Photography: Patisserie Salzburg by Garvin Burke; all others contributed by brand
Cookies and cakes are staples of any dessert table, and now they’re more creative than ever. They’re just extra—decorated, stuffed, flavored and layered. Stamford’s bakeries offer a decadent selection of sweet courses, everything from fresh cakes and classic European tortes to American bundts and cookies that enclose gooey centers. Even better, several locales have online ordering and delivery services, making it easier to source sweet comfort food for the cold days ahead, and spread the love far and wide with Valentine’s Day on the horizon.
1 MILK N COOKIES
Warm, soft, and plump stuffed cookies with gooey centers draw high school students, families, and couples to this three-year-old shop on Bedford Street. “Everyone likes cookies. They’re cookies,” says Aiden Osorio, who also operates two other locations for this expanding Mamaroneck-based company. Osorio knows what customers like. Churro Nutella is a favorite, with its coating of cinnamon sugar and filling of soft chocolate-hazelnut. Red Velvet Cheesecake is decorated with white chocolate chips and has a sweet cream cheese filling. Brookie is a brownie with an oozing chocolate center. Plain chocolate chip doesn’t have an oozing center but it’s a top-seller.
63 Bedford St., milkncookies.com
2 SHIRO DESSERT
Imagine the lightest cake ever, three airy layers of chiffon filled and iced with whipped cream and fresh fruit. That’s a Korean cream cake. Matcha (super-finely ground green tea) cream cake with fresh mango is a standout, visually and in the taste and texture of every aromatic forkful. Sold by the hearty slice, Shiro’s cakes are a joy for everyone who loves desserts that aren’t too sweet. Chocolate Cream Cake, covered with chocolate shavings and decorated with mini chocolate pretzel sticks and chocolate squares, is dreamy. Strawberry Cream Cake is classic and romantic. Shiro is owned by Samantha Yang, a UConn business major who opened the shop a year and a half ago. Crepe cakes are another specialty, layered with either purple ube, green matcha or orange mango and whipped cream. Shiro also makes cakes to order.
172 Bedford St., shiroct.com
The company that bakes, serves and delivers cookies inspired by cakes and pies now has a shop in Stamford. Crumbl’s social media features its bright pink boxes that perfectly fit the “dressed” cookies that have inspired bloggers to create copycat recipes. In Crumbl’s newest shop (there are 900 across the country) customers see an open kitchen where bakers mix, bake and hand-decorate the daily selection. “We don’t get frozen dough shipped to us. Everything is made from flour, eggs, butter and sugar right here in the store,” says franchise owner Justin Cinnoman, who opened the Stamford shop in November, “You’re getting a freshly baked cookie.” The menu rotates weekly, and part of the fun is discovering what’s new and what’s returning. If you’re lucky, the menu will include the shop’s popular Churro, a crunchy cinnamon-sugar cookie topped with cinnamon buttercream.
1132 High Ridge Rd., crumblcookies.com
4 PATISSERIE SALZBURG
The soul of Patisserie Salzburg’s café is found in the individual European cakes inspired by the baker’s home of Salzburg, Austria, a city where the coffee house tradition still flourishes. These elegant, multi-layered cakes are filled with whipped cream and mousses. The Opera is a flourless hazelnut cake layered with chocolate ganache and hazelnut butter cream. Black Forrest cake—four layers of light cocoa-sponge filled with cherries, kirshwasser (a clear cherry brandy) and whipped cream—is iced with whipped cream and decorated with curls of chocolate. Seven Layer Cake alternates vanilla sponge with chocolate butter cream, with a layer of apricot jam, topped with shiny chocolate glaze. A box of multi-colored macarons can brighten a winter day, and Patisserie Salzburg bakes and fills them with seven flavors, including chocolate, strawberry and raspberry.
10 Harbor Point, patisseriesalzburg.com
5 NOTHING BUNDT CAKES
Bundt cakes are a distinctively American home-baked cake. The two women friends who started Nothing Bundt in 1997 were baking in their kitchens when their hobby became a business. Today there are more than 500 shops in the U.S. and Canada delivering boxes of bundts, bundtlets and bundtinis in a dozen flavors, including classic vanilla and lemon. All are topped with the shop’s signature cream cheese icing. “Our cakes are super-moist,” says franchise owner Ann Folger, a Texan who opened on High Ridge Road in 2020. “People who travel in the South or have homes in Florida are familiar with us. Nothing Bundt has that name recognition.” The cakes are baked and decorated in the shop. For Valentine’s Day, flavors like red velvet, white raspberry, and strawberries and cream can be decorated with red and white roses and sweet messages.
838 High Ridge Rd., nothingbundtcakes.com