The 9 Best Pies, Cakes and Other Sweet Treats for Your Holiday Table
The holidays are all about family, friends and good food. But with all that cooking, who has the energy to make homemade desserts from scratch? This year, leave your sweets to the pros. (We won’t tell.) Here’s where to get the best pies and treats around town.
CRANBERRY ORANGE CAKE AT SUSIECAKES
Not a fan of cranberry sauce at your Thanksgiving table? No problem. SusieCakes’ newest seasonal offering is a much better way to fit the traditional sweet-tart fruit into your menu. With this treat, you’ll get three layers of gooey cranberry-orange cake filled and frosted with fresh orange buttercream. It’s available only through November 21, so act fast—and then preorder a chocolate peppermint cake for December.
Various locations; susiecakes.com
CHOCOLATE BOURBON MOUSSE PIE AT BI-RITE CREAMERY
We’re avid fans of Bi-Rite Market’s classic pecan pie and pumpkin cheesecake jars, but this year we’ve got our eyes on a new holiday treat from Bi-Rite Creamery. Put out the pot of post-feast coffee and serve up this decadent pie: a flaky pastry crust filled with house-made, bourbon-infused chocolate mousse and topped with whipped cream.
Various locations; shop.biritemarket.com
BROWN SUGAR PUMPKIN PIE AT THEORITA
Every Thanksgiving table needs a pumpkin pie, and newcomer Theorita makes an excellent one. Pastry chef Angela Pinkerton (from sister restaurant Che Fico) puts her stamp on the classic using brown sugar and crème fraîche. She’s doing whole pies—including Dutch apple, bourbon chocolate walnut, lemon lime meringue and sweet potato coffee cream—for preorderand day-of pickups.
Drop-ins are welcome but are not guaranteed availability.
834 Divisadero St.; theorita.com
CLASSIC APPLE PIE AT THREE BABES BAKESHOP
Your search for the perfect apple pie is over. Three Babes Bakeshop makes the best in town, using sweet apples dusted with cinnamon sugar and a buttery, crumbly, hand-woven lattice crust. It just might be the star of your table…besides the turkey, of course. Want pie for more than just the holidays? Sign up for the pie subscription service to receive weekly or biweekly sweets deliveries.
Preorder Thanksgiving pies for pickup at various locations.
2501 Phelps St.; threebabesbakeshop.com
RUGELACH AT ROCKRIDGE MARKET HALL
Make Rockridge Market Hall your go-to for holiday sweets, which they’ll be churning out all season long—from Thanksgiving all the way to New Year’s Eve. We can’t wait to celebrate Hanukkah with a box of chocolate and apricot rugelach in flaky sour cream pastry. Or try the bakery’s signature orange and olive oil cake dressed up with fresh cranberries. Your family will thank you.
Preorder by November 17 for Thanksgiving, by November 29 or December 1 for Hanukkah, by December 20 for Christmas, and by December 28 for New Year’s Eve.
5655 College Ave., Oakland; rockridgemarkethall.
BUTTERSCOTCH CREAM TART AT TARTINE MANUFACTORY
Pumpkin, apple and pecan are Thanksgiving’s usual suspects, but if you’re looking for something a little different, place an order for Tartine Manufactory’s butterscotch cream tart. A new addition to their holiday lineup, this beauty is made with Valrhona white chocolate and rum in a rye sucrée shell, topped with whipped cream and crunchy chocolate feuilletine crumbles. One bite and you’ll forget all about the pumpkin pie.
Preorder online; pick up by 4 p.m. on November 21.
MOLASSES SWEET POTATO CAKE AT BATTER BAKERY
This might be our favorite new addition to our holiday sweets rotation: a moist sweet potato molasses cake generously topped with vanilla-bean cream cheese frosting. While you’re at it, you might as well pick up a loaf of Batter Bakery’s pumpkin bread to have with coffee the morning after the big feast. The bakers roast their pumpkins before pureeing them for a sweeter, more caramelized taste. Mmm.
Order by November 18 and pick up at any SF retail location on November 20 or 21. Delivery to the greater Bay Area is available through Good Eggs.
1517 Pine St.; batterbakery.com
PUMPKIN SPICE BABKA AT WISE SONS DELICATESSEN
Fall means pumpkin spice everything, and this year that includes babka. Wise Sons is offering a pumpkin spice version of its famous Jewish sweet bread, and we bet it won’t stay on shelves for long. Sure, latkes might traditionally be the star of the Hanukkah dinner table, but this year they have some serious competition.
Multiple locations; wisesonsdeli.com
PUMPKIN MOUSSE CAKE AT GINGER ELIZABETH CHOCOLATES
You better act fast if you’re looking to shake up your holiday feast with a fun twist on the traditional pumpkin pie. Ginger Hahn, of Sacramento and San Francisco’s Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates, has whipped up this beautiful cake made with a pumpkin custard layered with honey-wheat streusel and encased in a brown sugar and sour cream mousse. Your guests will be impressed.
Order by November 18 and pick up on November 21.
3108 Fillmore St.; gingerelizabeth.com