As much as the spotlight shines on turkey, stuffing, and potatoes on the holiday table, dessert should never be an afterthought whether you tuck into a classic pumpkin pie or something unconventional. When it comes to this time of the year, bakeries in the greater Wilmington area are primed and ready for the holiday with traditional and creative pies, in addition to other tasty desserts—all available for the big day.
Linvilla Orchards – Just across the state line in Media, PA, this much-visited orchard sells literally dozens of pie varieties. Hungry pie lovers can choose between old-fashioned and creative flavors like sweet potato crunch, traditional cherry, pumpkin, peach praline, pineapple upside down, and so many more.
Pasteleria Rojas (2110 Kirkwood Hwy. Wilmington, DE 19805; no website) – Think outside of the traditional Thanksgiving box and serve something unique. Think concha and tres leches cake—certainly a sweet twist to a conventional meal of holiday staples.
Serpe’s – Perhaps as well known as its savory tomato pie is the variety of sweet treats, pies, and cakes that has made this Elsmere bakery famous. Drive along the westbound side of Kirkwood Highway in the early morning hours and you can smell how the local family-owned business has survived for over 65 years (most recently reopened after a devastating fire). The bakery has been churning out bread, rolls, doughnuts, cookies and such since 1952 and its desserts have adorned many a celebratory and holiday table. Cap off your Thanksgiving feast with a cherry pie or an Italian ricotta pie.
Bing’s Bakery – From tip to tail, Delaware has no shortage of bakeries, however, one little shop on Main Street in Newark is not only Delaware’s oldest bakery (opened in 1946), but it consistently wins local awards and has cemented its place as a critical darling among fans. Bing’s often has limited run specialty mini cakes and pies that perfectly complement your holiday roster. The rotating flavors and specials make every trip to Bing's Bakery a chance to try something new.
Janssen’s – The upscale market’s bakery case is always teeming with goodies this time of the year. Check out their holiday menu for desserts that will please any palate. The menu includes home-baked pies (Dutch apple, pecan, and pumpkin), strawberry shortcake, cookies, cannoli, seasonal tarts and pastries. Their sticky buns and holiday-themed sugar cookies always make a great hostess gift or company party treat.
Sweet Somethings – Typically reserved for a breakfast bowl, oatmeal finds its way into one of this bakery’s most popular desserts: the Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cake—the warming, seasonal spices like cinnamon and nutmeg make it perfect for the holidays. Set out an unexpected caramel apple cheesecake or a deliciously chunky apple cake and your guests may have to loosen their belts a notch or two. If you’re craving a truly classic dessert, don’t forget to pick up a traditional Yule log.
The Market at Capers & Lemons – This Italian market is a one-stop shop for all things sweet. The homemade cookies, chocolates and candies are perfect for entertaining during the holidays (and year-round, if you’re so inclined). For a truly unique dessert, pick up some hot chocolate cookies—they taste just like their namesake—and create a cookie platter at home. Who needs pie when you’ve got these great cookies?
Half-Baked Patisserie – Every holiday season, this Middletown bakery creates a special menu featuring its delicious pies, cupcakes, cake pops, and biscotti. Cheesecakes are a bestseller here and seasonal flavors like white chocolate peppermint and apple crumb are worth checking out as is a unique holiday-inspired cupcake wreath. If you’re looking to stock up on confections to fill your dessert table, banana, pecan, and mixed berry pies are a delectable choice.
Sweet Melissa Cake Boutique – Those in the know refer to this Middletown hotspot as “the cookie place” thanks to a selection of over 25 cookie varieties. Sold by the pound, it’s easy to choose a pound (or three) for holiday consumption or gift-giving. Sweet toothers queue up consistently for holiday favorites like spiced gingerbread, sugar cookies, cannoli, and perennial favorite pumpkin rolls.
If you’ve got no time (or, like me, skills) to bake, don’t fret. Make an executive decision and outsource your holiday dessert duties to a local bakery so you can spend some extra time with family and friends. Whether you need goodies to cap off a Thanksgiving meal, feed excited kiddies on Christmas morning, or to take to the office potluck, the bakeries of the greater Wilmington area have you covered.