DUCHESS BAKE SHOP
If a plane ticket to Paris is out of the question, Edmontonians can get their fill of French treats at Duchess Bake Shop.
The almond croissant features a smooth frangipane filling encased by light, flaky dough and is topped with slivers of almond for a bit of crunch. Of course, you also need to sample a macaron – or four. While Duchess keeps its staple flavours year-round, it includes a few varieties that change monthly.
There are also a few twists on the traditional. While a key lime tart may not be as classically French as a tarte au citron, the filling is a perfect combination of citrus and cream, the impossibly smooth texture pairing well with the crumbly graham-cracker shell. The lemon meringue cake consists of airy lemon chiffon and layers of salted caramel and lemon cream. The whole thing is topped with a dollop of delicately toasted meringue – a wonderful, light twist on a classic dessert.
With so many tempting treats displayed in the large glass case, it can be difficult to choose, but don’t worry – you can’t go wrong. –Adrianna Szenthe
10720 124 St., 780-488-4999, duchessbakeshop.com
DAUPHINE BAKERY AND BISTRO
The first thing I think about when someone mentions this bakery’s name is the tart. The lemon tart is so overpoweringly good, with a burst of lemon curd filling and meringue topping that is both tart and sweet. The pastry is flaky and buttery.
Dauphine’s lemon tart is arguably its signature product. But, here’s a little sacrilege – I think the pumpkin tart, available in season, is even better. The crust is as good as you’d expect, but the lush filling and pumpkin seeds have me wishing for autumn, even when we’re coming up on the first day of spring. –Steven Sandor
10129 104 St., 780-421-4410
BON TON BAKERY
Bon Ton Bakery is a not only a feast for the stomach, it’s a feast for the eyes. Walking in the door, customers are floored by the vast array of treats and desserts laid out.
Of particular note are the raspberry red-eye cookies, described by my wife as “Peek Freans on steroids.” Meanwhile, the brownies are chock full of coconut and walnuts, making what could be a dense dessert much lighter. The apple Danishes are huge, and the natural flavour of the apples isn’t masked by sugar. The ginger snaps don’t snap, but they do have wonderfully crispy exteriors and soft middles. –Glenn Cook
8720 149 St., 780-489-7717, bonton.ca