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The Most Beautiful 2019 Christmas Desserts in the U.S.

the best gourmet Christmas desserts in the US this year 2019

Christmas and the winter holidays are fast approaching. As the big day gets closer, one of the most marvelous elements of the holiday season starts to emerge: the luscious cakes and pastries from the best bakers in the country. Which raises a pressing matter: where to find the best gourmet Christmas desserts in the US this year. Here are our top picks for the most beautiful cakes, bûches de nöel, cookies and more in the US for Christmas 2019.

national restaurant chains have beloved Christmas holiday desserts

Of course, there are national chains in the United States that consistently feature tasty Christmas and holiday treats. Like the beloved Peppermint Cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory, which is the Pumpkin Spice Latte of holiday desserts in America.

Cheesecake Factory Peppermint Bark Cheesecake. Courtesy Photo.

Personally, we’re partial to Starbucks’ Gingerbread Loaf cake – and don’t get us started on the joys of their Cranberry Bliss bars. Crunchy, creamy, sweet, tart, red and white, fragrant – everything we love about a holiday dessert is in there somewhere.

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But for the purposes of this assessment, we’re looking past the large national chains and shining a light on the local bakeries and pastry shops across America. We’ve covered New York City in great detail in a previous post, so if you’re looking for the best of the Big Apple, click here.

best Christmas desserts in the United States this year

And if you’re a master baker yourself, or you have a friend or family member who is, congratulations! You don’t need to read this – although we hope you will.

For those of us not doing our own baking, nor riding alongside someone who is, and who are therefore in search of a special, local, artisanal holiday sweet, read on for our picks for the best luxurious Christmas desserts in the US this year.

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the best gourmet Christmas holiday desserts in the US this year

Northeast

1. Flour Bakery + Cafe, Boston

At Flour Bakery + Cafe, this year the holiday treats Joanne Chang and her team are baking include both a traditional dark chocolate bûche de nöel ($35) and a lemon bûche de nöel ($35) decorated with candied cranberries.

best bûches de nöel US

Where to find the best 2019 Christmas holiday dessert, bûches de nöel and cakes in the US this year: Flour Bakery + Cafe. Courtesy Photos.

You’ll also find Old-Fashioned Gingerbread ($16) with candied ginger and coffee glaze. And Eggnog Cheesecake ($30) with a gingersnap crust.

2. Susan Lawrence Gourmet Foods, Westchester County, New York

Susan Lawrence in suburban New York is our go-to for holiday cakes, cookies and other gourmet treats. The boutique caterer has a charming shop in the center of Chappaqua, where the pastry cases this time of year are filled with dazzling desserts.

The theme for 2019 is A Charles Dickens Victorian Christmas. We really love their classic bûche de nöel ($49), decorated with meringue mushrooms, holly leaves and marzipan. Inside you’ll find yellow cake and chocolate truffle filling, covered with light French milk chocolate buttercream. Presented in a white box with a red satin ribbon, it would make a perfect host or hostess gift this season.

best 2019 Christmas dessert and bûche de nöel

The best 2019 Christmas holiday desserts, bûches de nöel, and cakes in the US this year: Susan Lawrence Gourmet Foods. Courtesy Photo.

Another show-stopper is the Red Gift Box Cake with White Ribbons ($41), an airy white cake with layers of white and chocolate ganache. There’s a delicious holiday Eggnog Brulee Cheesecake ($30) and a beautiful Viennese Christmas Torte ($34).

best 2019 Christmas holiday desserts in the U.S.

The best 2019 Christmas holiday desserts, bûches de nöel, and cakes in the US this year: Susan Lawrence Gourmet Foods. Courtesy Photo.

Finally, their Christmas sugar cookies are whimsical and delicious; an assortment of them would be a graceful addition to any holiday dessert buffet. You’ll find snowflakes, holiday bells, Christmas trees and more.

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Mid-Atlantic and South

3. Sugar Bakeshop, Charleston

Every cake is made to order at Sugar Bakeshop in Charleston, South Carolina. For Christmas 2019, their special menu – available from December 16-24 – features Almond Rum Holiday Cake ($55 for a 9″) and their perennial best-seller, the Vanilla Blueberry cake with sugar-coated blueberries on top. 

The best 2019 Christmas holiday desserts and cakes in the US this year: Sugar Bakeshop, Charleston. Courtesy Photos.

The holiday cookie flavors include Ginger Molasses, Oatmeal Cranberry and Snickerdoodles ($21/dozen).

