Christmas is fast approaching, and for anyone looking for a pop of something sweet to add to the holiday feast, Boston’s restaurants and bakeries are stepping up to provide a selection of traditional desserts, each with their own flourishes.
If you’d rather watch amateur bakers take on the buche de noel on the Great British Baking Show than attempt the delicate cake roll yourself, Boston’s restaurants and bakeries have you covered. Find the treat you’re looking for from these local establishments, from tart au sucre to themed doughnuts.
199C Highland Ave., Spring Hill, Somerville, MA 02143
This Somerville purveyor of cheesecakes (mini and full-size) will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on December 24 for last-minute holiday pickups. Order in advance to be sure to get exactly what you want. Options include peppermint, pumpkin, peanut butter cup, and much more.
Mandarin Oriental, 776 Boylston St., Back Bay, Boston, MA 02199
Among Boston’s restaurants and bakeries offering buche de noel for the holidays, Bar Boulud has three festive offerings on option for ordering: an eggnog latte cake with valrhona chocolate crémeux, a raspberry-pistachio mascarpone cake, and a dark chocolate peppermint version with mint chocolate feuilletine and flourless chocolate biscuit. Each eight-inch cake goes for $55, and orders can be placed online or in person (48-hour notice required). The restaurant is also offering a buche de noel decorating class on Saturday, December 15.
492 Tremont St., South End, Boston, MA 02116; 20 Kilmarnock St., Fenway, Boston, MA 02215; Smith Campus Center at Harvard, 15 Holyoke St., Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA 02138
Blackbird has a lineup of holiday treats available for purchase from December 21 through 24, from a doughnut pie with graham cracker crust to tiramisu, almond doughnuts to bake at home, and mini doughnuts with milk. Details on ordering and pricing are available on Instagram, by calling the shop: (617) 482-9000, or by emailing email@example.com.
Blue Ribbon Barbecue
908 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, MA 02476; 342 Washington St., Dedham, MA 02026; 1375 Washington St., West Newton, MA 02465
While Blue Ribbon comes to mind mainly for its barbecue, don’t forget about its pies, too; at $17 each, they serve eight people apiece and come in key lime, pecan, pumpkin, and apple crumb, with a side of whipped cream. Order through the catering office — (617) BIG-RIBS — for pickup at any of the locations between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on December 24. Orders can’t be placed at the restaurants and must be prepaid by credit card by December 21.
Café du Pays
233 Cardinal Medeiros Ave., Cambridge, MA 02141
Cambridge’s French-Canadian restaurant will offer two holiday specials for ordering: a meat pie (la grande tourtière) and a sweet tarte au sucre for $32. Place orders via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Caramel French Patisserie
235 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville, MA 02144; 281 Essex St., Salem, MA 01970
With locations in Somerville and Salem, Caramel French Patisserie is leaning fully into the buche de noel, offering three flavors in three sizes. Place phone orders by December 20 for the holidays: (617) 996-6802 for Somerville, (978) 594-0244 for Salem.
Clear Flour Bread
178 Thorndike St., Brookline, MA 02446
Brookline’s popular bakery has prepared German stollen for the holidays, along with two kinds of buche de noel, a mint chocolate ganache tart, a raspberry linzer torte, and more. Stollen, a sweet bread, is made with almond paste and filled with rum-soaked fruit and nuts and will keep until the new year. The bakery will also offer Christmas pastry specials in-store from December 21 through December 24, with a few items available for pre-order to pick up on Christmas Eve.
186 Tremont St., Downtown Boston, MA 02116
Adding to Explorateur’s already expansive cafe menu and pastry selection, special holiday offerings from executive pastry chef Lee Napoli and pastry chef Brian Grabowski include gingerbread cookies, peppermint bars, gingerbread muffins, and a buche de noel. Items are available for purchase in the cafe.
Boston Public Market, 100 Hanover St., Downtown Boston, MA 02108; 594 Somerville Ave., Somerville, MA 02143
At its Boston Public Market location and new Somerville storefront, Finesse is serving a variety of treats, including buche de noel in either chocolate and rum or praline and amaretto, Paris-Brest pastries, peppermint cheesecake, and more, with prices ranging from $17.95 to $50. Pre-orders will be accepted through December 20; orders placed after that may be accepted on a first come, first served basis. Treats will be available for pickup on December 24: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Somerville; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Boston. Order online, specifying your pickup location in the “add a note” section of your shopping cart. (Note: Pickup only, even though the online store asks for a shipping address.)
Flour Bakery + Cafe
Multiple locations in Boston and Cambridge
Two types of buche de noel grace the holiday menu at Flour: a lemon roll and a dark chocolate version. There are other desserts as well — including an apple and almond pithivier, roasted pear and cranberry crostata, and eggnog cheesecake with gingersnap crust — and much of the menu accommodates allergies to nuts or gluten. Place orders by December 18 for pickup on December 23 or 24.
Fornax Bread Company
27 Corinth St., Roslindale, Boston, MA 02131
Despite the name, Fornax makes more than bread. For the holidays, there are various pies and tarts (and yes, some nice breads), which must be ordered by the end of the day on December 19 for pickup on December 23 or 24. 50% deposit required. Consult the menu and order form online.
Gâté Comme Des Filles’ Alexandra Whisnant collaborated with Maura Kilpatrick of Sofra Bakery to produce two seasonal chocolate bars. The first is a dark milk chocolate with Turkish apricots, crunchy cocoa nibs from Somerville Chocolate, and a Persian spice blend from Sofra consisting of cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, black pepper, and rose petals, with a touch of silver leaf. The second bar is dark chocolate with Turkish hazelnuts, dried Greek figs, urfa pepper, flaky sea salt from Cambridge-based Curio Spice, and gold leaf. The bars will be available for purchase at Sofra and through Gâté Comme Des Filles’ mailing list this holiday season.
