2014's Fresh Harvest of Fall Pastries

You know fall has arrived when Portland bakeries explode with a dizzying array of pumpkin-flavored, spice-laden everything. We've rounded up the best, including plenty of vegan and gluten-free options.

By Anna Loh October 23, 2014

Tula's pumpkin pies and maple-glazed kabocha squash cakes

Image: Anna Loh

Gearing up to explore the plethora of pumpkin patches around Portland? Fuel your gourd hunt with some autumnal pastries, pies, and cookies to get yourself into the spirit of the season. We've rounded up the city's annual onslaught of decadent fall pastries, from fluffy gluten-free kabocha squash cakes to a rich pumpkin spice Boston cream pie. 

♦ If you are a lover of all things cake-related, head over to Two Tarts’ sister bakery Palace Cakes for seasonal sweet potato cakes, pear hazelnut cheesecakes, marionberry linzer tarts, pumpkin cheesecake, and hazelnut chiffon cakes. Be sure to save us a slice or five. 1401 SW Yamhill

Image: Anna Loh

♦ Look out for Back to Eden’s gluten-free and vegan pumpkin spice Boston cream pie (at left) and sweet potato and candied walnut cream pie. Other seasonal treats include pumpkin pear ginger bread, pumpkin whoopee pies, orange almond cardamom cupcakes, salted caramel apple pies, and pear and nutmeg frangipane tarts. 2217 NE Alberta 

 Tabor Bread has a constantly-rotating menu of baked goods using a variety of house-milled flours, from spelt to semolina. Some of their popular fall pastries include apricot and toasted almond clove scones, cinnamon-date bran muffins, and chai-spiced oat pumpkin muffins. They also offer savory options such as green tomato ginger corn muffins, green tomato cinnamon sour cream coffee cakes, and cornmeal-sage galettes with roasted garlic, leeks, squash and chard. 5051 SE Hawthorne Blvd

♦ Visit Little T Baker for hearty seasonal treats like decadent sticky toffee puddings, pumpkin date scones, pumpkin tarts, fig and Fromage Blanc danishes—Earl grey tea-poached figs nestled in a sweetened Briar Rose Fromage Blanc filling in a square Danish tartlet—poached pear brown butter financier cakes, and passionfruit curd tartlets2600 SE Division Street or 1022 W Burnside, Suite O

♦ Pearl Bakery’s Parisian macarons get seasonal with a new batch of fall flavors, including chocolate and cocoa nib macarons filled with earl grey ganache and hazelnut macarons loaded with hazelnut ganache. Traditional pastries are also on offer, from pumpkin coffee cake with spiced pecan streusel and pear coffee cake topped with sugared almonds to spiced apple cupcakes topped with caramel and cinnamon and layered pumpkin cake iced with molasses buttercream. 102 NW 9th Ave

♦ Mini pie caterer and delivery service AnniePies has a droolworthy selection of bite-sized autumnal pies like pumpkin snickerdoodle, quince and sugar cookie, maple ginger and pear, whiskey maple bacon with sweet potato, S'mores—graham crust with chocolate ganache and toasted marshmallow, and a gluten-free apple caramel with an oatmeal cookie pie crust. Available for pick up at 2420 SE Belmont St, or for purchase at various locations.

♦ Pacific Pie Co. offers a whole slew of fall sweet treats including a bacon bourbon pecan pie, caramel apple tart with streusel and housemade caramel, and pumpkin pie with ginger streusel, but the quince apple pie is this season’s specialty. Along with a generous slice of quince apple—crisp, golden crust and decadent layers of juicy, warm fruit with dashes of fall spice—order a seasonal cocktail, made using quince poaching liquid. The rosy syrup is reminiscent of honey and rose water. 1520 SE 7th Ave 

♦ Ken’s Artisan Bakery stuffs the sweet spot's entire display case with buttery golden, indulgent pastries showcasing fall’s harvest. Try the cranberry almond caramel tarts, pear ginger tarts, apple cinnamon galettes, or roasted pumpkin tarts. If you just want to grab a small bite, go for the pumpkin macaron with spiced buttercream. 338 NW 21st Avenue

