The holiday season is many things. It’s cozy fireside nights, quality time with family, and charitable generosity. It’s deliciously bad movies on the Hallmark channel. And it’s also a time for delectable treats—fudge and treacle and cakes and tarts. Chocolates and candies on every coffee table. The smells of pies in the oven and cookies on the cooling rack. Meals as memorable for the company as they are for the food.
After a difficult 2020, it’s all the more important to engage in the traditions that ground us, the traditions that remind us, year after year, of what matters and of all the people and things we can be grateful for. Remember that this year, and remember the many Charlotte bakeries on standby to help you make your family and guests drool with the ghost of desserts past. They too have had a challenging year and would surely welcome the opportunity to be part of your holiday traditions this year.
Sunflour Baking Company
Sunflour has locations in Elizabeth, Dilworth, Harrisburg, and Ballantyne, so no matter where you live in Charlotte, you’re within arm’s reach of a Sunflour location. Find everything you’d hope from a cafe, from muffins and scones to croissants and breakfast sandwiches. Plus, Sunflour has an all-star cupcake and cake selection.
The Batch House
Between Bryant Neighborhood Park and Bank of America Stadium, The Batch House offers a cozy, neighborhood vibe from which The Batchmaker, Cristina Rojas, serves cakes, cookies, bars, and cheesecakes. Rojas, who was born and raised in Honduras, moved to the States for college in 2006. Now, she lives in Charlotte with her two children and husband.
Copain is your destination for artisanal bread, from sourdough to baguette to caraway and rye. In fact, they supply many of this city’s best restaurants with fresh bread for gourmet sandwiches and more. While you pick up a loaf of fresh-baked bread, don’t overlook Copain’s savory and sweet offerings, like coconut cake and buttermilk pie.
Babe & Butcher
This Charlotte business offers breathtakingly beautiful grazing tables, boards, and boxes for healthy or indulgent snacking. In many ways, Babe & Butcher embodies the indulgent gastronomy of the holiday season. Plus, you get to keep the customized cutting board that your food arrives on (or gift it to your favorite family cook).
Sweet Girl Cookies
Sweet Girl Cookies is a true family business, run by their Master Baker Alec “The Doughboy,” Chief of Organizing Nancy, and their VP of Tasting, “Sweet Girl” Zoe. The cookies are phenomenal: rich, dense, soft, and flavored to a tee. Perfect to share with a house crowded for the holidays, they even sell smaller “Sweet Bites,” all with the same great tastes of their larger cookie cousins. If you need cookies to put into a holiday gift basket or to bring into the office this year, these are your go-tos. This time of year, you can snag their limited Snickerdoodle and Peppermint Bark flavors. They also now ship nation-wide, so you can gift these Charlotte cookies to all.
Something Classic Cafe
Developed by the same group that brought Fern and Halcyon to Charlotte, Something Classic Cafe offers the same freshness and flavorful tastes as its sister establishments. Plus, you can enjoy home delivery with two days’ notice on general sweets orders and three days’ notice on six and eight-inch gourmet cakes.
Sweet Spot Studio
Sweet Spot Studio, under the guidance of Pastry Chef Jossie Lukacik, deserves a spot on any list of top Charlotte bakeries. It operates on three tiers. The studio offers cookie classes. The supply company offers ingredients and tools for cookie-making. The Cookie Club offers subscription boxes for cookie decorating.
Want to order something sweet for the holidays? These delicious cookies, created by instructor and cookie expert Erin Eason for Sweet Spot, are available in traditional sugar or gluten-free, with icing.
Milk Glass Pie
Milk Glass Pie, by Keia Mastrianni, serves up small-batch, old fashioned pies from scratch. You can find both sweet and savory pies made from local, seasonally grown ingredients wherever Milk Glass Pie pops up. Follow them on Twitter or subscribe to their mailing list to see where they will be next.
Your Mom’s Donuts
Handmade, ever-fresh donuts free from preservatives or dye are a specialty of Courtney Buckley, who owns and runs Your Mom’s Donuts. Stop in for an assortment of standard and specialty flavors, like salted caramel, lemon honey, and strawberry goat cheese at a brick and mortar location in Matthews or Park Road Shopping Center.
Southpark’s Renaissance Patisserie is your destination for french pastries like croissants, danishes, and turnovers; classic patisserie fare like tarts, eclairs, opera cake, tiramisu, creme brulee, madeleines, meringues, and napoleons; plus creative cakes. Everything in this establishment tastes like you might have found it in a gourmet bakery on the streets of Paris.
Amelie’s is one of Charlotte’s best-known bakeries, in part due to its eye-catching interior, chockablock full of campy, French-themed decor. Stop in for brunch, but buy a few pastries to savor later as an after-dinner dessert.
This elegant destination, located inside the Ritz-Carlton Charlotte, is a chocolate enthusiasts dream. Stop in Bar Cocoa for pastries, macarons, cakes, homemade gelato, and of course: chocolates.
Tucked away in the Park Road Shopping Center but not to be missed, Suarez Bakery has been featured on the Food Network, in Food and Wine, and in Our State Magazine. It’s hard to choose what to order: mouthwatering cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and doughnuts all compete for a spot in your belly.
Craft Cakes CLT
You may discover that the cakes designed by Craft Cakes CLT are too beautiful to eat. Should you arrive at this conclusion, know that you are probably not the first to do so; however, you will be making a grave mistake as you miss out on one tasty concoction. These pastries double as desserts and contemporary art masterpieces.
Pastry supplier by sweet treat:
- Order the cookie jar from The Batch House, which includes 12 cookies in four different flavors (so you and your family can sample an assortment like oreo truffle, orange pistachio, and chocolate puddle)
- Or, order two dozen holiday-themed sugar cookies from Suarez Bakery for a classic holiday dessert offering.
- Order an artistic masterpiece from Craft Cakes CLT and make it the centerpiece of your holiday dining table. Know that this maestro can also make her creations vegan.
- Check out the rotating pie menu from Milk Glass Pie and place your order in advance.
- Treat any guests in town for the holidays to morning pastries from Renaissance Patisserie, a dozen donuts from Your Mom’s Donuts, and biscuits from Copain.
Evening hors d’oeuvres
- Babe & Butcher should be your go-to for holiday party finger foods. Order their charcuterie, fruit and cheese, or dessert boards
- If your friend is treating you to a holiday dinner, arrive with an appetizer from Something Classic Cafe in hand, like a fruit and cheese box.
- Or, if a friend or family member has been kind enough to host you overnight for the holidays, send them cupcakes from Sunflour Baking Company after you leave. These adorable gifts are packaged in reusable mason jars and ship nationwide.