Where: 6345 E Hampden Ave #103
Pros: Delicious soft serve frozen yogurt, gelato, ice cream and sorbet, all made with natural and local dairy. Try the heavenly (and healthy) peanut butter fudge skim milk gelato. Milk & Cake also features 30+ cupcake flavors daily, with ever-changing options like maple bacon French toast, raspberry lemonade, and banana peanut butter. The cupcakes are moist and not-too-sweet.
Cons: Traffic can be a bit crazy in this area, but luckily this dessert shop has the feel of a welcoming café, making it easy to relax with a French press and cupcake of choice.
Denver Fashion Weekend is quickly approaching, and 303 Magazine is excited to announce that this can’t-miss event just got a little bit sweeter— Denver dessert shop Milk & Cake will be providing some delicious eats on November 13th, 15th + 16th.
Milk & Cake is a gorgeously designed gem of a dessert shop that’s been open for just over a year. Tucked in a brand new shopping center on Hampden right off of I-25, it is a dessert lovers dream in a modern, airy package. Though this is a frozen yogurt shop, the textured wood walls make the space feel more warm and welcoming than your typical fro-yo joint. Milk & Cake is the kind of place you could imagine coming to enjoy desserts with friends, rather than just taking them to go…
That is exactly what owner Robert Camacho had envisioned when he made the decision to open up shop. After years of owning a liquor store, he wanted to get into a different, healthier business. A Boulder native, Camacho had always loved frozen yogurt for its delicious taste and healthy properties. He knew that he wanted to sell desserts that could appease the health-conscious and dietary-restricted, as well as regular sweet fanatics alike.
“The array of flavors is staggering”
While almost every shopping center has a requisite fro-yo shop these days, Camacho’s vision for Milk & Cake stands out from the crowd. Not only in its aesthetic — which is far more chic than most– but also in its offerings. The soft serve yogurts, ice creams and gelatos are all made with Boulder Dairy, a local option free of hormones, corn syrup and dyes.
Unlike other fro-yo shops, Milk & Cake carries an almost equal amount of ice creams and gelatos as they do yogurt options, all of which are made with real ingredients and flavoring agents. This came as a relief to me—for while I love a fruity frozen yogurt topped with fresh fruit, flavors like peanut butter, caramel, and chocolate don’t always work as well with the tang of the yogurt. The peanut butter fudge gelato I sampled bridged the gap between the healthfulness of fro-yo and the sinfulness of ice cream. While this treat is thick, creamy, and full of peanut butter flavor, it’s actually made with skim milk. An array of tempting flavors include the likes of Strawberry Shortcake, Nutella, and Blood Orange, though the yogurt flavors change often to reflect seasonality—expect Pumpkin and Peppermint soon enough. One of the most interesting flavors was the Almond Vanilla, made with 100% almond milk for a dairy-free treat. This flavor is actually Camacho’s favorite, and it’s easy to see why. It’s the kind of dessert that tastes so great you forget it’s actually healthy.
The cake part of the Milk & Cake name refers to the 30 + flavors of cupcakes in the display case, all of which are made in house daily. As with the fro-yo offerings, Camacho designed the cupcake menu with attention to dietary restrictions, and always features five different flavors of gluten-free cupcakes. While I was unsure at first about the marriage between fro-yo and cupcakes, it actually works quite well as a dessert experience.
“Everyone loves cupcakes,” Camacho said. He brought his best recipes to the table here, and it really shows. While the array of flavors is rather staggering (most dedicated cupcake shops don’t even carry this many), I was really impressed with the fact that all of the cupcakes I tried were equally moist, not overly sweet, and flavorful.
The lemon cupcake I sampled during a recent visit was a crave-able, bright little bite of sunshine. The moist lemony cake and the lemon frosting struck the perfect balance between tart and sweet, no easy feat when making citrus desserts. Another winner was the salted caramel chocolate cupcake, with the most flavorful caramel frosting I’ve had. I asked Camacho why all of the frostings were so delicious, and he told me that they use cream cheese in many of them. The light tang of the cream cheese is the perfect way to keep the cupcakes from tasting too sweet, one of their common pitfalls. Other flavors I loved included the cinnamon roll cupcake, topped with cinnamon frosting and a cream cheese drizzle, and the deliciously light and moist pumpkin cupcake. Luckily, the shop also offers mini cupcakes, so you can feel less guilty about sampling a few of the flavors at a time. That should make it easier to work your way through the selections, including creative flavors like Dr. Pepper with spiced rum butter cream, Snickers, or maple bacon French toast. Wash all the cakes down with a French press coffee or a nice cold glass of milk.
While both cupcakes and frozen yogurt have caught a lot of flak over the years as being overdone trends, Milk & Cake somehow makes both of them seem fresh and exciting again. At the end of the day, most people just want a dessert that tastes good, trendiness aside. And trust me, every offering at Milk+ Cake fits the bill.
For a taste of Milk & Cake, come to Denver Fashion Weekend on November 13th, 15th + 16th, where you can sample some of these delicious cupcakes for yourself.
All photos by Lindsey Bartlett.