Toronto’s Best Holiday Dessert Spots
Published: December 15, 2023
‘Tis the season for sweet treats! Be the host with the most at your next holiday party or festive get-together with some delectable desserts from top-notch Toronto bakeries. This month you’ll find some holiday-inspired baked goods that make the perfect host or hostess gift, party platter, festive dessert for your dinner party, or an indulgence you can enjoy all by yourself.
These sweet treats can be ordered in advance for your holiday celebrations with some available for walk-in pick-ups. Here are a few of our favourite Toronto bakeries with festive winter, Christmas, Hannukah, and New Year’s treats you can only get at this time of year!
Bûche de Noël and Gift Baskets
The origin of the Bûche de Noël cake dates all the way back to France in the 1800s. This Christmas sponge cake is meant to honour the ritual burning of the yule log celebrating the shortest day of the year, bringing with it luck and prosperity in the new year. Luckily for Torontonians, you can pick up a beautiful example of this tasty treat at one of two Delysees Luxury Desserts locations, accessible from UP Express Union Station. The French bakery typically offers a number of flavours and styles of Bûche de Noël, as well as dessert baskets ready for gifting.
Enjoy holiday-themed treats and winter flavours at Sweet Flour Bake Shop, located near UP Express Weston Station. If you’re hosting or attending a holiday get-together, this is a great spot to pick up a dessert platter or themed cupcakes that are sure to impress.
Vegan and Gluten-Free Holiday Treats
Vegan friends don’t have to miss out on the special festive desserts this month! One of Toronto’s best vegan bakeries is Bunner’s, located in Kensington Market. 100% vegan and gluten-free, Bunner’s must-have holiday treats include peppermint-filled chewy, chocolate cookies, candy cane cakes, holiday tarts, and classic Canadian Nanaimo bars, just to name a few. While you can pick up a treat on-site, it’s best to place holiday orders in advance.
Panettone and Stollen
Support local and organic bakeries with a traditional dried fruit panettone or marzipan-coated stollen (or both!) from Noctua Bakery. What began as a bakery pop-up is now a full-fledged store in the Junction neighbourhood, near UP Express Bloor Station. Hot tip: go early and breathe in all the fresh-baked goodness.
Originating in Japan, mochi donuts are made from a sticky rice flour called mochi which give them a unique chewy and soft texture. Blocks from UP Express Union Station, Isabella’s Mochi Donuts has a rotating menu of flavours that change weekly. Look for special seasonally decorated donuts and flavours throughout December. Be warned, these popular donuts can sell out quickly and it’s not uncommon to find a line out the door.
Gourmet Seasonal Cookies
These cookies are too good to leave out for Santa. Pre-order gourmet, soft-baked cookies from Andrea’s Cookies a short walk from UP Express Bloor Station. A rotating menu of flavours means it’s always a sweet surprise, but you might find red velvet, maple walnut, Toblerone, last year’s winter favourite, hot chocolate. Located just outside of High Park, you can also stop in after a winter walk through the park or nearby West Toronto Railpath and Roncesvalles Village to pick up a fresh cookie on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
Gingerbread Houses and Cookie Boxes
Love a gingerbread house but don’t want to play baking architect? Butter Baker has pre-made houses by amazing pastry chefs that make for cute and tasty holiday décor. These adorably delicious houses sell fast, so order in advance to avoid disappointment. If you miss out on the gingerbread houses, Butter Baker has Christmas cookie gift boxes including ones with gingerbread people.
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Warm up this winter with a sticky toffee pudding from Bobbette & Belle. Featuring freshly-baked cakes, pies, macarons, and more, this pastry shop makes a pretty edition to your holiday table. You’ll find sweet treats available for walk-ins but it’s best to place special or large holiday orders in advance.
If you’re welcoming friends and family to Toronto for the holidays, take advantage of the UP Express Meeter and Greeter Return fare that allows you to meet your guests at the airport and return to your UP Express station of origin for the price of a one-way fare!
Holiday Cookie Tin
If you’re heading out of the city for the holidays, pick up a festive Christmas cookie tin from Roselle. The French patisserie has pretty packaged cookie tins and other treats ready to go for when you’re heading to the Pearson Airport via UP Express. With ample luggage room and overhead storage, you can be sure your treats will make it to the airport in one piece…if you can keep from snacking.
A treat that looks almost too good to be eaten! Stop by Nugateau, Canada’s first and only all-éclair patisserie, blocks from UP Express Union Station. Serving up 15 varieties of eclairs, a special Noel collection of winter flavours and designs arrives in time for Christmas. Previous flavour offerings have included candy cane, black forest, and caramel orange.
For those with an exceptional sweet tooth, indulge in Craig’s Cookies. These thick and chewy cookies have fans all over the city who love their treat-within-a-cookie flavours, like an Oreo or Mars bar within a chocolate chip cookie. Try a box of cookies and cream chocolate chip stuffed with minty candy cane bits available in-store or pre-order from one of four locations around Toronto. If you’re in need of a last-minute holiday gift, you can even have a box of cookies delivered.
Japanese Christmas Cake
Neo Coffee Bar made our list of the best places in Toronto to work or study in, but it’s also the place to go for Japanese Christmas Cake. A Japanese Christmas holiday classic, this strawberry shortcake with fresh berries is available for pick-up by advance order only from their two downtown locations, accessible from UP Express Union Station.
Bûche de Noël
The star of your holiday dinner table will be a Bûche de Noël from Le Beau Croissanterie. Available by pre-order only, these cakes elevate the humble yule log beyond its traditional origins. Previous flavours have included wildflower honey sponge cake with yuzu crème fraiche and a Viennois sponge with mango and vanilla mousse. Look for other sweet holiday treats that make the perfect gift or accompaniment to enjoy after dinner. Just remember to save us a slice!