It doesn’t matter that you’ve polished off a six-course meal. When the sweet tooth calls, it screams—And it screams loud. Put the little guy to silence with these seven Best Eats sweets, hand-picked by Northern Michigan acclaimed foodies Kelly Bolton, Diana Milock, Tim Tebeau, and Mario Batali.

Bumpy Cupcake

Kelly Bolton’s Pick
Simply Cupcakes  //  445 East Front Street  //  Traverse City 231.633.2253?

A shout-out to the Sanders staple, the bumpy cupcake is moist chocolate cake painted with channels of buttercream and overlaid with thick chocolate fudge. Buy two.

Milk Caramel

Kelly Bolton’s Pick
American Spoon Foods  //  411 East Lake Street  //  Petoskey 231.347.7004

?Whole milk from Shetler’s Dairy is sweetened with beet sugar, steeped with cherry kernels and cooked in kettles until it becomes caramel that is inappropriately good. Find a spoon and a quiet corner.

The Dessert Case

Diana Milock’s Pick
Patisserie Amie  //  237 Lake Avenue  //   Traverse City  231.922.9645?

Resident pâtissière April Sisco stocks Amie’s sweet menagerie with classic French confections like apricot tartes, pain au chocolat, pistachio macaroons and eclairs, to name a few.

Coconut Cream Pie

Diana Milock’s Pick
Grand Traverse Pie Company  //  525 West Front Street  //  Traverse City  231.922.7347

?Rich flaky crust underpins a sweet catharsis of coconut custard, whipped cream and toasted coconut topping. Pair with Higher Grounds coffee.

Sweet Potato Pecan Pie

Tim Tebeau’s Pick
Sweet Mama’s  //  145 Ames Street  //  Elk Rapids  231.498.2298?

Chef/owner Ralph Humes elevates this soul food staple to a level of Platonic perfection. The rich sweet-potato purée is copiously studded with caramelized pecans in a crust you wish your grandma could make.


Tim Tebeau’s Pick
Bay View  //  727 Main Street  //  Frankfort  231.352.8050?

Delight in a Frankfort homage to the French Quarter with these crisp batons of airy French pastry dusted in powdered sugar. Made more perfect with a hot cup of java and a view of charter boats at dock.

Glazed Cake Doughnut

Mario Batali’s Pick Barb’s Bakery // 112 North Mill Street  //  Northport 231.386.5851

Basic human happiness can always be found in a good doughnut, and Barb’s is as good as anybody’s. Moist, cakey batter with a crisp exterior and sweet sugar glaze.

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Photo(s) by Photo Credit: Kris Riley