1. The Pirate Cupcake - Milford, NJ
Okay, so I might be biased on this one, since the genius behind The Pirate Cupcake just so happens to be my sister. But, man, I have tried so many cupcakes in my lifetime, and hers still 'take the cake' as far as I'm concerned. Another great thing about her bakery and her business is that it's NUT FREE. Yep, the pirate herself has a severe nut allergy so you can rest assured that you won't find nuts in any of her treats. And, to add to the utter coolness of all of this, The Pirate Cupcake also owns a Pirate Cupcake TRUCK (affectionately known as 'Clyde') that can be hired for events or parties. You can also find Clyde at many food truck festivals throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The Pirate Cupcake's shop is located on Bridge Street in Milford.
|Chocolate deliciousness from The Pirate Cupcake|
|"Clyde,' The Pirate Cupcake truck, with Jersey Momma's Boy on board!|
What's Epic About The Pirate Cupcake: Nut-free and makes amazing cupcakes and other fantastic treats. Be sure to try her handmade fruit popsicles and ice cream cookie sandwiches, too! The coolest truck ever, truly one of a kind.
2. Pink Cake Box Boutique - Denville, NJ
Alright, so you've got me again on being biased, because I just so happen to be the article writer for this incredible custom cake designer in Denville called Pink Cake Box. But they also have a retail store called Pink Cake Box Boutique. Anne Heap, owner and cake queen extraordinaire (is that an official job title? Because it should be) can make a cake in just about any shape (or size) you can imagine. Pink Cake Box has been featured on Food Network, TLC and The Martha Stewart Show just to name a few. They've made incredible cakes for celebrity clients, too. But you don't need to be famous to visit them. Find their retail store on East Main Street in Denville.
|Dessert table from Pink Cake Box: www.PinkCakeBox.com|
What's Epic About Pink Cake Box Boutique: Aside from their amazing custom cakes, check out their selection of gluten-free items, their fabulous macarons and their cupcakes, including their signature pink velvet flavor.
3. The Sweet Spot Bake Shoppe - Chester, NJ
I've been visiting the town of Chester since I was a little kid. There are so many fun things to do there and cute places to eat. One of my favorite additions to the town is The Sweet Spot Bake Shoppe, located right on Main Street in Chester. I was so excited when they were featured on Cupcake Wars (and won!). They were one of the very first bakeries I took The Jersey Momma's Boy to when he was a toddler. I still remember the mint chocolate chip cupcake he chose. He carried it home himself in his own little bag. You'll find a friendly staff and a great selection of flavors here. I also love that they are right next to a little parking lot, so it's an easy in and out if you want to just run in and grab some quick treats.
|photo from the Sweet Spot Bake Shoppe: https://www.facebook.com/TheSweetSpotBakeShoppe/|
What's Epic About The Sweet Spot Bake Shoppe: Don't miss the Cupcake Wars winning flavored cupcake, or my personal favorite, the Neopolitan.
4. Cocoluxe Fine Pastries - Peapack, NJ
One of my favorite things about Cocoluxe is that it's located right down the street from Bluebird Farm Alpacas, which we visit often. Cocoluxe is a quaint little shop right on Main Street in Peapack (have you noticed a Main Street trend going on here for bakeries?). They carry a unique selection of fine fruit pastries, french pastries and more.
|Chocolate Mice from Cocoluxe Pastries in Peapack|
What's Epic About Cocoluxe: The chocolate mice! Need I say more? I also like their walnut brownies, which are round and baked in a little paper wrapper like a cupcake.
5. The Gingered Peach - Lawrenceville, NJ
Let me just say that The Gingered Peach is one of the cutest little bakeries you ever did see. That aside, they also have some of the most delicious baked goodies around. My friends rave about their goat cheese brownie (who knew, right?), but I also hear their infamous caramel crack is hard to resist. You can visit them on Gordon Avenue in Lawrenceville.
|Photo from www.TheGingeredPeach.com|
What's Epic About The Gingered Peach: There are some awesomely unique items on their menu, and I reckon you should give them all a try. But don't miss their croissants and scones, either!
