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10 Bakeries Every Cupcake Lover Should Visit

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Cupcakes are possibly the prettiest little self-contained desserts available (and the fact that you can order them by the dozen isn't bad either). In honor of National Cupcake Day this week, here are 10 bakeries that every cupcake lover should visit.

1. SPRINKLES // BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA

Sprinkles Cupcakes—described on their website as the world’s first cupcake bakery—originated in Beverly Hills in 2005, but their bakeries soon spread to 22 locations across the country. Owner Candace Nelson is a fan of firsts: Sprinkles is also known for inventing the world’s first cupcake ATM so patrons can get their fix even after the stores have closed. If you don’t live near enough to Sprinkles, fear not: You can purchase their cupcake mix in a variety of popular flavors at Williams-Sonoma stores across the U.S. and Canada and make them yourself at home.

2. JILLY'S CUPCAKE BAR AND CAFE // ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI

The elaborate cupcakes at Jilly's come in two sizes: mini or jumbo (meaning that they can weigh half a pound each!). Choose from their daily or rotating monthly flavors and see for yourself why Jilly's has been named the best cupcakes in Missouri and was twice named champion of Food Network's Cupcake Wars.

3. KARA’S CUPCAKES // SAN FRANCISCO

The San Francisco flagship bakery for Kara's Cupcakes opened after Kara Haspel Lind's successful cupcake catering business grew too large for her to keep up with the demand. The adorable shop has now expanded further to include nine locations across Northern California that feature gluten-free options as well as monthly seasonal flavors like Peppermint Twist (available through the end of December) and favorites like Kara's Karrot or Banana Carmel.

4. BACK IN THE DAY BAKERY // SAVANNAH, GEORGIA

Back in the Day Bakery's Cheryl and Griffith Day were nominated for a 2015 James Beard award in the Outstanding Bakers category—their adorable Savannah bakery also serves coffee and lunch, as well as a wide variety of baked goods from pies and pastries to fresh bread and scones. But their cupcakes, particularly the vanilla old-fashioned, were good enough to top Southern Living's "The South's Best Cupcakes" list.

5. SWIRLZ CUPCAKES // CHICAGO

Since opening in 2006, Chicago's Swirlz Cupcakes have created 1500 unique flavors using fresh ingredients to create their cakes, brownies and regular, gluten-free, and vegan gluten-free cupcakes. Flavors range from Churro and Apple Coffee Cake to Chocolate Caramel Popcorn, and you can even buy pupcakes ($3) to share their treats with your four-legged friends.

6. PINK CAKE BOX // DENVILLE, NEW JERSEY

Founder Anne Heap's Pink Cake Box is a full cake studio known widely for the designs on their gorgeous and artistic wedding cakes. Their designs are even more impressive when found on their smaller specialty cupcakes that can be made for any occasion. And, if you'd like a professional tutorial on how to create your own, Pink Cake Box University exists in-person and online to help make sure you never have another Pinterest Fail on your hands again.

7. MAGNOLIA BAKERY // NEW YORK CITY

COURTESY MAGNOLIA BAKERY

Though this cozy bakery has been a West Village staple since 1996, it gained popularity when the ladies of Sex and the City enjoyed their now-famous cupcakes in an episode and helped impact the cupcake craze in the city. Since then Magnolia has opened bakeries worldwide with locations in Tokyo, Beirut, and Mexico City. Try their classic vanilla or red velvet cupcakes.

8. PINKITZEL CUPCAKES & CANDY // TULSA AND OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA

Pinkitzel's two Oklahoma shops feature a bakery, cafe, candy, and a gift shop, and draw inspiration from such colorful lovers of whimsy as Willy Wonka and Alice in Wonderland. The unusual name roughly translates as "tickled pink"—kitzel is Yiddish for "tickled." They are known for their gourmet cupcakes in flavors like Pink Lemonade, Peanut Butter Nutella, or Strawberry Shortcake, and all come topped with buttercream or cream cheese icings.

