Bakeries in Los Angeles: Retro, throwback desserts

Bakeries in Los Angeles are going back to school, old-school that is, with these retro, throwback desserts that's bringing back good ol' American nostalgia.

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Bakeries in Los Angeles are getting nostalgic—nostalgic for good ol' American classics and childhood cravings. From PB&J and s'mores to updated riffs on Oreos and Ding Dongs, these retro desserts are making a comeback in new bakeries and some of the best restaurants around town. Here, a sampling of some of the city's top throwback treats.


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  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Bakeries in Los Angeles: Pop tart
    Available at C+M, $4.

    While we love the guilty pleasure (and instant gratification) of a toaster tart, we can't deny the buttery crust and seasonal fruit filling (i.e. cherry) of the Patina-run bakery. We're happy to start our morning on these four-dollar desserts.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Bakeries in Los Angeles: Key lime pie
    9"-pie, available at Clementine, $24.

    Why do we love key lime pie? Let us count the ways. 1. Graham cracker crust 2. Thick, tangy, custard-y citrus filling 3. Whipped cream topping (cloyingly sweet meringue, be damned). Any questions?

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Bakeries in Los Angeles: Inside out s'mores
    Available at Cake Monkey, $2 each.

    What do you get when you turn a childhood campside treat inside out? A mini graham cracker cookie sandwich filled with chocolate ganache and topped with a marshmallow meringue toque.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Bakeries in Los Angeles: Better Nutter
    Available at Bouchon Bakery, $3.50.

    WWTKD? We ask our favorite childhood treat, Nutter Butter, "What would Thomas Keller do?" The answer: Fill gussied-up peanut butter cookies (there's added oats and peanuts) with peanut butter-buttercream filling.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Bakeries in Los Angles: Mint cream oreos
    Available at Sycamore Kitchen, $2 each.

    Karen Hatfield scores double brownie points with these Thin Mint and Oreo-inspired sandwich cookie of bittersweet chocolate shortbread filled with fresh mint, buttercream filling. 

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Bakeries in Los Angeles: Peanut butter and marshmallow cakewich
    Available at Cake Monkey, $3.50.

    Cake Monkey pulls a retro dessert two-fer with a Fluffernutter and Ding Dong combo. Homemade marshmallow and creamy peanut butter is sandwiched between yellow cake and coated in bittersweet chocolate for a case-of-the-munchies mouthful.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Bakeries in Los Angeles: PB&J donut
    Available at C+M, $3.50.

    What's not to love about PB&J? Every American kid grew up on the classic combo that, after you crush 'em, then squish 'em, you eat 'em. And for the fattie gourmand in all of us, try the classic pairing inside a sugar-raised donut.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Bakeries in Los Angeles: Banana shortcake
    Available at Valerie Confections, $45 for 9-inch, $70 for 11-inch.

    Valerie pays homage to Old Hollywood's heyday hangout, Chasen's, with the restaurant's famed banana shortcake. Spiked with rum, layered with whipped cream and banana slices and topped with an ice cream-based banana sauce and hot fudge, it's how retro does decadent.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Bakeries in Los Angeles: El Rollos
    Available at Cake Monkey, $3.25.

    Fans of Yodels and Ho Hos (RIP Hostess) can take chocolate-y comfort in this log-shaped cake rolled with vanilla cream and coated in bittersweet chocolate. Think of it as a yuletide afterschool snack.

     

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Summer reading list: Brown sugar whoopie cookie
    Available at Magnolia Bakery, $3.

    Magnolia Bakery takes a cue from Maine's chubby export with their whoopie cookie. Brown sugar cookies sandwich maple cream cheese filling for a sugary sweet taste of fall.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Bakeries in Los Angeles: Oreo
    Available at C+M, $4.

    The Oreo grows up with a chocolate shortbread cookie and vanilla frosting combo that tastes like the real deal.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Bakeries in Los Angeles: Peanut butter ice box pie
    Available at Magnolia Bakery, $28 for 9-inch, $8 for mini pie.

    What's cooler than an icebox pie? An icebox pie pimped out with caramel and peanut butter cream cheese filling, set in a Nilla wafer crust and topped with crushed peanuts and Reese's peanut butter cups. Super fly.

     

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Bakeries in Los Angeles: S'more cake
    Available at Sweet Butter Kitchen, $45 for 6-inch, $75 for 9-inch, $100 for 10-inch and $145 for 12-inch cake.

    This grand cake celebrates the fireside tradition with layers of graham cracker crust, chocolate cake, vanilla (or chocolate) frosting, toasted marshmallows and chocolate sprinkles.

     

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Bakeries in Los Angeles: TKO cookie
    Available at Bouchon Bakery, $3.50 each.

    So what exactly is a TKO cookie? The Thomas Keller "Oreo" is how a three Michelin-star chef reinvents the twist-lick-dunk snack time favorite, with two chocolate sablés (aka shortbread cookies) and white chocolate filling.

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Bakeries in Los Angeles: Pop tart
Available at C+M, $4.

While we love the guilty pleasure (and instant gratification) of a toaster tart, we can't deny the buttery crust and seasonal fruit filling (i.e. cherry) of the Patina-run bakery. We're happy to start our morning on these four-dollar desserts.

Follow Katherine Kims on Twitter: @katherinekims


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