Confession time: I am writing this on a sugar high.
When I got the assignment to track down some of the country’s best sweets available for online ordering, I took my research seriously, which involved a good deal of tasting. (I know, tough job, but somebody had to do it.)
Based on the recommendations of food writers, friends and my own diligent investigation (er, consumption), I’ve come up with 15 sweet choices sure to satisfy any and all cravings. Get ready to do some ordering!
Batter & Cream
When I opened the FedEx box that arrived from Batter & Cream, all I could smell was chocolate and sweet goodness. As I unwrapped the beautifully presented package containing these delectable handmade whoopie pies, I fully intended to save a couple (OK, maybe one) for my husband to sample when he got home. Unfortunately (for him), once I started, I proceeded to eat Every. Single. One. In my defense, it was a sampler size.
I didn’t even think I liked whoopie pies, but these aren’t your ordinaries.
Elizabeth Fife, founder and CEO of Manhattan’s Batter & Cream, has created an array of gourmet flavors, including chocolate peanut butter pretzel, banana salted caramel, lemon sage, carrot cake, coffee mocha, strawberry basil, cookie dough, s’mores and many more.
The cake portion is tender and perfectly baked, while the cream filling is delicately light and fluffy; the proportions are perfectly balanced. When your order arrives, hopefully, you won’t eat the entire package in one sitting. But I won’t blame you if you do.
For caramel lovers, these are a must-order. Rich, buttery and made fresh from all-natural ingredients, with no additives or preservatives, these tasty caramels are the real deal. (They’re even Kosher and gluten free.) Try the sampler featuring all six flavors: vanilla, sea salt, chocolate sea salt, butter rum, café caramel and caramel apple. (My absolute favorite? Sea salt.)
Each hand-crafted morsel is individually wrapped with an inspirational quote. The presentation is classy and elegant, making these perfect for giving. They also handle custom orders; talk about a great wedding favor! You can feel good about the fact that Good Karmal (created by siblings Patty Triplett West and Stephen Triplet in Bozeman, Montana), donates a portion of all sales to environmental charities, or you can just feel good about the fact that they are incredibly delicious.
DŌ, Cookie Dough Confections
To all my fellow cookie dough fanatics who love eating the dough as much—or-more—than the cookies themselves, your wish has been granted. Company founder Kristen Tomlan, based in NYC, invented a cookie dough recipe that is completely safe to eat raw, thanks to the use of a pasteurized egg product and heat-treated flour that eliminates any chance of salmonella or food-borne illness. Every order of DŌ is freshly made and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three weeks and up to three months in the freezer. And if you do decide to bake it, that works, too!
I recommend their Best Seller 4-Pack, which includes 8-ounce containers of the following flavors:
Signature Chocolate Chip
Cake Batter: cake batter + sprinkles + white chips + chocolate chips
Heavenly: sugar cookie + Nutella + chocolate chips + caramel bits + sea salt
Confetti: signature + sprinkles + white chips + chocolate chips
Discount code for 10 percent off: OCALA10
Valid through March 31, 2017
Kermit’s Key Lime Pie
I make a mean key lime pie, right down to the hand-squeezed limes and homemade graham cracker crust. But, alas, I am not in the business of selling pies, so if you don’t want to make one yourself and want the absolute best, order yours from Kermit’s Key West Lime Shoppe. It’s been named the “Best-Tasting Key Lime Pie” by Food Network’s Keith Famie’s Adventures. And, they’re based in Key West, Florida.
Made with tart key limes, topped with fluffy whipped cream and nestled in a graham cracker crust, this sweet, rich delight arrives ready to eat. Pies are baked fresh daily and shipped overnight packed with dry ice. Choose from original or strawberry key lime pie—or get both.
Flourless Chocolate & Coffee Torte
Sometimes life calls for a little extravagance. This torte rises to the occasion. Classic flavors come together in a dense marriage of quality chocolates, espresso and Kahlua coffee liqueur. It’s also gluten free.
