Planning an event can be a lot of work, especially when your guests are expecting a delicious dessert spread. Not to panic. As customized catering services collide with creative pastry shops, the result is more and more options for gourmet dessert catering. Whether you’re throwing a small social, a corporate meeting or even your wedding, these Toronto dessert caterers are here to help. [Image credit: iStock.com/andresr]
The folks behind L-eat catering have established themselves as a favourite for everything from office meetings to bat mitvahs and weddings. A wise choice for large events, L-eat has a robust staff and plenty of experience setting up creative dessert tables. Gourmet desserts include peach and apple crumbles, and pies and tarts of every imaginable kind. L-eat chefs value the incorporation of fresh, local ingredient – in fact, they even grow some themselves in a North York urban garden that doubles as an event location.
Daniel et Daniel is an award-winning catering company in Cabbagetown with roots in haute French cuisine. They service everything from small private parties to weddings to large corporate events. Although their dessert menu changes regularly, you can always expect to spot their almond ricotta cheesecake or key lime pie (made with Greek yoghurt) on offer.
Rahier Patisserie is a neighbourhood bakery that offers a lot more. The passion project of Belgian pastry chef Francois Rahier, the shop is a go-to for those in the Leaside and South Bayview area – but the catering services are city-wide. Rahier believes in traditional, handmade production processes and natural ingredients, promising super-authentic artisanal European fare. Miniature cakes and macarons are fitting for large functions, but Rahier’s team specializes in chocolate, cake, pastry and ice cream. Boasting profesisonal training in high-end Belgian bakeshops (chocolate capital of the world), you can’t really ask for a better satisfaction guarantee.
The Food Dudes originally became a household name for fuelling the food truck phenomenon. Although they still drive around town with their tasty food-truck offerings, the Food Dudes also offer a number of “sweet endings,” like their gluten-free salted caramel brownies and coconut macaroons. When they’re not on the road, the Food Dudes can be found at their retail location in Leslieville, an extension of their catering kitchen. The store has a take-out counter for those wanting to taste before ordering.
Headed by celebrity chef Mark McEwan from the Food Network, this catering team is well suited to serve the needs of busy worker bees on King West as well as East Yorkers. McEwan specializes in ready-to-go meals, but their desserts, made with an exceptional attention to detail, are arguably one of the top showstoppers here. Dessert platters feature mixed choco-caramel bars, chocolate dipped strawberries, and pies selected daily, and the European cookie spreads may remind you of your grandma’s homemade baking.
Urban Acorn considers itself a flexitarian catering company, reflecting the team’s talent for customizing dishes for groups with mixed preferences. The Urban Acorn comprises a market storefront in the Junction offering local organic food staples, as well as a kitchen that serves private events of up to 180 guests. Because menus are custom designed for each order, they are not available online. Bonus: Urban Acorn goes the extra mile to provide rentals, flowers and other essentials for your party if need be. Don’t have a venue yet? No problem. Ask about their intimate kitchen loft venue in the Junction.
Pumpernickel’s can be found in a few locations around the city. Aside from a solid selection of healthy lunch and dinner items, they also offer an array of sweets. The mixed dessert tray comes packed with decadent French pastries, gourmet cookies, cupcakes, squares, tarts, and petit-fours. Hot tip: A gluten-free option of the tray is also available. Pumpernickel’s also experiments with decorative cupcake ideas and fruit creations and offers videos and recipe ideas online.