The whole world is baking. But we still need special treats to make life sweeter and mark special occasions. We may all be stress-baking muffins and sprinkling our chocolate chip cookies with Maldon salt, but not like the pros. We’re coaxing generosity and comfort out of flour, sugar, and butter.
In her Tyler Station studio and coffee shop, Crumb and Kettle owner Heather Anziani reigns over a small, quiet kingdom of cake crumb and buttercream. Her poised creations—in blackberry buttercream and lemon curd or chocolate with salted caramel—make organic ingredients shine. They wear drips of caramel or fresh, local flowers; watercolor swatches; or gold leaf on marbled fondant. They’re part of a “semi-naked” cake aesthetic, with solid, clean lines. After a brief hiatus, Saturday-only curbside pickups also include scones, biscuits, cake-sicles, or olive oil chocolate chip cookies. Saturday only contactless pickup 10–3 p.m.
Known for her cinnamon-swirled cruffins and perfectly laminated croissants, La Casita Bakeshop’s Maricsa Trejo had just opened a brick and mortar with her partner Alex Henderson when the shelter-in-place order put a stop to their Saturday-only retail openings. The resurrection came when the baker made an elegant hazelnut chocolate dacquoise—a ganache-covered cake made of delicate meringue and studded with slivered almonds and hazelnuts—for a friend’s birthday and posted it on Instagram.
Order requests flooded in. Now, the duo is back in the studio, fulfilling orders for curbside pickup once a week. In addition to pastries, a weekly cake option—maybe coconut tres leches or custom vanilla or chocolate cakes for Mother’s Day—has them making 25 cakes a week, all in one day. With wholesale orders canceled, there’s time for creativity, she says (a silver lining). A button on the website allows you to donate to the North Texas Food Bank; La Casita is matching funds. Curbside pickup (text with your name and car info) allows Trejo to wave at regulars like a car-hop. Saturday only curbside pickup 11–3 p.m. Preorders Wednesday–Friday.
Tida Pichakron closed her Lake Highlands shop in early April, then reopened it last week to provide hours for her employees and will debut curbside pickup on Friday. That means regulars are back to frangipane-pistachio cakes, hazelnut-latte mousse bars, passion fruit caramel tarts, macarons, and paleo almond-butter brownies. Meanwhile, a request for beer-and-macaron kits (without a license, she couldn’t go there) led her to come up with shrubs as part of an Easter basket, and she’ll have raspberry-rose shrubs and macarons for Mother’s Day.
Donations of rose-colored ruby chocolate from Valhrona have allowed her to make brownies with lovely toppings for the donation-based weekly Treats for Frontline and First Responders initiative that has her delivering treats to area hospitals. (You can donate on the website.) She’s contemplating starting curbside “with a bang” with her usual monthly beignets. Check out the baking essentials pantry as well. Delivery Friday and Saturday 2–5 p.m. Curbside pickup during regular hours starting Friday.
The French-style patisserie has stayed open for single-person pickup since the shelter-in-place order. Which means the regular menu of éclairs and fanciful hazelnut feuilletine and mousseline St. Honoré tarts topped with chocolate-glazed profiteroles. They’ve continued to send out special occasion treats like robin’s egg macarons and seen an increase in small custom cakes, topped with macarons—fit for smaller gatherings. They’re also offering a baking essentials pantry: flour—bread, cake, all-purpose—and active dry yeast, unsalted butter, and sugar. They know we like to bake. (Tip: best to preorder two days ahead to ensure availability of all pantry items.) Pick up in store or curbside during regular hours.
It’s hard to open during a pandemic, but La Tarte Tropézienne did so in early April. The French pastry shop based in Saint-Tropez is famous for the split, cream-filled brioche covered in rock sugar crystals that gave it its name when it was born in 1955 on the sunny French Riviera. (The story goes that it was served on a film shoot with Brigitte Bardot and came to represent the swinging French Riviera set.)
The first location outside of France, the shop across from Forty Five Ten on Main Street is offering a small menu that includes the large Tropézienne and smaller choux pastry-size versions filled with cream and topped with sugar. Place orders 9–7 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday for pickup and delivery.
The couple behind the food truck-based cupcakery Kitty Bunny—famous for flavors like black sesame-honey, purple taro, and matcha—quickly learned that their mobile business fell outside the government’s small business aid distinctions. But they embarked with others and soon were paired up with breweries like Celestial Beerworks, Pegasus City Brewery, and Odd Muse Brewing.
You can find them on Saturdays for contact-less, drive-thru-style pickups of six-packs of mini cupcakes with weekly flavors like the black and blue (blueberry cake with black currant filling and a fresh blueberry perched on top), banoffee pie, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, or stroopwafel. Cupcake care packages can be purchased to be delivered to local supermarket employees and health care workers with personalized notes. Saturday pickups with preorder. Check their schedule for locations.
Editor’s note: Yes, we know there’s a dearth of pie mentions in this list. This isn’t pie erasure, rather a focus on the cake-ier offerings in town. We’ll serve pie another day.