CakeSpy Note: You know what rules? Getting bakery tips from readers. Here's a great round-up of sweet spots that I know I'll be trying next time I'm in Pittsburgh, thanks to Cake Gumshoe Lauren H.!
I’m sure that there are many excellent ways to spend a rainy February weekend in Pittsburgh, but my favorite so far is most definitely exploring the city’s bakeries. While we weren’t there long enough to try too many places, my husband and I had a lovely time at the two places that we did visit (which we might have visited more than once), and I wanted to share them with other Cakespy readers who might be looking for sweets during their next trip to Pittsburgh!
Our first Pittsburgh stop was Dozen Bake Shop. I found a link to their website on Cakespy and wanted to be sure to visit! Dozen has two locations in Pittsburgh, one in Lawrenceville and one near the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon campuses in Oakland. We dropped by both; while the Lawrenceville location has seating and a more “café” feel, the Oakland location just seemed cozier for some reason!
Dozen has a daily cupcake menu, and I’m proud (ashamed?) to say that my husband and I managed to try the majority of the daily specials during our two days in Pittsburgh. The six cupcakes that took part in our taste test (pictured above, clockwise from the top left) were Mostess (basically a much tastier Hostess cupcake), Almond Dream, Milk Chocolate, Elvis (banana cake filled with chocolate buttercream and topped with peanut butter frosting), East End Chocolate Stout, and Red Velvet. Though all but one of the cupcakes were hits, the highlight was definitely the Almond Dream – I’ll be making my way to Dozen for another as soon as I arrive in Pittsburgh next time! The one miss was the East End Chocolate Stout: we were definitely not a fan of beer + cupcake + Irish cream frosting!
We also indulged in some of Dozen’s non-cupcake sweets in the form of an incredible cinnamon bun, which I actually think my husband would rank above the cupcakes as his favorite Dozen treat.
While Dozen was lovely, however, the highlight of our bakery stops was La Gourmandine Bakery, which is the best bakery that I’ve visited in any city for quite some time! The bakery has been open less than a year and is run by a French couple who relocated to Pittsburgh and decided to open a traditional French bakery there.
The bakery is small and cozy, with just a few tables, but there was quite a Saturday morning line when we were there, despite its size and relative newness – and with good reason! As the photos above show, La Gourmandine has a spectacular selection of French pastries and breads, and the best part is that everything tastes even better than it looks!
We indulged in (left to right) a coffee éclair, apple tart, and chocolate éclair. All three were beyond incredible, and the only thing that kept me from returning to purchase a box of coffee éclairs to take home with us the next day was the fact that La Gourmandine is closed on Sundays.
If possible, La Gourmandine’s bread was even better than the pastries – we brought home a traditional baguette and a pain au cereal and could not stop raving about them (or eating them!) In short, pretty much everything about La Gourmandine was lovely and delightful – and tasted absolutely amazing! We’re planning another trip to Pittsburgh soon, and I’m fighting the urge to count down the days until we can visit the bakery to pick up another baguette and multiple coffee éclairs!
Hopefully this short walk will inspire other Cakespy readers to check out these bakeries next time they’re in Pittsburgh – and keep them full of sweets during their visit!
Dozen Bake Shop online at http://dozenbakeshop.com/
La Gourmandine Bakery online at http://www.lagourmandinebakery.com/