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Studio City’s Big Sugar Bakeshop: Sweet treats and a TV trivia tidbit

Posted By Karen Young On December 10, 2009 @ 1:33 am In Cuisine,Eat,Featured,Food,Grocery Markets,Home & Garden,Jewelry & Gifts,Markets,My Daily Find,Other,Shop,spotlight,Sweets,Sweets | 2 Comments

carole rosner90BY  CAROLE ROSNER

At 3:00 in the morning most residents of Studio City are asleep—but not Lisa Ritter, co-owner and head baker at Big Sugar Bakeshop on Ventura Blvd. Ritter is busy making the scones, muffins, cookies, brownies and cakes that fill the display cases and counters at Big Sugar everyday. As the sun rises, co-owner Mary Odson joins Ritter to bake the pies, stock the shelves and open the doors for the eager customers.

Big Sugar Bakeshop has been the go-to bakery in Studio City since December 2006. This cozy shop makes everything fresh daily using top quality ingredients, heirloom recipes and lots of love. Ritter  and Odson’s goal was to have a neighborhood store where people could pick up a cake, a card and a gift all in one place.

Mary and Lisa. Photo: Carole Rosner

Lisa Ritter and Mary Odson. Photos courtesy Big Sugar Bakeshop

In addition to a huge variety of delicious cakes, Big Sugar offers an ever-changing selection of mouth watering treats including Buckeyes (an Ohio specialty candy made with peanut butter balls dipped in dark chocolate), Scout Brownies (made with Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies), Red Velvet cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting (not the usual cream cheese frosting) and Chocolate Malt Pie (a chocolate cookie crust pie with dense chocolate malt filling and crushed malted milk balls on top).

Big Sugar Bakeshop.

Big Sugar Bakeshop.

“My favorite is the mini cranberry scones. One of my daughters loves the donut muffins (as does Marc Cherry, creator of “Desperate Housewives”) and the other daughter loves the chocolate cupcakes,” said customer Susan Berin. “Also, having Big Sugar provide sustenance at the PTA meetings at my daughters’ school made the meetings much more tolerable.”

Lemon bars.

Lemon bars.

“Desserts are specific to people,” Ritter explained. “People remember desserts the way they remember them and they want it to taste like their memories.” Because of this, Big Sugar makes a lot of special requests. “If someone wants caramelized pineapple and a frosting frog on top of a cake, we’ll do it.”

The upcoming holidays are celebrated in a big way here too—there will be apple cinnamon tortes, Star of David sugar cookies, peppermint brownies, gingerbread men, women and dogs, pumpkin cupcakes with brown sugar buttercream frosting and a special order item called “Damp Gingerbread” (an English delicacy).

Scones.

Scones.

There are plenty of great gift choices at Big Sugar Bakeshop too—Hana’s Kitchen housewares (created by Mary’s tween daughter), hard- to-find tins of Mariebelle Drinking Chocolate, beautiful dessert cookbooks, whimsical greeting cards, and baskets overflowing with edible and non-edible goodies.

“I love visiting Big Sugar for a treat or to shop — I’m always able to find a gift from their eclectic selection! My kids love their special events — they won best costume prizes at their Halloween event a couple years ago, and still talk about the chocolate-dipped pretzel “wands” at a Harry Potter gathering that we attended. Also, I really appreciate that the owners of Big Sugar give so generously to the community by supporting our local public schools,” said customer Barbara Brabec .

Bakery case.

Bakery case.

Fun Hollywood tidbit—Big Sugar Bakeshop creates and styles food requested by local production companies. Pound cakes were baked for Dunder Mifflin (“The Office”) and the pie on the cover of Desperate Housewife Bree Van de Kamp’s (Marcia Cross) cookbook were created by Big Sugar.

Because Ritter and Odson think of everything, there are always free cake candles at the front counter, just in case you need them.

Note: Don’t miss the Big Sugar Holiday Boutique featuring Marla Johnson Jewlery, gifts and baked goods Friday, December 11 6-8pm

1960s cake.

1960s cake.

Big Sugar Bakeshop 12182 Ventura Blvd. Studio City, CA 91604  ph: 818.508.5855 www.bigsugarbakeshop.com
Hours: 9am-6:30pm Monday-Saturday  Sunday: 11am-5pm

Carole Rosner is a native Valley Girl who has lived in Studio City for the past 11 years. She is a strong supporter of her local public schools and an active volunteer in her neighborhood. Some of her favorite things to do in Studio City are to celebrate 4th of July at CBS Radford, walk along Ventura Blvd. and browse through the racks at Crossroads Trading Company.

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