atlanta. Of all the Bodacious Bakeries, Stacey Earnes' downtown Atlanta joint utilizes the most "back to basic" philosophy. Case and point: she mills her own grains, avoids anything with the word "preservatives" and prides her establishment on being chemical free. And her customers rave about the thick and gooey peanut butter French toast, topped with brown-sugar bananas.
8. Miss Muff'N in Germantown, Tennessee (Memphis). What once used to be a muffin joint, Lieu Nguyen has transformed this bakery into a cakery -- and is becoming this region's own ace of cakes. Each week she averages 8 wedding cakes, 20 specialty cakes and 140 strawberry cream cakes. But she specializes in designer cakes: highlighted were a bouquet of flowers cake, a high heel cake and cakes that look like wrapped presents. Making these feats even more challenging, she doesn't use fondant, only buttercream icing.
7. Macrina Bakery & Café in Seattle. Described as a "modern day bakery with an old world philosophy," Leslie McKae's shop has a unique vantage point, literally. The shop is designed so customers can watch the bakers work their magic. The Macrina's specialty is McKae's Lemon Tart, which has customers coming in at all hours of the day.
6. Bleeding Heart Organic Bakery in Chicago. Billed as a "punk rock bakery," the owners seek to fuse punk rock philosophy into their baking, going as far as having an item called "slash cakes" (after the famed Guns N Roses guitarist) and a cupcake called the Veruca Salt -- not an ode to the Willy Wonka character, but the native Chicago alt-rock band of the same name -- that uses a few different salts to balance the sweet.
5. Ruby Et Violette in New York City. Easily the most high end bakery highlighted, Ruby Et Violette serves up 5,000 cookies a day, complete with jewelry-store-style packaging options. They also experiment with a host of flavors, including the piña colada, champagne strawberry, root-beer float and even something called "exotic seduction."
4. Galaxy Cupcakes in Georgetown, Texas (Austin). This small town joint entices residents with what they call "cuptails," a combination of cupcakes and cocktails. Yes, actual booze is used in the Jack and Coke cupcake, the Mudslide, the Cosmopolitan. The concept is certainly trendy, but they're clearly taking it seriously: their margarita cupcake has tequila-lime pudding in the center and is topped with tequila icing.
3. Tartine Bakery & Café in San Francisco. This destination bakery gets rave reviews for its croissants and tres leches cake -- layers of Italian sponge cake, goat-milk caramel, and Bavarian cream, all brushed with coconut milk. Tartine's pastry chef's got the James Beard Award for outstanding Pastry Chef in 2008, a nice accolade that "Best Food Ever" didn't mention.
2. Brown Betty Dessert Boutique in Philadelphia. Each baked good honors a woman in the owners' (Norrinda and Linda Brown) family. Highlighted were the different variations on their buttery pound cake, which come in a triple-layer variety. Judging from the menu, we'd be partial to "Alice's Two Step," which blends almond extract into the recipe -- and adds on handmade caramel buttercream.
1. Modern Pastry. The oldest bakery of the bunch, the number one choice for "Best Food Ever" highlights this family run establishment that prides itself in keeping classic Italian baking traditions alive. Interesting fun fact: when it opened in 1930, it was dubbed "Modern Bakery" because it featured technology such as refrigeration and air conditioning. Modern Bakery's speciality is the Torrone, where they pair the nougat bar with espresso, cappuccino and dark chocolate.
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