You can also purchase one of their cake flavors that’s available year ’round. We’re thinking Red Velvet. Or maybe Hummingbird (spice cake with pineapple, bananas, and pecans) – in our experience, it’s hard to find a good one, and once you do you won’t settle for anything less. A Lady Baltimore would also be good. As of this posting, they’ll ship cookies and brownies nationwide – but for the cakes, you have to show up in person. (9” cake is $42-48, depending on the filling).

4. Muddy’s Bakeshop, Memphis

Famous for their Prozac cake and cupcakes, this sweet shop in Memphis has holiday specials that make us want to get on a plane. Their Santa Baby Cupcakes (and full-sized cake) are made of  chocolate cake topped with fresh pink peppermint buttercream and sprinkled with crushed candy cane pieces. ($27 for a dozen).

The best 2019 Christmas holiday desserts and cakes in the US this year: Muddy’s Bake Shop. Courtesy Photos.

Equally enticing? Their “reindeer” Bundt cake, which is available only in December.  The sharp spicy gingerbread is perfect paired with caramel icing.  As the bake shop’s website notes: “It’s easy to slice and serve and keeps beautifully for several days… a real lifesaver when you’ve got a house full of company visiting for the holiday.” ($30 for a 10” Bundt cake).

The Peppermint Patty Pie is lovely and incorporates a down-home twist on holiday combination of peppermint and chocolate. This one has a base of chocolate chess pie, with white chocolate shavings. ($24 for a 10″ pie).

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5. Capital City Bakery, Austin, Texas

Home to vegan treats and wide array of dazzling holiday sweets this year, if we were in Austin and able to visit the Capital City Bakery, we’d probably start off with a Gingerbread Person ($3.50). But maybe that’s too cannibalistic?

Perhaps a better plan would be to just go straight to the gorgeous Holiday Cherry Poptarts ($5.50). The Reindeer Cake ($55) is absolutely adorable. And if you’re in the mood for something both old and new, try the Figgy Pudding Cake, made with orange-cinnamon cake, almond buttercream frosting, cinnamon sugar, fig preserves, and topped with orange slices ($20-75, depending on size). Like the song says: We won’t go until we get some, so bring it right here.

The best Christmas desserts in the US this year: Capital City Bakery Austin Texas. Courtesy Photo.

The over-the-top Christmas cake here, though, is the Holiday Drip Cake ($65), a three-layer confetti cake with white cake and vanilla buttercream frosting.

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Midwest

6. CH Patisserie, Sioux Falls, South Dakota 

The winner of the World Pastry Championships and a season of Top Chef, Chris Hanmer now helms CH Patisserie, a bake shop in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Should you be passing through, definitely stop in, as their holiday 2019 menu looks absolutely scrumptious.

best bûches de nöel US

Where to find the best 2019 Christmas holiday dessert in the US this year: CH Patisserie in South Dakota. Courtesy Photos.

There will be both petit and large versions of Hanmer’s signature chocolate bûche de Nöel. In addition, you’ll find Peppermint Stick cheesecake, Eggnog Creme Brulee doughnuts and Christmas cookies. Don’t dare leave without sampling their famous French macaroons, which come in flavors like Nutella, salted caramel and fruity cereal in addition to the classics.

7. Sister Pie, Detroit, Michigan

We couldn’t create a list of the best Christmas desserts in the nation without at least one addition from our home town, Detroit. This year, our vote goes to Sister Pie.

Their Cranberry Crumble Pie ($30) is made with Michigan cranberries (natch), orange zest, brown sugar, grated pear, and sugar. The signature Salted Maple pie ($30) features Grade B maple syrup and Maldon sea salt. And the Brandy Pecan pie ($30) is a boozy version of the classic; the filling is “spiked with 80 proof Laird’s apple brandy, Grade B Michigan Maple syrup and honey.”

The best 2019 Christmas holiday desserts in the US this year: Sister Pie in Detroit, Michigan. Courtesy Photos.

Pies must be ordered two days in advance, and must be picked up at the retail shop (no shipping).

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8. Baker Miller, Chicago

The 2019 Christmas menu at Baker Miller makes us hungry just writing about it. There’s Cranberry Apple pie ($30), Cranberry Creme and Meringue ($26), and Whisky Pecan pie ($30) with maple, whiskey, spiced pecans and vanilla bean, for starters.

The best 2019 Christmas holiday desserts in the US this year: Baker Miller, Chicago. Courtesy Photos.

New this year is the White Chocolate Macademia Chess Pie ($25), “a fudgy cookie-style pie baked rustically in a graham cracker crust.” And we can assuage at least some of our dessert-before-dinner guilt knowing that they bake with only organic grains and fair trade sugar.

West Coast

9. Proof Bakery, Los Angeles

It’s time for the holiday pre-orders at Proof Bakery in LA. Fan favorites include their Dark Chocolate Raspberry Torte made with Devil’s food cake, Valrhona dark chocolate ganache, and raspberry jam ($50 for an 8” cake).

