Fall has arrived in all its glory and with it comes our beloved golden aspens, crisp autumn air and the ever-so-trendy pumpkin spiced everything. And while we tend to think the addition of pumpkin spice to our lattes is the mark of the season, we’ve decided to focus our attention on edible treats as opposed to hot beverages. With local bakeries offering sweets inspired by leaf peeping season, we’ve graciously agreed to gobble them down and list them for your convenience.
Sugar Vision’s first retail bakery, La Fillette means “little girl” in French, and although their namesake is described as little, their pastries pack very mature tastes. The bakery prides itself on serving daily-made scratch pastries with local organic products whenever possible. Through October, Melissa Yanc—owner and lead baker—is serving a very sophisticated take on the pumpkin tart ($5). Pumpkin and goat cheese filling is stuffed inside a cardamom shortbread crust then topped with sweet cream and a maple-shaped cookie. 4416 8th Ave, Denver. Sugarvisiondenver.com
Located on the oh-so-quaint Gaylord Street, Devil’s Food may be sinful, but the food is definitely made by some higher power. As of last week, the vegan apple crumb cake ($3.25) a dense, but equally moist cake is topped with scrumptious crumbled apple streusel that may just make you forget about grandma’s famous apple pie. Another great slice we recommend is the pear almond tart ($5) which is pastry crust filled with almond butter and piled high with sliced pears that have been delicately arranged in a flower. Depending on how long you can resist that first bite, you may just have that perfect social media shot. 1020 S Gaylord St, Denver. devilsfooddenver.com.
Owner Michael Bortz has been serving up crave-worthy desserts and an equally delicious lunch for almost 10 years — with daily specials like the poblano pepper sandwich served with chips and a cookie. Starting mid-October City Bakery Cafe will be showcasing their specialty, a slice of pumpkin tiramisu ($3.99). The bakers are quite ingenious during this baking process, using PVC pipe to give the gingerbread cake it’s cylinder shape. The spiced cake is then soaked in espresso, cut into layers with pumpkin mousse generously spread between and finished with a side of nutmeg anglaise. If sandwiches and cake aren’t enough, happy hour runs from 3-6 p.m., Monday-Friday for anyone looking to pair their tiramisu with a little Blue Moon. 726 Lincoln St, Denver. Citybakerydenver.com
Owner Natalie Slevin originally began Sugar Bakeshop as a small booth at Cherry Creek Farmer’s Market and soon realized this business needed a brick and mortar for her loyal customers. During the fall a vast array of autumnal treats are guaranteed, leaving her customers left with some hefty decisions to make about which pastries and how many to order.
After struggling for a moment on my decision, I finally decided to go with three fan favorites. They are known for their pop tarts, which employees have lovingly nicknamed “popsters.” Two seasonal-inspired popsters to try are the vegan pumpkin and chocolate pecan pie ($3.75). These pop tarts are the caviar, the first class, the tops of all poptarts — stuffed with pumpkin and chocolate pecan pie filling, you will forget you can even buy other in-store imposters.
If you’re looking for a something with a little more crunch, try the gluten free paleo pumpkin cookie ($2.50) made with a paleo’s favorite “splurges” — almond meal, almond butter, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds and cranberries. The sweets are hand-held and made for any trek, whether you’re headed to a straw-filled hayride or exploring the golden aspens. 277 Broadway, Denver. sugar-bakeshop.com.
Long I Pie has made its mark as a go-to spot of the millennial scene often being paired with beers and ciders at various local Denver breweries — including Stem Ciders and Black Shirt Brewing Company. Starting in October Long I Pie will be serving up the drunken nut ($4 a slice or $28 for the whole pie) a bourbon chocolate pecan pie baked in a cast iron skillet with just the right amount of crunchy pecans to velvety bourbon chocolate filling. Or if you enjoy gourds over nuts, pumpkins in mud ($4 a slice or $28 for the whole pie) is a creative take on a traditional favorite with the addition of chocolate. Both are elevated takes on the classics that we recommend you bring home for the holidays — you’ll be sure to impress your mother. 2400 Curtis Street, Denver. thelongipie.com.
Beet Box has long been known to serve up some of Denver’s favorite go-to vegan desserts. Beginning in October they will serve up their best leaf peeping season treats. The mini pumpkin smores cake ($12) is a pumpkin-inspired version of a well-known camping favorite with two layers of ganache-glazed pumpkin cake topped with torched marshmallows and toasted pumpkin cake crumbs throughout. Also try the mini peppermint patty cake ($12) with pearls of peppermint frosting sandwiched between two layers of moist chocolate cake coated in a rich chocolate ganache.These cakes are not so much mini as they are personal. 1030 E 22nd Ave, Denver. beetboxdenver.com.