6. The Flaky Tart - Atlantic Highlands, NJ
The Flaky Tart comes highly recommended by one of my very favorite cookie bakers, Sweet Dani B. Located on First Avenue in the cute little Victorian town of Atlantic Highlands, they are widely known for their pastries and other delicious goodies. Everyone needs baked goods when they're at the shore, so if you're in the area, pay them a visit! What you might especially love is how beautiful their desserts are. I mean, almost too pretty to eat! Almost, I said. ;)
|S'mores tart from https://www.facebook.com/flakytart/timeline|
What's Epic About The Flaky Tart: The beauty of their cakes and pastries can't be beat! Check out their unique tarts and cakes- especially that s'mores tart.
7. Calandra's - Fairfield, NJ
If you're from New Jersey, chances are you've already heard of Calandra's. They are known far and wide for their incredible breads (which are best eaten warm, in my opinion). I also love them for their Italian cookies, tri-color pastries and their mountainous cupcakes. You know the ones I mean! They have several locations around the state, including Fairfield, Newark and Caldwell.
|Photo from Calandra's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/calandrarestaurant/timeline|
What's Epic About Calandra's: Their bread is the stuff of legends. It's made fresh on the hour, and most of the time, if you buy a loaf of bread here (any kind) it won't make it home without you pulling a chunk out of it while you're driving!
8. Palazzone 1960 - Wayne, NJ
You will never believe this, but Mr. Jersey Momma actually introduced me to this amazing place called Palazzone 1960 (I know, right?) in Wayne. He
|Photo from Palazzone 1960: https://www.facebook.com/Palazzone1960/timeline|
What's Epic About Palazzone 1960: Well, clearly I'm a fan of their incredible pastries, but they also have an extensive Italian coffee menu and a restaurant serving delicious paninis and more.
9. Grateful Bites - Flemington, NJ
Ah, Grateful Bites. Now this place is something special. Located on Rt. 12 in Flemington, Grateful Bites is operated by a non-profit called Ability-2-Work, which provides job sampling, training and employment to the differently-abled. It's not often I can say that my dessert addiction supports a good cause, but here you go! Grateful Bites also offers up breakfast, lunch and catering, so they feature a little of everything. But their desserts have made quite an impact on the local folks!
|Photo from Grateful Bites https://www.facebook.com/GratefulBites/timeline|
What's Epic About Grateful Bites: Their entire mission is epic, no? Be sure to try any one of their signature cakes. The designs on their special order cakes are outstanding. You can scroll through their Facebook page to see some amazing samples of their work.
10. Sweet Avenue Bakeshop - Rutherford, NJ
Sweet Avenue Bakeshop is located on Park Avenue in Rutherford. It's a tiny little shop, but the beauty is in their cupcakes! Sweet Avenue is entirely vegan. Yes, 100% vegan- as in no dairy, no eggs! And I swear to you on my Jersey Momma life that you would never know they are vegan when you taste them. Unique flavors and adorable to look at, they are hands-down the best vegan treats I have ever tried.
|Photo from Sweet Avenue Bakeshop: https://www.facebook.com/sweetave|
What's Epic About Sweet Avenue Bakeshop: Vegan, dairy-free, egg-free (and they even offer up some gluten-free and soy-free items, too), they still taste amazing. My favorite flavor is the Jet Black. I don't know what the sprinkles are made of, but I love them.
Not to Be Forgotten
This is Jersey, folks, so I couldn't possibly mention every fabulous bakery in our state or I'd be here all day. I know there are even more amazing bakeries out there that I didn't list here, so here's a few more that I didn't get a chance to mention in detail.
Christie's Bakeshop - Clinton, NJ: Try their s'mores bar or their Yo-ho bars, and listen to some awesome 80's tunes while you eat!
Packanack Bakery - Wayne, NJ: It's tough to find a better crumb cake than Packanack Bakery's in Wayne! Guests have been visiting this establishment for generations. It's a Jersey classic!
Sorrento's - East Hanover, NJ: I've been told they have a chocolate mousse ganache cake that is heavenly, as well as their cheese danishes. They also double as a delicious deli.
Hacklebarney Farm Cider Mill & Bakery - Chester, NJ: Open seasonally (Labor Day through December), this bakery is housed inside a cider mill. Cider donuts, apple pies and other Fall treats fill this little room with a heavenly scent. It was the first car trip I took with my beloved dog, Milo, and one of our favorite stops with The Jersey Momma's Boy. Be forewarned! During the busy Fall season, the line to get these amazing donuts might actually extend out of the building!
|Cider donuts galore at Hacklebarney Cider Mill in Chester. The Jersey Momma with her Boy and his Grammy!|
Do you have a favorite New Jersey bakery? Give them a shout-out in the comments section below!