There are desserts, and then there are unforgettable, show-stopping masterpieces that are so good you can’t get them out of your head. Considering that Rachel Smith and Jean Parker have travelled far and wide in search of the best bakeries for their series The Baker Sisters, it’s safe to say that when it comes to indulgent desserts they definitely know a thing or two.
From deep-dish dessert pizza that’s so indulgent you won’t be able to stop yourself after just one slice, to a mousse cake that’s like a giant chocolate-wafer-hazelnut confection that goes by a certain name, here are some of their top picks from across the country.
1. Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Corn Crunch Cupcakes at Crave Bakery in Calgary
It’s like the bakers at Crave took the wishes of every sweet-toothed consumer out there and combined their cravings into one delightful cupcake with this mouthful of a concoction. Between the chocolaty peanut butter, the salty popcorn and the sweet caramel, this is exactly what we picture an explosion of flavours to physically look (and taste!) like.
“It had the biggest name and in one little cupcake, it delivered,” Jean says. “You had your two frostings playing with each other, the chocolate and the peanut butter. Their cake recipe itself was like grandma’s and it was spot-on perfect…Then we made our own caramel corn, and put that on top of it. It was little and stacked up, but it was crazy good.”
2. The Dark Knight Cake at Chess Piece Patisserie & Café in Fredericton
This Fredericton-based Parisian style café may offer a wide range of baked goods and pastries, but for the Baker Sisters one thing truly stood out: the Dark Knight Cake that Jean got to recreate for the show.
She raves: “It’s a mousse cake, praline in the inside, and covered in a chocolate glaze. The flavours, the textures, everything about it…”
“Your fork slid through it,” Rachel adds. “It was so indulgent because of those layers of chocolate.”
3. The London Fog Cake at Cadeaux Bakery in Vancouver
In terms of making classic hot beverages come to life in cake form, Eleanor Chow Waterfall has an instant, indulgent winner with her London Fog cake.
“There were 37 steps to make it,” Jean recalls. “Eleanor was awesome. One cool chick, but very precise and would not skip or take any shortcuts. It took a long time. I think there were nine layers of cake; it was huge, and it was perfect. It was infused with this tea, silky, light and fluffy, really high.” No wonder the sisters thought it was to die for.
4. The Amazing Schnecken at Trafiq in Vancouver
AS SEEN ON TV on the #bakersisters !! We're still so excited about last night's show! I know I wasn't the only one craving a schnecken late night….come and grab one today!! They're extra delicious!! @foodnetworkca #trafiqmain #schnecken #deliciousness #mainstreeteats #yvrfoodie #eeeeeats #shoplocal #rileypark #yvr #ihearttrafiq @rachelelizabethsmith
We may never be able to look at cinnamon buns with a fair eye (or taste them with the same palate) again after witnessing the magic that went into making the Schnecken at this cafe. Rachel goes so far as to call the treat, which is reminiscent of a Chelsea bun, “insane.”
“Even in the show when I’m doing my tasting, I turn to the baker and I’m like, ‘I need to take a private minute,’” she says. “It was buttery. It was ooey goey. You pour your caramel on the bottom and then your nuts, and then you put your buns on it. He actually froze his buns and then sliced it, and then baked it frozen because what ends up happening is it doesn’t over-bake the dough. So the dough is still really soft and the outside of it gets that firm, crispy that you want. And it was huge.”
5. The Deep Dish Pizza at Junked Food Co. in Toronto
You don’t have to travel to Chicago to experience delightful deep-dish pizza, especially if you’re looking for a sweeter riff on the original. The crew at Junked Food Co are renowned for their sweet eats, especially since they’re open late and speak to a very specific, sweet-toothed crowd.
“That deep dish pizza was crazy. These men know exactly what they’re doing and who they’re selling to,” Rachel says. “This deep-dish dessert pizza had everything—marshmallow goo, chocolate, caramel, gummy candies. It’s got it all.”
6. Wild Strawberry Brioche Bun with Cream Cheese Icing at The Old Apothecary Bakery & Café in Halifax
Sometimes the most indulgent offerings are the ones that actually bring us back to the basics thanks to the simplicity of their ingredients. That was definitely the case for the sisters when they travelled to Halifax and made these wild strawberry brioche buns.
“It’s not terribly fancy, but it was a brioche wild strawberry bun, like a cinnamon roll, but it was made with wild strawberries from Halifax,” Jean recalls. “The brioche dough was slathered in this cream cheese icing. It was so fresh and lovely and decadent.”
Want to see more indulgent treats? Take our delicious quiz: Pick a Dessert and We’ll Tell You Where You Should Live. You’re gonna want some cake after, though.