Burnt Honey, Copacabana
When a bakery’s hours are listed as ‘7 am to 2 pm or until Sold Out’, you know you’re onto a good thing. At Copacabana’s Burnt Honey Bakery, Hayley Thorncraft bakes everything on site. You’ll find the likes of Greek almond shortbreads, cinnamon buns and Portuguese tarts infused with cassia bark and lemon zest. Her doughnuts are flavoured with saffron and cardamom, or loaded with salted-caramel cream cheese. And while her Boston baked beans and vintage cheddar pie might be a long way from the traditional, it’s quite possibly the best pie we’ve ever eaten.
Burnt Honey, Shop 1, 224 Del Monte Pl, Copacabana
Ludo’s Gourmet Patisserie, Avoca Beach
Ludo’s cakes are well renowned. The delice gateaux, hummingbird cake and lemon tart are delicious, but it’s the jaffa cake covered in chocolate ganache, mini meringues and toasted flaked almonds that we can’t help but order again and again. Ludo’s tarts all make a fine dessert, but which one to pick? The French apple is classic, the chocolate soufflé divine. Quiches and pies lead the savoury line. The quiches are packed with smoked salmon or roast vegetables, and the pies are rich with beef bourguignon, chunky steak, and cheese and bacon.
Ludo’s, 8 Cape Three Points Rd, Avoca Beach
Flour & Co, Toowoon Bay
Pastry chef Jim Picot has been baking long-time favourites such as vanilla slices, baked custard tarts and banana sponge cake at his family-owned bakery for the past 32 years. Formerly known as the Toowoon Bay Pie Shop, and a bakery site since the ’40s, Flour & Co’s happy blend of old and new is a result of the more recent influence of Jim’s daughter Grace and son-in-law Tim, which has seen delicious raw treats and vegan offerings become part of the daily menu. You’ll now find slices free of refined sugar, gluten and guilt on the shelves, along with vegan Sri-Lankan curry pies and Cali-burritos packed with steak, potato tots, guacamole and pico de gallo. Their bone-shaped biscuits made from flour, eggs, peanut butter, oats and coconut oil have been created with pooches in mind, but we’d happily devour them too.
Flour & Co, 8 Toowoon Bay Rd, Toowoon Bay
Billabong Patisserie, East Gosford
Sometimes you just want a good-old traditional neenish tart or sausage roll, and if this is your craving you can’t go past Billabong Patisserie at East Gosford. The building has been a bakery for some 50 years, and the current owner/pastry chef Adrian Warwick has been stoking the oven for the past 12. Many customers have been coming here for years, lining up at the counter to order baked custard tarts, continental vanilla slices and mini passionfruit cheesecakes. Their quiches — Florentine, Lorraine, and sundried tomato and mushroom — fly off the shelves as does their lamb, rosemary and shiraz pie.
Billabong Bakery, 79 Victoria St, East Gosford. Phone 4325 3521
Goodness Cakes, online
Looking for a sweet treat without the sugar? Make a beeline for Goodness Cakes where they create organic treats that are gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free, and made from natural ingredients. Chantal and Ben Bakker’s keto Coconut Bounty cake is packed with low-sugar and low-carb ingredients, including sunflower and pepita seeds, buckinis, cacao, cashews and coconut cream, while their vegan Berry Vanilla Cake is made from natural ingredients such as dates, coconut oil, maple syrup and berries.
Goodness Cakes, online + deliveries.
Sasa Sicilian Street Food, Ettalong Beach
After working in bakeries in Sicily and Tuscany, wife-and-husband duo, Orly and Daniele Del Castillo, opened Sasa in Ettalong nine months ago. Their Danish pastries are topped with nectarines and pistachio crumbs, their focaccia with olives and oregano, their sourdough pizza with pancetta and provolone cheese. And don’t even think about leaving without a three-pack of cannoli to go. The ricotta cream flavours change daily and could be marsala and fig one day, and espresso the next, and because they only pipe the cannoli to order, the shells are always deliciously crisp.
Sasa Street Food, 81/189 Ocean View Rd, Ettalong Beach
Bakery La Tartine, Somersby
La Tartine is a certified organic sourdough bakery, and they don’t stray from what they do best. This is the place to buy sourdough, pure and simple. Their sourdough is made from organic flour from Gunnedah, Murray River salt and filtered tap water. It comes in wholemeal and multigrain, covered in sesame seeds, and dotted with walnuts or kalamata olives. Their pumpkin loaf is made from slow-roasting the squash, and their very more-ish fruit loaf is packed with dried apricots, figs, sultanas and almonds. Do yourself a favour and grab a pack of their sourdough hot cross buns this Easter.
You can buy direct from their bakehouse every Friday (12 pm–7 pm) La Tartine, Unit 2/111 Wisemans Ferry Road, Somersby or at markets across the Coast.
Bremen’s Patisserie, Umina
It’s was Ron’s ‘Flaming Pie’ that got Bremen’s on the ‘Today’show, but it’s his cherry strudel that’s made his business a local household name. Originally from Bremen, Germany, pastry chef Ronald Bruns opened his Umina patisserie 30 years ago and he’s been pulling the crowd with his apple crumble, bee stings and black forest cake ever since. The Flaming Ron pie, for which they’re famous includes Trinidad ‘Scorpion’ Butch T peppers, Naga Viper chilis and habenero peppers. Unless you’re really game (and willing to sign a legal waiver) we recommend you opt for the korma curry chicken instead.
Bremen’s, 302 West St, Umina Beach