This tour begins in mountain-edged Asheville, in earshot of a street musician with a guitar who’s singing about faded flowers and lost love. At the narrow Pack Square location of The Sisters McMullen bakery, a.k.a. the Cupcake Corner, customers eye the glass case of pastries, overwhelmed by options. Opened in 2006, the corner shop often has a line at the counter, especially on festival weekends when tourists and locals stop in for a black-and-white cookie or croissant. Here, the whoopie pie is bigger than an overstuffed pulled-pork sandwich at a Carolina smokehouse, and the day’s lineup of cupcakes includes versions with gooey lemon or raspberry filling and a very dark chocolate cupcake baked with Guinness beer. (That moist, not-too-sweet cake didn’t last long.) A few minutes away at the other location on Merrimon Avenue, owner Andrea McMullen Sailer points beyond the vintage, chrome stools with crimson upholstery that line a wall of windows. “I live just over that mountain,” she says, and talks of Asheville’s luck to be a city thick with great neighborhood cafes.

The Sisters McMullen is closed.

Visit the rest of the delectable independent, local bakeries in Our State‘s North Carolina dessert tour:
Mountain Pie Company
Jimmie’s Sweets
Hayes Barton Café & Dessertery
Bread of Heaven Bakery
Cheesecakes by Alex
Paul’s Pastry Shop
Seaside Cheesecake Dessert Shoppe
Savannah Red
Bailey Café
The Bakehouse
Sugar on Front Street

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Since 1933, Our State has shared stories about North Carolina with readers both in state and around the world. We celebrate the people and places that make this state great. From the mountains to the coast, we feature North Carolina travel, history, food, and beautiful scenic photography.