Let’s face it there is just something special about baked goods. The alluring smell, colorful presentation, and sweet taste just seem to bring us back to happy times.
Whether its childhood memories of licking the whisk, sneaking some extra cookie dough, or blowing out birthday candles, we all have our own special memories of these sweet treats.
When you’re on the hunt for that nostalgic dopamine rush you can rest assured that the bakeries on Cape Ann have you covered. From wedding cake to Italian pastry to creative cupcakes there is truly something special for every taste bud.
If you’re heading to Rockport or Gloucester for a few days and you want to indulge in some culinary delights, we have you covered with our list of the 7 Best Bakeries on Cape Ann.
Anyone who grew up in the Greater Boston area likely has memories of trips to the north end. Getting an authentic Italian meal or a tasty pastry from one of the Italian bakeries is always a special treat. Caffe Sicilia brings that taste of the north end right up to the north shore.
If you are craving a carefully crafted cappuccino, latte or espresso this is the place to stop. Caffe Sicilia is a popular place for locals to get their daily cup and congregate. But while you’re handling your caffeine fix we would strongly recommend indulging in some of their Italian pastry.
Whether its Italian cookies, biscotti, cannoli, tiramisu, or zeppoli, you can’t go wrong at Caffe Sicilia!
This small family-owned bakery is definitely a north shore gem and a must stop if you are strolling around the streets of Gloucester and feel your blood sugar dipping.
Another fantastic bakery on Cape Ann is the aptly named Cake Ann. Owner and pastry chef Inga McCarthy creates some tasty concoctions in her Gloucester bakery utilizing the best local and seasonal ingredients.
Whether you need the perfect custom cake for your wedding / special holiday, or you are just in the mood for a tasty pick me up, Cake Ann has you covered. From creative cupcakes to traditional macaroons and delicate fruit tarts Cake Ann has a little something for even the most discerning sweet tooth.
But, our favorite creation at Cake Ann has to be their Kouign-Amann. A pastry that dates back to mid-19th century Brittany, it has been described by the New York Times as “the fattiest pastry in all of Europe.” But if Atkins and co. taught us anything it’s that fat isn’t the problem. Yeah, we will keep telling ourselves that while we indulge in these tasty creations.
Ok so Brothers’ Brew may not be a bakery in the traditional sense, I mean, they aren’t going to make you a wedding cake or anything. But if you are looking for some tasty baked goods, particularly baked goods that our culture generally encourages consuming in the morning, this is the place.
Brothers’ Brew is a family run coffee and sandwich shop that is a local favorite. The Brackett family operates both Brothers’ Brew and Brackett’s Oceanview Restaurant, both of which occupy the same building on Main Street in Rockport.
Brothers’ Brew made our Top 7 Bakeries on Cape Ann list because they have the best donuts around. Their delicious cakey donuts are the perfect way to start the day and we love to pair them with their Dark Sin coffee which is a bright flavorful blend.
In addition to their famous donuts, they also serve some massive scones that are moist and delicious and other breakfast pastry like croissant, muffins, and turnovers. If you are looking to try something a little different you should try out their Nisu Bread, a Finnish cardamom flavored sweet bread.
No matter what you choose you can’t go wrong at Brothers’ Brew. Cue the Cheers theme.
A Gloucester staple, Virgilios has been owned and operated by the Virgilio family since 1961. The bakery is well known for its traditional Scala, Ciabatta and Semolina breads which can be found throughout local north shore stores and supermarkets.
If you’re hungry and craving a delicious Italian sub, Virgilios is a great stop. They offer up some favorite local creations like the Saint Joseph (Genoa Salami, German Bologna, Mortadella, cooked Salami, imported Provolone cheese, oil & oregano) and the North Ender (Prosciutto, fresh Mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, oil & fresh basil).
In addition to some incredible sandwiches, they also serve up a mean pizza. It’s a Sicilian style and you definitely don’t want to sleep on it.
As if that weren’t enough, you can end your visit with a classic bakery treat such as Italian cookies, cannoli, sfogliatelle, lobster tails, or ricotta pie, to name a few. Trust us, you won’t leave hungry!
Another Gloucester gem, that is owned and operated by a passionate baker is the Sandpiper Bakery.
Susanne Clermont has been baking for decades. An Italian trained pastry chef, she is the previous owner of the popular Canto 6 Bakery in Jamaica Plain.
She now operates Sandpiper, a bright, airy, adorable bakery in downtown Gloucester. Susanne is guided by her philosophy that is focused on baking simply and letting the quality of the ingredients and flavors shine.
From traditional French croissant that is perfectly moist and flakey to scones, quiches, sweet rolls, pies, cakes, cookies and even breakfast sandwiches Sandpiper has you covered. Pair any of the above with their delicious coffee from Tandem Coffee Roasters in Portland, ME and hop the train to flavor town.
The spirit of Sandpiper is succinctly summarized on their website “Life is short and sweet. Take time to indulge.” Heed those words and head down to Sandpiper for some of the best baked goods on Cape Ann.
Ok we’ve done some preliminary research and we have a solid hypothesis that we are almost prepared to elevate to theory status: it’s impossible to be unhappy while eating a cupcake.
We know we are going out on a limb, so we will be sure to perform more painstaking research and get back to you with our findings.
So, Rockin’ Cupcakes is a fantastic little shop located right on Rockport’s picturesque Bearskin Neck. They serve an assortment of tasty homemade cupcake concoctions that provide something for every palette.
Their extensive flavors include Boston Cream, Peanut Butter Cup, Pina Colada, Pumpkin Praline, Rum Coconut Almond and many more!
Don’t worry, if cupcakes aren’t your thing, they also serve ice cream. Pro Tip: double down on your dessert game and order Rockin Cupcakes’ Cupcake Sundae! You’re on vacation, you shouldn’t be stressing yourself out with challenging choices like ice cream or cupcakes!
Remember Pop Tarts? They were pretty incredible (let’s be real they still are) but when Toaster Strudel hit the market it brought the morning pastry game to another level. But if you like Pop Tarts and Toaster Strudel, it’s safe to stay that you will love the authentic Austrian Strudel.
Located right on Bearskin Neck in Rockport, Helmut’s Strudel is the brainchild of Austrian Immigrant and Master Pastry Chef, Helmut Moelk. Born in Innsbruck Austria, Helmut came to America and created the first authentic Austrian style Strudel that is available for national distribution.
Strudel at Helmut’s comes in a variety of flavors from apple to cherry or cheese and you can even pair them with ice cream for a decadent little treat.
At Helmut’s you can enjoy your strudel or danish with a coffee or a delicious hot chocolate on the back deck and take in the views of Rockport Harbor. We’re not sure that strudel helped Arnold win 7 Mr. Olympia titles, but we are certain that the authentic Austrian strudel at Helmut’s is second to none.
Ok now that we have your stomach growling, we think that we better wrap this up. Thank you so much for stopping by and checking out our take on the Top 7 Bakeries on Cape Ann. If you decide to stay at our Rockport MA Hotel our team will be happy to answer any additional questions and point you in the right direction for the best local bakeries, restaurants, galleries, and beaches.