Willy Wonka Would Approve of St. Albans’ Cosmic Bakery & Café | 7 Nights Spotlight | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Willy Wonka Would Approve of St. Albans’ Cosmic Bakery & Café

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Cosmic Bakery & Café - MATTHEW THORSEN
  • Matthew Thorsen
  • Cosmic Bakery & Café

Willy Wonka would approve of Cosmic Bakery & Café, where Pam McCarthy and her sons, Mike and Brian, specialize in downsized desserts. Their mini cheesecakes, mousses and "pies-in-a-cup" are both easy to sample and hard to resist. It's confection perfection sprinkled with fun.

The mini cupcakes are front and center, on a rotating purple rack in the glass pastry case. A menu on the counter identifies and describes the half dozen delights.

The guidance is helpful, because there is nothing typical about these bite-size flavor sensations. The "Chocolate-Covered Cherry" is a maraschino cherry baked into a ping-pong-ball-sized chocolate cake, topped with cherry-infused buttercream frosting. The French-toast cupcake — vanilla-infused cinnamon cake dressed with a ball of local maple buttercream — tastes uncannily like its namesake.

Cosmic Bakery & Café - MATTHEW THORSEN
  • Matthew Thorsen
  • Cosmic Bakery & Café

Malibu-rum and strawberry-margarita flavors look and taste like their inspirations, too, with garnishes of tiny citrus wedges and, in the case of the margarita, salt crystals.

Committed cupcake lovers can opt for bigger-than-average varieties — maxis — in different, but equally creative, flavors. Don't like cupcakes? Cosmic makes cookies that depict the characters from the smartphone game "Angry Birds."

Want something before dessert? Try the ham and apple sandwich, slathered with ultra-sweet honey mustard. Or the Italian chicken with basil mayo. Each sandwich comes with homemade bagel chips — crisp, slightly greasy slivers covered in dried herbs.

And there's dinner service, too, with comfort food, live music and, of course, dessert. Whatever your tastes, Cosmic is that sweet spot in St. Albans.

This article was originally published in 7 Nights: The Seven Days Guide to Vermont Restaurants & Bars in April 2012.