With artisanal bakeries, charming cafés, and award-winning cakes, Edinburgh is a fantastic place to indulge in a decadent treat (or seven).
The following is a list of my favourite spots in the city to visit if you’re looking to satiate your sweet tooth.
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The Chocolate Tree
The Chocolate Tree is Edinburgh’s only bean to bar chocolate maker, AKA a chocolate lover’s dream. Along with ethically sourced, organic chocolate bars, they also have a small café with artisanal chocolates, cakes and pastries, and spiced and flavoured hot chocolate. The chocolate shot – a small cup of pure, melted craft chocolate – is divine.
Thanks to features in a few Buzzfeed articles, you’ll often see queues stretching out the door and down the street at this small gelateria. The gelato is worth the hype, though – it’s freshly made with quality ingredients, and the ever-changing flavours are uniquely enticing: pear & gorgonzola, Thai iced tea, fried bananas in butter, goat cheese & honey, drunk prunes in amaretto.. the list is never-ending. And don’t miss their famous hot chocolate floats: flavoured hot chocolate topped with a scoop of gelato. And when I say hot chocolate with a scoop of gelato, I don’t mean a plain chocolate and vanilla combo – I mean you can choose from 30 different flavour combinations, like dark chocolate hot chocolate with salted caramel ice cream, or white chocolate and cardamom hot chocolate with a scoop of rose gelato.
If you’re craving a cupcake in Edinburgh, Cuckoo’s is the place you want to visit. Their raspberry & white chocolate and black bottom cupcakes have won the title of ‘Best Cake in Scotland’ two years in a row. Alongside their award-winning and classic flavours, they feature weekly specials, like peanut butter ganache and raspberry mojito.
I generally prefer savoury over sweet, but there are handful of desserts that, given the choice, I would happily eat all day, every day, and macarons are one of them. So naturally, Mademoiselle Macaron is one of my favourite cafés in Edinburgh. I’m no macaron expert by any means, but these macarons are delicious – their perfectly crisp exterior is complimented by a soft, chewy centre, and they’re not overly sweet. The elderflower, Earl Grey tea, and Hendrick’s gin are a few of my favourite flavours, and the Innis and Gunn is surprisingly tasty as well.
Not only are the macarons delicious, but their other Parisian-inspired treats are fabulous as well – particularly the paris brest: a light pastry filled with cream and Nutella.
Soderberg & Peter’s Yard
Soderberg and Peter’s Yard are artisanal Swedish bakeries, both located within the modernized Quarter Mile area, along with a few other locations around the city. They offer a range of Scandinavian-inspired breads and pastries, including almond tarts, freshly baked rye, and parsnip cake, but I’d highly recommend trying their signature cardamom buns. The Aromatic, sweet and savoury flavour makes for a uniquely delicious pastry that is unlike anything I’ve tried before.
Lovecrumbs is a ‘cake only’ cafe – you won’t find a sandwich, soup, or anything other than sweets on their menu – although some of their cakes and scones do include savoury ingredients. On any given day, there are roughly 8 different cakes and tarts alongside scones, brownies, and cookies on display in a vintage-style wooden wardrobe, with the daily offerings scrawled on a blackboard on its open doors.
Most of their cake flavour combinations are quite innovative, and include ingredients you wouldn’t necessarily expect to find in a cake: salted caramel & rosemary, chocolate, olive oil & sea salt, white chocolate & pink peppercorn, coconut & beetroot, for example. If you don’t like the thought of peppercorn in your cake, they do have plenty of delicious ‘conventional’ options as well.
Mimi’s is arguably the mother of all bakeries in Edinburgh; their sweets are elaborate and decadent, and the portion sizes are massive: the chocolate caramel fudge brownie pictured below was roughly the size of my face.
They also offer breakfast and lunch, and beforenoon tea – a breakfast version of afternoon tea complete with bacon sandwiches, dulce de leche pancakes, and mini muffins.
This cozy little café offers freshly baked bread, focaccia, croissants, and their main draw: doughnuts. These doughnuts are soft and pillowy, filled with gourmet ingredients like pistachio custard, chocolate hibiscus, and peanut butter & cream cheese. I
stalked their Instagram heard they were offering a pumpkin cheesecake flavour one day, but they had sold out by the time I arrived, so I settled for passionfruit ricotta instead – which was every bit delicious as it sounds.
Have you been to any of these bakeries/cafes? What are your favourite sweet shops in Edinburgh?