While there is no shortage of Badger State’s official dessert (the kringle), the state is full of bakeries creating some very impressive pastries and unique tasty treats. We’ve rounded up some tried-and-true favorites as well as new kids on the block rocking the Wisconsin bakery scene.
Pop into this low-key Wisconsin bakery to enjoy all things bread and pastries – all made from scratch using fresh ingredients in the wee hours of the morning. Batch Bakery is just that: small batches of everything, including classic French baguettes, artisanal loafs and breads for days (focaccia, challah, baguettes, caraway, sourdough, ciabatta, cracked wheat and Scali, to name just a few). Check out the Daily Bread schedule to plot out which breads are made on which days. Batch Bakehouse also serves up a variety of sweet and savory flavors including coffee cake, mini pies, shorties, croissants and much more. Online ordering is available for in-store or curbside pick-up, great for holidays and specialty items like Fat Tuesday King Cakes or St. Patrick’s Day Irish Soda bread.
Fab Favorite: Croissant filled with gruyere and ham
Happy Bellies Bake Shop
Happy Bellies Bake Shop in Appleton is in a class all its own serving up fresh, all-natural, organic and entirely gluten-free baked goods. Owned and operated by dynamic mother/daughter duo Agnes and Rebecca, they pride themselves on providing alternative bakery options, including vegan and those free of refined sugar, egg, nut and soy. The menu changes seasonally, so there is always something new and delicious to try. Happy Bellies also has a cozy café area for guests to enjoy seasonal drinks, pastries, music and free WiFi.
Fab Favorite: Weekly doughnut specials
In 1979, a young Russian immigrant, Simma, traveled to the US with her family with hopes of a better life and, 30-plus years later, her dream is very much alive at her namesake bakery. Opened since 1982, the Wisconsin bakery has been serving up rich baking traditions that are still thriving with current owners, Mark and Peggy Carollo, and their staff. Simma’s Bakery features traditional pastries, cupcakes, cookies and general morning delights. However, their sweet spot is award-winning cakes, especially delectable classic cheesecake made with chocolate cake bottom, raspberry filling and topped with chocolate ganache. Looking for the wedding cake of your dreams? Look no further than Simma’s, the place in the Milwaukee area for wedding cakes. Couples can visit the extensive tasting room to plan the perfect dessert for their special day.
Fab Favorite: Mini classic cheesecake
Uncle Mike’s Bake Shoppe
De Pere, Suamico and Green Bay
Since 2001, Uncle Mike’s Bake Shoppe has been a local favorite for tasty pastries, cakes, bagels, cookies, doughnuts and, of course, its award-winning Wisconsin kringle. Its sea salt caramel-pecan kringle was even awarded the Best Kringle in North America. This fourth-generation bake shop has several locations of Uncle Mike’s Bake Shoppe to choose from: De Pere, Suamico and East Mason in Green Bay and Appleton, opening summer of 2023.
Fab Favorite: The monthly kringle special – we love the S’mores or Brandy Old Fashion
Baking Bird, a small scratch bakery in downtown Union Grove, has really taken flight since opening in June 2022. Owned and operated by baker Melissa Wandrey, Baking Bird offers a variety of grab-and-go sweet and savory treats. Visitors can enjoy everything from scones, maple-pecan rolls, whoopee pies, quiche, cinnamon buns and Wandrey’s famous cake pops. While visiting this Wisconsin bakery, check out its homemade birdhouse remembrance tree. Customers are encouraged to take one home, paint it and bring back to hang in-store, all raising money for different cancer-research organizations. Baking Bird is open 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday.
Fab Favorite: Key lime cheesecake
Located on Layton Avenue near Mitchell International Airport sits Paradise Roastery, a delightfully unique addition to Milwaukee. Opened since Summer 2021 by Ayman Saif, this family-run business is the first Arabic-style roaster in the area. The storefront features a wonderful collection of dry-roasted nuts and seeds in a variety of flavors, salts or unsalted – everything from hazelnuts, almonds and cashews to pumpkin and pistachios. Saif has been roasting nuts and seeds for years in his homeland of Jordan and his extensive knowledge, passion and pride for his product are evident. Saif warmly greets guests with a smile, product samples and a welcoming cup of refreshing Turkish coffee. The real showstoppers at Paradise Roastery are the assortment of colorful and ornately decorated Turkish delight desserts and wide selection of chocolates. Paradise Roastery opens at 11 a.m. daily.
Fab Favorite: Turkish delight coated with pomegranate, pistachio and rose petals, paired with house-roasted Turkish coffee
Simple Bakery & Market
Simple Bakery & Market’s philosophy is “changing the world one bit at a time through great food, great hospitality and reconnecting community,” and that is just what they are doing in their hometown community of Lake Geneva. Simple is a made-from-scratch artisan Wisconsin bakery and pastry shop featuring breads, pastries and cakes located in a small simple storefront next door to their dine-in café. Owners Tom and Lynn take great pride in purchasing ingredients from the surrounding area including mushrooms, eggs, butter, cream, chocolates, fruit and local staple, the Sweet Corn Lady. Stop by and delight in their passion for baking and the community they support. Stay and enjoy breakfast or lunch at their café or enjoy the outdoor dog-friendly patio during warmer months.
Fab Favorite: Toss up! Kouign-Amann or traditional French croissant
Deforest, Osseo and Rice Lake
Keep Calm and Eat More Pie! Norske Nook, found in three locations across Wisconsin, is known for, you guessed it, pie. All of Norske’s pies are made from scratch with hand-rolled crust and baked in house to perfection. You are sure to find a new favorite with its wide variety of traditional fruit pies like apple-lingonberry, blueberry, cherry crunch, apple, banana cream or more complex flavored like raspberry crème, Snickers carmel, coconut-pineapple or sour crème-raisin meringue, just to name a few. The Wisconsin bakery also features some traditional Scandinavian desserts, such as sandbakkels (a tiny pastry pies), rosettes and almond cakes. Stop in for pie and stay for a full meal at its connected restaurants serving breakfast and lunch.
Fab Favorite: Blueberry pie
Enjoy more than 30-plus varieties of glazed, iced or sugar-coated doughnuts at Grebe’s in West Allis. This family-owned bakery and deli has been serving up homemade desserts since 1937. Grebe’s also boasts a wide selection of rolls, rubs, breads, cookies and coffee cakes as well as its famous Milwaukee-style cruller. (Crullers are a twisty, deep-fried pastry-like doughnut popular in Europe and North America.) If you can’t make it to West Allis, don’t fret! Grebe’s famous goodies can be found across Wisconsin at Speedway, Sentry, Sendik’s, Woodman’s and Piggly Wiggly.
Fab Favorite: A bag of original cruller bites