Is there any better time than December for indulging in some extra special desserts? From the joyful anticipation of presents and more visits from family and friends to the extra sparkle and glitter that surrounds everything this time of year, holiday desserts have a lot to live up to. You can trust these four bakeries to give you the best holiday desserts in Eugene. Any one of these will be a sweet show-stopper you’ll be proud to serve.
One of the most popular holiday desserts is a Bûche de Noël. This gorgeous cake is a sponge cake rolled up like a jelly roll with pastry cream and raspberry filling. Buttercream and meringue mushrooms, sugar-coated cranberries and marzipan holly leaves adorn the cake, to resemble a yule log. In European tradition, a specially selected Yule Log was brought into the home and burnt in the hearth. At Metropol, order Buche de Noels ahead of time with 8-hour notice. Or, take your chances on them having one in the case. They sell fast because they are so popular.
Another of the best holiday desserts available here is a Zucotto Fiorentino cake. Made in a classic dome shape, the cake is filled with a choice of two fillings. Whipped cream, chocolate chunks and dried cherries mingle with cake soaked with orange liqueur, or chocolate and roasted walnuts. This cake is again made festive using holly and cranberry decorations. Coffee lovers will swoon over the Chocolate Cappuccino Torte. Made with a roasted almond and walnut-spiced crust with a layer of chocolate ganache, espresso buttercream and mocha whipped cream. This glorious cake is decorated with chocolate covered espresso beans. A slice of this cake might be just the trick to help keep you awake until Santa comes.
In January, Eugene’s best-known bakery expanded to a second location, Sweet Life Petite. Special holiday desserts are available at both locations, although the main location has a larger selection. Special order ahead of time to ensure that you can walk out with Sweet Life’s version of a Bûche de Noël. The December dessert of the month is Eggnog Cheesecake. With whipped cream and nutmeg, this classic Christmas flavor is also available in a gluten-free option. Sweet Life offers Bourbon Fruitcakes or a variety of Loaf Cakes, including gingerbread, apricot brandy and rum eggnog. Toffees and shortbreads, fudge and colorful Pistachio Cranberry Cupcakes can take pride of place on your holiday table.
This bakery is known year-round for its delicious breads and pastas. Come December, they also break out some classic holiday desserts. Hideaway makes a German Christmas Stollen that is sold everyday through Christmas. Stollens are rich yeasts breads studded with dried fruits and nuts. They also offer a traditional Italian Panettone. This sweet bread is traditionally made in a tall dome. Filled with candied citrus as well as raisins, it is a colorful and visually appealing dessert for the table. A Saint Lucia Braided Ring recalls Saint Lucia, honored in Sweden on December 13. The sweet bread is a long braid that is knotted into the shape of a ring. Traditionally, candles are placed into the ring, which is then worn on the head as a crown. While we don’t encourage wearing flaming bread on your head, this dessert is a beautiful and delicious centerpiece.
If you want to keep things simple but still take home one of the best holiday desserts in Eugene, check out Crumb Together. This is a cozy daytime spot to grab a cup of coffee, morning pastry or homemade granola bar for your mid-afternoon snack. While their holiday offerings are not as spectacular as these other bakeries, Crumb Together specializes in cookies, and that is where they shine. Take home a plate of gingerbread men. Treat your coworkers to snickerdoodles with red and green sprinkles. Of course, if you just want a standard yet delicious chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin, we bet Santa won’t mind.