Short on time? Let these local bakeries do the holiday work – St. Paul Pioneer Press

Restaurant News

There’s not much time this year between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and if your to-do list is as long and daunting as mine, you might be looking to outsource some of your holiday chores.

Or maybe you’re just not a baker.

Whatever the reason, our local bakeries go crazy with festive sweets this time of the year, so why not let the pros do the work for you?

We got in touch with some of our favorite bakeries to find out what they have to offer. Whether you’re in the market for a cookie plate to put out for guests or a show-stopping cake with which to end a special meal, these bakers have you covered.

As someone who tends to make my own holiday treats, I was surprised at how extensive the holiday offerings are at some places.

The Buttered Tin owner Alicia Hinze said November and December are the biggest months of the year for her Lowertown bakery.

“It’s bigger than wedding cake season,” she said.

Hinze said the bakery participates in the annual bake sale at Union Depot, to be held from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Dec. 14. They sell an assortment of cookies and cupcakes there, but in-store offerings are much more extensive. Hinze said they sell lots of whole cakes — bundt varieties are especially popular — but also stocking stuffers like toffee, peppermint bark and chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons.

At Swedish Crown Bakery in Anoka, it’s all about Scandinavian traditions. If your grandma made pepparkakor but you can’t find the time to cut out all those cookies, owners Eva and Fari Sabet are here for you.

Eva Sabet said the bakery caters to a lot of people wistful for traditional Swedish baked goods during the holidays. Top sellers include cardamom braids, tea rings and coffee cakes, “they are decorative, beautiful, like a wreath,” and cookies, even though Swedes don’t traditionally serve cookies at Christmas time.

She hesitated to even tell me that the bakery sells the iconic dala horse cookies, because they’re time-consuming to make and they’re already busy enough, but now you know.

“We sell thousands of those every year,” Sabet said.

In Italy, Christmas is the time to indulge in panettone, the Milanese sweet bread, studded with dried fruit. And Dave Cossetta, of Cossetta Alimentari in downtown St. Paul, is committed to providing his bakers with the resources to produce the bread, which takes two days to make.

Last year, Cossetta even brought in a master baker from Italy to help his staff hone their craft, and this year, he said the special bread is better than ever.

“It’s incredibly hard to make,” Cossetta said. “It’s not for the weak at heart.”

Here’s a list of just a few of our favorite stops for holiday baked goods. I recommend ordering ahead and allowing plenty of time for these busy businesses to fulfill your order.

The Buttered Tin

Toffee from The Buttered Tin makes a great stocking stuffer. (Courtesy of Alicia Hinze)

This sweet little Lowertown bakery makes cakes, cookies and other treats that taste like homemade — if your mom was a master baker. Holiday treats include mix-and-match cookie tins ($30 for a dozen, choices are molasses, Russian tea, lemon cream or iced sugar holiday shapes), chocolate mint ganache and red velvet bundt cakes ($25), holiday cupcakes ($10 for 4; $15 for 6) and stocking stuffers like peppermint bark, pecan toffee, raspberry jam and chocolate-dipped macaroons. Order your holiday goodies by Dec. 19 and pick them up on Christmas eve morning.

237 E. 7th St., St. Paul; 651-224-2300;


Holiday panettone from Cossetta Pasticceria. (Jess Fleming / Pioneer Press)

The Pasticceria here has all kinds of beautiful baked goods, and besides the panettone ($28, $35 in a commemorative box), the yule logs ($42.73) are especially popular. If you’ve never been to the space, which was designed and built in Italy, it’s worth a holiday trip for an espresso and a sweet treat.

211 W. 7th St., St. Paul; 651-222-3476;


Yule log from Wuollet Bakery. (Courtesy of Wuollet Bakery)

As if they didn’t already have us at yule log/buche de noel cakes, Wuollet carries several more festive desserts for the holidays. Rosettes ($19 for a dozen), fruit cake ($30, serves up to 18), peppermint and almond barks ($9.75, 6-ounce box), peanut brittle ($19 a pound) and Christmas tea cookies ($25 for an assortment of 3 dozen or $40 for an assortment of 5 1/2 dozen) are part of the line up. And this year, one variety of a traditional Finnish yule log/buche de noel cake is available made up of a chocolate sponge cake with cream cheese filling, chocolate ganache icing and garnished with holly, berries and powdered sugar (8-inch serving 8-10, $43; 16-inch serving 16-20, $85). Desserts are available in store on a first come, first serve basis. Or, you can place an order a day in advance.

Several metro locations, including 1080 Grand Ave., St. Paul; 651-292-9035;

PJ Murphy’s

If you’re looking for adorable, affordable cookies, PJ Murphy’s is your spot. Order decorated sugar cookies (you can even specify which shapes!) for $20 a dozen, or gingerbread cut-outs for $3 apiece. The bakery also offers traditional cookies like spritz, rosettes, Russian tea and the perennial favorite peanut butter blossoms.

1279 Randolph Ave., St. Paul; 651-699-9292;

Cookie Cart

Holiday cookies from Cookie Cart, the nonprofit bakery that employs urban teenagers. (Courtesy of Cookie Cart)

Want to feel good about buying baked goods for the holiday? There’s no better way than to place an order with Cookie Cart, which trains and empowers urban teens, who run and staff the bakery. You can order classic cookies for $15 a dozen, or cute, hand-decorated sugar cookies for $20 a dozen.

946 Payne Ave., St. Paul; 612-521-0855;

Dorothy Ann Bakery

A cookie platter from Dorothy Ann Bakery in Woodbury. (Courtesy of Dorothy Ann Bakery)

This suburban bakery has the most extensive holiday menu of any we have encountered. They honestly sell dozens of kinds of cookies, including peanut butter blossoms, spritz, Russian tea cakes, cut-outs and more. Trays of four dozen butter cookies sell for a very affordable $30.95, and you can order any of the cookies they make by the dozen. It doesn’t stop there, either. Dorothy Ann Bakery also carries specialty cakes, cheesecakes, pies, candy, fruitcakes, coffee cakes, Christmas logs (buche de noel) and more.

710 Commerce Drive, Suite 100, Woodbury; 651-731-3323;

Rose Street Cafe

Buche de noel du nord from Rose Street Cafe in St. Paul. (Courtesy of Field Guide Inc.)

One of our favorite bakeries for just about everything, Rose Street is offering a huge variety of holiday goodies this year, including buche de noel du nord ($50), holiday cookies like raspberry linzers  and gingerbreads ($3.50 apiece), and traditional and chocolate hazelnut panettone ($28), stollen ($16), cinnamon babka ($16) and much more, including stunning holiday boxes of chocolates or baked goods.

Rose Street Cafe: 882 W. Seventh St., St. Paul;

Swedish Crown Bakery

Pepperkaka Moose (Swedish ginger cookie) from Swedish Crown Bakery in Anoka. (Courtesy of Eva Sabet)

From cardamom braids ($7.99) with freshly ground cardamom to decorative tea rings and coffee cakes ($16.99) to dala horse, thumbprint and gluten-free soft ginger cookies ($1.50 to $3, depending on the type), the beautiful and tasty baked goods from Swedish Crown are sure to set your holiday table apart.

530 W Main Street, Anoka; 763-427-0506;

Nancy Ngo contributed to this report.

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