TRUFFLE KING Six generations of chocolatiers are behind Stubbe. Tortes, cakes and pastries at this shop are made using European recipes. Truffles, however, are the house specialty. The shop boasts 28 varieties, including classics like cognac, raspberry and caramel, but also such unique offerings as chili, balsamic vinegar and mango. Mon.-Sat. 653 Dupont St., 416-923-0956.
CROISSANT CRAZE It’s no wonder that Clafouti‘s croissants—the perfect combination of buttery goodness and flakiness—are a favourite of neighbourhood residents. So be sure to get here early to sample them for yourself. Try a chocolate-almond croissant for an indulgent bite. Tue.-Sat. 915 Queen St. W., 416-603-1935.
DESSERT ROYALTY A Toronto icon for more than 30 years, Dufflet Rosenberg, lovingly dubbed the “Queen of Cakes,” happily serves four kinds of brownies (including German-style and cheesecake), seven types of squares, nine different cookies, as well as pies, tarts and cakes at her eponymous cafés. Open daily. Dufflet Pastries, 787 Queen St. W., 416-504-2870; 2638 Yonge St., 416-484-9080.
SMART TART Claudia Eggers’s shop, Frangipane, is named after a sweet and nutty filling for tarts. Try the signature dish, the Forelle and almond frangipane—a whole baby pear poached in icewine with spices, then set in almond frangipane and topped with sliced almonds. Tue.-Sun. 215 Madison Ave., 416-926-0303.
CHOCOLATE TRIFECTA End a meal on the perfect note at Amuse Bouche with small, delectable masterpieces such as the chocolate trio, which features a chocolate- and bergamot-flavoured milkshake, a chai-chocolate beignet, and a chocolate meringue island in a citrus pool. If the trio isn’t enough, this intimate restaurant also offers five- and seven-course dessert tasting menus. Tue.–Sat. 96 Tecumseth St., 416-913-5830.
ALL BUTTERED UP Using her grandmother’s recipe, Mary Macleod has been baking her buttery, crumbly shortbread for more than 25 years at her namesake shop, Mary Macleod’s Shortbread. Using all-natural ingredients, Macleod offers eleven different kinds of shortbread, including the bestselling chocolate crunch, and the newest offering, vanilla-walnut. The cookies are packed in colourful tins, ensuring that your precious cargo makes it home in one piece—unless you eat them all first! Tue.-Sat. 639 Queen St. E., 416-461-4576.
TEA PARTY The Red Tea Box is a place where the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland would feel perfectly at home, adorned as it is with its eccentric decor and fantastically decorated cakes. Spend a quiet afternoon in the shop’s small but comfortable space with a pot of tea and a scone or tea cake. Mon., Wed.-Sun. 696 Queen St. W., 416-203-8882.
FLAVOUR SPLURGE Head to Senses Bakery for a pick-me-up for your taste buds. The Chocolate Blackout, a chocolate sponge cake filled with dark chocolate mousse and a layer of creamy caramel, is always a hit. Open daily. 318 Wellington St W., 416-961-0055; 2 Queen St. E, 416-364-7303.
BUTTERCREAM DREAMS Indulge your inner child with a sweet treat from The Cupcake Shoppe. Fun flavours with cheeky names such as Curious George (chocolate or vanilla cake with banana icing) or Opposites Attract (vanilla-butter cake with chocolate buttercream frosting). A rotating selection of nine flavours—from 17—makes choosing all the more difficult. Open daily. 2417 Yonge St., 416-322-6648.
TERRIFIC TORTE If you’re craving a taste of Vienna, head to the Sweet Gallery. All manner of traditional tortes and pastries are available here, including walnut kugelhopfs, cheese Danishes and apricot linzer rings. Grab a seat at the back and tuck into the shop’s famous apple strudel: layers of apples, raisins, and spices in a flaky pastry. Open daily. 694 Mount Pleasant Rd., 416-484-9622; 2312 Bloor St. W., 416-766-0289.
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