Local fall treats found only in Carmel

Fall brings many thoughts to mind: the changing colors of the leaves, the changing weather and changing food. As meals become heartier, the desserts do the same. Bold flavors like cardamom, nutmeg and pumpkin are typical in fall favorites. Here are just a few of the best sweets in Carmel that embody the fall season.crossaints

On a chilly fall day there is nothing better than snuggling up with a big cup of hot chocolate and a croissant, so I found the best croissant around. Lafayette Bakery and Café located in The Barnyard has the best croissants. Perfectly crispy on the outside and buttery soft inside, the croissant comes both in normal and mini sizes. Lafayette is an authentic French bakery since all of their chefs are French-speaking and -taught. They may not be able to answer all your questions, but their attitudes are just as sweet as their pastries.

If you are looking for something a little less French and a little more American, classic apple crisp is probably more your speed. Who doesn’t think of apple pie when they hear the word fall? On one hidden hill in Carmel Valley, The Lodge Restaurant at the Carmel Valley Ranch makes the best apple crisp. It comes served to you steaming hot, perfectly gooey and sweet with crunchy brown sugar oatmeal topping. It is served with house made vanilla bean ice cream which balances the plate between hot and cold. Biting into a spoonful of this crisp, you know just how fresh and high quality this dessert really is. I dream about this apple crisp.

Another fall dessert that seems to pop into my dreams is spice cake. As much as I’ve tried to stay away from Nothing Bundt Cakes, I was reeled back in when my mom brought home their special fall spiced bundt. Their typical sponge cake is infused with the rich spices of nutmeg and cardamom, which is topped off perfectly with their signature cream cheese icing. This is a simple go-to dessert for any autumn get together.

Like bakery classics rather then dazzled up bundts? Petals and Pastries, Carmel’s top-rated bakery, is home to more than one of the best fall favorites. Their pumpkin doughnuts aren’t seasonal, but they’re so good they need to make this list. These sugar-coated cake batter doughnuts are simply amazing. With all the spices of a pumpkin pie, the doughnut isn’t too pumpkiny or sweet. They are good to enjoy as a dessert or snack any time of the day.

Another great specialty is their pumpkin walnut cake. This is good for those who actually don’t like pumpkin because I honestly could not taste the pumpkin in this. These individually wrapped slices of cake are perfect for an on-the-go treat. Every bite is a mouthful of walnuts and a sweet touch of maple syrup hidden in their icing. Petals and Pastries is also home to other great fall favorites including pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese icing and pumpkin chocolate chip bread.

Although Carmel doesn’t embody the fall spirit, its deliciously irresistible fall desserts make up for what the town may lack.

-Helaine Ridilla