Bakeries

521. Bakehouse 46 – August 14, 2021 – Rochester, MI

Here’s Bakehouse 46, offering up a sweet serving of collaboration! And cupcakes, and donuts, and cider . . ..

Located in downtown Rochester, Bakehouse 46 marries Blake Farms (of cider mill and hard cider fame) and Cupcake Station (whose eponymous treats have been delighting Metro Detroiters since 2006) with a sleek style that’s all its own. If you’re familiar with these beloved local businesses, you already know this is one EPIC mash-up!

I visited Bakehouse 46 during a jaunt in mid-August that had me bustling around downtown Rochester: to Catching Fireflies, The Home Bakery, and the farmer’s market. All that shopping worked up a hunger in me. Enter the Bakehouse Club: a delightfully soft Everything bagel sandwiching layers of bacon, ham, turkey, arugula, tomato, cheese, and scallion cream cheese.

WOW, was that sandwich delicious! What a melding of flavors: rich cheeses, smoky meats, juicy tomato, and zesty seasonings. And arugula! Bakehouse 46, you had me at the Everything-bagel sandwich – but add fresh, peppery arugula to the mix, and my taste buds are kvelling!

Bakehouse 46’s menu showcases several breakfast- and lunch-oriented bagel sandwiches. It also sells bagels sans the sandwich filling, plus coffee and the previously mentioned cupcakes, donuts, and cider. Check the shop’s online menu for its enticing – and numerous! – cupcake offerings, which include Snickers, Chai Latte, and Bump-a-licious (Bakehouse 46’s riff on Bumpy cake).

As someone whose grew up on Blake’s donuts (donuts so fresh as to make you cry tears of joy when you bite into them!) – I know Bakehouse 46’s are bound to be special. Blake’s cider (the best of the best!) is served there, too. There are also caramel apples made from Blake’s apples, and Blake’s jams and maple syrups. Other baked goods such as cheesecake bars, cookies, and brownies are sold at the shop, as well.

Let’s talk about the shop itself. Bakehouse 46’s interior is an ultra-modern, ultra-gorgeous amalgamation of glistening white tile, slate-blue walls, wood floors and furnishings, and buttery leather furniture. Potted plants, accent pillows, and a red Oriental rug provide pops of color. It’s a feast for the eyes – the perfect counterpart to the culinary feasting facilitated by Bakehouse 46’s menu. Here’s to harmonious collaboration!

205 S. Main St.

Rochester, MI 48307

(With an additional location in Birmingham)

www.bakehouse46.com

520. The Home Bakery – August 14, 2021 – Rochester, MI

The Home Bakery: purveyor of sweet treats for over 90 years!

The bakery based in downtown Rochester has been in business since 1930, according to its website. It mixes up all manner of baked goods, including beautifully imaginative cakes (check out the Zombiecorn and PB&J cakes on its website!).

Have a craving for a cupcake, cookie, cannoli, or eclair? The Home Bakery has you covered. How about a donut, danish, muffin, or pie? The Home Bakery makes those, too! It also bakes up one of the most wonderfully decadent desserts I’ve ever eaten: the cronut.

The Home Bakery’s cronut is a hefty iteration of the donut-croissant hybrid that had so many going gaga at its 2013 debut. This cronut’s layers of flaky croissant are formed into a square shape, dusted with vanilla-infused sugar, and thickly coated with vanilla bean glaze.

When I bit into that cronut, my taste buds exclaimed with joy! The juxtaposition of the deep-fried, sugar-kissed, vanilla-glazed exterior and the flaky-soft interior was SOOO good.

And that wasn’t all! Hiding inside The Home Bakery’s cronut was the pièce de résistance: a creamy filling the bakery’s website describes as “vanilla bean pastry cream.” I describe it as “WOW!”

All of these elements melded together to form one supremely rich, SUPREMELY DELICIOUS dessert.

At $4.50 apiece, The Home Bakery’s cronuts are not cheap. But they are worth every penny. Apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks that, as they routinely sell out (as I learned the first time I attempted to buy them). Calling ahead of your visit and ordering over the phone is an option – one you likely won’t regret!

300 S. Main St.

Rochester, MI 48307

www.thehomebakery.com

509. Warda Pâtisserie – May 8, 2021 – Detroit, MI

My visit to Warda Pâtisserie was a product of happenstance – one that happily introduced me to its tasty treats!

I didn’t come to Detroit’s Eastern Market neighborhood on that May Saturday to visit the bakery located inside Trinosophes. I came to visit a nearby business that ended up being closed. When I saw Warda Pâtisserie’s signage, I knew the trip hadn’t been in vain.

The bakery offers thoughtfully crafted cookies, cakes, and other pastries “inspired by the seasons and influenced by our travels and previous life in Algeria, France and Asia,” according to its website. It recently opened a second location in Midtown Detroit.

