Ever since I was a little girl, baking was always a big passion for me.  Back then, the Pillsbury dough boy was my best friend in the kitchen. However, after finally growing out of the Funfetti cake mix, I taught myself how to bake by trial and error. Yes, it made my mother very nervous every time I stepped into the kitchen, but it was worth it.

Being the foodie that I am, I am constantly on the lookout for places that will satisfy my sweet tooth and make me appreciate other’s pieces of art. As I grow older and my interest in the culinary arts grows, I now understand the hard work and dedication it takes to bake something like croissants or chocolate eclairs (oh dear, these are tough to make).

After some very mouthwatering research, I was able to compile a list of the best dessert-worthy places to cross off my bucket list of St. Louis bakeries. If you usually find yourself having crazy sweet tooth cravings like me, prepare to get a sugar high. 

1. Nathaniel Reid Bakery

cream, birthday cake, buttercream, cake
Lissane Kafie

In 2012, Chef Nathaniel Reid was recognized as one of the Top 10 Chefs in America by the Dessert Professional Magazine. Since then, he has received a vast list of other recognitions as an outstanding pastry chef. His pastries all have a certain European flare and an almost modern approach to their taste and presentation. You can’t go wrong with their chocolate almond croissant or just a straight up pain au chocolat, perfectly paired with an espresso. Voilà! Trust me, you will want to get your hands on everything you see there. 

2. La Pâtisserie Chouquette 

black tea, coffee, green tea, tea
Jackie Decoster

A French bakery, with a certain je ne sais quoi and an almost Renaissance-y ambience. You will be expected to choose from a long list of macaron flavors as well as their pastries like the well-renowned "Darkness" croissant (chocolate croissant dough with chocolate batons and pink himalayan salt). You can even request a tea reservation and experience a full-blown French tea time, or l’heure du the, as they would say in Paris.

3. Piccione Pastry

pastry, burrito, cheese, spring rolls, cannoli
Lissane Kafie

Italian delights everywhere, oh my, simply molto bene! Piccione Pastry has its own take on your favorite cannoli recipe, offering everything ranging from cookie dough cannoli to pistachio cannoli. Vegan and gluten-free options are available as well. Pair your favorite pastry with a cappuccino or an Italian cream soda and enjoy all the good things that come along. To make matters even better, Piccione Pastry has also been ranked one of the best cannoli places in the country. 

4. Whisk

tea, cake
Amy Donkel

It’s Earth Day every day at Whisk. Talk about going “go green” and satisfying your sweet tooth. If you’re even remotely interested in any of these two things, this is the place for you. As stated on their website, their belief in “local ingredients, seasonality and the pursuit of deliciousness” distinguishes them from any other bakery in town.  

5. Like Home Comme a la Maison

tea, meringue, cake, coffee, lemon
Lissane Kafie

A bit of French patisserie in the heart of St. Louis. Owned by mother and daughter, Clemence and Christine Pereur, both great lovers of the art of baking, Like Home Comme a la Maison will make you feel like you are being transported into a small coffee shop in a small town in France. Everything from the atmosphere to the big window in the back showing where all the magic occurs (and by magic, I mean baking) makes this the right place to go and enjoy your favorite French dessert.  

6. Russell’s  

coffee, tea
Lissane Kafie

At Russell’s, delicious and beautifully decorated pastries are baked fresh every morning. If that wasn’t enough, they serve a breakfast and lunch until 3 PM. Perfect for those lazy mornings where rolling out of bed is almost excruciating. Russell’s makes it okay to have breakfast at 2 PM. In addition, their dinner menu has fantastic food and cocktails such as spiked apple cider as well as house made sangria.

If everything that I mentioned before isn’t a good enough reason to visit Russell’s, then the sole purpose of tasting their famous gooey butter cake will convince you. Crisp on the outside but ooey gooey on the inside makes this classic St. Louis dessert a total success, ranked one of the best gooey butter cakes in St. Louis. I don’t know about you, but this might just be my new favorite place. 

7. Sweet Art

An art studio, bakery, and cafe all in one. Sweet Art wows the St. Louis community with its devotion to “scratch-made deliciousness” and treating their costumer’s needs. With a good list of vegan brownies, bars, pies, cookies, and cakes. The cherry on top about Sweet Art is that most of their desserts are also available vegan (vegan sticky pecan buns featured above) and gluten free options. In addition, they serve breakfast, lunch, and on Saturday mornings, brunch (my favorite word). 

8. Pie Oh My!

Oh my Lord. Pies up and down, to and fro, here and there. From chocolate, cherry, strawberry rhubarb, to banana cream, lemon meringue, apple crumble. You name it, they have it. As for me, no matter what, lemon meringue is always the way to my heart, and Pie Oh My!'s is just the right amount of delicious. If you’re ever in the mood for some sweet or savory, crusty, flaky, and creamy made-from-scratch goodness, Pie Oh My! will treat you just right. Stop by and get one (or a dozen) of your favorite pies. 

9. Pint Size

Taking, an old-fashioned style of baking, pint size has reinvented the phrase “eat local.” All of their ingredients come from local farms and they don’t use any additives or preservatives. Their caramel croissants are their best-sold Saturday special and they will absolutely blow you away! Besides offering a variety of all-day snacks of tarts, pies, blondies, brookies, brownies (and I could continue, but I’ll spare you the hunger pang you’ll get after you finish reading this paragraph), they serve morning eats such as quiche, scones, and breakfast muffins.

10. Union Loafers

A cafe and bread bakery, located in the Botanical Heights neighborhood in St. Louis, serves freshly-baked bread with anything ranging from sandwiches to soups and salads to flatbreads and pizzas. You can stop in for a quick lunch with your friends or simply to pick up a loaf of bread to take home with you. Either way, you will experience a taste of out-of-this-world bread baking techniques. 

Next time you’re in St. Louis, make a stop in one, or better yet, all of these mouth-watering places that will cause fireworks to explode in your mouth. Good desserts, great food, sweet tooth craving appeased, makes for a happier person. What even is a bucket list without a certain dream to reality ratio? This bucket list of St. Louis bakeries will make your dreams into reality.