Nestled in Downtown DeLand is a place as sweet as its name: Buttercup Bakery.
On Church Street, just around the corner from the Volusia County Courthouse and across from Sunflower Park, Buttercup Bakery has stood for 14 years, serving a wide array of desserts.
Audrey Slanker and Cheryl Cox, co-owners and sisters-in-law, work tirelessly each day — with some hired help from time to time — to create pieces of sugary delight to share with their many customers.
Buttercup’s cute Grandma’s-house-inspired building was custom-built for the bakery. They added pieces with a certain Old World charm to decorate the interior to achieve the overall aesthetic.
In addition to granite countertops in the workplace, there are marble slabs. These are functional rather than simply visually appealing. Audrey and Cheryl use the stones to cool things.
“Using those hunks of stone ends up cooling things faster than throwing it in the fridge,” said Audrey.
It’s kind of a secret used by many bakers, as the marble absorbs heat.
When Buttercup Bakery first opened, Audrey and Cheryl wanted to cater to a simple philosophy: “fresh and from scratch.”
They regularly throw a touch of their own brand of whimsy into the bakery’s desserts, and that’s exactly what you get when you visit. To this day, every dessert is baked from scratch and in line with their philosophy.
While the core team has mostly remained the same over the years, Audrey and Cheryl are proud to announce the addition of a new team member, master confectioner BillieJean Puleo.
Puleo brings her background of training from another master confectioner, Julie Bashore, whom you may know as a previous winner of the Ultimate Cake Off on the TLC network.
In her own regard, BillieJean has made cakes for such celebrities as Blake Shelton, Jennifer Lopez and Travis Scott — and her next masterpiece could be for you!
There’s no shortage of events that Buttercup can provide food for.
“We do baby showers, weddings, bridal showers or really any kind of event with catering,” Audrey said.
Buttercup Bakery offers personalized consultations for events, so be sure to consider them when planning.
I visited during an especially chaotic time of the year, the week before Christmas.
“I can never make enough Christmas cookies,” Audrey said.
While the holiday season is good for business, she said Valentine’s Day can actually be even busier. I’d suggest placing orders well in advance.
If you’re in the mood for something other than a sweet treat, Buttercup can also satisfy your lunch hunger.
Thanks to a request made by the legal eagles at nearby Landis Graham French law firm, Buttercup Bakery offers a light lunch menu of salads, quiche, pastries and other items — all made fresh daily, just like the baked goods.
The most popular dessert at Buttercup Bakery will depend on the person, as Audrey explained to me.
“You have your chocoholics, your fruit or citrus lovers, or plain Janes who don’t get anything that isn’t vanilla,” Audrey said.
Buttercup realizes not all people like all kinds of desserts. They want to make sure you’re matched with the right dessert and walk away as another happy customer, so don’t hesitate to tell them what you like.
Typical favorites at Buttercup include the classic chocolate-chip cookie, carrot cake or one of the many cupcake varieties.
“The Banana Bread Cake is a very popular item on the menu,” said Kristine Wolff, a baking associate at Buttercup Bakery.
Another popular item was prepared during my visit: Kentucky Butter Cake.
“It’s like a Krispy Kreme Doughnut, but in cake form, and a butter-sugar glaze gets poured over. Because it's fresh and hot out of the oven, all of that gets soaked in,” Audrey said.
I had a chance to try the dark-and-white bread pudding with Irish cream sauce. A nod to the delicious classic bread pudding, it was moist, yet fluffy, and reminded me of holidays past.
Another dessert prepared for us was the Whipped Berry Bar. The fresh berries on top of this bar gave it a fresh-fruit taste that was not overly sugary, creating a great balance of flavors.
The gluten-free Carrot Cake Cupcake was another delicious dessert we sampled.
While moistness can sometimes be an issue with gluten-free baked goods, it wasn’t a problem here. The made-from-scratch frosting was literally the icing on the cake.
My guest, fellow Beaconite Gabrielle Glick, was hungry for something a bit more substantial, so she decided to order one of Buttercup’s lunches, the curry chicken salad over organic greens.
It was a simple salad of fresh chicken blended with yellow curry, apples and grapes. It made for a sweet-and-savory combo that packed a flavor punch. The fresh organic greens provided a crisp edge, balancing the flavor of the curry perfectly.
Gabrielle and Beacon social-media manager Leah Pough have nothing but good things to say about the dish.
If you are looking for a beautiful bakery experience in taste and atmosphere, look no further than the delight that is Buttercup Bakery.
Stop by to find out which dessert best fits your fancy and, for your next event, consider letting the experts take care of dessert.