Seattleites may be health-conscious, eco-friendly, outdoorsy yogis, but even hippies have a sweet tooth. Whether you’re looking for healthier dessert-like snacks or the road to diabetes, everyone ought to know the best dessert spots in town. Read below for Seattle’s top bakeries, go-to places for cookies, European delicacies, ice cream, and specialty dessert shops—in that order.
Tom Douglas’ bakery bakes artisan bread, pastries, and cakes daily in small batches. Breakfast (egg sandwiches, muffins, and donuts) and lunch options (soup, salad, and sandwiches) are also available if you don’t fill up on dessert. Don’t miss an opportunity to taste their signature Triple Coconut Cream Pie.
This checks-and-cash-only bakery makes “old-fashioned American desserts with a contemporary twist” fresh daily. Cakes include, but are certainly not limited to, Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake, Chocolate Truffle Cake, and Java Del Sol Cake. Other than cakes, Simply Desserts offers cupcakes, cookies, and brownies. Each recipe is made from scratch!
Thanks to nudging from the famous Molly Moon’s (see below), Hello Robin opened to offer freshly baked cookies in a dozen different flavors every day. Cookie flavor options range from traditional (Chocolate Chip) to gluten-free, from healthier (The Power Cookie) to the self-explanatory Whole Wheat Fancy Chocolate with Sea Salt. Vegan options can be available with notice, and cookie cakes can be ordered in nine or 12 inches. Ice cream sandwiches are also available as well as Molly Moon’s ice cream.
Dessert Collage | Courtesy of Seattle Cookie Counter
Supported by the community through GoFundMe and Kickstarter, Seattle Cookie Counter provides delicious baked goods and ice cream that just happen to be 100% vegan. The sustainably minded owners hold fast to their ethics, sourcing non-GMO, mostly organic, local-when-possible ingredients. With a dappling of gluten-free options on a regular basis, treats include cookies, brownies, cinnamon rolls, popsters, and ice cream—to name a few.
Cookie Assortment | Courtesy of Midnight Cookie Co.
Only a year old, this new cookie-focused bakery proves that Seattleites love late-night sweets. Midnight Cookie Co. has become “the first and only late-night cookie delivery service in the Seattle area.” Also offering coffee and ice cream, they are a testament to the success (and deliciousness) of simple ideas executed flawlessly.
This Italian marketplace offers soup, salad, and sandwiches, as well as Italian staples including espresso and Italian soda. However, the icing on the cake is the cannoli. The tubular, cream- or cheese-filled pastry has been a part of Italian culture for millennia, developing various recipes and methods of preparation. Holy Cannoli presents “handmade tempered cream-based cannoli” with a variety of fillings ranging from traditional to Nutella to Limoncello.
For those who want to travel to France but are stuck in Seattle, head over to Le Panier. Helmed by a “French-trained pastry chef from Normandie,” they offer bread, croissants, macarons, sweet and savory pastries, and sandwiches. Since 1983, this Pike Place Market bakery has been whipping up French pastries so authentic that the Space Needle might even start to look like the Eiffel Tower.
Maria Coassin grew up in Maniago, Italy, in a family of bakers. She spent four years “learning the art and science of making gelato,” then finally opened Gelatiamo in 1996. Bringing the authentic Italian gelateria experience to the Emerald City, Gelatiamo makes gelato fresh daily in small batches; Maria develops each recipe. Don’t forget to also check out their pastries, cookies, and specialty bakery items!
Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream has not-so-slowly become a Seattle staple over the past decade. With seven locations in Seattle, their first being in Wallingford, they offer 10 flavors year-round (including the popular Stumptown Coffee and Honey Lavender) and four flavors that rotate seasonally. Currently, that includes Yeti and Vegan Salted Caramel. While 90% of their ingredients come from the Pacific Northwest, they work hard to keep the other 10% organic and fair-trade and succeed in making 100% of their products absolutely delectable.
Assorted Cupcake Dozen | Courtesy of Cupcake Royale
Cupcake Royale made a mark in 2003 when it opened as the first cupcake bakery in the U.S. outside of New York City. Being in Seattle, the cupcakes are, of course, paired with artisan espresso. The community-minded cupcakery makes their treats from scratch every day with, as often as possible, ingredients from Washington farmers and producers. With a few vegan and gluten-free options, customers can look forward to flavors like Lavender (with real lavender buds), Triple Threat (for chocoholics), and Velvet Elvis Cupcake.
One of the most highly regarded chocolatiers in the nation, Fran Bigelow opened her first chocolate shop in 1982, and she has been “credited for sparking the artisan chocolate renaissance in the United States.” Famously known as Obama’s favorite chocolate shop, Fran’s Chocolates offers everything from truffles to chocolate-covered fruit and nuts to hot chocolate, all hand packaged to look as astonishing as it tastes.
Fran’s Nine-Piece Lacquer Box | Courtesy of Fran’s Chocolates
Warm Chocolate Cookie | Photo Credit, Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery, Courtesy of Emily Wandres
Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery started as a side-project at charities and farmers markets for Autumn Martin. Before opening the first Hot Cakes shop, Martin was a pastry chef at Canlis and then head chocolatier at Theo Chocolate. Now she owns Hot Cakes, supporting local and organic farmers as she makes classic desserts as well as her own innovative creations, including caramel sauce, cookies, cake, and beyond!
Pie Bar is exactly what it sounds like: a regular bar that also serves pie. In fact, it is “the world’s first late-night ‘pie only’ cocktail lounge.” With both a walk-up window and inside seating, Pie Bar offers sweet and savory pies, usually with alcoholic beverage pairing suggestions—so you can have your pie and drink, too.