Did you know that Polk County is home to some of the best cupcake shops Florida has to offer? Let me take you on a tour through the tastes, scents and sights of some local favorites.
The first stop on our tour is Winter Haven’s Favor Bakery. My eyes were immediately drawn to the shiny well-lit display case filled with tasty treats. From specialty chocolates and gourmet cookies, to Top Shelf Cupcakes, Favor Bakery has it all. With Favor Bakery’s S’mores cupcake, you almost feel like you are sitting around a campfire at Yellowstone National Park. If a tropical destination is more your speed, try the Pina Colada cupcake topped with buttercream icing, fresh sliced pineapple and coconut.
If you still cannot decide on one of their more than 20 flavors, go with a local favorite; the Chocolate Mocha cupcake, a Keoke espresso chocolate cake with coffee buttercream and a chocolate covered coffee bean for looks…and flavor. Favor Bakery also offers seasonal cupcake flavors. The pumpkin is a must try and if you close your eyes your taste buds that you’re not eating a slice of grandma’s homemade pumpkin pie.
Favor Bakery’s convenient downtown Winter Haven location makes it an easy (and tasty) stop while exploring all the city has to offer.
222 West Central Ave.
Winter Haven, FL 33880
Our next stop on the Polk County cupcake journey is Gourmet Goodies. There’s a definite rustic and southern home town feel that fills this bakery. Stand and watch the cake decorators work their magic as you gaze at the endless cupcake options.
At Gourmet Goodies, you can expect to find the unexpected. Take for example their Movie Time cupcake; a rich chocolate fudge cupcake with creamy chocolate icing, topped with fresh roasted peanuts and caramel popcorn, then drizzled with chocolate fudge. How about a trip south of the border? The Mucho Margarita cupcake features a margarita infused white cake with a tequila cream filling, lime cream cheese icing, sanded sugar and lime zest. And who can resist a seasonal flavor? Not this girl! Pumpkin Spice, Caramel Apple, Sweet Potato, Chocolate Peppermint and Pistachio Cream all sound like fall flavor winners to me.
With more than 60 cupcake flavors and a shop open 6 days a week until 7 p.m., Gourmet Goodies is your one stop cupcake shop.
68 4th St.
Winter Haven, FL 33880
Cakes by Maggi
Our tasty tour makes a stop in Auburndale. From the pink, eye catching exterior to the home town bakery feel on the inside, you are sure to love Cakes by Maggi for more than just the fresh baked cupcakes. Serving central Florida since 1999, Cakes by Maggi has perfected the art of baking everything from custom wedding cakes to hand decorated cookies. It’s always fun to look at the different wedding cake displays that line the walls of their bakery.
Citrus is the heartbeat of central Florida and Cakes by Maggi has surely taken advantage of that. Their orange cake tastes like a fresh picked orange. From the super moist cake flecked with pieces of real orange the perfect swirl of light, fluffy cream cheese frosting, the Orange cupcake is a real crowd pleaser. The second tasty treat I recommend is the classic Red Velvet. The cream cheese icing takes the cake. Lighter than most, it is the perfect complement to the decadent flavor of the Red Velvet cake. As if the toppings weren’t tasty enough, Cakes by Maggi also offers a variety of cupcake filling options such as Bavarian cream, cookies and cream and chocolate pudding.
Next time your sweet tooth is talking, stop into Cakes by Maggi. It’s open Tuesday - Saturday and always flavorful.
Cakes By Maggi
Auburndale, FL 33823
Sh-Booms Ice Cream & Sweet Treats
Our last stop is in Davenport at Sh-Booms Ice Cream & Sweet Treats. Get ready to relive the classics in this rock and roll themed diner atmosphere. Photos and memorabilia deck the walls while classic diner booths provide a fun and comfy spot to enjoy your sweet treats. Sh-Booms offers cupcakes, miniature cheesecakes, custom cakes, ice cream, and holiday pies. Of course the star of the show is the cupcakes.
Enjoy a refreshing fruity burst with the raspberry cupcake, adorned with pink sprinkles on top of thick pink frosting. The cake is light and fluffy and filled with specks of fresh crushed raspberries. Now for everyone’s favorite combination: peanut butter and chocolate! This moist chocolate cupcake cake is filled with a delicious cream filling while the rich peanut butter frosting completes the crowd pleasing favorite.
With late hours every day of the week there is always time for a satisfying stop at Sh-Booms!
Sh-Booms Ice Cream & Sweet Treats
42609 US Hwy 27
Davenport, FL 33837
And tour ends at Buttercup Cakes of Lakeland. For starters, the shop is conveniently located just South of Polk Parkway off of South Florida Ave. Convenience is important when a strong craving for cupcakes strikes, you know. Second, they’ve got variety, a debilitating amount of variety. Are you craving chocolate cake with ganache filling, lemon-lavender, pumpkin spice or white chocolate raspberry? And those flavors only cover the tip of the iceberg. I honestly found myself giving up on a flavor decision and picking out my cupcake based solely on looks, because they are simply stunning. From ganache glazed to fondant adornments, their cupcakes look almost too good to eat. But eat you must, because they are delicious!
I settled for the lemon-lavender cupcake as I was intrigued by the flavor combination (and possibly smitten with the fondant lemon wedge that topped it). The flavor was unique and fresh and the curd filling was a pleasant surprise.
I’d be remiss if I did not mention all of Buttercup Cakes other offerings. They brew fresh espresso (I had an Americano served black), curate the most creative special occasion cakes, bake delicious breads, beautiful macaroons, and they have a lots gluten-free bakery goods. Did you know macaroons are gluten-free? You’ve got to check them out soon. They even have a booth at the Lakeland Downtown Farmers Curb Market on Saturdays where they serve up their traditional goods as well as savory options!
4122 S. Florida Ave.
Lakeland, FL 33813