There’s nothing quite like digging into a homemade treat from a local bakery renowned for a particular tasty treat. You can taste the difference when you know something has been baked just 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 storefront.
Today we’re saluting the bakeries around Ontario’s Highlands and their “must-have” treats.
Butter Tarts at Hidden Goldmine Bakery
Hidden Goldmine Bakery is not so hidden on the main street of Madoc (also called Highway 62), just a very short detour off Highway 7. You won’t have any difficulty finding the place, but you might find it tough to choose from their delicious selection of fresh breads, pastries, and other goodies. If you’re faced with the struggle to choose, their assorted varieties of gooey butter tarts come recommended by many (including Narcity), as do their signature Golden Fudge Nuggets.
Butter Tarts at The Cottage Cup
On the opposite end of Ontario’s Highlands, The Cottage Cup in Golden Lake dishes out their own award-winning butter tarts. That’s right, they took home the blue ribbon in the competition for best plain butter tart at the inaugural Ottawa Valley Butter Tart Festival in November 2019. But it’s not only butter tarts they excel at: give their cupcakes, muffins, or flaky biscuits a try to discover what else they knock out of the park.
Blueberry Pies at Hugli’s Blueberry Ranch
You can’t go wrong with anything blueberry-themed from Hugli’s Blueberry Ranch, open from May through the end of December each year. This farm offers pick-your-own blueberries, pumpkins, and Christmas trees depending on the season, and no trip is complete without stopping in for a homemade pie, doughnut, tart, or a slab of their famous fudge.
Muffin Loaves at Molly’s Bistro Bakery
Molly’s in Minden is a favourite of both locals and seasonal cottagers. Their extensive bakery menu covers all the bases with handheld pies, cupcakes, waffles, and “muffin loaves” – among many others. Sit down for a meal while you’re there to enjoy classic comfort food or delicious alternatives for those who are celiac, vegetarian, or vegan. They also offer both frozen entrees and entire pies, cakes, and those delectable muffin loaves, for taking home or sharing with friends.
Savoury Breakfast Danishes at C’est Tout Bakery
If you like to switch it up once in a while, or just prefer savoury over sweet breakfasts, head to C’est Tout Bakery in Smiths Falls for their breakfast danishes. These loaded pastries make for an easy, portable meal to start your day off on a high note. The little pockets of sunshine are stuffed with ham, egg, cheese, and bechamel sauce tucked into a buttery pastry. Treat yourself to breakfast plus a cookie for dessert!
Bonus: Doughnuts at McGuire’s Doughnuts
Though doughnuts are technically not baked, we just had to find a way to include this Pembroke favourite on our list. McGuire’s is one of the many doughnut makers in Ontario’s Highlands, and is well loved by locals. If you find yourself overwhelmed at the thought of choosing just one from their varieties including maple bacon fritters, filled Berliners, and their signature blue “Sweet-ish Berry,” play it safe and go for the six-pack.