Whether you are hosting or attending a holiday party this season, you may be tasked with bringing the sweets. We surveyed the local landscape for the yummiest yuletide yet! These Louisville bakeries and cafés can bail you out of your own kitchen, saving you time and hassle during the most wonderful time of the year.

Butchertown Grocery Bakery

Butchertown Grocery Bakery began in a 10’ by 14’ space adjacent to Butchertown Grocery’s upstairs lounge. But it didn’t stay there long. The flavor and craftsmanship of the breads, desserts, and pastries prepared by Chef Barbara Turner and her team led to a demand which could no longer be met in the small space. This fall, Butchertown Grocery Chef & Owner Bobby Benjamin expanded the operation, opening Butchertown’s first bakery, Butchertown Grocery Bakery at 743 East Main Street, just two blocks from the restaurant. It is a classic bakery with modern and regional touches, serving locally-roasted coffee from Goodfolks Coffee, along with beer, fresh-squeezed juice, kombuchas, and many other delightful beverage options. Guests can even purchase bottles of single barrel Kentucky bourbon. The chocolate program at the bakery features “flights” made from the single barrel selections as well.

The bakery and café is open from 7am to 7pm every day for breakfast and lunch service, offering  a wide array of selections for any time of day - breakfast and lunch sandwiches, salads, and soups are all on the menu. There are even options, such as chicken pot pie, to take home and heat for dinner. All breads and pastries are made fresh daily and include more than forty selections, such as baguettes, biscuits, buns, bialy, muffins, focaccia, tartes, cookies, and Valrhona chocolates. For the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, traditional American takeout items include pumpkin pie, banana pudding, chocolate chunk cookies by the dozen, and pecan pie. The bakery is a true extension of the restaurant, and shares its values: sourcing the finest ingredients, treating them with respect, exercising the proper technique, and serving the resulting menu items with hospitality and pride.

743 E Main St Louisville, KY 40202 | | (502) 742-8315

Nothing Bundt Cakes

Founders Dena Tripp and Debbie Shwetz started Nothing Bundt Cakes in 1997 after raves from family and friends for their decadent bundt cakes with real, uncompromised ingredients. Louisville franchise owners Christine and Tom Browne now have two Shelbyville Road locations, in St. Matthews and Middletown. With their bakery and retail spaces, customers are sure to find ideal holiday-themed gifts, host or hostess gifts, and cakes large and small for gatherings and parties. Nothing Bundt Cakes are available in 8” and 10” inch full-size cakes that may also be tiered to serve larger crowds. For individual portions, they offer Bundtlets, stacked Bundtlet Towers, and bite-sized Bundtinis®. The Featured Flavor for December is Snickerdoodle, to go along with their nine year-round flavor selections.

In addition to their delectable cake flavors, cake decorations and retail items have a festive flair this time of year. Bundtinis® are available with whimsical little cake toppers, such as Santa hats, trees, and even “ugly” Christmas sweaters! For the larger cakes, the decadent icing is crowned with a stunning red velvetine and jewel-encrusted poinsettia, sure to wow party guests. Browse their retail selection of holiday mugs and platters. Add some cake and have it wrapped beautifully for thoughtful, yet easy, gift-giving. Although customers are their top priority, Christine and Tom find ways to spread holiday cheer to those whom Christine calls “the heart of the business” - their hard-working staff. That good cheer is passed on to the customers through their delicious cakes and excellent service.

ST. MATTHEWS: (502) 835-2001 | 4505 Shelbyville Rd, Suite 100 Louisville, KY 40207
MIDDLETOWN: (502) 874-5848 | 12949 Shelbyville Rd, Suite 101 Louisville, KY 40243

Homemade Ice Cream & Pie Kitchen

Originally opened at 2525 Bardstown Road in the Highlands as a lunch counter in 1982, Homemade Ice Cream & Pie Kitchen became so beloved for its dessert options, scratch-made pies and ice cream, that they eventually took center stage and gave the business its name. Purchased in 2005 by Adam & Mary Lee Burckle, in the baking business since 1983, Homemade Ice Cream & Pie Kitchen has since expanded by customer demand to eight locations - six in Louisville neighborhoods, one in New Albany, Indiana, and the most recent in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. Each has the feel of an old time ice cream shop serving 32 flavors and over 100 other dessert selections, including pies, cakes, cookies, upside-down cupcakes and more.