I opted for three of the enticing treats showcased by Warda Pâtisserie on that day: a Chocolate & Halvah cookie, a chocolate-caramel financier, and a strawberry-matcha financier.

The desserts didn’t make it past my car. I gobbled them up, relishing the chewiness of the chocolatey, sesame-speckled cookie and the rich caramel and strawberry fillings of the spongey-caked, gluten-free financiers. May happy accidents such as this visit to Warda Pâtisserie occur more frequently!

1464 Gratiot Ave.

Detroit, MI 48207

(With an additional location in Midtown Detroit)

www.warda-patisserie.square.site

504. Yell Sweets – March 30, 2021 – Shelby Township, MI

I have such sweet memories of Yell Sweets! The Shelby Township-based bakery makes PHENOMENAL cupcakes, which I learned from my March visit.

I went to Yell Sweets to purchase a birthday gift for a friend – and a gift for myself (because I couldn’t leave that bakery without something for little old me, as well!). The timing of my visit was fortuitous because it was a Tuesday, and Tuesdays at Yell Sweets are $2 cupcake day! Once I learned that, I asked the kind staff member assisting me to please add more cupcakes to the for-me pile.

That for-me order consisted of Peanut Butter Cup, Strawberry Crunch, Banana Pudding, and Carrot cupcakes. I purchased nearly the same order for my friend, swapping the Carrot cupcake for a Solder Boi (a red-white-and-blue-hued melding of cherry, blue raspberry, and vanilla flavors).

All four of the cupcakes I got were AMAZING, so it’s hard to pick a favorite. If I had to, I’d go with the Carrot, which was a super-moist carrot cake cupcake dotted with raisins and nuts and slathered with Yell Sweet’s oh-so-good cream cheese frosting. The Peanut Butter Cup also stole my heart with its rich chocolate cupcake and swirl of peanut butter frosting topped with a bunny-shaped, peanut-butter-filled chocolate candy (love that finishing touch!). The Strawberry Crunch was a tasty melding of strawberry-and-vanilla marbled cake, cream cheese frosting, and a strawberry crumb crust. And the Banana Pudding cupcake wasn’t messing around with its sumptuous banana pudding center!

These flavors are only a drop in the bucket when it comes to Yell Sweets cake offerings. Check out the bakery’s website for more enticing choices and for pictures of its pretty cupcakes and elaborate custom cakes.

14142 Lakeside Blvd. North

Shelby Twp., MI 48315

www.yellsweets.com

502. Yellow Light Coffee and Donuts – March 20, 2021 – Detroit, MI

The donut-shop theme continues on 100 Places in the D, with a visit to Yellow Light Coffee and Donuts!

This Detroit-based shop offers fresh-made donuts in a variety of fun flavors, including out-of-the-box varieties such as Mint Chocolate Chip, Cherry Almond, and Brown Butter Plantain. Check out the photo above to see these brightly-hued beauties!

The base of each of Yellow Light’s donut is a plain cake donut; the flavor enhancements are in the glaze and toppings. Of course, I couldn’t get just one or two of these guys; I had to try a bunch of them. I got: Cookies and Cream, Chocolate, Brown Butter Plantain, Mint Chocolate Chip, Vanilla Bean, Cherry Almond, Lemon Poppy, and Plain Old Fashioned.

All of the donut varieties were tasty, but my favorite was Brown Butter Plantain. I loved its rich, banana-flavored glaze! The Mint Chocolate Chip was fun to eat, too, with its mini chocolate chips and subtly mint-flavored glaze. Cherry Almond, with its deliciously fruity flavor, was another favorite.

Besides offering delectable donuts, Yellow Light has house-roasted coffee and biscuit sandwiches ranging from Hot Chicken w/ Pickles to the vegan Soysage with w/ Egg & Sauce. At the time of my visit, only its drive-through window was open to guests.

Two things I loved about this visit to Yellow Light: 1) The staff was wonderfully friendly and 2) they had daily-special donuts! These were donut varieties offered in addition to the regular menu – Cookies and Cream being an example. Check out Yellow Light’s Instagram account (yellowlightdetroit) to see more special flavors such as Coconut Macaroon, Cinnamon Cheesecake, and Mango Strawberry. The flavor creativity is inspiring – inspiring me to return to this place!

14447 E. Jefferson Ave.

Detroit, MI 48215

www.yellowlightdetroit.com

501. Donut Castle – March 6, 2021 – Warren, MI

Blog Year Eight of 100 Places in the D kicked off right, with a visit to Donut Castle!

