After Vernon Rudolph acquired a closely guarded yeast-raised Krispy Kreme Doughnuts recipe from a New Orleans pastry chef, he shared his appreciation for delectable disks by opening shop in 1937 and selling the first Krispy Kremes to grocery stores. The wafting aroma of glazed Krispy Kreme Doughnuts increased demand for the sweet treats and caused Rudolph to redesign his building's layout to include a walkup window, Rudolph was able to sell them directly to any passing customer who demanded a snack. Later, he joined forces with equipment engineers, creating baking equipment that guaranteed uniform shape and dough consistency.
Rudolph's departure to a pastry-filled afterlife in 1973 did not stop Krispy Kreme from expanding into a global sensation and continuing to innovate. In recent years, the company enhanced the treat-retrieving experience by introducing a Hot Light that, when illuminated, indicates when Krispy Kreme Doughnuts are fresh off the conveyor belt.
Desserted Pastries' experienced bakers craft a conscientious menu of allergy- and diet-friendly sweets and savories. Relying only on nut-free recipes, the bakery purveys cinnamon rolls ($2), cream puffs ($1.50), and éclairs ($1.50) that sate sweet teeth without harming allergy sufferers or incurring vendettas from aggrieved cashews. Cakes of the yellow, chocolate, red-velvet, and carrot variety ($12+) encapsulate cylindrical deliciousness, and cupcakes ($9/half dozen) and cookies ($7.50/dozen) supply delectable mouthfuls by the handful. Yeast breads, including french, italian, and challah loaves ($2–$7), bestow a crusty crunch on any celebration, from an acquaintance's pastry-school graduation to a pet rock's birthday party. Desserted Pastries prides itself on serving oven-fresh delicacies, and therefore requires advance orders for breads, seasonal treats, and gluten-free goods. Check the menu for details.
Staff at Frangelli’s bake hundreds of fresh donuts by hand each morning, crafting varieties such as jelly-filled black raspberry, then sprinkling them with powdered or granulated sugar. The shop specializes in classic glazed and chocolate-coated donuts.
When German baker William Entenmann came to America in the late 1800s and landed his first job in a bread bakery, he probably didn’t realize that he’d soon create one of America’s favorite brands of freshly baked goods. He opened his first Entenmann’s in Brooklyn in 1898, lugging sweets from door to door by way of a horse-drawn wagon. Today, though the mode of transportation has changed, the bakery’s donuts, crumb cakes, dessert cakes, bite-size muffins, and other baked goods continue to perform their dessert duties from supermarkets and bakery outlets across the United States.
When it comes to listening to their elders, kids could take a page out of Matthew Benigno’s book. Spearheading the second generation of Potitos’ ownership with his wife Cristina, Matthew takes care to follow the recipes of his in-laws, Carmen and Maria Potito—the original owners—as well as the work ethic he gleaned from his own mother and grandfather. "We basically stick to our roots of being Old World Italian. Everything is made from scratch at the bakery, fresh every day," he explained to a reporter from the South Philly Review, “We are keeping the tradition alive." Those traditions have paid off. Potitos won the South Philly Review's Readers’ Choice award in four categories including best zeppoli, best specialty cakes, and best cannoli, which Matthew and his team craft by filing homemade pastry shells with a choice of chocolate-chip-flecked ricotta, vanilla or chocolate italian cream, or lasagna. Other tasty, traditional specialties include an airy italian crème cake soaked in rum and covered in peanuts, and sfogliatelle—a flaky, seashell-shaped pastry filled with sweet-ricotta cheese and candied fruit.
Though it is arguably Iannelli’s most famous pizza, the tomato pie barely resembles a traditional pizza. Its rectangular-shaped Sicilian-style dough is covered in a thick layer of housemade sauce (called “gravy”) and baked in a brick oven. But ever since owners Terry and Mirna Iannelli introduced this cheese-less wonder to South Philly in 1910, it has been a hit.
Now more than a century later, the Iannelli’s grandson Vincent still churns out the tomato pie, which was said to have one of the Best Crusts by Philadelphia magazine and was featured in a video by Thrillist. Vincent’s chefs also create fried meatballs the way Nonna made them—by using pork and veal and cooking them over a horse-drawn stove. And in keeping with tradition, they freshly bake breads, decorate special-occasion cakes, and fill cannoli with a sweet creamy filling.