A Sweet Tooth’s Guide To Baked Goods In Austin
In a city filled with restaurants, food trucks, breweries and cafes, it can be difficult to know where to begin when you’re looking for the best cookie, cupcake or pie. Although I am no expert, I was a barista in a past life. When my husband and I first got married, we were living in Harlingen, TX and I had graduated with a BS in Exercise Science… and couldn’t find a job. I worked as a math teacher for students who had been expelled (ever had your life threatened while teaching multiplication?), but that didn’t last long. My in-laws purchased the makings of a café and I began what would be a very short-lived occupation as a barista and baker. As such, although my husband insists his favorite bakery is our house, here are my picks for favorite bakeries in Austin. Some of these are places I have been to many times (Bennu, Easy Tiger), some I have tried once, and some are recommendations from friends, but I can assure you that if you choose any of these bakeries, you will not be sorry!
Sugar Mama’s – Although there are more well-known cupcake bakeries in Austin, of those I have tried, Sugar Mama’s is hands-down the best. If you’re looking for something vegan, their Wedding Cake cupcake is divine. I also loved the Champion Carrot Cake, and I don’t even usually love carrot cake! They always have at least 1 vegan and 1 gluten-free option.
Upper Crust bakery – I personally have never tried this one, but Upper Crust, located on Burnet Rd, gets high marks from everyone I’ve asked about it. Try the cinnamon rolls for something sweet, or the spinach ricotta round for savory.
Capital City Bakery – located on East Cesar Chavez, Capital City bakery has some of the best vegan baked goods I’ve ever had. My picks: the brownie (especially the strawberry frosted one) and the oatmeal cream sandwich cookie.
Chelsea Street Market – This cottage bakery offers some of the most beautifully decorated cookies I’ve ever seen. She also teaches cookie decorating classes. Again, as a sweet tooth, an art class where you get to eat your sweet creation sounds better than any of those classes where you learn to paint while getting slightly tipsy. At least the final product will taste good no matter what, because her sugar cookies are delectable.
Bennu coffee – formerly Dominican Joes, Bennu is one of my favorite cafés in Austin, with plenty of seating, delicious coffee, and, more important to this article, some fantastic muffins. Try the pumpkin muffin, you won’t regret it. Did I mention they’re open 24 hours/day?
The Vegan Beggar Kitchen – Another all-vegan bakery, I got to try cookies and cupcakes from this baker at a wedding last year, and just like she says on her website, these are a “gateway drug” for enticing non-vegans into the world of animal product-free food.
Easy Tiger – Part bakery/café, part beer garden, this establishment on East 6th street bakes amazing bread. I personally love the whole wheat oat, and others have recommended the banana bread as a go-to. For more of a snack, try the pretzels with beer cheese or mustard!
And there you have it, my recommendations for delicious treats in ATX.
If you’ve tried any of these items/bakeries, or have others you loved, leave a comment below!