Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sugar + Sunshine Bakery

I like Sugar
I like Sunshine

Why not have both?

Sugar + Sunshine Bakery, 6 Market St., Plainsboro. (609) 936-3777. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays; 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays. Closed Mondays.

Article Via NJ.Com:

I am sitting in my car behind 1st Constitution Bank in Plainsboro, pondering the next step in a daring daylight heist.
The loot is spread across the passenger seat -- two boxes and two bags of unmarked, untouched goods.

Cupcakes, mostly, with a dozen cookies and muffins scattered throughout.
The big question: How much of the merchandise do I sample right now, and how much do I take back to the office?
This, I tell myself, is no time to suddenly develop a conscience. I have a job to do, and besides, I am hungry.
The baked goods are from Sugar + Sunshine in Plainsboro, and they're so good I immediately hate owner Gigi Burton. Why? When I lived in Plainsboro eons ago, there was no bakery like this -- or much of a town, for that matter.
We're several years into the "Sex and the City"-fueled cupcake craze -- one trend I really wanted to avoid -- but Burton's cupcakes, and the rest of her baked goods, are first-rate, and Dec. 15 is National Cupcake Day, after all.
"We wanted to focus on nostalgic American desserts," Burton said. "We didn't want to do these fancy little French pastries."
For 12 years, Burton worked in the credit card division at J.P. Morgan. But baking was always on her mind, and when her job was transferred to Delaware in the wake of J.P. Morgan's merger with Chase, Burton took it as a sign to get out of the office and into the kitchen. The bakery opened in April, and Burton's commute is painless -- she lives in town.
Supermarket cupcakes, even the bakery cupcakes I've sampled, are no match for the cupcakes at Sugar + Sunshine. The icing, a thick swirl of rich buttery goodness, emboldens but doesn't overwhelm the soft cake. In fact, all her baked goods have great texture; the banana nut muffin, with a flaky, sugary crust, is just about perfect. The chocolate chip cookie tastes like home; the chocolate brownie tastes like real chocolate. The oatmeal raisin cookie may have been my single favorite item. The sole disappointment: the blueberry muffin, which tasted more like lemon than blueberry.
"Everyone wanted to sell us pre-made pie filling, pre-made everything," Burton said. "We could buy tons of frosting, but then we'd be just like the supermarket. Our suppliers said, 'You're never going to make it.'"
She seems to be doing quite well, thank you. There are a dozen or so cupcakes, from chocolate/chocolate (double yum) and vanilla/chocolate to carrot/cream cheese, strawberry/strawberry buttercream and coconut/lemon buttercream. The frosting is done out front, so if you want to create your own combination and there's cake available, you can.
Cupcakes are $2 each or $20 per dozen. Cookies are $2 each; brownies $2.50 each. Cakes and pies are made to order. Cinnamon rolls, $2 each, are available Thursdays through Sundays only.
In the end, it was probably a good thing I brought my loot back to the office.
"I am going to walk away before I stick my face in that box," a colleague said.
"The most astounding cupcake I ever ate," raved another.
Some complained the cupcakes, from which I extracted small slices, weren't whole. "Hey," I replied, "I'm working here!"

Photo Credit: Amanda Brown/The Star-Ledger

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