These Bakeries Specialize in International Sweet Treats

By: Karen Dybis | December 28, 2020

Photo Courtesy of Warda Pâtisserie.

Metro Detroit is home to one of the most culturally diverse populations, and that brings an international flavor to the foods and, more specifically, desserts of the area. These worldly sweet treats are one of the many reasons why the bakeries, patisseries and dessert shops in this tri-county region are beloved and serve a cosmopolitan clientele. 

If you crave baklava, have a hankering for a plate full of churros, look forward to a well-made tiramisu or seeks a gelato or mochi on the run, chances are there is a Metro Detroit sweet shop that will have something to satisfy your cravings. 

Founder and pastry chef Warda Bouguettaya has a loyal following at her Detroit-based Warda Pâtisserie making sophisticated, hand-crafted pastries inspired by the seasons and influenced by Bouguettaya’s travels and previous stays in Algeria, France and Asia.

A patisserie is a shop where pastries and cakes are sold. It may be Italian, French or Belgian in specific. Bouguettaya brings her Algerian roots to this classification of baked goods, offering such sweet treats such as the honey makroud and griwesh, a complicated, knotted puff pastry that includes roasted sesame seeds and orange blossom water. 

Bouguettaya came to Detroit because of her husband but she also studied in France, which gave her a deep background in the world of a patisserie, as well as Shanghai, where she spent three years. Her worldly take on food makes sense then, giving people locally grown flavors such as blueberry and strawberry but with a modern flair, adding newer tastes such as a matcha tea cake. 

“A lot of the pastries we make are influenced and a celebration of other cultures, mine and the places I lived in,” Bouguettaya said. “We have our Financiers that have Asian inspired flavours in them like a chocolate and passion fruit Tart, a gluten-free Mango Black Sesame Financier and Matcha Strawberry Financier. We also have cookies with North African flavours. it’s Chocolate, Sesame and Halvah cookies.” 

If you’re looking to bring something sweet home for the holidays and want to honor Metro Detroit’s international influences, here are some bakeries and treat shops to try. 

Josef’s European Pastry Shop

Since 1971, people have come to Grosse Pointe Woods to enjoy the flaky pastries, incredible croissants and other delights at this European-inspired bakery. Josef’s European Pastry Shop has a long history in providing customers with high-end European pastries and specialty foods. Owners Anthony and Jimmy Cavallo hail from Montreal and are both Master Pastry Chefs with a love for baking the most authentic pastries outside of Europe’s famed pâtisseries and dolcerias.

Palm Sweets

Baklava is the star of the show at this Sterling Heights bakery. If you love a treat with nuts, chocolate or jam, you’ll find something to love on its menu. There are shortbreads, petit four, cakes, cookies, ice cream and everything else you can imagine from the minds and mixing bowls of one of Metro Detroit’s best Middle Eastern bakeries

Astoria Pastry Shop

Whether you go to the Greektown or Royal Oak location, you’ll find a world of international intrigue awaits you inside its sugary offerings. There are cannoli that are crunchy and creamy. There is an array of pies and mousses. You can get pastries any time of day and for any kind of crowd that may be visiting. And everything is guaranteed to be delicious. 

Townsend Bakery

This high-end hotel in Birmingham has some of the most luxurious rooms and social areas, and its high tea service isn’t to be missed. Those little desserts that make the tea that much better come from its European-inspired bakery, which offers a colorful and well-made variety of desserts including macaroons, trifles, pies, tarts and other treats that will have you craving them well after the holidays.