While fruitcake might be a traditional holiday dessert, let’s be real: It’s not attractive (and also not very tasty!). Thankfully, there are eye-catching treat options for gifting or serving this season, including inventive chocolates, silky pies, and fanciful petit fours from some of New York City’s finest makers and bakers. These are some of our favorites.
Four & Twenty Blackbirds
In addition to regular pie offerings like Salted Caramel Apple and Bittersweet Chocolate Pecan, Brooklyn’s favorite pie shop also offers seasonal specialties Brown Butter Pumpkin (available now through December) and Cranberry Sage (available in December). The best part? All of these flavors are available in individually boxed 3-inch mini pies, which are pretty much the cutest thing ever and perfect for gifting.
Mini pies are $5 and can be ordered by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org (minimum order of 30).
While we love this bake shop’s cookies and scones, for the holidays we’re particularly fond of their showstopping cakes, which include a seasonal Apple Caramel cake crowned with candy snowflakes, a holiday version of their Vanilla Cake + Salted Caramel Buttercream that’s dotted with candy pearls, and their best-selling Brooklyn Blackout, decorated with gold stars for the season.
Available for national shipping on Goldbely (6-inch, $49) and pickup or local delivery by emailing email@example.com (6-inch, $45; 9-inch, $75; 12-inch, $110).
This charming Upper East Side café has been quietly making traditional French petit fours—bite-size desserts made with delicate vanilla cake laced with liqueur, layered with buttercream and almond marzipan, and then enrobed in a fondant glaze—for the last year, and they recently began offering their pastries at Loews Regency New York Hotel as well. For the holidays, the petite pastries will be gussied up with gold-leaf accented bows and white snowflakes. Flavors include bourbon vanilla, lavender, coffee cream and rose petal.
Available for national shipping through bonvivantnewyork.com/shop and Manhattan delivery or pick-up; from $12.50 for a box of four.
Kruether Handcrafted Chocolate
Pastry chef Marc Aumont has created a line of beautiful (think glittery, shiny domes and subtly accented squares) and creative new chocolates and bonbons for the season, including butternut squash and nutmeg, pumpkin sesame mole, chestnut and cognac, and gingerbread.
The chocolates are available in-store, from $14 for a four-piece box.
Baker and food stylist Tomoko Kato makes pastries based on classic French recipes with Japanese and American influences. For a unique spin on the classic bûche de Noël, order her green tea version, made with green tea mousse and ganache in a classic log shape decorated with fresh fruit. Her Chestnut Cake is also a stunner, with a mound of chestnut mousse covering layers of sponge cake and a pistachio ganache in the center.
Available at the shop, the 6-inch cake is $40 and the 10-inch is $50.
This new bakery by renegade baker Ry Stephen is slinging creative croissants including a striped bi-color version. To get in the holiday spirit, try the ruby-red-striped Lychee-Berry Jelly topped with dehydrated strawberries and the emerald green banded Pistachio Rose Creme Patissiere with pistachios and edible rose petals for a holly jolly indulgence.
Available at the shop for pick-up only for $6.50.
Stick With Me Sweets
For the 2017 holiday season, this Nolita chocolate shop is releasing a limited edition Christmas-themed gift box with hand-drawn winter-in-New-York scenes surrounding a Christmas tree studded with an assortment of glossy bonbons as colorful ornaments. Selections include limited edition holiday flavors such as Milk and Cookies, Gingerbread S’mores, Peppermint Cookie and Spiced Eggnog.
The 25-piece box is $95 is available at the shop and for national shipping.
Instead of a bûche de Noël, this popular bakery offers an adorable Stump de Noel made from chocolate sponge cake that’s covered with malted vanilla buttercream and dark chocolate frosting that’s decorated with forest flora and fauna.
Available at both shops for $60.