Stacy Fortner's Favorite Sweets in Seattle


Kataifi cheesecake from Lola [Photograph: Herschell Taghap]

When it comes to sweets, Seattle is fully stocked with worthy options, from French bakeries, to South African sweets, to classy restaurant desserts. To hone in on some of the city's tastiest treats, we enlisted Stacy Fortner, who you may know as the Executive Pastry Chef at all of the Tom Douglas restaurants, including dahlia bakery.

Along with filling us in on some of her favorite sweets and desserts in Seattle, Stacy also gave us her top three picks on what to order for dessert at three Tom Douglas-owned restaurants.

Scroll down for all of Stacy's favorite sweets and desserts in Seattle.

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Stacy's Picks

Kringle at Nielson's Pastries: A hidden little gem of a bakery in lower Queen Anne. Since 1965 this bakery has been making the Kringle. Makes you feel like Christmas came early when you eat this. In the Denmark tradition, it is pretzel shaped, made of buttery danish pastry, and filled with almond, custard and raisins. This danish can be bought with apples, sliced or whole.

Bocconcino at The Fat Hen: At this cute little brunch spot, the bocconcino se are a steal at 85 cents each! Reminiscent of an amaretti, this walnut cookie can also satisfy those looking for a gluten-free treat.

Plum Danish

Plum danish from Cafe Besalu [Photograph: Jay Friedman]

Fruit Danish at Cafe Besalu: Always true to the season, this danish never disappoints. With a European style this laminated dough has a buttery crispy crunch. They bake in small batches, so the pastries are always warm and fresh here. If there is a line, (generally there's a line) trust me, it's worth the wait.

Vanilla Custard at Old School Frozen Custard: Keeping it perfectly simple, OSFC offers vanilla, chocolate and a daily flavor. Thick, rich, creamy and with less fat, this place makes you wonder why you ever started eating ice cream.

Terrina di Torrone at Spinasse: After dining on handmade pasta, enjoy the frozen torrone gelato terrine with honey caramel and candied hazelnuts.

Sesame Rice Balls at Sun Ya Seafood Restaurant: This is my go-to dim sum spot. Whenever I'm there, I have to have one of those sweet bean-filled, deep-fried glutenous rice balls. Free parking is a bonus.

Gateau de Riz from Le Pichet: This French rice pudding is baked in a caramel-lined pan and served sliced with seasonal fruit and cream. Although it is a menu classic, this elusive dessert is sometimes unavailable, so you might want to call ahead first.


Canelés from Honore Artisan Bakery [Photograph: Jay Friedman]

Canelés at Honore Artisan Bakery: This is one of the few places you can find French canelés. They are deliciously dark on the outside and custardy in the middle. Don't get there too early though or you will find yourself waiting.

Foie Gras Terrine at The Book Bindery: I love the space here.The dining room resembles a library reading room, looking into the winery. Inside is a beautiful greenhouse room with views of the canal. The only things that tops it is the food. Almost too pretty to eat, it tastes as delicious as it looks. I would be lying if I didn't tell you that my favorite thing to eat for dessert here is the Hudson Valley foie gras terrine with strawberry-muscat gelee! That counts as dessert, right? Order it with the black cardamom profiteroles; you won't be disappointed.

As for her own restaurants, at Lola, Stacy stands by the Kataifi cheesecake, saying it's a bit like a Greek cheesecake, with semolina pudding on the bottom and rose-scented greek yogurt mousse on top. It's currently served with Richter Farms red currants, orange and vanilla syrup, and spiced pistachio and almond kaitifi.

At Palace Kitchen, go with the blackberry cobbler, Stacy's tribute to Seattle's wild blackberries features blackberries tossed in a black currant and lavender syrup. And you can support City Fruit, an organization that preserves and distributes urban fruit trees to help feed low income residents, by ordering the crab apple pie at dahlia bakery, where bakers are transforming over 300 pounds of local crab apples into sweet, delicious pies.

About the author: Erin Jackson is a food writer and photographer who is obsessed with discovering the best eats in San Diego. You can find all of her discoveries on her San Diego food blog On Twitter, she's @ErinJax

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