Where to find the best 2019 Christmas holiday dessert in the US this year: Proof Bakery, LA. Courtesy Photos.

There’s also Fromage Blanc Cheesecake (pictured above) with a graham cracker crust and a seasonal fruit topping ($42 for an 8” cake). Spice-lovers (that would be us) should keep their eye on the Triple Ginger Cake ($32) and the Apple Walnut Cake ($32).

10. b. patisserie, San Francisco

Order on or before December 18, 2019 for the gorgeous Christmas desserts at b. patisserie in San Francisco.

This year’s offerings include Speculoos Cheesecake ($75), with cream cheese mousse, spiced cake, speculoos sable and cinnamon oat streusel. Mango Passionfruit Vanilla Cake ($75) with vanilla mascarpone cream, mango passion fruit compote, sponge cake and vanilla sable Breton. And Mint Chocolate Cake ($75) with chocolate mousse, chocolate peppermint ganache, devil’s food cake, chocolate sable and Chantilly cream.

best bûches de nöel US

Where to find the best 2019 Christmas holiday dessert and bûches de nöel in the US this year: b. Patisserie. Courtesy Photos.

We’d be really happy just ordering off the regular menu, actually. Like the 10 Hour Apple Tart, with apple confit and almond streusel. The bittersweet Chocolate Caramel Toffee Mousse, featuring a ganache with toffee chips on a flourless chocolate biscuit. Or the Vanilla Cassis Cake, a chiffon cake with vanilla mascarpone, sablé Breton and cassis ganache. 

11. Miette Patisserie & Confiserie, San Francisco

This French pastry shop in San Francisco is the place to go for a classic bûche de Nöel. ($35-55). Their version is made with chocolate chiffon cake, milk chocolate mousse and ganache. The hand-made decorations include meringue mushrooms and dark chocolate pine cones. 

Another gorgeous holiday specialty is the Cranberry Cheesecake ($40-60), which is only available from Thanksgiving through New Years. The crust is made of chocolate wafers and there’s a tart cranberry compote on top.

Where to find the best dessert in the US 2019 and best bûches de nöel

Where to find the best 2019 Christmas holiday dessert and bûches de nöel in the US this year: Miette, San Francisco. Courtesy Photos.

The award-winning Gingerbread Cake ($30) is a perennial best-seller. It’s made with dark stout beer, molasses, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamom, and topped with a sweet cream cheese frosting.

Our top favorite, though, is the Snowball Cake ($45). Sparkling with sugary snow, it’s the wintertime variation of their Princess Cake: sponge cake layered with chocolate ganache and pastry cream and mounded with fresh Straus Family Creamery heavy cream. So. Pretty!

12. Macrina Bakery, Seattle

At Macrina Bakery, the 2019 holiday menu features Eggnog Cheesecake ($40) with “a touch of brandy and rum;” individually-wrapped Gingerbread Cookies ($5); Gingerbread Cupcakes ($2.25); and a beautiful traditional Chocolate bûche de Nöel ($58). You’ll also find Chocolate Pecan Babka ($9.25) and Panettone ($9).

Where to find the best dessert in the US 2019

Where to find the best Christmas dessert and bûches de nöel in the US in 2019: Macrina Bakery. Courtesy Photos.

The holiday breads include the Winter Pear Crown ($6.75), made with Washington State pears and a dash of black pepper. Of course, you can also opt for the bakery’s famous Whisper Cake ($53 for a 9″ cake), which is available year-round. It’s made of white chocolate cake, lemon curd, fresh raspberries, raspberry preserves and white chocolate cream cheese icing. 

13. Kyra’s Bake Shop, Portland Oregon

Kyra’s Bake Shop in Portland, Oregon offers a rich traditional chocolate bûche de Nöel. $56. The Peppermint Chocolate Chip cake sounds like an idyllic childhood Christmas on a plate: chocolate cake, peppermint chocolate chip buttercream, finished with a white chocolate ganache drizzle ($60-140, depending on the size).

Where to find the best dessert in the US 2019

Where to find the best dessert and bûches de nöel in the US 2019: Kyra’s Bake Shop Portland Oregon. Courtesy Photo.

A 4-time winner of Cupcake Wars, during the holiday season Kyra’s also offers hot chocolate cupcakes, Eggnog Spice doughnuts, and holiday-inspired vegan treats.

the best gourmet Christmas desserts in the US

That’s it! Those are our top picks for the best bûches de Noël, gingerbread houses, Christmas cakes and other special desserts in the U.S. this holiday season. Did we miss anything? Which one is your favorite? Happy holidays, dear reader.

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