The sweet allure of the bakery is something no one can deny. Wedding cakes decorated to the nines with glitz and glamor, fresh breads straight from the oven and icing-dappled little pastries all have the ability to reduce me, nose to the display case, to sugar-hungry child. From trendy design-heavy firms to small neighborhood shops serving up ethnic delicacies, Philly is full of great spots to dive into a toothache. Check out these five haute picks for some dessert decadence.
On a corner of Chestnut Hill in a store front that looks right out of a fairy tale you’ll find this city staple that has been dolling out dough since 1889. Well known for their amazing wedding and theme cakes, these bakers can turn a round of chocolate into a Louis Vuitton bag or a smiley rubber ducky with few cuts and some amazing icing skills. They also have amazing smaller cakes certain to be the talk of your dinner party (try the amazing cannoli cake) and miniature pastries for Sunday brunch.
Bredenbeck’s is located at 8126 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, 215.247.7374, www.bredenbecks.com
When you talk about food and Philadelphia, many purists will start talking about the Italian Market. Old fashioned recipes with quality ingredients, the tiny streets serve up some taste fare. Case in point is Termini, whose buttery Italian cookies, cannolis and cakes are just like Grandma would make if she knew how. Get the real feel at the quaint South Philly location, or stop by one of their four newer spots around town.
Termini Brothers is located at 1523 South 8th Street, Philadelphia, 215.334.1816, 1538 Packer Avenue, Philadelphia, 215.336.1001, Reading Terminal Market, 12th & Filbert streets, 215.329.1790, Comcast Center, 1701 JFK Blvd., 215.575.0504, 137 Egg Harbor Road, Sewell, NJ, 856.228.8922, www.termini.com
When you need your pastries to just be downright pretty, call on Zoe Lucas and her team at Whipped. With a BFA in painting this artist/baker created amazing art out of sugar. Look for hand-painted cookies, perfectly piped cupcakes and detailed custom cakes that will have you searching for an excuse for a party. Can’s make it to the shop? Whipped delivers, too.
Whipped is located at 636 Belgrade Street, Philadelphia, 215.598.5449, www.whippedbakeshop.com
I’ve only mentioned cannoli twice in this post, and this is Philadelphia, so I’d be amiss if I didn’t go for three and list Isgro’s. Popularly considered the best spot for fried dough and cream in the city, this is another one of those old Italian spots that makes you want to quote “The Godfather.” If you aren’t in a cannoli mood (is that possible?) try the oh-s0-divine Italian rum cake.
Isgro Pasticceria is located at 1009 Christian Street, Philadelphia, 215.923.3092, www.bestcannoli.com
Sometimes, it’s hard to choose. When you want sample nearly every sweet culinary creation out there, stop by one of the South Jersey locations of Classic Cake for an eyeful. Pies, mousse, cookies, brownies, croissants – whew, I’m getting tired just reading the menu. And, of course, there are amazing cakes, made with simple buttercream or designed to match any party theme you can dream up.
Classic Cake is located at 480 Evesham Road, Cherry Hill, NJ, 856.751.5448, 100 Hurffville-Cross Keys Road, Sewell, NJ, 856.262.7400, www.classiccake.com