FRUIT CAKE AND COOKIES AND BREADS, OH MY!

These Twin Cities bakeries have your favorite holiday treats—plus some new goodies, too

Photo by sarsmis/Fotolia

By Lianna Matt

While you can't replace cookies baked with the family, sometimes it's nice to mix it up with a special centerpiece dessert or a basket of holiday goods to share. Go stress-free and get homemade holiday delights like the infamous fruit cakes, pannettones, torts, cookies and more from some of the best bakeries Minneapolis and St. Paul have to offer.

Top Picks

These four bakeries have a wide array of options and offer the best of the best goods, whether it be breads, sweets or other treats.

Patisserie 46 will give you that treasured chocolate hazelnut pannettone, Yule Tide log and French macaroons, and they’ll raise you a box of dark chocolate jingle bells filled with caramels and mendicants. If you’re betting against this bakery’s ability to please, fold now—that isn’t even a quarter of their holiday menu.

Rustica (and many of our Twin Cities bakeries) has regular items that easily fit the holidays, like almond danishes and pumpkin quick bread, but it has some items specially available December through February. Nibble on eclairs, dig into bread pudding, enjoy cherry frangipane tart and more.

Sarah Jane’s Bakery Northeast has everything you need to throw a party. From this old school neighborhood bakery, you can get trays of the 10 classic holiday cookies (think the likes of snickerdoodles, Russian tea cakes, Spritz and more), peanut brittle, decorated sugar cookies, large Christmas tree coffee cake and more.

Sunstreet Breads has a huge holiday selection, including specialty breads and cookies to share. Go for a classic gingerbread man or pie, change up your Russian tea cake for a toffee teacake or indulge in tradition with treats such as pfeffernusse, fruit cake and julekake.

BONUS: Bittersweet is a 100 percent gluten free bakery. While its cranberry sunrise bars, lemon meringue pies, double chocolate scones and more make for delicious treats, also consider its take-and-bake pizza, pancake and cornbread options for gluten free guests staying a little while.

Specialties

These bakeries are good all around, but each has something a little special for the holidays.

Angel Food Bakery’s boozy fruit and nut cake sold out within a day when it debuted in 2014. Fair warning. The dense fruit cake is full of nuts, dried fruit, natural ingredients and a healthy amount of Grand Marnier French liqueur, and it takes two weeks to age perfectly for your take-home enjoyment. This cake packs a heft at 3 pounds, but it’s good for 12-14 servings. (The mini dessert buffet and salted caramel fudge and cranberry white chocolate Yule logs are nothing to sneeze at, either.)

Finnish Bistro has decadent cakes, with a full menu including raspberry cheesecakes, sinful chocolate cakes, crème de menthe (mint) cake, Italian chocolate almond cake and mocha toffee cake, but it also has some specialty goods that you’ve been looking for. Get their 9- or 18-ring pyramid cake Scandinavian Kransekake, Finnish cardamom iced pulla, homemade lefse and more.

Nadia Cakes has “Cupcake Wars” fame, but this holiday season it also has daily cupcake flavors including egg nog, gingerbread, peppermint mocha and cotton headed ninny muggings (complete with caramel popcorn).

Nikolette’s Macarons offers a holiday macarons of the peppermint, egg nog and hot chocolate variety by the boxed dozen. If you love the holiday season but not so much the flavors of the holiday season, make your own variety box with flavors like passion fruit, chocolate/orange, pistachio/white chocolate and banana/buttercream/toffee.

Nothing Bundt Cakes has the moistest bundt cakes you could ask for. If you’re worried that its holiday-themed bundt cakes will be gone before the relatives come over, look at their bundtinis and bundtlet mini options so you can “taste test.”

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