Gracie’s Ice Cream
22 Union Sq., Union Square, Somerville, MA 02143
Every season is ice cream season, so it logically follows that holiday season is ice cream pie season. Gracie’s ice cream pie is $26, feeds six to 12 people, and comes with an Oreo crust, hot fudge topping, and Oreo topping. Order several days in advance.
Jennifer Lee’s Bakery
Boston Public Market, 100 Hanover St., Downtown Boston, MA 02108; Matchstick Market, 55 Sterling St., Clinton, MA 01510
All of Jennifer Lee’s baked goods are vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, and sesame-free; most are also soy-free and coconut-free. Place pre-orders online by December 21 for gingerbread houses, two flavors of Yule logs, pies, and cupcakes. (There are a variety of meatless main courses and sides available, too.) There are several pickup and delivery options available; consult the website for more info.
Popping up at multiple markets around Massachusetts
Keegan Kreations, sometimes found popping up at Remnant Brewing in Somerville and at other markets around the region, is taking holiday orders for banoffee pies, buche de noel, creme brulee tarts, croissants, and more. Call or email to place an order or to get more information on pickup and delivery options: (617) 319-4032; email@example.com.
Quincy Market, 4 S. Market St., Downtown Boston, MA 02109
New York’s Magnolia Bakery is now open at Quincy Market, and it’s serving holiday cupcakes (mini and full-size) and cookies, available for pre-order. 24-hour notice required; the items will become available for pickup beginning on December 17.
Omni Parker House
60 School St., Downtown Crossing, Boston, MA 02108
285 Beacon St., Somerville, MA 02143
Petsi Pies has a few holiday specials on the menu, available through New Year’s, including caramel apple crumb pie and peppermint chocolate cream pie. Order online 36 hours in advance for pickup at the Somerville location until 3 p.m. on December 24.
Something Sweet Without Wheat
19 Sixth Rd., Woburn, MA 01801
The gluten-free bakery is accepting orders via phone — (781) 281-2003 — through noon on December 19 for gingerbread men, gingerbread house kits, pies, and lots more. The shop will be open from 8 a.m. to noon on December 24.
Popping up at Night Shift Brewing, 87 Santilli Hwy., Everett, MA 02149
Speakeasy Donuts is partnering with Night Shift for an Elf-themed doughnut pop-up. The brewery will screen the movie and offer a themed beer flight, while Speakeasy will provide the doughnuts for the event on December 17. Offerings will include a “New York City snow globe” doughnut with lemon icing, shredded coconut, an Empire State Building sugar cookie, sprinkles, and vanilla fluff filling, while an “Etch-a-Sketch” doughnut will have vanilla raspberry icing and raspberry jam filling. The final doughnut, Buddy’s Breakfast, comes with maple syrup icing, white chocolate “spaghetti,” mini marshmallows, snow caps, M&Ms, a chocolate fudge pop tart, and chocolate sauce. While this is more of a stay-and-eat event rather than an opportunity to bring treats home for the holidays, keep an eye on Speakeasy Donuts’ social media accounts for other holiday shopping opportunities, such as the chance to buy Gremlins-themed doughnuts at Far From the Tree in Salem on December 22.
1381 Boylston St., Fenway, Boston, MA 02215
In addition to meats and sides, Sweet Cheeks also has cookies ($35 per dozen) and pies (pumpkin, gluten-free chocolate ganache; $32 each) on its holiday catering menu. Call (617) 266-1300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to place an order, at least 72 hours in advance.
Known for its meticulously baked pastries and breads, Tatte pulls out all the stops for its Christmas menu, which is active online and accepting orders. From collections of cookies to tarts, mousses, and cheesecakes, Tatte’s Christmas specials include two varieties of buche de noel — a chocolate caramel version and a raspberry pistachio cake filled with Bavarian cream — along with panettone (an Italian sweet bread) and stollen (a German fruit and nut bread topped with powdered sugar). There are also gingerbread cakes and cinnamon rolls. Items range in size and will feed anywhere from six to 12 people.
Tick Tock Chocolates
Popping up at Boston Public Market, 100 Hanover St., Downtown Boston, MA 02108 on December 22 and 23
This Waltham-based small-batch chocolate company is taking holiday orders through December 15, offering free delivery in Waltham and a by-appointment pickup option in Somerville, as well as shipping throughout New England, New York, and New Jersey. The selection includes boxes of chocolates such as these — milk chocolate on the outside, dark maple syrup on the inside. Plus, Tick Tock will be popping up at the Boston Public Market December 22 and 23. Four-piece boxes cost $13, nine-piece $28, and 16-piece $50.
Holiday doughnut specials from USD come in dozen or half-dozen arrangements. Flavors include pomegranate-glazed, eggnog-glazed, maple bacon, sea salted bourbon caramel, Belgian dark chocolate peppermint, and more. The holiday assortments will be available for pickup from December 21 through Christmas Eve in Somerville and Brookline. Orders must be placed by 3 p.m. on December 21.
1786 Massachusetts Ave., Porter Square, Cambridge, MA 02140
This gluten-free bakery is taking orders through December 18 (you can try afterwards, but no guarantees on the selection) for pies, cakes (including buche de noel), cookies, and more. In addition to being gluten-free, most items are also dairy-free. Open for pickup between noon and 5 p.m. on December 23 and 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on December 24.