If youth is wasted on the young, chocolate ganache certainly is. How often have we spent seven dollars on a scoop of ice cream for our little ones, only to watch it melt in the bowl while they push it around with their spoon? If only they knew that in about twenty years, they wouldn’t be able to eat ice cream without thinking about the extra calories they would have to work off at the gym tomorrow.
Indeed, sweet eating is a grownup’s game, requiring a great deal of research, self-knowledge and investigation. While no matter where you go, you should always be apprised of all the great bakeries in the area, today we focus on Orange County, California. Let the little ones do Disneyland, you have more adult pursuits to think about. Here is a list of some of the OC’s finest bakeries, to satisfy all your travel cravings.
Chocolate chip muffins with chips so big, they pop out and beg to be eaten. Banana bread so fresh and crumbly, it breaks apart before your eyes.
Could this all be paleo, and keto friendly? King Almond is the Orange County bakery that puts sweets with dairy and flour to shame.
The secret? It’s all in the Almond.
Business owner Mary P is introducing the world to baking with the king of nuts to provide sweet treats to the gluten free, soy free, dairy free, refined sugar free, preservative free, and artificially flavor free millennium, so prepare to go nuts at King Almond.
Plus, as an added bonus, Mary will even customize your order to remove or add any ingredients you wish. Talk about customer service!
If the promise of a cremburlatte isn’t enough to lure you to the Blackmarket bakery, perhaps the flourless walnut mudslide will be. The Blackmarket Bakery is the hipster bakery with a flair for creativity.
From the chess and checkerboards on every table to the offbeat names of the sandwiches, the Blackmarket is a study in originality, and one that offers no easy choices. You’ll have to return to the Blackmarket several times in order to make sure you know what you’re missing.
Come to the Blackmarket for the hot mess they call the Breakfast Biscuit Sandwich, return at lunch for the Uber PBNJ, and top the day off with the amazing beast known as the Wild Thing, dripping with two kinds of cheeses, mushrooms, and crispy salty bacon.
FYI, Blackmarket’s also got a staggering selection of bread pudding that’s so unconventional, the mere name bread pudding seems to be too dated to describe it. Be prepared to have your mind blown.
Fluffy Buns Bakery
If you want to bring a little of the main course into your desert, the Choco-Beet at the Fluffy Buns can’t be beat – unless of course you’re more of a kale berry lemonade type.
The Fluffy Buns Bakery is proving that the way to the heart is through the stomach, by matching heart-healthy ingredients with gooey sweetness. Put an order in for the spinapple (spinach pineapple) mini cupcakes or the sweet matcha to make your party the subject of conversation around the water cooler the next day. With a different pastel frosting to match each plant based selection, you’ll feel like you’re eating your way through a Katy Perry video.
Try the strawberry, royal sesame, and blueberry spinach, and let us know how your superpowers were activated.
The Dough and Arrow
If a cookie and a coffee sounds like the perfect midday fuel, there is no better place than the Dough and Arrow. If you ever had a childhood fantasy about combining all of your favorite treats into one messy concoction, the Dough and Arrow has fulfilled it.
Think you can eat the sink? Try the kitchen sink cookie! No time for breakfast? The cereal cookie is a great way to get the most important meal of the day!
But the hand’s down favorite is probably the Smookie with Hershey’s chocolate and gooey marshmallow washed down with the Cookie Cream Latte. The bits of cookie crumb at the top will hook any coffee connoisseur, and that’s just the way the cookie crumbles at the Dough and Arrow.
The Sweets Life By Liza
Liza is not just a baker, she is an artiste. Her creations are so beautiful, it is almost a shame to eat them, with almost being the key phrase.
Surely once one hears that Liza makes her own salted caramel, the thought of having your cake and eating it too just seems to go out the window. While you can’t leave without trying the salted caramel, the churro cupcakes with the cute little churros on top are not to be taken lightly, and the chocolate coconut cake with the toasted coconut icing? TDF!
Also, make sure to try some of the lemonade cake with the raspberry lemonade, but remember, with Liza’s designs, you need to be prepared to eat the flowers.
Size matters at Cakewalk Desserts, but not in the way you would think. At Cakewalk, big things come in little packages, which is not only a novel approach to baking, but also pretty good way to save a few calories.
Cakewalk is the bakery/ caterer specializing in designer cake pops, pie pops, tea cakes, and mini pies, but these are no ordinary minis. Everything at Cakewalk is a labor of love. The pie pops are so gorgeous and intricately done, the name ‘pie pops’ almost seems to trivialize them; they deserve to have a category all to themselves.
There are mini pecan pies, and apple pies with mini crusts, and mini fillings; they’re just like shrunken down pies on a stick. The crust is flaky, and the key lime will knock your socks off. And if you’re indecisive, don’t worry! These minis are so small, you can try a little of everything, and you’ll definitely want to.
