Sugar rush: Tuck into a sweet treat at Tahoe

Claire McArthur
Special to the Tribune

Whether you’ve got a hankering for a sugary breakfast or just feel like treating yourself to a mid-day sweet, Tahoe has no shortage of local bakeries dotting its shores. Though baking at altitude may be a challenge for some, from Truckee to Tahoe City, these bakeries have got it dialed in. With display cases brimming with fruit-studded scones, buttery croissants and over-the-top cupcakes, grab one for the road and a dozen (or two) for later.

Crazy Good Bakery and Cafe / South Lake Tahoe

Located in a cheerful blue building at the “Y” in South Lake Tahoe, Crazy Good Bakery and Cafe lives up to its name. Pineapple-toasted coconut scones, Nutella-filled croissants topped with hazelnuts, blackberry sweet bread with a lemon glaze, and vanilla bean tres leches donuts are just a few of the creative concoctions crafted by owner Christine Andersen-Smith, who opened the bakery in 2018. There are even options for restricted diets, like gluten- and dairy-free pumpkin muffins and sugarless carrot-apple muffins. Grab a housemade chai and a sweet treat to enjoy in the bakery’s colorful, cozy interior, which is filled with antiques and knick knacks for sale.

Crazy Good Bakery offers an assortment of sweet treats, often using fresh fruit, in their cheerful South Lake Tahoe digs. Photo / Claire McArthur

Tahoe House Bakery and Gourmet / Tahoe City

Family-run since 1977, Tahoe House Bakery and Gourmet serves up European-style breakfast pastries and sweets in the heart of Tahoe City. With the fireplace warming the bakery, peruse the selection of baked goods, ranging from homemade granola bars, pecan cranberry breakfast rolls and black currant scones, to coconut macaroons, chocolate truffle torte and nussgipfel (plump croissants stuffed with a sweet nut filling — a Swiss staple). It also wouldn’t be right to leave Tahoe House without a loaf of smoked garlic sourdough or focaccia.

Sierra Bakehouse / Truckee

Good things come to those who wait — and if you can hold off until Friday, Sierra Bakehouse in Truckee will deliver just that. For one day each week, pastry chefs Kristy DePaoli Kirsch and Daniella Rinaldi-Luchian open their bakery doors and share an ever-changing menu of treats. Cardamom buns, strawberry financiers, banana cream tarts, pear and blue cheese croissants, mango macarons and tiramisu mousse cakes are some of the baked goods dreamed up by the duo.

Sierra Bakehouse makes a rotating selection of macarons with flavors like maple candy, pictured, and mango. Photo / Sierra Bakehouse

Sugar Pine Cakery and Cafe / Tahoe City

Growing up in the kitchen with her Portugese family, it was only natural that Allison Sayles would turn her passion into a career. Since 2013, Sayles has been churning out delicious baked goods in Tahoe City’s Lake Forest neighborhood. Brown butter chocolate chunk cookies, apple custard puff pastries, German chocolate cupcakes with coconut-pecan frosting, iced earl grey cookies, strawberry cupcakes with cream cheese icing and graham cracker crumb — take your pick. Sugar Pine also has an extensive selection of gluten-free baked goods, as well as some vegan options.

Glazed and Confuzed Tahoe Donut / South Lake Tahoe

You won’t find more creative donut varieties anywhere around Lake Tahoe than at Glazed and Confuzed Tahoe Donut. Anthony and Mara Cavallaro launched their donut delivery service in 2017 and eventually segued their success into a brick-and-mortar in midtown South Lake Tahoe. Their extravagant donuts are topped with every candy, cereal and snack imaginable, from the Tutti Fruitie (vanilla icing, Fruity Pebbles cereal, and a dollop of homemade lemon pie filling) to the Punk in Drublic (chocolate icing and shoestring potatoes with a drizzle of sea salt caramel and chocolate). Bacon, oreos, pretzels, Circus Cookies, Butterfinger, toasted marshmallows and Captain Crunch are just some of the toppings paired with unique icings and glazes on these playful sweet treats. Grab a dozen to share and prepare for the looks of glee when you open the box for those lucky enough to get a taste.

Glazed and Confuzed decorates its donuts with every candy, cereal and snack you can think of. Photo / Claire McArthur

Editor’s note: This article appears in the 2021-22 winter edition of Tahoe Magazine.

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