Amy Bakes & Co

I met Amy Wagher of Amy Bakes & Co while we were volunteering for a three-month SAFEchild course. I got engaged during that time, and she offered her congratulations and casually mentioned that she owns a baking company. I've always loved supporting local businesses, so I got her information and set up a cupcake tasting shortly after.

For those who haven't done a dessert tasting yet, let me just say, it's one of the best parts of the planning process. Amy let me select six cupcake flavors, including a few from her standard list, a few seasonal, and one custom flavor we wanted to try. She brought her box of goodies to my apartment, where Matthew and I were able to sample cupcakes that made it feel impossible to narrow our decision to just two options. We ended up choosing flavors that complimented our summer barbecue theme: pink lemonade, with lemon zest in the moist cake and fresh strawberries in the chilled icing, and banana pudding, complete with whipped cream and 'Nilla wafer on top. Both flavors were a hit with our wedding guests, and Matthew and I have already made plans to order a batch for our anniversary.

Amy says she's always been a baker and dreamed of opening her own bakery. "The few years I lived in a college dorm put me through serious withdrawal, because I didn't have access to an actual kitchen," Amy said. She first started her business in 2009 as La Belle Bakery services in Greensboro NC, and later changed the name to Amy Bakes & Co when she moved to Wake County. She's always preferred cupcakes over cakes, and she loves baking for all kinds of events: beyond birthday parties and weddings, she's also baked for gender reveal parties, charity events, office parties and more.

If your mouth wasn't already watering, Amy Bakes & Co offers delicious classics like chocolate and red velvet cake, but her flavors go beyond traditional. Some of her off-the-beaten-path flavors include:

- Irish coffee (Guinness and coffee chocolate cake, brushed with Irish whiskey and topped with Bailey's buttercream)

- Bourbon and salted caramel frosting

- S'mores cake

- Maple cupcake with brown sugar buttercream and bacon or honeycomb

- Spiced vanilla cake stuffed with apple pie filling and topped with whipped frosting

- Ice cream sundae

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