It's been said before that if Hoosiers know how to do one thing expertly, it's eat good food. Restaurants are great, but what if you have a hankering for something out of the oven? Or perhaps you're looking for an Indiana bakery to do your wedding cake? Check out these 10 amazing bakeries either located or started right here in the Hoosier State.
Amish-founded Rise'n Roll is a fixture among northern Hoosiers and some Chicago dwellers. What began as a small porch-front operation of an Amish couple grew and grew and grew into a northern Indiana enterprise with franchises in Fort Wayne, Mishawaka, and their home store of Middlebury, just to name a few.
It isn't every day you see a church listed amongst bakeries, but consumers from all over the country have called the baked goods offered by St. Athanasius Church the best on the planet. As a Byzantine Catholic Church, which translates to “steeped in ancient old-world tradition,” St. Athanasius specializes in Eastern European baked goods and confections, such as kolach, pierogi, biscotti, and fruit-and-nut rolls, each bursting with the same flavors enjoyed by generations before. Order online and either have it shipped to you or pick them up from the church in Indianapolis.
For a German dining experience like no other, visit the Heidelberg Haus, which is a bakery, café, and general store. Their bakery specialty is their springerle cookies, which are labor intensive and difficult to make at home. The interior of the building is the epitome of intimate and cozy, with every inch of the building being occupied by some curiosity or another. Rooms down the hall bear odds and ends, gifts, trinkets, and a few specialty German groceries. In the front rooms, also packed with goodies for your eyes to look for, mismatched café tables in irregular placement offer a truly homey dining experience. If you love German culture and cuisine, Heidelberg Haus is a definite must-visit!
Acclaimed baker and cake decorator Tanya Marshall owns Heavenly Sweets Bakery in Noblesville and is the toast of the confectionery world. Her soft and delicious cakes robed in pillowy buttercream have met with rave reviews from more-than-satisfied customers. Birthday, special occasion, wedding, and just-because cakes are all crafted with the utmost care, just for you. Tanya has been featured on the Food Network in their program “Clash of the Grandmas,” and her cake shop has been awarded Weddingwire's Couples' Choice Award last year—her wedding cakes are truly inspiring to behold, and brides and grooms from all over sing the praises of this central Indiana baker.
Since the end of World War II, Hart Bakery in west Indianapolis has won loyal customers daily with their expertly-baked specialty breads, rolls, and cakes. A crowd favorite is their crown potato bread, which sells out quickly every time. “Uncle Joe,” the original owner and baker, returned from World War II to open his bakery, and in 1968 hired a baker to work with him that would eventually become Indiana's only female certified master baker. In 1992, the bakery came under new ownership, but they're still “on the rise” and going strong with their original recipes and impressive occasion cakes.
A tightly-quartered gift shop in front and bakery/kitchen in the back, the General Store and Bakery is a fixture in the Nashville day-cation experience. Fruit bread seems to be their specialty, but they boast their deep-fried biscuits served with made-in-house apple butter. Their selection is impressive, including pies, rolls, and spiced breakfast-type pastries as well. The general store is a bit of a squeeze, but there's something in every nook and cranny, so keep your eyes peeled for that perfect souvenir, gift, or home accent (hope you like tin-stars!).
All right all you cookie monsters out there, this one is for YOU! Aunt Beth's Cookies in the northern town of Mishawaka is a made-from-scratch, no-added-preservatives, baked-the-old-fashioned-way-since-nineteen-secret cookie bakery. Twenty-one varieties of cookies currently sit on the menu awaiting your sweet tooth, as well as 13 delicious muffin flavors. Although “Aunt Beth” is no longer the baker-in-chief, she left the business in the capable hands of a Certified Culinarian and his business partner, a successful entrepreneur local to the area. Can't choose which flavor to sink your sweet tooth into? Good news, Aunt Beth's offers variety packs.
This one is definitely much more than a bakery, but their baked goods are out of this world, according to regular customers. The Blue Gate is an enterprise. Bearing the Blue Gate name are a restaurant, bakery, inn, shopping center, and theater. The bakery provides the baked goods for the restaurant as well as their gift basket enterprise, made from scratch in-house the Amish way. Stop by for a sugary energy boost for the second half of your shopping spree, sit down and have a delicious meal before seeing a show at the theater, or purchase baked goods and preserves to take home and remember your Shipshe Shop.
All right, folks, this one is truly fantastic. Fancy Fortune Cookies in Indy makes one thing, and one thing only. Fortune cookies. That combination confection and “toy,” almost, that gives its owner a mildly sweet taste and a surprise message. We all love them. So do the bakers, who have updated this time-honored post-meal treat into a colorful, flavorful, even sparkling array of goodies. You can have them dipped in chocolate and sprinkles or sugar crystals, or—oh joy!—order a giant one dipped in chocolate and dotted with 3D roses! They offer a Chinese New Year package, Mother's Day specials, and even bridal shower bundles. It's a feast for your eyes as well as your sweet tooth, with each pack sporting a rainbow of colors that sparkle and shine like so many jewels. Go ahead, take a crack at these amazing cookies!
It's a central Indiana institution and a Muncie tradition. “Let's go get some Concannon's.” This bakery, café, and coffee shop isn't exactly a bargain basement, but is worth the extra “dough” you might spend. It's friendly, laid-back, and brightly lit with natural light, with just a hint of bygone era in the coffee shop décor and interior decorating. Their flavored popcorn that comes in a rainbow of colors is a popular fundraiser for schools, local groups, and charities, and Muncie-area birthday parties are likely to feature a Concannon's original birthday cake. Their fun and colorful tea cookies make a delightful gift for any occasion or as a tasty nibble for your own tea party. Want to make a Ball State student's day? Give them a gift certificate to Concannon's. After tough tests, long papers, and difficult projects, a Concannon's treat is the perfect pick-me-up.
Lucky for our readers, there are hiking trails, gardens, and running races to help you work off the evidence of your confectionery indulgences, but don't let the sugar content of these amazing baked goods shy you away from eating up. Hoosiers are amazing bakers, and after you sample some of our oven-fresh goodies, you're likely to agree!