May 18, 2024

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Cooking Is My World

Knoxville has two new spots serving up boozy desserts

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Flash-frozen chocolate ice cream topped with marshmallow syrup, graham crackers, chocolate chips … and cinnamon whiskey?

How about a moist chocolate cake layered with homemade nougat, caramel, Italian buttercream … with a spike of caramel vodka?

Knoxville has two new alcohol-infused dessert spots to mix things up.

Lulu Liquor Cakes is open north of downtown and Buzzed Bull Creamery is coming at the end of June or beginning of July.

Buzzed Bull Creamery uses liquid nitrogen to flash freeze made-to-order ice cream flavors infused with bourbon, whiskey, spiced rum, tequila or flavored vodkas, and then the creation is topped with mix-ins of your choice.


“It adds a treat to the treat,” Buzzed Bull owner Jessica Saccone told Knox News.

Chicagoans Saccone and her husband Steve decided to open a branch of Buzzed Bull Creamery plus Roll On In, a sushi burrito and hibachi restaurant, when two of their four children started attending the University of Tennessee.

“My husband and I just felt something so palpable whenever we came down here (to Knoxville). Like wow, we love it here. … We want to live here,” she said.

Buzzed Bull is family-friendly and offers nonalcoholic versions of all its ice creams, milkshakes and sorbets. Nondairy options are available as well.

One person looking forward to Buzzed Bull Creamery is Laura LaRue, whose own alcohol-infused desserts business is growing. You may have seen her Lulu Liquor Cakes food truck around town, but LaRue opened her first storefront earlier this month on Broadway.

“It is very invigorating. It feels like a big accomplishment — which it is a big accomplishment — to start where I started from and be where I’m at now,” LaRue told Knox News while icing a cake.

She and her daughter take basic cake flavors like chocolate, red velvet and lemon, give them an alcohol kick, and package them in jars. LaRue often partners with local breweries and distilleries to create special, limited-edition recipes.

Her creations have been a hit with customers walking into the new storefront and becoming fans.

The food truck will continue to make stops across town, with scaled back operations as they focus on the storefront. But LaRue sees a bright future for Lulu Liquor Cakes.

“We would like to work toward franchising,” she told Knox News. “We’re not stopping at just the storefront. We have big goals.”

She understands why boozy desserts are a growing trend.

“It’s something unique. It’s a novelty. We all love dessert, but I think people get tired of the same stuff. So, I think it puts a nice, fun twist for adults on enjoying dessert,” LaRue said.

And every week, Lulu’s is serving up something unique, like a chicken and waffles cupcake infused with liquor, or a potato chip cookie with salted caramel whiskey, which will be available later this month.

Saccone has a few go-to Buzzed Bull menu creations to suggest.

“Tigers! I like the Tiger Stripes if you like peanut butter,” Saccone said, referencing a peanut butter/chocolate-based ice cream buzzed with spice rum.

“I also like the one that has apple pie moonshine in it from Ole Smoky. (It’s called) the Hard Apple Pie.”

There are also Buzzed Bull Creamery locations currently open in Sevierville and Pigeon Forge (though they’re not owned by Saccone).

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