Header photo via U.S. National Archives on Flickr
Craving dessert for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? You’ve come to the right place. Plump full of spots where sweet treats reign supreme, the Bay of Quinte region beckons with buttery temptation, promising plenty of yummy bits and bites for all.
Start your sweet treat travels in Madoc. Billed as the “Home of the Original Fudge Nugget,” this bakeshop consistently serves up hand-crafted old-fashioned fudge. Who could possibly resist their original brown sugar, pecan or melt-in-the-mouth chocolate varieties? Using only fresh ingredients, owners Cheryl and Brad Freeman regularly tempt customers with a wide range of delectable pastries. Consider a trip to their fine establishment soon and indulge in a slice of bumbleberry pie or a delicious cheese biscuit. And then maybe a little fudge for the road.
A few kilometres south in Stirling, patrons of A Little Taste Of Paradise regularly face this sweet dilemma: though they came for sublime Eggs Benedict or a savoury afternoon sandwich, leaving without sampling a butter tart or two just requires too much will power. Recently ranked 4th in a massive cross-Ontario competition, this delightful pastry comes in nine staple flavours, from plain to cranberry with white chocolate.
Depending on her mood and what’s on hand in the pantry, creative baker Mandy Webb likes to experiment. Customers might get a chance to dine on perfect pumpkin, mincemeat or some other sweet concoction straight from Mandy’s imagination. Still can’t decide? Consider this decadent compromise, a stunning combination of two delectable bakery favourites: the fabulous waffle-tart. Slathered with Mandy’s renowned butter tart mixture and baked until crispy, this heavenly treat arrives garnished with whipped cream, fresh fruit and powdered sugar.
Mere steps away, the Village Chocolatier at Stirling Theatre’s box office serves up beautiful sweets in delightful bite-sized versions. Specializing in a wide variety of delicately flavoured truffles, from raspberry to champagne, chocolate professional Joan Wilkinson handcrafts these mini works of art from pure Belgian chocolate. As pretty to look at as they are to eat, these lovely treats serve as wonderful wedding favours, teacher appreciation gifts or fine presents for any sweet tooth on your list.
Next head southwest to sample more winning pastries at Rachel’s Tarts in nearby Quinte West. Recently voted amongst Canada’s top ten butter tarts in an on-line Canadian Living magazine survey, this fabulous dessert comes in four tempting flavours: the ever popular plain, raisin, pecan and coconut. In business since 1988, the 14 member staff at Rachel’s certainly knows their stuff. Seekers of their gooey and delectable tarts can find them on-site at the local bakery, as well as on store shelves in retail establishments throughout the Bay of Quinte area.
Step through the door of Katrina’s Cakes in Belleville and prepare to meet your cupcake. Bubbly baker Katrina Chapple offers nearly sixty fabulous flavours, with at least twenty available at any one time. Favourites include Tasty Turtles, Rolo and chocolate peanut butter, but those searching for something slightly more avant-garde might want to sample piña colada, lime margarita or delightful strawberry daiquiri. Foodie adventurers looking to push the envelope further should check out Katrina’s outstanding maple bacon cupcake.
Creating everything from scratch, the shop’s seven member team makes a wide range of other pastries, as well as standard cakes for any occasion, wedding cakes, cupcake towers and elaborate 3-D cakes. Bidding bon voyage to someone special? How about a deliciously edible piece of sweet luggage? Katrina cheerfully notes bakery staff will happily entertain any and all customer ideas.
Head further into Belleville’s business core and check out the extensive selection of baked goods at L’Auberge de France. Specializing in artisanal cheeses and French inspired meal options, this lovely restaurant also offers baguettes, pain d’Antan and a range of delightful pastries. Sample the Tarte au Citron and pretend you’re wiling away the hours in a Parisian cafe! LAuberge de France has also just opened the doors on a second bistro, located downtown Trenton, offering treats galore and a cool ambiance for catching up with friends. Those on the lookout for perfect weekend breakfast nibbles, take note. The bakery serves up fresh croissants (plain, almond and chocolate), as well as a breath-taking brioche, every Saturday, starting at 9 a.m. Vive la France!
Across the Bay Bridge, you’ll find Miss Lily’s Cafe in beautiful Picton, Prince Edward County. Wash down a slice of their famous “Best ever Carrot Cake” with a flavoured latte or consider ordering a little something from their range of pre-packaged gluten-free treats.
Looking to avoid wheat altogether? Baker Justin Blanchette’s splendid flourless almond cake is made with apples and ginger. Open seven days a week all year, this Picton jewel consistently keeps customers happy with a steady parade of croissants, danishes, maple fritters and cinnamon rolls.
With a week’s worth of decadent dessert spots to try, what more could a sweet tooth ask for? Seven more, of course. And then seven more after that, and… well, you get the picture. Enjoy!