Note: This article was originally written by Allyson Souza. It has since been updated by an additional contributor.
There are a ton of wonderfully exclusive things to enjoy during the short, sweet period of time that we call the holidays. From pop-up shops and sales to nostalgic movies and jolly music on the radio, there’s no shortage of reasons to smile in December. But one of the greatest seasonal treats is the food — and we’re not talking about the Christmas ham. Here are a few of the best bakeries offering sweet holiday treats you can only find this season.
Sweets to Nuts
Location: 72A Raritan Avenue, Highland Park
Details: Sweets to Nuts has its bases covered when it comes to delicious holiday treats that double as wonderful gifts. This bakery offers kosher gift baskets that make the perfect present for the Festival of Lights, but that’s not all; there are Christmas baskets available as well! With a vast range of options and price levels, there’s no way to go wrong at this spot. Even better, shipping is free on most gift baskets!
More info: www.sweetstonuts.com or call 732-246-4686.
Location: 1 Alstede Farms Lane, Chester
Details: Don’t miss out on Alstede Farms’s deliciously fresh, home-baked holiday pies. There are more than 30 delectable flavors available at Alstede, including harvest apple (which is noted to be an “all-time favorite”), pumpkin, chocolate cream and peach praline. So whether you stick to the traditional pies or branch out with a selection that you’ve never tried before, your taste buds are sure to approve.
More info: alstedefarms.com or call 908-879-7189.
Swiss Chalet Bakery & Café
Location: 159 South Street, Morristown
Details: Looking to have a specialty cake made this holiday season? Look no further than Swiss Chalet Bakery & Café. With designs that range from snowmen to a Yule log, to the adorable cup of cocoa pictured here, there seems to be no limit to the incredible creations that these talented bakers are capable of crafting. It’s time to impress your guests, or just your own taste buds, and dig into one of these picture perfect cakes. Be sure to get your order in early, as these cakes are a hot item!
More info: swisschaletbakery.com or call 973-267-0092.
Location: 446 Broad Street, Bloomfield
Details: Gencarelli’s is serving up something special (and tasty) for the holiday season. For those of you who crave a sweet bite of struffoli as Christmas time rolls around, this is the spot for you. Not only do they have struffoli in droves, but the honey-coated, deep fried balls of dough are made to perfection. This traditional Italian treat is a holiday must-have, so be sure to stop by Gencarelli’s and pick up your serving in time for the big day!
More info: gencarellisbakery.com or call 973-743-1480.
The Pie Store
Location: 100 Watchung Avenue, Montclair
Details: Looking for something savory this holiday season? The Pie Store’s got you covered. With vast options including steak, ale & mushroom pie, cheese, potato & onion pie, key lime pie and cran-apple pie, there’s sure to be something for everyone at The Pie Store. And that’s just the filling! At this spot, the crusts are as much of a draw as the inside of the pies; with the perfectly flaky shell over the savory selections, and the double crust option available on the large dessert pies, it’s impossible to choose which direction to go when you walk into the shop. But, hey, the holidays are the perfect time to indulge (wrapping presents burns calories, so we hear), so why choose at all?
More info: thepiestorenj.com or call 973-744-4424.
Montclair Bread Company
Location: 113 Walnut Street, Montclair
Details: Montclair Bread Company is every doughnut lover’s dream come true. These specialty treats are packed with delicious toppings ranging from fruit to bacon to cereal and so much more. But, for the holiday season, there are some extra special options for those of you who are planning on gifting themselves with the sugary goodness of a perfectly made doughnut. Just check out this festive doughnut and try not to drool at the screen. Lucky for you, all it takes is a trip to Montclair and this holiday treat can be all yours!
More info: www.montclairbread.com or call 973-509-2525.
Tuckahoe Cheesecake Factory
Location: 2177 Route 50, Tuckahoe
Details: Are you craving the creamy goodness that a slice of cheesecake has to offer this holiday season? Tuckahoe Cheesecake Factory has your back. Plus, they’ve even got some specialty seasonal flavors, including eggnog, to make your day even more festive. As if that isn’t enough, you can order specialty cakes like carrot or chocolate and have a special holiday message written on them. (It’s all about the details.) Give them a call or stop by to place your order today!
More info: www.tuckahoecheesecakes.com or call 609-628-2154.
La Scala Italian Pastry Shop
Location: 1231 Route 166, Toms River
Details: La Scala Italian Pastry Shop has everything you’ll need to make this holiday season your sweetest one yet! From cookies and cakes to tiramisu and tarts, you’ll find something for everyone at your holiday party here. Of course, they’ve also got some holiday specials and gift items. Just check out the pretty — and delicious — Buche de Noel (aka, Yule Log), pictured.
More info: www.lascalapastryshop.com or call 732-286-3686.
The Gingered Peach
Location: 2 Gordon Avenue, Lawrenceville
Details: Head to The Gingered Peach to try something different this holiday season. While there are still the traditional cookies, cakes and pies available, this spot also has something extra unique in the works. It’s a little treat called peppermint bark and it packs massive holiday flavor. Think that fresh, minty candy cane taste, but even better. Bring something new to the table this December and we’re sure your family and friends will thank you for it!
More info: www.thegingeredpeach.com or call 609-896-5848.
Location: 525 North Pearl Street, Bridgeton
Details: The family-owned and operated Century Bakery has been making the holidays sweeter for South Jerseyans for the past four generations and, luckily for us, the tradition continues this year. With an incredible selection of baked goods, there’s no way to go wrong at Century; but if you want to really take it up a notch, then the iced and sugared holiday cookies are the treat for you. I mean, have you ever seen so much frosting on a cookie before? It’s unreal! Be sure to take the ride to Century Bakery in time to pick up these wonderful holiday treats.
More info: centurybakery.com or call 856-451-1616.