Bear Cheese Tart
Sometimes the way to the stomach is through the tart. If you have a craving for a tart, there is one place to go, and one place only. The Bear Cheese Tart specializes in one thing, and they’ve got the art of the tart down to a science.
The menu here is short and sweet. You’ve got the pineapple cheese tart, the matcha cheese tart,the strawberry, mango, and the chocolate – plus if you order two of these babies, you get a free tea drink.
But beware, they may look fun, but these tarts are serious business. The filling is dense and cream, the texture is heavenly, and the crust? Oh, wow!
The motto of this place is, “The Tarts Even Bears Love,” so bear that in mind when you order. You may just find yourself with an overbearing addiction.
If you’ve ever had a really good canele, an under par canele is simply unacceptable. Once you’ve had the real thing, it’s safe to say that you will willingly search far and wide for another; and you’ll find it at Frenchies.
As you may expect, caneles are not the easiest things to find in Orange County, which probably makes the experience of finding caneles as they were meant to be at Frenchies even sweeter. The Frenchies canele has the perfect balance of a caramelized crust outside, with a soft custardy interior for a delicate texture, ideal amount of sweetness, and just the right hint of rum flavoring.
Get these in full size, mini size, gluten free, and dairy free options, but be warned, it is not unusual to hear reports of six caneles eaten in one sit down, so be prepared to buy extra, so your family can have some too.
It’s intra, meaning inner, and sana meaning heal, and we all know there’s nothing quite like goodies to help us heal from the inside, but at Intrasana, the healing comes guilt free.
Organic, vegan, paleo friendly, gluten, and dairy free, healthy and oh, so yummy is how people are describing Jane’s fabulous Coconutty chocolate chip cookies and fudgacado.
If you’re in the OC, you’ll definitely want to try some of these natural delights, but be prepared for life changing experiences. Once you’ve tried Intrasana, you may never go back to regular fudge again.
The Mill Bakery
Sure, we love the innovative bakeries with all the latest recipes and out of the box combinations, but every once in a while, we just get the hankering for the old school. What ever happened to the super sized hunks of cake made with real sugar and heaping with filling and icing with fresh strawberries and the Minnie Mouse decorations? They’re at the Mill Bakery. H
ow about a half red velvet and half marble cake with cream cheese filling? Or a two tiered cake with one layer of Bavarian Cream and another of pineapple. You’ll find that at the Mill; just be prepared to get to there early. These guys bring a whole new meaning to the expression “selling like hot cakes.”
The cakes may be made to order, but you’ll had to get in line early to get some fresh apple fritters and conchas. The Pan Dulce is amazing – just make sure you clean up the crumbs and sugar from the car, so no one knows you ate it all by yourself before you even left the parking lot.
Grab your metal tray and your tongs and keep focused on those concheladas! They say the early bird gets the worm, but at the Tlaxacala Bakery, you may not be early enough to get the last concha.
At this madre and padre operation, there are predators everywhere waiting to swoop in from behind and get that remaining pastry, so make sure to stay on guard and ready to fight for what’s yours.
Other must haves at the Tlaxacala include the tres leches sheet cake, pan dulce, flans, and gelatinas. Pile your pastries high, watch your back, and take no prisoners, it’s every man for himself at the Tlaxacala.
The Fancy Cake Bakery
Some dream of fantasy romance, others of fantasy cars, and others of fantasy cakes. No matter how delicious a homemade cake may be, somewhere in the minds of most foodies lurks the desire for a confection so gloriously beautiful, that it puts every other food image on social media to shame.
For everyone who dreams of a fancy cake, there is a cake to fulfill that dream, and for all those cakes, there is the Fancy Cake Factory. What makes the cakes at the Fancy Cake Factory, so impossibly fantastic? Could it be the French macaroons, the gold trim, the oozing filling or the galaxy opal frosting? Could it be the figurines, the pastel colors, or the superhero themes?
Start dreaming of your cake now, because the possibilities are endless.
85 Degrees Celsius
If trying new things is part of your New Year’s Resolution, and counting calories is not, you’ll want to hightail it to the 85 Degrees Celsius Bakery Cafe. This Asian themed bakery is sort of like a new age Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory with a little less chocolate.
The fruit and cheese pastries are the absolute product of genius, and most agree that the mangotale, berry tale, milk bun and taro bun are not to be missed. For the 85 degree novice: grab your tongs and trays load up and chow down. Make sure to keep a heads up for the strawberry tiramisu, and the hot dog cheese bread. Grab a cup of sea salt coffee, head for the register, and enjoy!
Know any great OC Bakeries that we left out? Let us know where you get your sweet tooth on in the OC! We’re bringing our appetites!