Home Front: A Sweet Treat 

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Looking for something sweet for your sweetie this Valentine's Day? How about personalized cupcakes from Cupcakes by Design. In a town that boasts a good number of renowned cupcake options (Sally Bell's, The Mixing Bowl and Dot's recipe at Ukrop's), Cupcakes by Design is the hip start-up with a gourmet edge.

The bakery offers flavor combinations that tease the palate, like old-fashioned sweet potato cupcakes with caramel-cream cheese frosting and the more sophisticated red-wine chocolate cupcakes with chocolate ganache and salted caramel. If the flavor options are not unique enough to beat the competition, the sculpted decorations and seasonal icons do the trick. "Each cupcake is its own work of art," says Cupcakes by Design co-owner Denise Galleher.

For Valentine's Day, Galleher and business partner Jean Mauck offer a choice of sensuous flavor combinations. "We are using warm flavor combinations like chocolate-strawberry with chocolate ganache frosting, vanilla with cinnamon sugar and chocolate with a chipotle chili kick with chocolate ganache frosting," says Mauck. You can order these unique goodies by calling 339-0457, or pick up pre-made cupcakes at the Shops at 5807 on Patterson

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