This one lives on in my memory. Donut Castle is this unassuming little bakery in Warren producing the most PHENOMENAL donuts. Their crullers . . . OMG, are they good. During my visit back in March, I got some super fresh ones that were the PERFECT blend of deep-fried, glazed-kissed outsides and airy, melt-in-your-mouth insides. The buttermilk sticks I purchased were great, too: crispy-crusted cake donuts coated in a honey-sweet glaze. I’m swooning recalling these donuts!

The donuts weren’t all that was swoon-worthy about my visit to Donut Castle. Besides offering its namesake confection, the bakery has fresh-baked bagels and bagel sandwiches. I got a club sandwich on a cheese bagel, and it was A-MAZING. Everything was so fresh. I remember marveling at the time, “This sandwich is so good, it has me liking iceberg lettuce!” I usually think iceberg lettuce is a total waste of space on a sandwich. But the iceberg on this Donut Castle club was fresh and crispy, enhancing the deliciousness of the turkey and the ham, the provolone and bacon and tomato.

This Donut Castle club sandwich wasn’t skimping on the portions, either; it was amply layered with meat. And the bagel was so soft and fresh, with a thick layer of melted cheese on top – I believe it was parmesan. The name of the bagel escapes me, but the epic deliciousness of it and that sandwich and those donuts are burned into my memory!

11831 E. 13 Mile Rd.

Warren, MI 48093

499. Street Sweets – February 6, 2021 – Sterling Heights, MI

Check out these beautiful treats from Street Sweets!

The Sterling Heights-based bakery and café sells all manner of sweets: from cakes to cupcakes, donuts to waffle pops, liquid nitrogen-crafted ice cream to build-your-own dessert pizza. Multiple varieties of baklava are offered, as are several other traditional Mediterranean treats. Gluten-free and vegan options are available, too. And the deliciousness doesn’t stop there: Street Sweets crafts coffee and espresso drinks from The Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company‘s beans.

What a delight it was to browse Street Sweets’ array of pretty confections! With the help of a friendly employee, I narrowed my choices down to six items: a chocolate glazed donut, a pink-frosted chocolate cupcake, two Lady Fingers baklava, and two baklava stuffed with sweet cheese.

It was even more of a delight to get home and sample the treats! I enjoyed them all. The baklava were a tasty combination of flaky dough and not-overpowering sweetness, while the cupcake’s frosting was luscious and plentiful. The chocolate donut was sugar-kissed, cakey goodness.

Words don’t do these desserts justice; check out Street Sweets’ Instagram account, @streetsweetsdet, for photo upon drool-worthy photo of these flaky, frosted, rainbow-hued, honey-drizzled goodies. My favorites are the ones of the iced coffee/treat tower hybrids: coffee drinks whose super-long straws have been speared by a couple of donuts and a cupcake. Now THAT is a snack-on-the-go I can get behind!

2237 18 Mile Rd.

Sterling Heights, MI 48314

www.streetsweetsdet.com

478. Sheila’s Bakery – August 30, 2020 – Detroit, MI

My jaunt to Sheila’s Bakery in late August was exciting on so many levels. It was my both my first visit to Detroit since an illness I experienced for six weeks of the summer AND my first new-place visit in the city since the pandemic landed in Michigan.

My last new-place Detroit visit was almost six months prior: to E&L Supermercado (home of the phenomenal Salsa a la Diabla). I’d been to Detroit once since then, attending a June gathering on Belle Isle (my first trip to the island in 15 years!). But this was my first solo, drive-myself, new-place Detroit jaunt in nearly half.a.year.

I was both excited and nervous to navigate to the Mexican bakery in Southwest Detroit. Driving is not my favorite pastime, and Detroit roads – as those of you who live locally know – aren’t always the most intuitive (they get major marks for creativity!). But I made it to Sheila’s, one mile at a time, unscathed. The trip was well worth the auto-induced nerves.

I discovered that many of Sheila’s breads, cookies, cakes, and other baked goodies are displayed in serve-yourself cases. You select the confections you want with tongs, placing them on a tray you bring up to the cashier, who packages them and takes your payment.

I knew I’d not be leaving Sheila’s without tres leches cake.

Ah, tres leches, that gorgeous concoction of sweet, pillowy goodness soaked in three iterations of dairy! I was so excited to choose two slices of Sheila’s take on that beauty: one for me, and one for my mother, who I was visiting that same day (lucky her!).

That tres leches cake tasted as wonderful as anticipated! As shown in the above photo, it was a slab of sweet-milk-soaked heaven, complete with luscious frosting bedecked with chopped nuts and a literal cherry on top. I savored its richness over two sittings.

The other delight purchased from Sheila’s was its version of a Hostess cupcake. A surprise discovery: its center contained both the iconic white cream AND raspberry filling. I savored those decadent fillings along with the rich chocolate cake and frosting that comprised the two nuggets of happiness I’d brought home with me.

