Today we’re excited to have Stephanie Nuccitelli of 52 Kitchen Adventures sharing her top five bakery picks. Stephanie is a past winner and recent judge of Cupcake Project’s Ice Cream Cupcake Contest, so she knows her stuff! Here is what Stephanie has to say:
Hi BFFF readers! I’m so excited to be guest posting here today. As an avid baker and dessert blogger, BFFF is a must-read for me. When I was asked to share my favorite bakeries with you, I got right to it. Since I bake so much, I don’t go to bakeries very often, and I have pretty high standards when I do go. Here are some of my favorite local bakeries in Northern California, plus one from my travels around the country (I always seek out bakeries when I’m traveling. It’s a great way to discover new desserts and inspiration!).
When BFFF asked me to list my top five favorite bakeries, this is the first one that immediately came to mind. I’m lucky to live an hour from Napa, and whenever I visit wine country, I stop by Bouchon Bakery in Yountville for a treat or two. I’ve never had anything from there that hasn’t been delicious. From giant macarons in a rainbow of colors to flaky pastries filled with chunks of chocolate, you can’t go wrong. Plus, they have several locations: Yountville, Las Vegas, New York City, and Beverly Hills. I definitely recommend visiting one next time you’re in one of those cities!
Ginger Elizabeth is a chocolatier in Sacramento, CA. This is another place with excellent macarons, but that is only scratching the surface. If you love chocolate, this is the place to be. If you’re ever in California’s capital, be sure to stop in for a thick, velvety hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows and a tiny square of handcrafted chocolate in flavors like Earl Grey or crème brûlée. Pick up a chocolate bar or a slice of rich chocolate cake to take home.
LTEC is a cupcakery in my hometown, Davis, CA. It’s run by a woman and her two daughters, who bake up some delicious cupcakes in a huge range of fun flavors. One of my favorites is Cookie Monster, which has a chunk of cookie dough in the middle and cookie dough buttercream topped with mini chocolate chips. I can’t stand a bad cupcake and usually rely on homemade, but if I have to buy a cupcake from a store, this is where I like to go.
Acme makes some of my favorite breads. The herb slab (it really is a big flat slab of bread) is a go-to in my house for a delightful sandwich. The focaccia and ciabatta can’t be beat, and the cranberry walnut is a perfect snack – just toast it and slather on some butter. If you’re ever in San Francisco, stop by the Ferry Building (which is basically foodie heaven) to buy a fresh loaf or two. They also have a selection of pastries there, including delicious cinnamon rolls.
I remember reading about crack pie and compost cookies a few years ago online. They originated from Momofuku Milk Bar in New York City, so when I had a chance to visit the Big Apple, I made sure to stop by and try some desserts myself. While the crack pie is a tad overrated (not that it’s not good, it’s just hard to live up to such overblown expectations), I have to give Christina Tosi credit. The bakery is full of original ideas and delicious creations. They have soft serve in cool flavors like cereal milk and delicious treats like cornflake marshmallow chocolate chip cookies. They have a cookbook out now too, so if you’re not near NYC, you can try making some of their creative desserts at home.
What are your favorite bakeries? I’d love to hear about a must-stop in your hometown or the best pie you’ve ever eaten!