While much of the discussion revolves around the aforementioned big-ticket items, the sweet stuff is just as important. Good thing, then, that Perth bakers are up to the task, with many adding seasonal cakes and treats to their ranges. From traditional European favourites to polished versions of the classics, these baked goods should be at the top of your dear-Santa letter.
Miller & Baker’s Christmas cake ($40)
Although the Christmas pudding gets most of the attention this time of year, the Christmas cake warrants consideration. Like any good pud, the gift-wrapped specimen at Miller & Baker is heavy on fruit and brandy – but it’s baked rather than steamed, making for a (slightly) lighter end to the meal. (Keen home-bakers, meanwhile, might like to try their hand at Attica chef-owner Ben Shewry’s boozy Christmas cake.)
Bread in Common’s fruit mince pies ($20 for six)
Just like Bread in Common’s beloved fruit loaf and hot cross buns, these three-bite wonders are baked with organic fruit and pack a mighty flavour-per-mouthful ratio. They’re available from the Fremantle mothership and the Nedlands outpost, as well as affiliated venues Gordon Street Garage and Coogee Common.
All Grain Artisan’s panettone (500 grams for $26 and 800 grams for $41)
Yes, All Grain’s panettone is available year-round, but since this puffy Italian cake is synonymous with Christmas, it seems fitting to add it to this list (like we needed an excuse). This version is naturally fermented over three days and available in two varieties: fruit and triple-chocolate (milk, dark and white). In short, it’s a picture of (West) Australian-Italian comfort and deliciousness. Pre-order the regular size or the plus-sized Christmas edition now for pick-up at the Farmers Market on Manning on the morning of December 24.
Wild Bakery’s bûche de Noël ($48)
This traditional log-shaped French cake is a cornerstone of Christmas celebrations in France, Belgium, Canada, Switzerland and other former French colonies. At Freo’s beloved Wild Bakery, Daragh and Trish Grier are doing three versions: traditional chocolate and cherry (which is also gluten-free); a vegan mango and coconut number; and raspberry and lemon. Stollen, Germany’s famous fruit-filled Christmas bread, is also available.
Choux Bakery’s cherry and pistachio choux pastries ($28 for six)
Throughout December, French bakers Justine Routier and Quentin Lamblotte have added suitably festive green (pistachio) and red (cherry) choux pastries to their core range of flavours. In addition to gift boxes, the pastries can be pre-ordered in both small and large towers.
North Street Store’s pavlova shells ($12 or $20)
No one mashes together old-school Australiana with European traditions quite like North Street Store founders Lachlan Bisset and Craig Stewart, so it’s hard to choose just one menu highlight here. We could have gone the boozy fruit-mince pies, the trifle, or the couronne (a French crown-shaped sweet Christmas bread). Or the fougasse (made with blue fenugreek and laminated with pork fat), or the porchetta you can pick up on Christmas Eve, either ready-to-cook or pre-cooked (admittedly not a traditional bakery item, but still a Christmassy baked good). But it’s the pav shells for us. These pre-baked pavlova shells – the smaller one feeds six, the larger one is designed for 10 – are just one way this Cottesloe bakery is making Christmas better and easier. (Another way: the shop will be open on Christmas Day for all your last-minute hot-bread needs.)