Follow The Crumbs: 13 Area Bakeries To Tempt Those Taste Buds

Mlive recently posed a question: What's the best bakery in Michigan? Theoretically, I've never met a donut I didn't like. But in all honesty, while there are many mediocre and completely edible options out there, when you come across a true standout it is a pretty divine moment.

The first time I had a still-warm, melt-in-your-mouth glazed donut from a little bakery near our favorite vacation spot in Shelby I'm pretty sure cartoon hearts appeared over my head. We had a moment. Those yeasty circles of culinary perfection are worthy of a detour anytime we're headed north on 31 early enough in the morning to score a box.

Whether it's donuts, cookies, cupcakes or croissants that beckon you from the baker's case, don't miss out on these wonderful Southwest Michigan bakeries (plus one in Northern Indiana). We've compiled our favorite baker's dozen.

Country Bake Shop | South Bend, IN

Country Bake Shop | Southwest Michigan Kids

Photo credit: Country Bake Shop

Cross the border for this fabulous no-frills bakery experience and regret nothing. Breads, danishes, cookies and other baked goods are made without preservatives or artificial flavors. The fresh glazed donuts are some of the best around and it's ridiculously affordable.

Hours: Mon-Sat: 5 am- 6 pm | Sun 6 am-2 pm

51318 IN-933, South Bend, IN 46637

The Baker's Rhapsody | Dowagiac

The Baker's Rhapsody

Photo credit: The Baker's Rhapsody

One of the cutest small town bakeries you'll ever happen across, this new(ish) gem in downtown Dowagiac features an array of darling cookies, pastries and breads. The drinks menu is almost as impressive as the food selection. Keep an eye out for fun themes and holiday treats.

Hours: Mon 7 am-2 pm | Tue-Fri 7 am-6 pm | Sat 8 am-4 pm | closed Sun

144 S Front St, Dowagiac, MI 49047

Black Currant Bakehouse | Union Pier

Black Currant Bakehouse | Southwest Michigan Kids

Photo credit: Black Currant Bakehouse

Blink and you'll miss it...but this bakery is totally worth doubling back for. The cozy ambience and cases brimming with mouthwatering cookies, cakes and assorted goodies that taste as good as they look will make you want to linger. Grab a mug of coffee and enjoy. (It's also one of our fave food Insta accounts, btw)

Hours: Fri-Mon 8 am-3 pm | Closed Tue-Thu 9911 Town Line Ave, Union Pier, MI 49129

Whistle Stop Grocery | Union Pier

Whistlestop | Southwest Michigan Kids

Photo credit: Whistle Stop Grocery

Yes, it's a (really fabulous) grocery store. But Whistle Stop will win you over its housemade pastries, cakes and savory goods showcasing seasonal flavors and local foods.

Hours: Sun-Thu 7 am-5 pm | Fri-Sat 7 am-6 pm

15700 Red Arrow Hwy, Union Pier, MI 49129

Bit of Swiss | Stevensville

Bit of Swiss | Southwest Michigan Kids

Photo credit: Bit of Swiss

This award-winning bakery is renowned for its artisan breads made from scratch daily using time-tested methods. The expansive menu includes loaves of sourdough and rye, carrot cake, tiramasu, whoopie pies, cheesecake and other mouthwatering treats.

Harbert Swedish Bakery | Harbert

Swedish Bakery | Southwest Michigan Kids

Photo credit: Swedish Bakery

From Swedish limpa and sweet rye to cardamom coffee cakes and kolachki, this bakery focuses on traditional European baking with century-old recipes and techniques. Stop next door at Luisa's Cafe for scratch cooking at its finest.

Hours: Thu-Mon 7 am-3 pm | closed Tue-Wed 13698 Red Arrow Highway

Froehlich's Bakery & Deli | Three Oaks

Froehlich's  | Southwest Michigan Kids

Photo credit: Fröhliche's Bakery & Deli

Froehlich’s draws in visitors with its fresh, simple breads, pies and pastries, as well as soups, deli items and housemade pantry goods. Enjoy a farm-to-table bite and then stroll through the pleasant downtown streets of Three Oaks.

Hours: Fri-Sun 8 am-5 pm | Mon 8 am-2 pm

26 N Elm St, Three Oaks, MI

Plank's Tavern | Benton Harbor

Plank's Tavern  | Southwest Michigan Kids

Photo credit: Plank's Tavern

Again, not a bakery exactly but this kid-friendly bar inside the Inn at Harbor Shores boasts one of the area's rising pastry chefs, Mandy Krause. Score some of her signature donuts, pop tarts or cupcakes -- they're almost too pretty to eat.

Hours: Daily 7 am-10 pm

800 Whitwam Dr, St Joseph, MI 49085

Bunde's Good Eats | South Haven

Bunde's  | Southwest Michigan Kids

Photo credit: Bunde's Good Eats

This inviting little bakery is so close to Lake Michigan that you can hear the waves crashing while enjoying a breakfast pastry at one of the outdoor tables. The European-style baked goods are divine; housemade chocolates and Starbucks drinks are available.

Hours: Fri-Sun 7:30 am-11:30 am

89 North Shore Drive, South Haven, Michigan 49090

Crane's Pie Pantry | Fennville

Crane's  | Southwest Michigan Kids

Photo credit: Crane's Pie Pantry

You'll smell the warm donuts and pies before you even step foot inside this popular family-run bakery and restaurant. The farm-fresh products do not disappoint. If you have time, pull up a seat and try the pie flight with ice cream. Yes, that's a thing :)

Hours: Tue-Sun 11 am-4 pm | Closed Mon

6054 124th Avenue (M-89), Fennville, MI 49408

Kismet Bakery | Douglas

Kismet Bakery | Southwest Michigan Kids

Photo credit: Kismet Bakery

This small bakery crafts hearth-baked breads and baked goods from scratch. It's got all the right buzz words: non-GMO, organic, artificial-free, high-quality, local ingredients, and if that doesn't win you over, the taste will. Head to downtown Douglas to get your fix.

Hours: Open in the spring (TBD)

8 E Center St, Douglas, MI

Farmhouse Deli | Douglas

Farmhouse Deli | Southwest Michigan Kids

Photo credit: Farmhouse Deli

You can find out all you need to know about a bakery by how good their croissants are, and Farmhouse Deli passes with flying colors. So, so good. They also serve up mammoth slices of carrot cake, brownies and other gooey concoctions in an attractive store chock full of local goodies. Coffee drinks and sandwiches are perfection.

Hours: Daily 9 am-6 pm

100 Blue Star Highway, Douglas, MI 49406

The Oven Mitt | Holland

The Oven Mitten | Southwest Michigan Kids

Photo credit: The Oven Mitt

We only just found out about this place and already are obsessed. Seriously, how cute is this cookie? This Holland bakery serves up big charm along with its tasty treats, including muffins, cookies and cupcakes. No special occasion necessary.

Hours: Sun & Tue 10 am-2pm | Wed-Sat 10 am-6 pm | Closed Sun-Mon

217 E. 24 St, Holland, MI 49423

If you're driving a little farther, don't miss...

Le Bon Macaron | Grand Rapids

Le Bon Macaron | Southwest Michigan Kids

Photo credit: Le Bon Macaron

Sweet Heather Anne | Ann Arbor

Sweet Heather Anne | Southwest Michigan Kids

Photo credit: Sweet Heather Anne

Sister Pie | Detroit

Sister Pie | Southwest Michigan Kids

Photo credit: Sister Pie

Did we miss your favorite? Be sure to leave a comment and let us know.

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