Halloween in Charleston can be a scary time of year, but not because of all the ghost tours and haunted houses. The potential damage that all of the different bakeries and dessert shops around town are poised to inflict upon our waistlines is what's truly frightening. Whether you're looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth, an appropriately decadent gift for someone special, or goodies for the neighborhood trick-or-treaters, Charleston's bakeries have got you covered this Halloween.
Take Sugar Bakeshop at 59 1/2 Cannon Street (843-579-2891). In anticipation of an unseasonably warm October, owners Bill Bowick and David Bouffard are offering a new pumpkin ice cream with a ginger crystal garnish. As Bowick explains, "People always tend to think of October and fall as chilly, but the truth of the matter is that people will still come in here hot and looking to cool off, which gave us the idea for this new pumpkin treat." The ice cream is made with fresh pumpkins.
If you're looking for something a bit more traditionally in the spirit of Halloween than ice cream, WildFlour Pastry (73 Spring St. 843-327-2621) is whipping up a classic Halloween dirt cake. Pudding and crushed Oreos are layered in glass mason jars so you can see all the gummy worms wriggling inside. While dirt cake has been available at WildFlour for some time, this is the first year it's being offered with a Halloween theme, according to baker Courtney Culver.
Need a hostess gift for a Halloween party? A chocolate sculpture from Christophe Chocolatier-Patisserie (90 Society St. 843-297-8674) might just do the trick. These hand-painted sculptures can be either 100 percent solid chocolate (like the nearly life-sized human skull) or hollowed out and stuffed with even more chocolates and candies. Co-owner Carly Paume also tells us that their new French pumpkin macaroons are quickly becoming a customer favorite.
Sarah Stewart, operational manager at Cupcake on King Street (843-853-8181), expects their unique caramel apple cupcakes to be the talk of the town this month. These sweet treats are made from apple-spiced cake with a cheesecake filling and topped off with caramel cream cheese icing. Cupcake also does a signature array of spooky mini cupcakes and holiday sugar cookies.
The Village Bakery's (125 Pitt St. Mt. Pleasant 843-216-6771) most popular Halloween item is no doubt the sugar cookies, which are decorated by hand for all the different holiday seasons. According to General Manager Amy Hog, these cookies, which are made to order in individual bags topped with bows, are always a hit for moms and dads who need to either provide snacks for the next sports practice or offer something yummy to trick-or-treaters. Halloween-colored whoopie pies and cupcakes are also quite popular.
Craving a donut? Glazed on King Street (843-577-5557) offers a scrumptious selection of donuts year-round, and as baker Tim Fritsch puts it, "you can pretty much always count on walking in during any holiday season, and getting a donut in the spirit of things." The pumpkin glazed donuts are probably the most popular fall item. They are baked with real pumpkin mixed into the cake batter, topped with cream cheese frosting, and garnished with a pumpkin-spiced dulce de leche drizzle. The chocolate creme pies are already being made with spider-web icing, and as All Hallow's Eve draws nearer, expect to see more and more donuts at Glazed being decorated similarly.