It’s big, bold and brimming with good food. Welcome to the USA. Whether you’re a pie fanatic or a donut fiend, America takes the cake when it comes to baked goods. Here, red velvet is king, muffins are an acceptable breakfast and a meal without pie just isn’t so. Throw away the guidebook, put on your stretchy pants and let’s go hunting for America’s best sweet eats.
Pie is a national pastime in America. But unlike the Aussie meat pie, this pastry icon is usually on the sweeter side of things. Think buttery apple, creamy key lime or spiced pumpkin fillings. Whether you fancy a hefty slice of fresh blueberry pie or a piece of luscious banana cream pie, you won’t have to look too far to satisfy your cravings. If you’re heading to Chicago any time soon, be sure to stop by Bang Bang Pie Shop. A hotspot for sweet tooths, this restaurant is famous for their confectionary creations. It’s hard to go past their chocolate cream pie featuring dark chocolate pastry cream, a whipped vanilla bean topping and crunchy graham cracker crust.
The glorious deep-fried donut is one of life’s best indulgences. Whether you like hot, fresh, cinnamon donuts or morsels lathered in a chocolate glaze or oozing with sweet strawberry jelly, Texas is the place for one fine donut. It’s not all barbecue and cowboys in the Lone Star State. Donuts here range from simple to outrageous, from a traditional glazed donut that melts-in-your-mouth, to one with all the trimmings – and we mean ALL the trimmings. Gourdough’s in Austin, Texas, takes their donuts very seriously, even going as far as loaded donut sandwiches. Our pick? The Flying Pig with bacon and maple icing.
America’s love affair with small cakes is still going strong, with no sign of the cupcake craze slowing down. And what’s not to love about tasty bite-sized morsels of cake and frosting? American cupcakes come in a range of gorgeous flavours, including the brightly coloured red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting or chocolate cake filled with sticky marshmallow cream. If you’re seeking a sweet treat, visit Sprinkles Cupcakes in Los Angeles. This cute cake shop offers a huge range of unique flavours, from banana peanut butter to Cuban coffee or triple cinnamon. Drive around and try and find one of the famous Sprinkles ATM’s, where you can literally order a cupcake on the spot.
It is no surprise that the chocolate brownie was first created in the United States. Firmer in texture than regular cake, American brownies are made with real chocolate and have a dense consistency with a crinkly cracked top. One of the most delightful brownies can be found in Washington DC in a small store called Baked and Wired. This kitschy bakery is well known for its unique treats, including their oversized ‘cakecups’ and ice cream ‘sammies.’ But it’s their range of bars and brownies that impress the most. Jazzed up with an assortment of mix-ins, your brownie could have swirls of cream cheese or gooey pockets of Nutella. However, it’s hard to go past the fudgy goodness of the straight-up Plain Jane.
New York City
The humble cookie was once overlooked in favour of fancier counterparts, but the good ol’ cookie has made somewhat of a comeback. Choice is no longer limited to chocolate chip or double chocolate chip, only your imagination. In the past few years, Milk Bar Store in New York City has revolutionised the cookie with unique creations including their corn cookie and blueberry and cream cookie. For a true flavour hit, try their signature compost cookie, packed with pretzels, potato chips, coffee, oats, graham crackers, butterscotch and chocolate chips. On the other hand, Levain Bakery is well known for their chunky, traditional-style cookies.
It was famous chef Julia Child who first penned the famous phrase, “a party without cake is just a meeting.” If cake is your baked good of choice, make your next trip to the USA a party with a stop at Macrina Bakery in Seattle. Their wildly popular cakes come in all kinds of shapes and sizes but the traditional flavours are out of this world. Their whisper cake has layers of lemon curd, fresh raspberries and whipped cream while their chocolate cake, is an old-fashioned favourite featuring chocolate cake and chocolate buttercream. Our favourite is their red velvet cake complete with tangy cream cheese frosting.