Life is sweet on the Eastside. The dessert smörgåsbord spans the spectrum from cupcakes to cheesecakes, mousse to macarons. The treats please the palate and also celebrate the Northwest through local ingredients, family recipes and diverse cultural backgrounds. Satisfy your sweet tooth and support the community in one delicious bite!
Global Baked Goodies
Fumie’s Gold, Bellevue
Fumie’s Gold is an Eastside gem. For in-the-know folks, the cozy shop is nestled across the street from Bellevue Downtown Park. Proprietor and pastry genius Fumie Kumagai, a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef, was born and raised in Japan and infuses her creations with cultural creativity. Kabocha — an Asian, pumpkin-like squash — makes a moist, delicately flavored pound cake. Green tea mousse is elegantly crafted, and purple yam cakes look like paintings on a plate. Homemade ice creams, such as Lotsa Matcha green tea and black sesame, are unique finds.
Macarons & Mischief
Lady Yum, Kirkland
Kirkland’s new sweet spot opened in July 2014 and is an ambrosia of color and flavor. A rainbow of macarons entices visitors with dozens of rotating flavors. Savor old friends, such as s’mores and pb&j, or take a walk on the wilder side with mango habanero salted caramel and maple bacon. Local products — such as toffee tent candy — regularly inspire new cookie adventures. Make it a macaron night on the town during champagne Tuesdays and wine Wednesdays.
Rusty’s Famous Cheesecake, Eastside and Greater Puget Sound
The motto “Made with Love” perfectly captures Rusty’s Famous Cheesecake. You can taste the care mixed into every dense-but-creamy bite. Mercer Island resident Rusty Federman adapted his mother’s recipe to create the award-winning “Esther’s Classic.” Founded in 2010, the cheesecake wizard now offers a dozen flavors such as From Russia, With Love — white chocolate, Stoli vodka and Valrhona chocolate crust — and Brulee, an irresistible union of cheesecake and layers of caramelized sugar. Everything is housemade and gluten-free. The take-home treats come full-sized or in mini versions and are available at local grocers such as Matthew’s Fresh Market in Bellevue, Kirkland’s Urban Coffee Lounge and restaurants including Daniel’s Broiler.
Sweets on Fire
John Howie Steak, Bellevue
Dramatic desserts set appetites on fire at John Howie Steak. Classics such as cherries jubilee and bananas Foster are served flambé and tableside. Cherries jubilee was created for Queen Victoria and is a mouthwatering contrast of sweet and tart. Enjoy Brennan’s bananas Foster recipe — a New Orleans favorite — which uniquely uses butter for a richer, fuller flavor. Both are served with locally made Olympic Mountain Ice Cream.
FROST, Mill Creek
FROST’s doughnuts made it worth getting out of bed and, after its June 2014 grand reopening, FROST now offers treats for all occasions. The new FROST Dessert Lounge satisfies the sweet tooth with frozen custards, doughnut sundaes, homemade cannoli cones, macarons and more. Cupcakes run the gamut from traditional birthday cake to savory specials such as stuffing and turkey gravy — a rosemary cake topped with turkey-gravy buttercream. It’s also the spot to try a Froissant, better known as the East Coast Cronut — the love child of croissants and doughnuts.
Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too
Painted on the wall of MyCakes is the promise, “Baking you happiness, now and for always.” The shop inspires smiles with towers of colorful cake pops and chocolate-dipped Rice Krispie treats. The Sylvania Ball — cashew meringue with buttercream frosting — is available locally only at MyCakes. Cupcakes, however, are the superstars. Classics include red velvet and Oreo alongside seasonal specials such as lime margarita and tropical guava. With no preservatives or additives, it’s like homemade without the mess.
Snoqualmie Ice Cream, Scoop Shoppe, Snohomish
You can practically hear the cows at Snoqualmie Ice Cream’s Scoop Shoppe. The red-and-white building has old-fashioned barn appeal, and an inside viewing area lets visitors watch the ice cream-making magic (weekdays, 11am-2pm). Choose from a 24-flavor menu with rotating seasonal creations. Splurge on a signature sundae piled high in a mason jar with house made fixings such as berry sauces, brownies and cookie dough. Adult-only offerings, such as Kentucky bourbon made with Maker’s Mark and boozy shakes, make grownups as giddy as kids. With over half a million gallons eaten annually, the hardest question is, one scoop or two?
A Chocolate Dynasty
Oh! Chocolate, Mercer Island
Delicious things come in small packages. Tucked in a Mercer Island corner is Oh! Chocolate, a world-class confectionary. Margo Masaoka warmly greets customers and readily shares samples and stories. Started by her parents, the shop is nearing its 30th anniversary and now includes Margo’s daughter, who helps make the mounds of truffles, bars and chocolate-covered goodies. For a heavenly experience, try the Ben-Hur — a dark chocolate truffle layered with marzipan, dipped in dark chocolate and topped with a pecan.
A Bite from Heaven
Fran’s Chocolates, Bellevue and greater Puget Sound
Fran’s Chocolates need no introduction. The divine bites of goodness have a global following, including everyone from President Barack Obama to Oprah. Its beginnings, however, remains solidly local. Many ingredients are locally sourced, including mint from Yakima Valley and cream and butter from a regional cooperative of dairy farmers. Everything is gluten-free and 100 percent non-GMO. You can’t beat the signature Gray & Smoked Salt Caramels, but the Coconut Gold Bar with white and dark chocolates, roasted almonds and rum is another sure crowd-pleaser.
Midori Bakery, Redmond
The aroma of oven-fresh treats embraces visitors to Midori’s expanded shop that opened in November 2014. Husband and wife team Jeremy and Morgan Gadouas bake everything from scratch daily. Fan favorites include the banana Nutella almond croissant and Kouign Amann, a French bread-cake hybrid bursting with butter and sugar. Midori also offers its own spin, the Cinna-amann. Be an early bird or risk being left with crumbs — they sometimes sell out!