Try These Four Sweet Spots in Madison

By Candice Wagener | Photography by Sunny Frantz

For those of us that love our baked goods, there’s no shortage of bakeries popping up around town. We’ve got some ideas for where to go the next time your sweet tooth is calling.


Since 2018, Susan Kay has been filling a niche in the bakery market in Madison with babka. This layered bread is made with a rich brioche dough, offered in over 35 varieties including sweet, savory and boozy, and with flavors like chocolate hazelnut, iced cranberry orange or rum-soaked cinnamon raisin streusel.

Kay makes her fillings in-house, using local ingredients like eggs, basil, pumpkin, rhubarb and maple syrup. The process of making babka takes 24 hours, creating a loaf consisting of “many layers, twists and turns throughout,” says Kay. Although [bayk] may be the only place baking babka in Madison, you can find their loaves at their online shop, retail store on the east side (Thursdays only), Metcalfe’s, Brennan’s and the Monroe Street Farmers’ Market.


Although New Glarus’s The House Cafe & Bakery is only open for takeout and phone orders currently (indoor dining is closed), their bakery case still touts specialties that are not to be missed, many of which are vegan and gluten-free. The hazelnut cream pie is a diner favorite: house-made graham crackers compose the crust, which is filled with a thin layer of chocolate ganache, then espresso chocolate pudding filling folded with heaping scoops of fresh hazelnut butter, and the entire pie is topped with a layer of pure coconut cream. “It’s a pretty rich and velvety-smooth dessert that is perfectly sweet and suitable for many dietary needs,” says owner Kaylee Walters.


State Street’s newest bakery holds treats that are both delicious and gorgeous. The mousse cakes are wondrous: crafted into shapes like green apple, tangerine or mango and accompanied by the same flavored filling, these flavorful treats are then dipped in white chocolate which forms a shell for fruitful art.

Le C’s is known for their Japanese cheese souffle cake and a variety of Asian treats. Pair your dessert with one of the many bubble tea offerings and your indulgence will be complete.

Owner (and cake baker) Quinny Chen says, “We just want people to try our stuff. It may be very different from what you expected, but it won’t disappoint you.”


It’s what you’ll say after your first bite, but the name has a deeper meaning. Owner Yeng Yang wanted to honor his mom, Mee Xiong, who ran Yang’s Fresh Produce stand at the Dane County Farmers’ Market for three decades (while raising eight children).

Yummee has both a storefront on University Avenue and a stand at the Dane County Farmers’ Market. Your best bet is their trademark Famous Ooey Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie, a six-ounce cookie that’s crisp on the outside with oozing chocolate and cookie goodness on the inside. If you lean toward savory, try their Hot and Spicy Cheese Bread. Don’t miss out on their selection of bubble teas, either.

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