Rich as it is, this 8-inch diameter torte is supposed to serve 14 to 16, but I prefer bigger slices than that. It’s shipped frozen, so just pop it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it. The torte is best served chilled or after sitting at room temperature for 15 or 20 minutes. It’s excellent with a cup of good coffee after dinner or for breakfast.
The Cakewich Collection
If some of your favorite childhood memories include snack cakes, Cake Monkey Bakery will be right up your alley. Los Angeles-based Lisa J. Olin (owner/cake lover) and Elizabeth Belkind (executive pastry chef/partner/cake lover) teamed up to offer upscale versions of classic snacks made with all-natural, gourmet ingredients. With plenty of flavors, you’re sure to find your perfect combination of cake, filling and frosting. You can even customize your order.
Try their best-selling “Cakewich Collection,” a 12-piece or 16-piece assortment, featuring the following (each treat is individually wrapped):
Black & White Cakewich:Chocolate cake sandwich filled with vanilla buttercream, chocolate crunchy pearls and hand dipped in semi-sweet chocolate
Raspberry Red Velvet Cakewich: Red velvet cake sandwich filled with raspberry buttercream, hand dipped in semi-sweet chocolate
Peanut Butter/Marshmallow Cakewich: Vanilla cake sandwich filled with peanut butter buttercream, house-made marshmallow and hand dipped in semi-sweet chocolate
Peppermint Cakewich: Chocolate cake sandwich filled with pink mint buttercream, crushed peppermint candies and hand dipped in semi-sweet chocolate
(877) 640-CAKE (2253)
Little Pie Company
Sure, you could make your own, but will you? And will it look and taste like this? Little Pie Company delivers fresh homemade pies made from locally sourced ingredients poured into hand-pinched crusts and baked in small-batch steel ovens.
Their signature pie, the best-selling Sour Cream Apple Walnut Pie, is chock-full of thinly sliced Granny Smith apples and sour cream and topped with a rich golden brown sugar, cinnamon and walnut streusel. Rachael Ray Every Day named it a “Blue Ribbon Winner” and the NY Daily News’s Best of New York declared it the “Best Apple Pie in New York.”
Little Pie Company makes numerous other must-try choices, including an uber chocolately Mississippi Mud Pie, featuring imported Belgian chocolate, brownie streusel and a chocolate glaze in a chocolate cookie crust.
Aunt Sally’s Pralines
If you’re from Louisiana, you pronounce it “praw-leen,” but most everywhere else people say, “pray-leen.” It doesn’t really matter how you say it once you put this sweet delicacy in your mouth.
Aunt Sally’s has two locations in New Orleans and has been making pralines the traditional Creole way since 1935. From the first sugary, pecan-laden nibble, these authentic pralines taste like the South, which they should, as they’re made with fresh cream, cane sugar and Louisiana pecans. For the record, they’re 100 percent gluten free and Kosher.
Billed as New Orleans’ “most famous praline,” these delightful candies come in creamy and original. As an equal opportunity praline fan, I loved both.
Wicked Good Cupcakes
It’s true. These truly are wicked good. These amazingly tasty cupcakes-in-jars were created when the Massachusetts-based mother-daughter team of Tracey Noonan and Danielle Vilagie were besieged with requests to ship their delicious cupcakes from their shop.
Because traditional cupcakes don’t ship well, Tracey and Danielle came up with the idea of filling jars with layers of fresh-baked cake, frosting and filling. When their product debuted on ABC’s popular reality show Shark Tank in April 2013, the duo struck a deal with Kevin O’Leary.
Their National (Security) Velvet is a best seller, and after one taste of the red velvet cake layered with homemade cream cheese buttercream frosting, I can see why. Chocolate lovers will appreciate the incredibly decadent Chocolate Lab, featuring chocolate cake with rich chocolate ganache and chocolate buttercream. There are numerous other favorites, plus seasonal flavors, so your sweet choices are almost endless.
