A city with great bakeries is a city on the rise. Forgive the pun, but I seriously love that we have some great kitschy independent bakers sprouting up all over town. I don’t know about you, but when Becker’s Bakery closed on 12th Avenue South, I was so sad. Seriously, where is the “go to” place in town for homemade rolls and petit fours?

Here’s an introduction to three women who are all incredible bakers. Each offers a uniqueness and bravado to her delicacies, undoubtedly all her own.

Dozen

Claire hard at work on a batch of cookies.

I first sampled a jam shortbread from Dozen on a chilly Saturday morning at the Farmer’s Market. I had heard about Claire Meneely’s shop forever from friends who spoke highly of of her cooking credits in San Francisco and Paris. My first bite into her jam shortbread said it all–buttery and flaky with a burst of fruit flavor. Since then, I have grown to adore her pecan short breads even more than her jam delights. Claire is set up on Saturdays at the Downtown Farmer’s Market and the Franklin Farmer’s Market, as well as the Night Market (downtown) the third Friday of each month. Recently, I went to the Friday Night Market to try her adorable groundhog cookies. Created as a tribute to Claire’s hometown, Punxsutawney, PA, they’re two-bite wonders. Her next move is to find a divine retail space so she can realize her dream of becoming your favorite neighborhood bakery. Who will snatch her up?12th Avenue South, Hillsboro Village or maybe Belmont? Let’s wait and see.

My favorite–pecan squares.

You can order Claire’s delicacies on her website at www.dozen-nashville.com.

Foxy Baking Company

Katy with her chocolate polenta tart. Photo credit: Eric England

Yet another discovery I made while at the Farmer’s Market night market–one of the hipper things happening in Nashville right now– is Foxy Baking Company. Sauntering up to the Foxy table, I knew I would have some tough decisions to make. With only enough cash in hand to order one item, it was hard to choose. Do I order a slice of the sumptuous buttermilk pie, the chocolate polenta tart or one of the savory breads? Hard to decide.

Pies and more pies.

I settled on the buttermilk pie and waited until I got home to take the first bite. Imagine the scene in the coffee shop from When Harry Met Sally and you’ll understand the enjoyment factor. It was that good. The texture and the rich flavor are indescribable.

Nothing is better than a slice of pie on fine china.

Foxy Bakery is owned by the adorable and talented Katy Branson. When I spoke with her she said, “I can’t believe I just bought an ambulance to retro fit as a food truck.” If you aren’t stalking the Grilled Cheeserie, the Coco Van and, soon, the Foxy Baking Company’s “Ambo” on Twitter, you’re missing out on some of Nashville’s finest food truck cuisine.

The Foxy Baking Company’s spring selections will include Lemon Curd Pie with Noble Springs Goat Cheese, Peanut Butter Pie and a selection of savory quiches.

Foxy Baking Company is at the Nashville Farmers’ Market on Saturdays.

Anne’s Cakes

Anne and the divas of Anne’s Cakes.

Every time you grab a muffin from the Produce Place or sink you teeth into a piece of coconut cake at Sperry’s, think Anne’s Cakes. In business for over 20 years, Anne cranks out some amazing baked goods in her Crieve Hall commercial facility. After a tip from my buddy Chrissy, I drove out to meet Anne in her kitchen on Trousdale Drive. She’s adorable and her staff, although extremely shy when it comes to the camera, made me feel like I’d walked onto the set of Designing Women – lots of giggles, hands up to their elbows in flour and true camaraderie. Mixers were buzzing with muffins covering every available surface. In the corner, I spied freshly cut zucchini waiting to be added to the next batch of her popular Zoo-kini Muffins.

Fresh baked muffins…

Anne’s most popular muffin is her Skinny Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffin. Some of her other muffins include the Not-So-Short Almond Shortbread, Bountiful Bran Raisin Muffin, Big Blueberry Crunch Muffin and the Lemon Berry Glaze Muffin. She offers over 16 cake selections, including her beautiful strawberry cake, which, hands down, is the favorite.

Nashville’s favorite: Strawberry Cake

Next time your kids come home needing something healthy for a school party, or you need to take muffins to a meeting, call Anne. She can package your order and have it ready for you with advance notice. Anne will deliver in the area for a ten dollar charge. Her cakes can be easily personalized for a ten dollar charge, and at $35 a cake, that’s a bargain.

Anne’s Cakes is a Nashville institution, and it only took me 20years to find out about it!

Anne’s Cakes

4825 Trousdale Drive

Ph:  837.1093