SubscribeCurrent Magazine Cover

Sugar Rush

Pie waited out the cupcake craze, yawned disinterestedly during the brief reign of doughnuts and French macarons, and, now, it invites us all to have a slice. These local spots bake it up right.

The secret to Erika Cunha’s delectable pies? She handcrafts each one individually, never doubling a recipe. “People think I’m crazy,” Cunha says, but even when faced with hundreds of orders, she still mixes and rolls out her crusts one at a time. Don’t miss the pumpkin crème brûlée on a shortbread crust—it’s lighter and airier than traditional pumpkin pie. 1535 Central St., 303-477-8088,

The name may be Cake, but this Highland bakery knows pie. The bakeshop loads its flaky, all-butter crusts with fall flavors like sweet potato, pumpkin, and pecan. Fresh produce means the pies are always decadent but never syrupy sweet. Tip: Plan accordingly—most of Cake’s pies are only available whole. 3832 Tennyson St., 720-524-7362,

This longtime Lakewood bakery and deli makes 25-plus pies each day. Thanks to the butter-and-shortening-infused crusts, you can’t go wrong with any choice you make, but the grasshopper and the festive brandy nut are especially decadent. Bonus: Order your slice à la mode. 3333 S. Wadsworth Blvd., Lakewood, 303-986-6240,

Every Tuesday, Boulder’s Walnut Cafe takes a dollar off its slices, which makes treating yourself even sweeter. Pies are baked fresh each morning, and flavors such as lemon Shaker (made with thinly sliced lemons housed in a melt-in-your-mouth crust) disappear early in the day. Claim your piece at breakfast and have it wrapped to go—or eat it right away. 3073 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-447-2315,

Sign Up For Our Newsletters

All things Colorado delivered straight to your inbox.

Sign Up

Sugar Rush

With summer activities in full swing, there’s nothing like rewarding ourselves after a grueling hike or a long ride. And for us, that means ordering a righteous dessert. Here, five of our go-to treats.

Banana Fluffernutter Cake
Twelve Restaurant’s menu changes monthly, but when the banana fluffernutter cake makes an appearance, don’t pass it up. East Coasters already know Marshmallow Fluff’s miraculous ability to plump up an ordinary peanut butter sandwich. Here, chef-owner Jeff Osaka introduces Denver to the spreadable confection by sandwiching a light banana cake with a liberal smear of house-made fluff before finishing it with a dense and oh-so-good peanut butter mousse. 2233 Larimer St., 303-293-0287,

Cream Puffs
Nario and Sachiko Young of Rocky Treats Bakery & Creperie have made it their business to elevate the cream puff’s status. One bite of these delicate puffs and rich custard, and you’ll understand why, in other cities, the profiterole is the new cupcake. The Youngs offer seven fillings—from chocolate to green tea—but we prefer the vanilla bean custard and the summery strawberry. 9245 S. Broadway, Unit 300, Highlands Ranch, 303-683-3178,

Pizza Dolce
Ever since Marco’s Coal-Fired Pizzeria opened two years ago, we’ve been fans of the Nutella pie. But a recent trip to Naples inspired owner Mark Dym to also place the pizza dolce on his menu. The dessert arrives with Marco’s trademark crust smeared with sweetened ricotta, a drizzle of honey, and toasted almonds. 2129 Larimer St., 303-296-7000,

S’mores Pot de Crème
Rioja’s pastry chef, Eric Dale, knows that no one can resist s’mores, so he smartly riffs on that classic combo by combining heavenly dark chocolate custard with house-made graham crackers and gooey, brûleéd, house-made marshmallow. You’ll scrape the cup’s bottom clean and find new reverence for the campfire treat. 1431 Larimer St., 303-820-2282,

P.B. D Bar
For those who believe that chocolate was invented to pair with peanuts, this dessert’s for you. D Bar Desserts owners Keegan Gerhard and Lisa Bailey’s P.B. D Bar is an otherworldly experience of Little Debbie Nutty Bars, chocolate, caramel, orange confit, and peanuts. The textures—crispy, creamy, and crunchy—are all there, plus you’ll detect an unexpected hint of zesty orange. 1475 E. 17th Ave., 303-861-4710,

This article was originally published in 5280 July 2010.
Amanda M. Faison
Amanda M. Faison
Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.