There’s nothing quite like digging into a homemade treat from a small town bakery. You can taste the difference when you know someone made those baked goods especially for you earlier that morning, using a family recipe passed down from generation to generation, not something perfected in a test kitchen and re-heated in a store front. Every town, big or small, has its lauded bakery and today we salute them as we highlight some of the many jewels that dot Ontario’s Highlands.
Hidden Goldmine Bakery is not so hidden away on the main street of Madoc (also called Highway 62), just a very short detour off of Highway 7. You won’t have any difficulty finding the place but you might find it tough to choose from their selection of fresh breads, pastries, and other goodies. If you do find yourself struggling to choose, their different varieties of gooey butter tarts come recommended by many, as do their signature Golden Fudge Nuggets.
This classic road trip stop right on Highway 7 in Maberly has all the goodies you deserve for your long drive ahead. Another player in the top butter tart game, The Maberly Bake Shop’s handheld tarts are best consumed warm out of the oven, their sweet and sticky innards oozing down your fingers. Take your pick from their squares, scones, muffins, and pies if you’re not in the tart mood!
Pie lovers, pencil in a visit to Perth to sample the pies at Perth Pie Company. Their selection includes cream pies, streusel topped beauties, meringue galore, and all the fresh seasonal fruit you could ask for. Try out a mini pie in store and bring home a large for later. Not a pie person? They’ve got you covered with their cookies, squares, cinnamon swirls, and of course, fresh brewed coffee.
From the owners of The Beckwith Butcher in Carleton Place comes the spinoff Beckwith Kitchen right next door. Chef Everest cooks up a mountain of homemade meals and desserts that come either ready to cook or simply in need of a quick re-heat. This is the perfect stop on the way home or to a potluck, where you can pick up hearty favourites like mac and cheese, meatloaf, or casseroles, followed by a scratch-made pie or a whole pan of sticky buns. We won’t judge if you keep them all for yourself!
Molly’s in Minden is a favourite of both locals and visitors. Their extensive bakery menu covers all the bases with handheld pies, cupcakes, waffles, and “muffin loaves” – among many others. Don’t miss their sit-down brunch too, where they serve up meals like huevos rancheros, savoury crêpes, and breakfast poutine. They also offer both frozen entrees and entire pies, cakes, and loaves, for taking home or sharing with friends.
Bonus: The Nook Crêperie
This one’s not technically a baked good, but who doesn’t love a good crêpe? You won’t be forced to choose between sweet and savoury at The Nook Crêperie in Pembroke. Start with a savoury entrée crêpe inspired by Canadian and European flavours combinations, like the Atlantique crêpe with smoked salmon or the Italia crêpe stuffed with prosciutto and parmesan. Save room for a dessert crêpe filled with fruits or chocolate, topped off with sauces like their house made Grand Marnier caramel sauce.