9. TROPHY CUPCAKES & PARTY // SEATTLE

Trophy Cupcakes & Party, a 1940s-inspired cupcakery in Seattle, was listed as one of Martha Stewart's own favorite cupcake bakeries. The shop sells countless themed cupcakes—from tiaras to jungle animals—or you can select flavors like Snowball (covered in a coconut buttercream) or Gluten-Free Almond Joy (which is coated in a Belgian chocolate ganache).

10. GEORGETOWN CUPCAKE // WASHINGTON, D.C.

For designer cupcakes in the capital, head directly to the sister-owned Georgetown Cupcake. Inspired by their grandmother, Katherine Kallinis Berman and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne decided to pursue their passion for baking by the opening the shop in 2008. They've since expanded to locations in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, and Atlanta, where they serve their everyday classics (like Milk Chocolate Birthday and Red Velvet) alongside daily and seasonal specials (like Vegan Apple Cinnamon and White Chocolate Peppermint) and decorated holiday assortments.

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How Do You Stress the Word: THANKSgiving or ThanksGIVing?
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Here’s something else to stress about for Thanksgiving: where to put the stress in the word Thanksgiving.

If you’re from California, Iowa, or Delaware, you probably say ThanksGIVing, with the primary stress on the second syllable. If you’re from Georgia, Tennessee, or the Texas Panhandle, you probably say THANKSgiving, with the primary stress on the first syllable.

This north-south divide on syllable stress is found for other words like umbrella, guitar, insurance, and pecan. However, those words are borrowed from other languages (Italian, Spanish, French). Sometimes, in the borrowing process, competing stress patterns settle into regional differences. Just as some borrowed words get first syllable stress in the South and second syllable stress in the North, French words like garage and ballet get first syllable stress in the UK and second syllable stress in the U.S.

Thanksgiving, however, is an English word through and through. And if it behaved like a normal English word, it would have stress on the first syllable. Consider other words with the same noun-gerund structure just like it: SEAfaring, BAbysitting, HANDwriting, BULLfighting, BIRDwatching, HOMEcoming, ALMSgiving. The stress is always up front, on the noun. Why, in Thanksgiving alone, would stress shift to the GIVE?

The shift to the ThanksGIVing pronunciation is a bit of a mystery. Linguist John McWhorter has suggested that the loss of the stress on thanks has to do with a change in our concept of the holiday, that we “don’t truly think about Thanksgiving as being about thankfulness anymore.” This kind of thing can happen when a word takes on a new, more abstract sense. When we use outgoing for mail that is literally going out, we are likely to stress the OUT. When we use it as a description of someone’s personality ("She's so outgoing!"), the stress might show up on the GO. Stress can shift with meaning.

But the stress shift might not be solely connected to the entrenchment of our turkey-eating rituals. The thanksGIVing stress pattern seems to have pre-dated the institution of the American holiday, according to an analysis of the meter of English poems by Mark Liberman at Language Log. ThanksGIVing has been around at least since the 17th century. However you say it, there is precedent to back you up. And room enough to focus on both the thanks and the giving.

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Watch Boris Karloff's 1966 Coffee Commercial
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Horror legend Boris Karloff is famous for playing mummies, mad scientists, and of course, Frankenstein’s creation. In 1930, Karloff cemented the modern image of the monster—with its rectangular forehead, bolted neck, and enormous boots (allegedly weighing in at 11 pounds each)—in the minds of audiences.

But the horror icon, who was born 130 years ago today, also had a sense of humor. The actor appeared in numerous comedies, and even famously played a Boris Karloff look-alike (who’s offended when he’s mistaken for Karloff) in the original Broadway production of Arsenic and Old Lace

In the ’60s, Karloff also put his comedic chops to work in a commercial for Butter-Nut Coffee. The strange commercial, set in a spooky mansion, plays out like a movie scene, in which Karloff and the viewer are co-stars. Subtitles on the bottom of the screen feed the viewer lines, and Karloff responds accordingly. 

Watch the commercial below to see the British star selling coffee—and read your lines aloud to feel like you’re “acting” alongside Karloff. 

[h/t: Retroist]

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