The New Sweet Indulgence is a favorite bakery for many in this town, but it has more to offer than just cupcakes and cookies. The bakery is more of a café, serving up hot and cold beverages, breakfast, and lunch.
The bakery sells — you guessed it — baked goods like cakes and pies and cookies. There are muffins and scones ($3 each), if you’re in need of something for the morning meeting at the office. They’re very yummy. There are always plates of cookies available and they are the perfect things to pick up on the fly if you’re heading to some social event and need something really quickly. Often they are fun and/or festively decorated sugar cookies. These sugar cookies are also available singly; on my most recent visit there were cookies decorated like dinosaurs, squirrels, rainbows, and fish. They’re fun for kids and adults alike.
The case is full of cupcakes ($4), of which a large variety of flavors are available, including, but not limited to: carrot cake, strawberry cream, peanut butter chocolate, red velvet, and chocolate covered strawberry. The cupcakes are pretty large and the frosting is more than generous. You can purchase cupcakes by the dozen in three sizes: mini, regular, and gourmet (AKA, huge). I’ve had the cupcakes in the past, and they’re a treat. The tarts are also tasty, although sometimes the tart crust can be too hard. The filling on the chocolate mousse and key lime are superb, though, and well worth the calories.
My favorite treat to get at Sweet Indulgence is the cake truffle ($1.75). Actually, let my try that sentence again: My favorite treat to get at Sweet Indulgence is the box of cake truffles ($10.60). (I don’t know why I pretend to have secrets.) Each box contains six truffles, and consuming them constitutes the best six seconds of my day. They are moist. They are cakey. They are sweet. They have sprinkles. They come in different flavors. Sweet baby Jesus, they are good.
I have also had my fair share of cookies, and often return to the chocolate chip cookie sandwich, which has buttercream frosting in the middle ($1.75).
In addition to sweets and treats, the bakery also serves a limited breakfast and lunch menu. The café-style menu includes salads, sandwiches, and quiche. Lunches are served from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and are $8.95 each. Each lunch option is served with grapes, a cookie, and your choice of side (salad, chips, or seasonal side, which was broccoli bacon salad when I was there). There are a few tables inside, and in good weather there will be one or two more outside. Hot or cold beverages range in price from $1.50 to $5.50.
A friend and I dined in one afternoon. I ordered the quiche Lorraine with a side salad with lemon vinaigrette. It took a few minutes for lunch to arrive, and for $9, I felt like there was an equitable amount of food. The quiche was served cold, which was the pits. There was a microwave on the counter on the drink station, but I would have had to remove the quiche from my fully loaded plate and microwave it on a napkin. And quite frankly, microwaved food is the worst. It would have preferred the quiche to be served at room temperature, or at least heated enough to take the chill off. I found the slice of egg pie to be fine — it wasn’t the best slice of quiche I’ve ever had, but it wasn’t even close to the worst. The ratio of egg to piecrust favored the crust, and because it was cold it was not that appetizing.
The side salad, on the other hand, was pretty great. There were lettuces and veggies and strawberries and cheese. The lemon vinaigrette was tangy and bright; it paired well not only with the salad, but also with the quiche. The grapes and cookies made me feel like I had a well-balanced lunch.
My friend ordered the turkey sandwich on honey cranberry wheat bread, and it was huge and tasty. It was packed with turkey and cheese, and plenty of veggies. She ordered her side salad with the creamy cilantro lime dressing, and it was fantastic. Also bright and citrusy, the dressing made eating vegetables a more than pleasurable experience.
We both decided that a “real” dessert was necessary. I had a slice of blueberry pie, and she had a lemon blueberry cheesecake. The blueberry pie had a crumb topping, which is the only acceptable pie topping as far as I’m concerned, and it was sweet and delicious. The lemon blueberry cheesecake was probably enough for two — we shared, in fact — and it was creamy.
While I can’t say that I’d order the quiche again, I can say that I’d certainly return for a salad. I’ll definitely be back for some sweet treats; I just can’t seem to get enough of those cake truffles. There was only one other person eating lunch at the same time, but there was a more than steady stream of customers coming in for baked goods and beverages. Sweet Indulgence is a nice alternative to Sun Singer, if you’re looking for a light lunch. Even though they aren’t the same type of establishment, Sweet Indulgence offers lunches that are a little cheaper than Sun Singer, and without the lengthy wait. (Sun Singer is always packed at lunchtime.) Don’t be turned off by the crazy parking lot; drive around back where it’s less crowded and walk to the front of the building.
The New Sweet Indulgence is located at 1121 W Windsor Rd, Champaign, and is open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s closed on Sunday.
Photos by Jessica Hammie.