Now more than ever, our world needs the feel-good vibes induced by baked goods – and to support locally-owned businesses. A visit to Sheila’s Bakery satisfies both of those requirements!

Best wishes to you all at this intense time in the world. Here’s to staying safe, sane, and as joyful as possible.

2142 Springwells St.

Detroit, MI 48209

(With an additional location in Pontiac)

470. Mexicantown Bakery – March 8, 2020 – Detroit, MI

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Mexicantown Bakery’s churro, chocolate croissant, and coffee tres leches cake

Baked goods most definitely make my heart – and my stomach – smile, so recounting this visit to Mexicantown Bakery is a real treat.

The Southwest Detroit-based bakery offers a plethora of fresh-made goodies: loaves of bread, buns, cake, cookies, cupcakes, churros, conchas (Mexican sweet bread), flan, and the like. A long row of display cases line a section of its interior near its front door. Patrons are able to select items displayed in those cases themselves using tongs or parchment paper and to place them on plastic trays, which they can then proceed with to the cashier counter.

Additional displays of fresh-baked treats abound, including in cases built into the cashier counter and in a refrigerated case toward the back of the store that holds what I consider to be Mexicantown Bakery’s pièce de résistance: its tres leches cake.

Tres leches in its classic form is, to me, one of the finest baked goods ever – and Mexicantown Bakery has upped the ante by offering it in additional flavor varieties, including chocolate, caramel, and coffee. I HAD to try that coffee one, so I grabbed one of the plastic containers offering up a large piece of it (what I’d consider as two slices in one).

I also picked these items out of the choose-it-yourself display cases: a chocolate croissant; a caramel-stuffed churro; a slice of chocolate cake swirled with strawberry filling; and a cupcake rendered to look like a giant version of the classic cream-filled Hostess cupcake, complete with the white icing squiggle on top.

Yep, I went a little crazy, procuring five desserts all for myself: but it’s hard not to go crazy at a place showcasing such delectable delights as Mexicantown Bakery!

All of those desserts were DELICIOUS. I got a real kick out of eating the mega Hostess-cupcake clone and savoring its rich cream center, as I savored the strawberry filling in the slice of chocolate cake. The croissant was especially tasty heated up in the microwave, its center oozing melted chocolate, while the churro was a cinnamon-infused indulgence.

But that tres leches cake – oh, that tres leches cake! It’s taking the cake (pun intended, naturally) as the best thing I’ve eaten thus far this year. WOW, was it phenomenal: so rich and spongy and sumptuous, soaked in sweet, milky goodness, with a wonderful coffee flavor and creamy decadence that was immensely satisfying. I ate it over several sittings, relishing every bite and daydreaming about buying more of it. With any luck, a revisit to Mexicantown Bakery will be sooner rather than later.

As of the writing of this post, it appears that Mexicantown Bakery is open despite the coronavirus crisis; its Facebook page mentions modified hours, but I don’t see a post about it closing (perhaps it’s considered a carryout place and allowed to stay active). Regardless of whether it’s in operation now or not, I’m sure its business has been affected during this challenging time. Whenever this awful situation has resolved and we can be out and about again as we were before, please consider patronizing this wonderful establishment. Independently-owned Detroit businesses such as Mexicantown Bakery will need our patronage more than ever.

4300 W. Vernor Hwy.

Detroit, MI 48209

www.mexicantownbakery.com

467. Knapp’s Donuts – February 21, 2020 – Troy, MI

February2020Knapp'sDonuts1 (2)February2020Knapp'sDonuts2 (2)As of the writing of this post, Knapp’s Donuts is one of the many Metro-Detroit-area businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic; its doors are currently closed. With any luck, both its Rochester and Troy-based locations – the latter of which I recently visited – will reopen soon, and we can all enjoy its delightful donuts again.

After years of hearing my mom rave about Knapp’s Donuts and wanting to try them myself, I finally made that happen when I stopped there on a Friday morning in February. I was on my way to my last day at a job that I’d worked at for 4.5 years, and I thought it would be nice to bring my team (and myself) some donuts.

I picked out eight donuts in a variety of flavors, including Boston crème, chocolate glazed, cinnamon-sugar, and sour cream.

I knew I had to try the sour cream, as that varietal has become a personal favorite in recent years. It was SO delicious: perfectly moist on the inside and crispy-fried on the outside, with a honey-sweet glaze. I could see from eating that sour cream donut what all the hype around Knapp’s was about!

I also got to try one of its chocolate glazed donuts, which was quite tasty, too; my coworkers who opted in on the baked goodies enjoyed them, as well.

Once Knapp’s is open again, I have a feeling its patrons are going to be rejoicing by grabbing its delectable donuts by the dozens! May that time come quickly.

6057 Rochester Rd.

Troy, MI 48085

(with an additional location in Rochester)