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Monday, Jun 18, 2018
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Halloween kicks off busy season for Tampa area bakers

Susan Moreno, the owner of Moreno Bakery in Brandon, said Halloween is much fun for bakers as it is for children who love candy.

“It’s kicks off the holidays in general,” Moreno said. “It’s the beginning of a fun and busy time in a bakery. You roll from Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas and then Valentine’s Day. It’s just fun.”

Moreno and her husband, Jose, moved their bakery from 906 W. Robertson St. to 737 W. Brandon Blvd. earlier this year. She is looking forward to creating green monster shortbread cookies in her new digs.

Moreno said she uses the gingerbread man cutters to make mummies for Halloween. She transforms the friendly gingerbread men into mummies by giving them red or purple eyes and wrapping them with ribbons of icing.

She also makes cookies in the shapes of ghosts, spiders, pumpkins and Frankenstein monsters.

Joseph J. Barbato, the co-owner of Frostings etc., 500 South Howard Ave. Suite F, said one of the bakery’s most popular Halloween treats is a pumpkin cake with white chocolate chips, a hint of cinnamon and cream cheese frosting. They also use real pumpkin to make pumpkin cupcakes.

Barbato owns the South Tampa bakery with Sharon Tabasco, who uses her imagination to get customers in the spirit of the holidays. They have owned the bakery for five years.

“Sharon gets pretty creative, from mummy cupcakes to cupcakes with bloody eyes, bat cupcakes,” he said. “We even did a pumpkin that blew its brains out as well as ghost cupcakes – a lot of cute Halloween-themed items.”

Barbato said the secret to the perfect cupcake or cake is not just the presentation but also the taste.

“We had a customer once say she wants to bathe in that frosting,” he said.

He said they occasionally host private parties for children, but most of their clients are adults who still feel like kids inside. For the private parties, they allow the guests to mix the batter, bake the cupcakes and then decorate them.

“It’s a lot of fun, a lot of mess, but the time flies by,” Barbato said.

Kathy Gramlich, a cake designer at Sweetie’s Delight Bakery in Valrico, said some of the fall specialties this year include maple cake with “whippy-dip” icing and a sprinkle of maple crunch as well as pumpkin spice cake with cream cheese icing and cinnamon.

“This year we are really giving Halloween a makeover,” Gramlich said. “We are working on ways to take favorite cupcake flavors and add a Halloween twist.”

Customers who request custom-designed cakes are only limited by their imaginations, she said.

“We tend to lean towards the fun and spooky versus the scary and ghoulish side of the holiday,” Gramlich said. “Some of our most requested cakes do include twilight silhouettes, witches, pumpkin patches, funny monsters and beautiful fall colored three tiers.”

For more information on Frostings etc., call (813) 443-5047.

For more information on Moreno Bakery, call (813) 689-0320.

For more information on Sweetie’s Delights Bakery, 1050 Bloomingdale Ave., Valrico, call (813) 662-5671.

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