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Aspinwall's Bella Christie and Lil Z's Sweet Boutique opens a second location in Lawrenceville 

Custom cakes, cookies, donuts, chocolate-covered treats — it's hard to just pick one

It's good news for cake-lovers who are loathe to cross a river: Aspinwall's Bella Christie and Lil Z's Sweet Boutique has opened a second location in Lawrenceville.

Says co-owner Kadee Lewis, who runs the bakery with her sister, Kristin Smith, "We jumped at the opportunity to take over the old Dozen location. We love the neighborhood."

The Butler street location has a funky, reclaimed-wood interior and features a dazzling selection of sweet treats — from colorful cupcakes and cookies to breakfast pastries and glitter-covered bonbons. There are fresh-made donuts, some topped with crumbled cookies or maple bacon. (I enjoyed the "Monkey 'n da' Middle," which was topped with buttercream, chocolate sauce and fresh banana.)

Not surprisingly, chocolate-dipped everything — cookies, pretzels, bacon — are among the shop's best-sellers, according to Lewis. Catering and custom cakes are a big part of BellaChristie's business, and Lewis says they love the challenge when customers dream up fanciful cake ideas.

The new location has the same menu as the Aspinwall location, but Lewis says they plan to offer more vegan and gluten-free options in Lawrenceville. Seating is on the way, and the upstairs space will soon be available for parties.

And like everybody else, Lewis is looking forward to spring, when the sidewalk seating can be put out: "It's definitely a walking community and we want to be part of that."

And what's a good walk without a donut break?

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