Baltimore may be known for savory specialties like blue crab, but it also has a sweet side. After all, the city is the birthplace of the fudgy Berger cookie (sold at Lexington and Cross Street markets) and Domino Sugar. Since 1921, the Locust Point-based refinery’s bright red neon sign has become an iconic waterside symbol, best seen from a water taxi or on foot via pathways all around the Inner Harbor. The mill is also the largest producer of sugar in the United States, processing 14 percent of the country’s total glucose needs. Several shops in Baltimore claim a piece of that pie, too, from show-stopping bakeries to an eclectic ice cream parlor. Here are a few places where locals satisfy cravings for delectable desserts.
Charm City Chocolate
In Hamden, locals Todd and Michelle Zimmerman have created a homey storefront for sweets. Inside, visitors find retro candies, plus handcrafted treats made from family recipes.
House-made ice creams with unusual flavors like Old Bay Caramel and Black Sesame draw crowds to Laura and David Alima’s Hampden parlor.
Dangerously Delicious Pies
While fronting local band The Glenmont Popes, Rodney Henry hawked his handmade pies, even trading them for lodging. Today, his pies earn raves from rockers and dessert fans alike.
James Beard award-winning chef Spike Gjerde of Baltimore’s Woodberry Kitchen got his start at this elegant French bakery. It’s a popular stop for traditional Gallic treats—fruit tarts, macarons, mousses, eclairs, petit fours—and then some.
Sugar fiends with dietary restrictions get their fix at this shop, which also partners with neighbors Charm City Cakes to deliver gluten-free specialty cakes.
Since 1956, this family-run bakery has been providing residents of Baltimore’s Little Italy with a sweet taste of the homeland. Now, visitors hankering for the shop’s famous cannolis and rum cakes buy from several locations throughout Maryland.
Charm City Cakes
TV star—and native—Duff Goldman’s cakery has been enticing fans since 2002. In addition to ordering fantastic creations, visitors find cakes in jars, cupcakes and fan gear at his famous flagship shop. Budding artists can also learn to decorate like the master himself through hands-on classes. Prices vary, see website for schedule.