A Spoonful of Sugar: Winter Park/Eatonville Sweet Spots
Your sweet destiny awaits at these special shops in Winter Park and Eatonville.
The Glass Knife
276 S. Orlando Ave., Winter Park
Visitors to The Glass Knife are nearly as charmed by the darling pink building as the delectables served inside. The bakery/restaurant pays homage to a bygone era of elegance and hospitality, with its emphasis on gracious service and beautiful creations. The name was inspired by a collection of Depression-era glass knives amassed by owner Steve Brown’s mother. The recipes are also family tradition, both from Brown and Chef Stuart Whitfield. The Glass Knife is truly a one-stop shop for all of your bakery needs. Looking for sumptuous, show-stopper layer cakes for a special occasion? No problem. Choose from classics such as Southern Red Velvet, Carrot, Berries and Cream and more.
There are also a fantastical array of petite cakes that serve one (or two, if you’re willing to share.) If donuts are your guilty pleasure, stop by to try a myriad of flavors incorporating the bakery’s 24-hour brioche or cake, depending on the variety. Delicate pastry creations, including the coffee and salted caramel-kissed Chocolate Onyx, are worth every indulgent calorie. There is also a collection of lunchbox-inspired sweets, like oatmeal pies. Get there early for the best selection; you can also tuck into breakfast and lunch seven days a week as well as brunch on the weekends. -BF
Donut Central and Fuelpresso
495 North Semoran Blvd., Unit 1, Winter Park
This cute spot on North Semoran Boulevard in Winter Park is part donut shop and part coffee house. Donut Central offers over thirty flavors of donuts daily, including Maple Bacon and Chocolate Butterfinger. Their donuts are fluffy and pull apart easily, and the popular flavors sell out quickly. Donut Central and Fuelpresso also offer delivery, and the quality upon arrival is topnotch. If you stop by, don’t leave without a drink from Fuelpresso Craft Coffee and Roasters. From drip coffee to French Press, Pour Over to Nitro Cold Brew, there is a style to fit every palate. Our suggestion: arrive early, get a Fruity Pebble with Cereal Milk Icing Donut (or three) and pair it with a cappuccino! –CW
Light on the Sugar
4270 Aloma Ave., Winter Park
Tucked into an unassuming spot in Winter Park, Light on the Sugar Bakery Cafe offers a wide array of pastries and sweets as well as coffee and tea. Many of the pastries, while classic in nature, take inspiration from traditional Asian flavors, such as matcha and ube—both of which are enjoying a bit of a moment. Cream puffs and crepe cakes are the reigning stars of their ‘Gram feed, but guests can also pop in for panna cotta, souffle-style cheesecakes, Portuguese egg tarts and more. Wash the delicacies down with a Lavender Lemonade, an Earl Gray Cream or Tiger Sugar Latte. -BF
300 Park Ave., South, Winter Park
It’s hard to resist the sublime scent of chocolate that wafts through the doors of Peterbrooke Chocolatier in Winter Park. Then again, why resist? There’s something for every sweet tooth within this candy mecca known for its milk chocolate coated popcorn, dark chocolate-dipped strawberries, and European-style truffles created with sustainably farmed cacao. Head chocolatier Zulmarie Belvis runs the kitchen that produces these delectable gems, as well as whimsical indulgences like chocolate-coated crispy bacon.
The store’s European-style candies follow the Swiss process that uses more cocoa butter for an ultra-creamy texture, Belvis says. Truffles come in all flavors, some seasonally. One favorite has been the Black-and-Tan truffle made with dark chocolate ganache and stout beer. The white chocolate strawberry-balsamic truffle earns raves, too. Sweet-salty craving? Dig into the chocolate heart stuffed with popcorn. Engaged couples, take note: you can have your wedding wine and eat your chocolate, too. Peterbrooke custom dips your wine or Champagne bottle—wrapped in food-safe plastic—in white or dark chocolate. Just pop the cork, peel off the plastic, sip and nibble. Other celebratory specialties: bride-and-groom chocolate-dipped Oreos, berries and pretzel rods. We believe “Peanuts” cartoonist Charles M. Schulz nailed it when he said, “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” – JH
513 South Park Ave., Winter Park
Gelato-Go is a franchise that started in South Beach, Miami in 2013, but the Winter Park, Park Avenue location is run by two Orlando residents who originally hail from Italy. This wife and husband duo serve some of the most delicious gelato in Central Florida. They make all of the gelato on-site, and are currently serving from a temporary window on their storefront. The real standouts at Gelato-Go are the fruit flavors and the savory options like Truffle. If you are ambitious, try combining two flavors, and if you’re unsure what to try, ask for a recommendation at the window. –CW
340 North Park Ave., Winter Park
Want some of the best French pastries in Central Florida? Head to Choulala’s adorable shop on Park Avenue (near The Briarpatch) to find the cutest and most delectable choux pastries in flavors like letchee and rose, chestnut, lemon and praline, or try one of their savory options, such as truffle and parmesan or chorizo. The exterior of the puffs are crunchy, not soft like you may think. The small shop also offers a breathtaking array of entremets to order. The complex specialty cakes in a dazzling array of finishes are available in individual, small (for 3-4) and large (for 6-8) sizes. You’ll also find assorted baked goods, gelato and sorbet and coffee. -CW
DaJen Eats Cafe & Creamery
323 E. Kennedy Blvd., Eatonville
When stopping by DaJen Eats for a savory, plant-based meal, be sure to save room for dessert. Vegan dessert, to be precise, but you don’t have to follow a plant-powered diet to enjoy Irie Cream—a plant-based ice cream created by Chef Jenn Ross that’s offered in 36 flavors. Irie, a Jamaican word for “happiness and contentment,” describes how you’ll feel after a scoop of Red Velvet Cheesecake, Mango Ginger Snap, or Rum Raisin’ the Roof (a Jamaican classic and Chef Jenn’s favorite). Ice cream without heavy cream? Plant-based comfort foods don’t have to sacrifice “the textures and flavor that bring us joy,” she says. “We look at what the traditional animal-based fats like eggs and cream bring to the ice cream and then we find plant-powered ingredients that mimic that texture.”
Even before she opened her café, Ross dreamed up Irie Cream with a coconut milk base “plus some secret magic and fairy dust.” Her creations run the gamut from Lime in da Coconut to Coffee & Cream, but she initially shunned the idea of offering chocolate and vanilla. Friends convinced her to add America’s top-selling ice cream flavors. Enter Thrilla in Vanilla and the chocolate version branded in a name-that-flavor contest: It’s Always Darkest Before DaJen. Order online for delivery or visit the cafe to find your favorite. – JH
Bread & Co.
1230 West Fairbanks Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32789
Three words: Fluffy Japanese Cheesecake. Bread & Co. is a local artisan bakery with locations in Winter Park on Fairbanks Avenue and on West Colonial Drive in the Lotte Market Plaza. They create dozens of sweet creations daily, but their most unique and memorable item is the fluffy Japanese cheesecake. It jiggles and is lighter than a cloud, but somehow, it’s also incredibly rich and flavorful too. Fair warning: these go fast! The best part? They’re a bargain at $4.99, and are easily shareable. But the fun doesn’t stop there. Delight in tarts and mousse domes in flavors like s’mores and strawberry passion fruit, as well as pre-packaged to-go goodies. -CW