For the autumn and winter, The Pie Kitchen offers more than two dozen pie choices which are available whole and by the slice, including the award-winning Dutch Apple Caramel Pie. Of the many cake options available, the most popular this time of year are the pumpkin roll and the yellow cake with caramel icing. Try the latter in-store in a smaller upside-down cupcake version. Decorated cookies come shaped as Santa Claus, snowmen, and Christmas trees; and cupcakes are decorated with holly wreaths. Seasonal ice cream flavors are maple nut, pumpkin, pumpkin praline, cinnamon, and turtle brownie. The Pie Kitchen family of more than 150 employees is proud to serve your family this holiday season and all year-round.

Multiple locations serving Louisville, Southern Indiana and Elizabethtown

Blue Dog Bakery & Café

Blue Dog Bakery & Café is a traditional European-style artisan bakery featuring world-class handcrafted breads, pastries, and viennoiseries, in addition to a full menu of breakfast and lunch items served in their full-service cafe. After opening over 21 years ago in the Crescent Hill neighborhood, Blue Dog quickly earned a reputation for having some of the best bread in the region, with a more traditional, natural, and rustic approach, which is immediately familiar to their European customers and those fortunate enough to have visited that continent. Their breads are available for sale in-house, as well as at retail locations throughout the city, and are served at several restaurants around town. Though the bakery is known and well-loved for its everyday high-quality breads, baked goods, and menu items, Blue Dog’s kitchen and bakery staff also work to feature seasonal offerings, which showcase local ingredients and fresh produce supplied by area farmers.

In addition to its more typical year-round selection of breads and pastries, Blue Dog also carries a full calendar of items designed around different holidays. The specialty cookie gift boxes are always a hit, and would make the perfect host or hostess gift, or contribution to a gathering of family and friends. Some of this year’s specialty holiday offerings are pull-apart dinner rolls, seasonal fruit galettes, and winter holiday cookie favorites, which will include: biscotti, Orange-Cardamom Sugar cookies, Soft Gingerbread “Tiles”, and Dark Chocolate Florentines with nuts and dried fruits. This is also the first year they will be making Bûche de Noël, a traditional French cake designed to look like a Yule Log, complete with meringue “mushrooms”, chocolate ganache “bark”, and pristine powdered sugar “snow”. Limited quantities are available by special order only; please be advised that all special orders require at least 48 business hours notice, and are subject to availability.

The bakery team works hard year-round, but the holidays are an especially busy time for both the front and back of house staff. Fortunately, everyone enjoys the time they spend together and the work that they do, and it shows. The products are clearly made with care, passion, and expertise; and the overall atmosphere throughout the establishment is warm, inviting, and cheerful, beloved by long-time regulars and new guests alike.

2868 Frankfort Ave Louisville, KY 40206 | | (502) 899-980

Plehn’s Bakery

Established in Louisville by Kuno Plehn as a traditional German bakery in 1924, Plehn’s Bakery has remained in the family for four generations. Over the years, their offerings have transitioned into those of a classic American bakery. Plehn’s Bakery was featured as one of only eighteen in a 2018 Southern Living Magazine article titled “The South’s Best Bakeries”. In addition to the bakery, Plehn’s has a deli serving homemade soups and chili to keep you warm this winter and homemade ice cream, including a seasonally-appropriate peppermint.

Plehn’s iced sugar cookies are a popular choice for children of all ages, with dreidels and Stars of David for Hanukkah and trees and stars for Christmas. Other cookie selections include thumbprints, ice box, anise-flavored springerles, rich Butter “S”s, coconut macaroons, sweet and spicy pfeffernusse, and chewy ginger Leb Kuchens. Don’t worry; if you have trouble deciding, order their assorted cookie trays. Cupcakes are decorated with red and green sprinkles and fun holiday toppers. For an old-fashioned or retro Christmas treat, serve one of their traditional plum puddings or change someone’s mind about fruitcake.

For the serious sweet tooth, look no further than the jam cake. This Kentucky-Tennessee specialty is a spice cake layered with seedless blackberry jam and swathed in a thick layer of decadent caramel icing. Decorated cakes for Christmas feature wreaths, poinsettias, presents, and Santa Claus. Plehn’s fruit and meringue pies are available, along with a pecan pie and chocolate pecan Triple Crown pie. Plehn’s Bakery appreciates your business this holiday season and beyond, and gives back to the community daily and year-round through Kentucky Harvest.

3940 Shelbyville Rd | St Matthews, KY 40207 | | (502) 896-4438

Posted on 2019-12-04 by By Dawn Anderson | Photos by Danny Alexander