♦ Alberta’s Sugar Cube offers a variety of creative treats like apple caramel crostatas, hazelnibby financiers—little French tea cakes loaded roasted hazelnuts, tangerine zest, and cacao nibs, topped with candied orange zest and Jacobsen sea salt—bourbon brown butter honey pies, apple and date Austrian shortbread tarts, ginger stout cupcakes filled with apple butter, gingersnap sammies with pumpkin and brown butter cream cheese filling, and honey whole wheat snacking cakes with a salty maple glaze. 3039 NE Alberta St

♦ Bakeshop has us falling for shortbread tarts with frangipane and Italian prune plums, pumpkin puffs, pumpkin and pear hand pies, pumpkin muffins, ginger oat pear muffins, and warm spiced ginger molasses cookies. 5351 NE Sandy Blvd

♦ Behind the Museum Café, which serves traditional Japanese foods and artful sweets, now offers petite pumpkin mochi muffins and cute pumpkin-shaped omanju made from sweet bean paste. 1129 SW 10th Avenue

♦ Gluten-free bakery New Cascadia’s autumnal picks include a wide variety of fruity flavors, from caramel apple galettes and orange spice cupcakes to lemon poppy buttermilk scones. For earthier fall goodies, turn to pumpkin pecan muffins, chocolate cayenne cupcakes, chai spice bundt cakes, and maple pecan bundt cake. 1700 SE 6th Ave at SE Market

Image: Anna Loh

♦ Pie house Random Order Coffeehouse & Bakery has a few seasonal pies on their fall menu, including a "spirited" pumpkin pie, old world apple pie, and a classic Kentucky Bourbon pecan pie. Going nontraditional? Line up for blackberry-lime galettes, whole wheat brown sugar muffins with apples and walnuts, and a glass of spiked mulled cider to wash it down. 1800 NE Alberta

♦ Vegan and gluten-free enthusiasts can indulge in Petunia’s Pies & Pastries’ apple cinnamon coffee cake, maple walnut scones, and a veritable pumpkin feast—from pumpkin chocolate chip whoopie pies and pumpkin ginger cheesecakes to pumpkin spice muffins and pumpkin maple babycakes. 610 SW 12th Ave

♦ Baker & Spice Bakery's autumnal offerings include applesauce bundt cake and cakelets, pumpkin bread, and, starting early November, holiday galettes with apples, pears, and cranberries topped with vanilla streusel. For Halloween, there will be decorated vanilla bean shortbreads and “severed finger cookies”—almond and brown sugar shortbreads shaped into knobbly witches fingers completed with bloody ends and almond sliver fingernails. 6330 SW Capitol Hwy

♦ Tula Gluten Free Bakery’s maple-glazed Kabocha squash cakes offer the perfect balance between sweet and fluffy with a subtle squash flavor. This bakery also offers pumpkin pie, pear tarts and pumpkin walnut muffins with browned butter cinnamon cream cheese frosting. 4943 NE MLK Jr. Blvd Suite 101

♦ Saint Honore Bakery's pumpkin spice macarons are available through November, filled with pumpkin custard and white chocolate. In December, we can look forward will be Christmas macarons—red macaron with cranberry-orange mousseline and a green offering with mint chocolate ganache. Also stop in for a traditional tarte bourdaloue Riesling—a French-style pear tart made with shortbread shell, almond cream, smooth custard, and local pears poached in Oregon Riesling. 3333 SE Division, 2335 NW Thurman

♦ In addition to longtime customer-favorite caramel apple bars, chocolate pecan pie bars, and vegan chai spice cupcakes, Gluten Free Gem Bakery is offering new items like pumpkin swiss rolls, cinnamon swirl pound cakes, and vegan apple cardamom coffeecake. 265 N Hancock St. #105

Local bakeries are just getting started with these great fall ingredients. We'll be updating this list as more fall menus roll out around town! Have your own fall favorites? Share your autumn must-haves in the comments. 

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