Turkey may be the main event at Christmas dinner but for us, the Christmas season is all about the sweeter things: gingerbread houses, Christmas pudding, chocolate Santa Clauses, and cinnamon-spiced EVERYTHING. We’ve rounded up some of the best places to get your hand on seasonal sweet treats, whether your tastes run to the traditional or the more modern.
Jiang Mai Tang
French-influenced bakery Jiang Mai Tang, which has outlets in Shunyi and Central Park, is one of our favorite places to pick up breads and pastries at any time of the year.
Expat Jennie makes American-style baked goods such as pies and cookies. We first came across her at one of the many pre-Christmas craft markets and were impressed with her brownies and her seasonal peppermint bark (others rave about her pecan pie). Since Christmas fayre season is pretty much over at this point, you’ll need to add her on WeChat at jennieannchow to place your order from now on. She is still baking ginger cookies (RMB 30 for 6), brownies (RMB 70 for six), chocolate caramel shortbread (RMB 80 for six), the aforementioned pecan pies (RMB 150 for a 9-inch pie), and all manner of other baked goods. Best to order as far in advance as possible.
Comptoirs de France
With dozens of different Christmas products on offer, Comptoirs de France isn’t just about the French-style patisserie – there is something for everyone. Their offerings include chocolate Santas, gingerbread houses, mince pies, stollen, Christmas cookies, and yule logs. They do still have traditional French desserts such as the galette de rois, a flaky puff pastry stuffed with almond frangipane, eaten at epiphany (Jan 6).
Just because the weather is cold, doesn’t mean that there’s no place in your diet for a bit of ice cream. Vai Milano have introduced three Christmassy flavors of their unctuous Italian gelato: chocolate-hazelnut-caramel, Christmas panettone, and mascarpone and walnut. The gelatos are available in small, medium, and large portions (RMB 29/42/53) to eat in or take away. They are also selling their Christmas panettone for RMB 108 each.
Honorable mention: Pantry’s Best Christmas Surprise Cake (pictured at top)
Local bakery Pantry’s Best are back again this year with their truly fabulous festive surprise cakes. From the outside, they just look like ordinary frosted cakes, but once you cut into them, they reveal either a colorful Christmas tree or a cute snowman (see above). The Christmas tree is matcha cream cheese inside a red velvet cake, while the snowman is made of different flavors of mousse. Order online or through their WeChat Pantrysbest.
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Photos: Vai Milano, Pantry’s Best, Comptoirs, Jennie’s Oven
This post originally appeared on our sister-site thebeijinger.