Fragrant cakes, puddings and other rich offerings that emerge from warm ovens are intrinsic to the Christmas spirit. Fortunately, Delhi’s bakery scene is buzzing—from those that go back a couple of generations to relatively new kids on the block, these bake houses and patisseries offer everything from warm breads to gooey pastries in flavours and textures that set taste buds tingling. Here’s a list of our top picks for the flakiest croissant for breakfast, an indulgent dessert or a moist cake for a high tea with friends.
This iconic establishment is the first ever bakery to open its doors in Delhi, and ever since, Wenger’s has stayed on top of the list! Come Christmas and you can spot a long line of customers at Wenger’s who queue up for their moist, juicy plum cake that literally flies off the shelves. It is everything you expect from a Christmas cake—the punch from the rum, the crunch of the dry fruits and that first bite which reminds you of the big day. No surprises here.
Opened almost 100 years ago by a Swiss couple who introduced Delhi, the then British capital to delicate pastries and freshly baked French bread, it was patronized mostly by the British at that time and was also an elegant restaurant and ballroom. Today customers from all over the city beat their path to its doors for its huge selection—70 varieties of pastries and about 30 kinds of cakes, so we will not blame you if you get confused with your order. Their chocolate nut and chocolate truffle cakes are best sellers. They also do an excellent selection of savories like patties and breads. And the surprise is the super tasty Shaami kebab, perfect for slapping between two slices of fresh bread when you are hungry. Be warned, on holidays, you might have to queue up to pick your order.
Address: A-16, Inner Circle Connaught Place
The Big Chill Cakery
If cakes and ice cream are your weakness, then head to this bakery, which has become an institution in its own right. A chocolate-y aroma intermingled with the fragrance of freshly baked desserts wafts in the air the moment you walk in. The hot sellers at Big Chill Cakery, as with the parent resto The Big Chill café, are the succulent banoffee pie, chocolate mousse, cheesecake, apple crumble and chocolate mud cake. The Big Chill Cakery in Khan Market is an offshoot of the popular restaurant, whose selection of cakes and pastries were in so much demand, that they decided to devote a separate outlet to them. While two others have opened in Noida and Gurgaon, our vote goes to the one in Khan. They have a range of ice creams as well.
Address: 3-B, Khan Market
Theobroma—bakery, patisserie, cafe
Literally translated, Theobroma means food of gods in Greek and this bakery certainly lives up to that name. It has a cult following in Mumbai for its gooey Millionaire chocolate brownie—which is a regular, rich chocolate brownie with caramel and a thick layer of chocolate, making it deliciously dense. This one will certainly go down in history. Launched in Delhi a few years ago, Theobroma has become such a hit that it has already set up more than 15 outlets in NCR. Their varieties of brownies include red velvet, chocolate chip, walnut and oreo—each worth a try. The cakes and pastries come with a twist—think vodka flavoured green chilly mousse cake, the Parsi-favourite Mawa cake and moist orange juice cake. There are fresh fruit tarts and savories as well.
Several outlets across the city including Saket, Connaught Place, Greater Kailash 2, Defence Colony, Punjabi Bagh, Cyberhub and more.
Also read: Theobroma's Kainaz Messman on the Christmas of her Childhood
When you are craving for a croissant, macaroon, baguette, or tart, then make your way to L’Opera that transports you to the streets of Paris from the first bite – after all, its hallmark is its traditional recipes. Started in 2010 by a French couple who longed for these staples from their home country after they moved to Delhi, they stand out from the rest due to their attention to detail while turning flour, butter and water into delicacies. Strict vegetarians note, there is also a range of eggless products. They have more than 15 bakeries in the city, but for an elegant experience, go to the latest one in Basant Lok market, which is a fancy tea room called ‘Salon De Thé’. Spread over two floors, it’s plush interiors are reminiscent of France in its heyday - carved ornate wood furniture, marble top tables, a glittering chandelier and portraits depicting Paris. Apart from the delectable pastry selection, they offer French classics like Croque Madame and Monsieur, goat cheese tarts, sandwiches and even a breakfast selection of French Toast and more.
Several outlets across the city including Basant Lok, Khan Market, Vasant Kunj, New Friends Colony, Green Park & more.
Elma’s Bakery and Kitchen
This charming bakery in Hauz Khas Village won fame for introducing Delhi to moist, fluffy and soft red velvet cake which have become synonymous with it. The large pastry section offers a range of tempting desserts and cakes- the carrot cake and coffee walnut are winners and hit the spot. With Christmas approaching, do not miss the Hot Apple Pie to beat the chill in the air. What we love is that they offer a selection of English dishes, some of which are not that easily available in the city. Think Shepard’s Pie, Mac & Cheese, Fish & Chips and the classic high tea which includes a pot of tea and the quintessential three-tiered cake stand with sandwiches, brownies and puff pastries. So, enjoy a typical English meal at Elma’s, replete with old world Victorian charm.
Address: Hauz Khas Village and Meharchand Market, Lodhi Colony
The Artful Baker
Where else in the city can you lay your hands on a cruffin—a cross between a croissant and a muffin? Invented by an Australian chef, this flaky croissant comes in the shape of a muffin. At the Artful Baker they make it in three flavours—red velvet, Nutella and salted caramel. Apart from regular staples, the pastry selection at this enchanting little bakery has unusual items such as Maracuja which has a milk chocolate coconut base with passion fruit mousse and pineapple jam. Be sure to try the Monte Cristo, a really smooth Belgian chocolate mousse with hazelnut feuillantine. The Christmas selection of desserts includes plum cake, of course. The Vasant Vihar branch opens at 7 am so you can have your croissant (Pain au Chocolat is a favourite) and coffee on the go as you head to work!
Address: Khan Market and Vasant Vihar