It’s time again for Cheap Thrills, where we round up some of the most affordable FINDS from around town. And what is more thrilling than a decadent brownie or drool-worthy donut, especially when they delight the palate and don’t put a dent in your wallet? We have scoured the town for tasty, next-level treats from Birmingham’s best bakeries, coffee shops and candy stores — and we found 13 mouthwatering morsels that will entice even the most stringent of dieters to break their own rules. Get ready to behold some of our city’s sweetest thrills!
13 Bakery Bites & Sweet Treats in Birmingham
ChocStars dark chocolate bars
These distinctive chocolate bars are made from premium dark chocolate from Ecuador. “These chocolate bars are straight from the red carpet! The main feature of these bars is the cover photo of a pet dressed up as a human celebrity,” says Marcy Miller, owner of Weezie’s Candy Emporium. “They are sure to make anyone happy and are perfect for gift giving, as they have a ‘To’ and ‘From’ label right on the packaging.” Cute pets + celebrity costumes + divine dark chocolate = WINNING! Get your ChocStars dark chocolate bar for $6 at Weezie’s Candy Emporium.
The breakup cookie
This famous cookie has a cult following — and it’s not just teenagers crying over breakups. It’s people of all stripes who have decided to forevermore break up with their diets in favor of these heavenly chocolate chip cookies. They are cooked to perfection with a slightly gooey center and topped with a sprinkle of salt, causing a flavor explosion of salty and sweet that tantalizes the taste buds. Get the breakup cookie for $2.25 at Church Street Coffee & Books.
Dark chocolate cake with Nutella Swiss meringue buttercream
“A slice of freshly baked cake is hard to beat,” says Kristen Farmer Hall, head baker and owner of Baking Bandits. “Our dark chocolate Nutella cake pairs our ever-so-slightly sweet chocolate cake with fluffy Nutella Swiss meringue buttercream.” And the result is a moan-inducing, mind-blowing party in your mouth. Kristen’s confections will make you question her baking abilities as perhaps some sort of magical baking sorcery or a symbiotic relationship with flour and butter. We’re not sure but we’re calling her “the cake whisperer” after tasting this delectable morsel. Head downtown to Feast & Forest and grab a slice of this delicious cake by Baking Bandits. Get a slice for $3.50 — or order a whole cake, starting at $40.
We Have Doughnuts chocolate doughnut
Peanut butter and jelly, ham and cheese, fish and chips, burger and fries — some things are just meant to go together and coffee and doughnuts are one of those perfect pairs. Grab an espresso or coffee from Revelator Coffee Company and, while you’re at it, tack on an irresistible chocolate doughnut from We Have Doughnuts, Revelator’s exclusive doughnut partner. You’ll be in coffee-shop heaven as you munch on this pillowy, chocolatey morsel along with sips of the finest espresso in town. Find your favorite We Have Doughnuts doughnut for $3 at Revelator Coffee Company.
Mini caramel cupcake
“I’ve been working on this recipe for years and finally perfected the homemade caramel to make our rich and creamy icing,” says Ashley McMakin, head chef and owner of Ashley Mac’s. “It is the perfect complement to our moist layers of yellow cake.” Fair warning: These delicious bite-sized cupcakes are dangerously good. Once you pop, you might not be able to stop! Get your mini caramel cupcakes, $5.99 for a half dozen or $11.99 for a dozen, at Ashley Mac’s, where you can also get this delightful flavor as a small cake for $29.99; large cake for $39.99; or a slice of cake for $5.99.
Iced smiley face cookies
The dedicated bakers at this Birmingham landmark have been whipping up scratch-made cakes, rolls, loaves, meltaways and cookies for 77 years — and the seasonally themed iced cookies are a perennial favorite. With iced turkey-shaped cookies during Thanksgiving; bells, stars and trees during the holidays — not to mention the fun designs for other holidays — there always is a colorful batch of cookies perfect for celebrating the season. Find these Halloween-colored smiley face cookies for $1.75 each or $21 a dozen at Savage’s Bakery & Deli.
This beautiful little ball of deliciousness is chocolate cake mixed with a Nutella cream and covered in chocolate. Klingler’s has been creating their European-style baked goods for nearly 35 years and their black forest cake was listed as one of the “100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die” by the Alabama Bureau of Tourism & Travel. Stop by this hidden gem for an authentic German meal, followed by a tasty baked good such as this Nutella bonbon. Lovely nutty hazelnut and divine chocolate mix for a delightful bite! Get it for $2.50 at Klingler’s.
This deceivingly normal-looking cookie is anything but normal. A slightly crisp cookie crust leads to a chewy center that is a lovely mix of sweet and aromatic ginger notes, mixed with the perfect touch of buttery, savory flavors. It’s no wonder that the ginger cookie is one of their most popular. Known for their colorful icing-topped cookies and takeout meals, Icing on the Cookie makes some mean traditional cookies, including chocolate chip, sugar, oatmeal raisin, white chocolate macadamia, peanut butter, chocolate chocolate chip and oatmeal butterscotch! Find them for $1.75 each or $18 per dozen at Icing on the Cookie.
Salted caramel latte French macaron
Step into Continental Bakery and mosey toward the bakery case near the register where colorful rows of French macarons await. Choose your favorite flavor, such as this salted caramel latte macaron, and step outside to enjoy your afternoon treat al fresco in picturesque English Village. One bite of this authentic French macaron and you’ll be transported to a sidewalk cafe in Paris! Find them for $1.95 each at The Continental Bakery.
Lemon poppy seed muffin
These heavenly poppy seed muffins are buttery with an enticing pop of citrus that will make you feel like you’re wandering through a dreamy field of poppies a la The Wizard of Oz. And once you snap back into it, you won’t be running away from this poppy seed dream — but rather back to your nearest O’Henry’s for more! Get a lemon poppy seed muffin for $2.25 at O’Henry’s Coffees.
Cookies & cream cupcake
If you’re a fan of Oreos and cupcakes, then you’re in luck! This cupcake features Edgar’s famous cake and creamy icing while creatively incorporating the beloved Oreo flavors, throughout. It’s a dangerously delicious combination. Don’t say we didn’t warn you! Get it for $2.50 at Edgar’s Bakery.
Birmingham Breadworks’ cinnamon rolls are simply out of this world and that might have something to do with the bakery’s high standards for ingredients. “All of our pastries are shaped by the loving hands of our incredible staff every day. We use heritage wheat flour, Vietnamese cinnamon, natural demerara sugar and French-style, super-rich butter,” says Pilar Taylor of Birmingham Breadworks. “We do all of this to provide our community with flaky, scrumptious pastries made right here in Birmingham.” Get your cinnamon roll for $2.73 from Birmingham Breadworks.
Jumbo deluxe cookies
Insomnia Cookies’ jumbo deluxe cookies come in to-die-for flavor combos like chocolate peanut butter cup, s’mores and triple chocolate chunk. “I think Insomnia Cookies’ uniqueness comes from the fact that we deliver our warm, delicious cookies right to your door until 3 a.m., daily,” says Christine Glasser of Insomnia Cookies. “Also, our deal of the week allows customers to try different products at a discount!” Get your jumbo deluxe cookie of choice for $3 at Insomnia Cookies.
Dine local with these sinfully sweet thrills. Your tummy and your wallet will thank you!
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