Harry & David’s Signature Baklava
When you’re craving authentic baklava, you don’t have to find a Greek bakery or go through the trouble of trying to make it yourself. Harry & David, the gourmet food and fruit gifts company, makes a winner.
This customer favorite is the result of years of perfecting the just-right recipe. This melt-in-your-mouth treat is created with 60 (yes, 60!) delicate phyllo pastry leaves layered with minced walnuts, butter, cinnamon, honey and a dash of lemon.
Harry & David (named for the Rosenberg brothers from Southern Oregon) was one of the country’s earliest catalog mail order companies, and its reputation remains stellar. The Signature Baklava is one of the reasons why.
Crispycake Gourmet Marshmallow Crispy Treats
Since 1995, The Crispery, owned by Steven and Judy Soldinger in Virginia, has been satisfying sweet cravings with their upscale version of a beloved childhood treat—the marshmallow rice crispy treat.
Gooey and sweet, with a perfect crunch, Crispycakes are individually wrapped and come in more than 20 flavors. One of their best sellers is Cookies & Cream, a 3.5-inch by 3.5-inch by 2-inch-high treat featuring America’s favorite cookie on top and filled with cookies and cream chunks in the middle. Their other top seller is Rainbow Sprinkles, a colorful Crispycake topped with colorful sprinkles.
You can get holiday and special occasion Crispycakes, too, as well as sampler gift boxes and corporate gifts.
Butter & Scotch Bourbon Ginger Pecan Pie
Keavy Landreth and Allison Kave teamed up to develop Butter & Scotch, a bar and bakery in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, where you can indulge in cocktails as well as dreamy desserts. Fortunately for us, they also ship one of their most popular items—the Bourbon Ginger Pecan Pie.
Winner of the annual Brooklyn Pie Bake-Off, this killer creation boasts a flaky all-butter crust filled with maple custard, organic Texas pecans, a hefty shot of bourbon and three types of ginger: fresh, dried and candied.
This pie has garnered rave reviews from virtually every food expert in the Big Apple, so it’s only fitting that you treat yourself or someone you love.
You don’t have to visit New York to enjoy the city’s best cheesecake. Founded by Harry Rosen in 1950, Junior’s Restaurant became known for the best New York-style cheesecake. They use the same recipe today, combining premium cream cheese, fresh heavy cream, eggs and a touch of vanilla. Ingredients are hand-blended in small batches and mixed for over 40 minutes.
Can’t make up your mind? Order the Best of Juniors Four-Flavor Sampler, with one quarter cake each of Original New York Plain, Raspberry Swirl, Brownie Marble Swirl and Apple Crumb for approximately three pounds of cheesecake goodness.
This NYC-based company calls itself “Generation Y’s answer to the old-American bake shop.” Launched by Zachary “Schmackary” Schmahl in 2011, Schmackary’s offers a remarkable assortment of reimagined classics and innovative seasonal flavors. These “Lip Schmakin’ good” cookies can be ordered in pre-designed cookie “flights,” or you can customize your own. They also offer “schmalls,” which are bite-sized versions of the original cookies.
You can’t go wrong with the best-selling Funfetti, a sugar cookie base with rainbow sprinkles and vanilla cream cheese frosting, or the Classic Chocolate Chip, made with semi-sweet chocolate chips and topped with sea salt.
Boston Cream Pie Company
When you’re searching for the best, go to the source. For Boston Cream Pie, that means Boston.
Boston Cream Pie Company offers a half-dozen pie options. Purists will love their famous classic made with two layers of yellow sponge cake, filled with cream and covered in rich chocolate. Another best seller is the Peanut Butter Cup BCPC, featuring the classic made even richer by covering it with broken Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
All pies are frozen before shipping and sent with an ice pack; your pie arrives ready to eat.