Looking for dreamy puff pastries, chewy fudge brownies, perfect pies, and flaky croissants? Check out some of Northshore magazine’s favorite places in our region to satisfy your sweet tooth this winter.
A&J King Artisan Bakers
A&J King Artisan Bakers will celebrate 15 years of crafting artisan baked goods this year. Founders Andy and Jackie King met at the New England Culinary Institute and honed their craft at Standard Baking Co. in Portland, Maine, before opening the bakery at 48 Central Street in Salem in 2006. Over the past 15 years, the couple has partnered with more than a dozen local purveyors, garnered numerous BONS awards, and now delivers artisan breads to over 50 top markets and restaurants in Boston and on the North Shore.
The Kings opened a second retail location on Boston Street in Salem a few years ago that features a state-of-the-art baking environment. A&J King has also started the Neighbor Loaves Donation Program. Customers can order Neighbor Loaves and once the bakery gets 40 orders or more, they deliver the loaves to the Salem Pantry.
For A&J King walk-in service visit 48 Central St., Salem; for reduced contact preorder service visit 139 Boston St., Salem; 978-674-5387, ajkingbakery.com
Buttermilk Baking Company
Small batch baking from scratch is what Ashley Bush has perfected in her pie shop on Liberty Street in Newburyport. And last April she moved to a larger space just a few storefronts down from her original bakeshop. Along with standard hand-made dessert pies such as apple, blueberry, banana cream, and rocky road, Bush has also taken to making savory chicken pot pies as well as quiche. If you like pie, you will love Buttermilk!
9 Liberty St., Newburyport, 978-499-8278, buttermilkbaking.com
Siblings Dimitri and Sophie Vallier have customers swooning over the delightful goodies coming out of their Salem pâtisserie. One of their signature sweets is the French macaron. These colorful, dainty crème-filled cookies are as delicious as they are pretty. The siblings also offer a host of other traditional French desserts such as the Royal au Chocolate, L’opera, (a cake made with layers of almond sponge cake soaked in coffee syrup, topped in ganache and coffee buttercream encased in a chocolate glaze), and Paris-Brest eclair.
281 Essex St., Salem, 978-594-0244, caramelpatisserie.com
Specializing in unique and small-batch baked goods, Figtree in Newburyport offers a range of savory and wheat-free treats. A favorite among customers is the kouign amann (a pastry made with laminated croissant dough) or what the New York Times has called the fattiest pastry in all of Europe. We like to just say tastiest! Founders chef Michael Shea and Brian Murphy also serve up new flavor spins on the traditional croissant such as Boston Cream and French Toast. Sweet and savory scones and tarts are also on offer and so tasty!
3 Liberty St., Newburyport, 978-255-4076, figtreekitchen.com
Good Day Café
Good Day Café is a family-run business, with a stream of loyal customers who—on a daily basis—stop in to grab an organic coffee and homemade treats such as strawberry cheesecake crumb muffins and to-die-for cinnamon rolls. Wholesome food offerings are the primary focus of this modern eatery in a warm and welcoming environment.
19 High St., North Andover, 978-688-6006, mygooddaycafe.com
Honeycomb baker/owner Lauren Moran, a graduate of Boston University’s culinary program, studied under Jacques Pepin and was formerly the executive pastry chef at Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks, as well as working at The Hotel Commonwealth and Island Creek Oyster Bar, among other places. Moran’s bakery items are made on-site every morning and change daily, although Moran does have several regulars on the menu, such as double fudge brownies, tartlets, lemon bars, honey buns, and salted honey bars.
248 Bay Rd., Hamilton, 978-626-0014, honeycombhamilton.com
Market Square Bakeshop
Donut muffins, blueberry scones, cinnamon rolls, pumpkin bread, and gluten-free almond flour brownies are all on offer at this Amesbury bakeshop. All ingredients are organic and locally sourced when possible, making the baked goods all the more coveted.
5 Market Sq., Amesbury, 978-792-5237, marketsquarebakehouse.com
Susanne Clermont’s pastry philosophy is all about making simple creations that let the flavors of her ingredients shine. Her daily array of pastries includes quiches, galettes, scones, and brioche, all filled with whatever fruits, vegetables, and herbs are in season. When she makes apple pie, she prefers to spice it only with a light dusting of freshly grated nutmeg and maybe a pinch of cinnamon. She is moving her operation from Gloucester to Ipswich and will reopen in mid February.
BONS award-winning chefs Chris and Mary Bandereck graduated from Johnson and Wales University in the early ’80s and married in 1986. After years of making cakes and other baked goods at their Topsfield location, a customer asked them to make whoopie pies for a special occasion and the dessert has become one of their biggest sellers—so much so they even have a food truck dedicated to the sweet cream-filled cakes called the Whoopie Pie Wagon.
426B Boston St., Topsfield, 978-887-0795, topsfieldbakeshop.com
Treat Cakes and Confections
Carol Harlow-Carson turned her creative, entrepreneurial spirit into Treat Cakes & Confections. Famous for her cake pops, tiny whoopie pies, cider donut holes, homemade marshmallows, and chocolate-dipped pretzels, she also offers cookies, bars, brownies, and cupcakes as treats at her pop-up location on Fridays: First Parish Church.
1 Arbor St., Wenham, 978-233-1045, treatcakesandconfections.com
Share your favorite bakeshop in the comments below!