In a country roiled by conflict, can we all agree that Halloween 2020 is not the time for tricks? We need treats, lots and lots of treats. These women-owned businesses are offering seasonal sweets for treat-seekers of all ages.
Last Halloween, Brandy Mills, who owns Smallcakes with husband Robert Mills, set up tables inside the store for costumed kids to make crafts, then treated them to mini cupcakes, the smallest of three sizes they bake in 14 flavors daily. No group activity this year, but they will have pumpkin cupcakes and Halloween-decorated vanilla and chocolate cupcakes, which can be upgraded to a Smash Cake — two scoops of house-made ice cream smashed between two halves of a cupcake. 33 Town Square Blvd., avl.mx/8jk
AVL Cake Lady
Candy corn gets a bad rap, but when AVL Cake Lady Shana McDowell plants the tricolored sugary nuggets deep into the buttercream frosting atop her vanilla cupcakes, it’s a value-added treat. Pumpkin spice rules this time of year, and she’s on it with cupcakes, cheesecake and pound cake. Sweet potatoes are also coming on strong, and McDowell transforms them into pies and a dense pound cake. “A traditional pound cake weighs about 5 pounds, but we sell it by the slice, too,” says McDowell. 34 New Leicester Highway, avl.mx/8jl
Baked Pie Company
If you love the taste of caramel apples but are leery of the potential for costly dental work, Baked Pie Co. pastry chef Tara Robinson has a sweet solution for you. “Apple pies are always popular, but the caramel apple pie is really good. It’s our classic apple pie with a layer of house-made caramel on the bottom that bubbles up through the pie as it bakes.” Other pies that land on the menu this time of year are pumpkin latte cheesecake, bourbon chocolate pecan and the Boo-ston Cream Pie decorated with spooky ghosts. Pies are sold whole, by the slice or as a flight of three slices. Two locations: 4 Long Shoals Road, Arden, and 50 N. Merrimon Ave., Woodfin avl.mx/6oe
Old Europe Pastries
Halloween is not traditionally celebrated in France, but you can celebrate France on Halloween with Old Europe’s pumpkin spice macarons. Consulting her macaron calendar, manager and baker Abby Schrupp says, “We add pumpkin spice macarons to the macaron menu in October, and they remain through the end of the year. Closer to Halloween, we decorate them to look like little monsters.” Pumpkin also has its way with cheesecake, roulade with ginger cream cheese filling and pumpkin bread. Macarons can be bought individually in the store or ordered online for pick up or local delivery in packages of four or a dozen. 13 Broadway, avl.mx/8jn
Morsel Cookie Co.
Morsel Cookie Co. owner Caroline Dockery adds one special cookie a month to her set selection. And as far as she’s concerned, October’s cookie — Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake — is irresistible. “Personally, I love pumpkin cheesecake; anything with cream cheese and anything with pumpkin, I’ll eat it,” she says. “And if I have an excuse to put caramel on something, I’ll take it.” The cookie is a multipart creation of spiced pumpkin dough, cream cheese filling and scratch-made caramel. “All those flavors lend themselves well to each other, then a big dash of flaked salt on top counters the sweetness of the caramel,” Dockery notes. Morsel Cookies are available at several locations, but the October special is exclusive to 10th Muse Coffee at 1475 Patton Ave. and Yellow Mug Coffee at 113 N. Main St., Weaverville. They can also be ordered online Sunday through Tuesday for Friday delivery at avl.mx/89s.