Heavenly Holiday Delights

Looking for just the right dessert to serve and savor this holiday season? Let us point you toward local businesses baking up goodness galore.

A Taste of Brooklyn

As a longtime pastry chef in Manhattan, New York-native Kimberly Klobus moved to North Carolina so she could open her own bakery. A Taste of Brooklyn, situated on a corner parcel in downtown Apex, represents the fulfillment of her aspiration.

“I wanted to open a bakery that reminded me of home,” said Klobus, who went to culinary school following high school. “A lot of my customers come in for things they cannot find elsewhere.”

A holiday-themed cake from A Taste of Brooklyn is a great centerpiece for the dessert table. How about a red velvet cake with cream cheese filling and vanilla buttercream icing?

The shop offers pastries, cookies, cupcakes, macarons, and cakes sold whole and by the slice. Everything is made from scratch using high-quality ingredients.

During the holidays, the bakery offers Italian butter cookie trays, seasonal pies, cheesecakes and struffoli (fried dough balls covered in honey). Seasonal cakes include caramel apple, pumpkin spice, and red velvet with cream cheese frosting and vanilla buttercream. An irresistible peppermint bark cake is made from moist chocolate cake with peppermint buttercream.

Red and white stripes adorn a moist chocolate cake with peppermint buttercream icing from A Taste of Brooklyn.

Custom orders require an advance notice of two weeks. Orders are taken in person, by phone or via email. “It’s never too early to order ahead, but for last-minute orders, people can call or come in to see what’s available,” Klobus said.

A Taste of Brooklyn is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and noon-7 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

101 North Salem St., Apex
(919) 362-8408

Annelore’s German Bakery

Everything about Annelore’s German Bakery exudes sophistication and steadfastness. Whether it’s the pristine 3,600-squarefoot edifice, the authenticity of the products or the commitment to exacting Old World standards, this is a destination worth visiting time and again.

Husband and wife owners Annelore and Norbert Gstattenbauer hail from Germany, and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone with a greater passion to represent the best their country has to offer.

“Our philosophy involves being true to our origin and our culinary principles,” said Norbert Gstattenbauer. “We adhere stringently to the German recipes with no stabilizers or added chemicals.”

Besides the requisite handcrafted bread and pastries, among the bakery’s most notable provisions include honey- and almond-infused bee sting cake filled with pastry cream, bona fide Bavarian pretzels, Black Forest cake, and elegant tortes.

Prinzregententorte, or Prince Regent Cake, consists of thin layers of sponge cake, filled with chocolate buttercream, and covered in a dark chocolate glaze.

For an exceptional choice this holiday season, you can’t go wrong with the Prinzregententorte, also known as Prince Regent’s Cake. Originally created in 1886 in honor of the king of Bavaria, the buttercream-imbued seven-layer torte will make the perfect centerpiece at your family’s dessert table.

“It takes 32 distinct working steps to produce this torte,” said Norbert Gstattenbauer, adding that he is not aware that the item is available anywhere else in the Triangle area. “Underneath the chocolate ganache is a layer of apricot preserves that gives the torte balance and complexity, and we decorate the top with fully edible 24-karat gold leaves.”

Four days advance notice is needed when ordering the torte or the aforementioned Black Forest cake.

The bakery is also known for its family recipe Christmas stollen, German snowballs and Christmas cookie assortments. Robust, European-style coffee is supplied by a local roaster.

Annelore’s is open 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. Indoor seating is available.

308 West Chatham St., Cary
(919) 267-6846

Custom Confections

From a humble storefront tucked between a takeout pizza shop and a burger joint, Shannon Bowles churns out 60 varieties of artisan cheesecakes. Not all the gustatory delicacies are produced daily, but on any given day you’ll find slices of New York style, peanut butter cup, cookie dough, white chocolate raspberry, cookies and cream, and deadly chocolate.

Custom Confections’ red velvet cheesecake will give the holiday table a pop of color.

Among the rotating cheesecake selections available during the holiday season are pumpkin, eggnog, pecan pie, sweet potato, gingersnap, and a consummate red velvet.

There’s even a Dutch apple: cinnamon cheesecake baked over a layer of seasoned apples, topped with streusel, and iced with cinnamon buttercream.

“I’m passionate about making cheesecakes because they are so versatile,” said Bowles, a self-taught baker who started Custom Confections at her home in 2008. “We use the same recipe for our cheesecake and then adapt it for the different flavor profiles.”

When Bowles first opened her shop, she offered cookies, muffins, biscotti and more. Over time, though, she streamlined her approach.

“Oddly enough, it is a lot easier to make one cheesecake than it is to bake two dozen cookies,” she said with a smile. “We still fly a bit under the radar, but I’m pleased with how business is going.”

Custom Confections owner Shannon Bowles specializes in decadent cheesecake. Her dozens of flavors include (clockwise from center right) white chocolate raspberry, pumpkin, peanut butter cup, cookies and cream, chocolate, New York style, and Bailey’s Irish Cream.

Slices of cheesecake are ample, but keep in mind there’s no dine-in service. Instead, the shop offers the option for walk-in carryout or delivery through Doordash and Grubhub.

Whole cheesecakes are available by ordering online and providing at least three days’ notice. Larger orders should be placed a week ahead of time.

Custom Confections is open 3-8 p.m. Monday though Thursday, and 3-9 p.m. Friday through Sunday. The shop does not have a phone.

1187 West Chatham St., Cary

Tried-and-True Treats

Asali Desserts & Café – Situated in the heart of MacGregor Village, you’ll find display cases filled with exquisite offerings like baklava cheesecake, gooey kunafa pastry, festive macarons, and artfully ornamented gingerbread people. asalicafe.com

La Farm’s traditional pecan tart is made with roasted pecans in a caramel sauce.

La Farm Bakery – Master baker Lionel Vatinet oversees production of immaculate concoctions like Buche de Noel (also known as Yule Log), classic French stollen, roasted pecan tarts and chocolate cranberry bread. lafarmbakery.com

Once in a Blue Moon – For more than 20 years, this unassuming downtown Cary mainstay has served up wonderful cakes, pies, bars and brownies plus seasonal specialties like hand-decorated sugar cookies, pumpkin apple bread, and apple cranberry pie.

Slice Pie Company – Proprietor Kristen Mullins and her talented team whip up strawberry rhubarb, pecan, pumpkin, sweet potato, chocolate chess and – of course – the State Fair blue-ribbon-winning apple pie, all of which ship nationwide. slicepiecompany.com

Sugar Buzz Bakery and Café
– This Saltbox Village shop features Dutch apple pie, pumpkin pie, and a decadent Kentucky bourbon cake. Gluten-free items such as cranberry pecan bars and apple almond cakes also are available (note: the bakery is not certified gluten-free). sugarbuzzbakery.com

1 Comment

  • I can’t say enough good things about Annelore’s German Bakery. In 2007 after an extended visit to Germany and Austria, I returned home and immediately missed the german bakery I visited daily for coffee and pastries to begin my day. Then I visited the State Farmer’s Market as usual and there discovered Norbert with a folding table and coolers filled with german bakery delights. I was rescued from my longing.
    Norbert and Annelore have since expanded their menu and business to a brick and mortar location in downtown Cary (308 W Chatham St, Cary, NC 27511) (they still have their kiosk at the State Farmer’s Market). Both savory and sweet (but not too sweet) delights await you there.
    Highest recommendation for the German bakery lover and anyone who appreciates artisan baking. Thank you Norbert and Annelorie for calling the Triangle home.

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