Our Five Faves

Best bakeries

Posted May 12, 2014

A custom cake by Sweet Traditions by LeAne

—  It has been more than two years since we tackled this topic, so it was long overdue! 

We love a great bakery, but there are so many to choose from in the Triangle. Where you should go really depends on what you are looking for. 

Here are our Five Favorite bakeries in the Triangle, in no particular order: 

La Farm Bakery (Cary) - This traditional French-style bakery is a staple at the Downtown Raleigh Farmers Market every Wednesday. Their array of freshly prepared bread, scones and pastries are delicious and just a sample of what the physical location has to offer. Walking into La Farm is a treat for the senses - the smell of fresh pastries, cookies and brunch items and the sight of scones, bread and more behind glass cases. Did I mention that they put samples throughout the cafe?! Go there for breakfast or lunch and sit outside on the patio. A great way to start a day! Make sure to pick up some white chocolate baguettes to bring home!

Guglhupf Bakery, Restaurant and Café (Durham) - This bakery opened in 1998 in downtown Durham. Their bread is already popular - featured at many Durham restaurants and used for a few of American Meltdown food trucks' famous grilled cheese sandwiches - but they also bake up delicious pastries including eclairs, macarons, tarts and cakes.  Their cafe opened in 2004 and serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner. They also offer wine, beer, cocktails and coffee. 

Hummingbird Bakery (Durham) - It's no surprise this shop made our list, it is from Watts Grocery's Amy Tornquist. Located in a renovated building on Broad Street, Hummingbird offers cakes, biscuits, jam, pecan and peanut brittle and more. Her black and white cake and bourbon pecan pie are my favorites! 

Scratch (Durham) - Durham is definitely the place to be if you are looking for a great bakery! Scratch chef and owner Phoebe Lawless was a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation's Outstanding Pastry Chef award the past two years - and with good reason. This bakery, which also offers lunch and brunch, is all about hand-crafted, delicious food! We can't get enough of the pies here. Try the dark chocolate chess!

Sugarland Bakery (Raleigh and Chapel Hill) - With locations on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill and in Cameron Village in Raleigh, this is a perfect place to grab a cupcake and a cocktail. Everyday they offer a selection of cupcakes, gelato and pastries. You can also order custom cakes from them for that special event. 

Honorable mentions: 

Big Bundts (Durham) - These delicious bundt cakes can be found at their regular store in Durham off of Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Saturdays at the Chapel Hill Farmers Market from 8 a.m. until noon. You can also order your own custom cakes. 

Since they don't have physical locations, we didn't include them on this list, but some very tasty baked foods can be found and ordered from these sweet food trucks that also do custom cake orders: 

Not Just Icing - Just get their cup of cookie dough and make sure to try their new cupcake - salted caramel!! 

Sweet Stacey Cakes - Always delicious cupcakes from that "Smiles" truck. 

Sweet Traditions by LeAne - She brings her truck "Belle" to a variety of events. I'm a fan of her custom cakes as well! 

Iced Cupcakes - New on the scene, check out her cupcakes at various food truck events and every Saturday through October at the Knightdale Farmers Market. This summer she is bringing back her Sweet Tea cupcakes!


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  • raleighboy524 May 13, 2014

    Guglhupf in Durham is not and never has been downtown.

    From its website: Guglhupf Bakery & Patisserie opened in its current location in November of 1998 to enthusiastic customers standing in a line snaking out to the parking lot. In September of 2004 doors opened to the long anticipated Guglhupf Café in its architecturally unique building adjacent to the bakery. ...

  • Sally Bethune May 13, 2014
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    I've tried all but one of these bakeries and I would put The bakeries at Weaver Street Market above all mentioned in your article from authentic breads to the best vegan chocolate cake on the planet!

  • Todd Jenkins May 13, 2014
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    I visited Sugarland looking for all fresh ingredients but the lady behind the register suggested I try a cake from Once in a Blue Moon Bakery in Cary. Theres are to die for also.

  • Beth Pearce May 12, 2014
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    View quoted thread

    Considering GMOs have been banned or labeled in over sixty countries, I would say that's a pretty good indicator that they aren't exactly healthy.

    But, with that being said: To each his own. I've had to change so much with my diet - buying organic butter, sugar, eggs and so much more, that it IS expensive. But FOR ME, well worth it. It's a personal choice. Those that don't mind eating GMOs, certainly should continue eating them. Those that do mind, should not.

  • Erika Phipps May 12, 2014
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    When there's valid science indicating GMOs are a bad thing, I'll worry about it then. Meanwhile, have to agree with KarenBloom - we're getting our daughter's wedding cake at Edible Art Bakery!

  • Beth Pearce May 12, 2014
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    Sounds and looks delicious, EXCEPT FOR THE FACT that none of these bakeries are NON-GMO!

    I wouldn't touch it!

  • moo May 12, 2014

    I second Square Rabbit....it really is delicious and the people who work there are awesome!

  • Obamacare returns again May 12, 2014

    These cakes are making me hungry and these pretzels are making me thirsty.

  • jennifersspencer May 12, 2014

    I love Iced Cupcakes, and I'm not a huge cupcake fan usually. Moist and not overly sweet - I hate when frosting makes your throat sting from the sweet - and so pretty!

  • Katie Falls May 12, 2014
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    What about the square rabbit? It is the best!!