Pennsylvania Dutch Market, 11121 York Rd., Cockeysville, 410-316-1534.
The pies, cakes, and cookies at this busy spot in a corner of the market look and taste like they're fresh from a home kitchen. There are whoopie pies filled with peanut butter, mint, or chocolate-chip cream; classic apple, shoofly, and chocolate-chiffon pies; rice-cereal treats; pistachio cupcakes; and pumpkin cake rolls with cream-cheese frosting.
Editor's pick: The chocolate-peanut-butter cookie with a peanut-butter cup embedded in the center.
Several locations including 429 E. Belvedere Ave., 410-323-2396.
The bakery/cafe may be more known for its inventive soups and rustic breads that are also crafted into assorted sandwiches, but plenty of sweet stuff also comes out of its kitchens.
Editor's pick: The Pimlico cake—a Baltimore classic with yellow chiffon cake with Bavarian cream between the layers and a chocolate-ganache frosting dotted with walnuts.
Dangerously Delicious Pies
Several locations including 2839 O'Donnell St., 410-522-7437.
Owner Rodney Henry has made a lucrative career out of rolling dough. His concoctions—from the sweet chocolate-ganache chess pie to the savory steak pie—have drawn attention for their tender, flaky crusts and fresh ingredients.
Editor's pick: The Elvis pie—peanut buttercream with Swiss chocolate topped with bacon.
Two locations including 820 E. Baltimore St., 410-332-0390.
Owner/baker Joseph Poupon's confections are known not only for their taste, but also for their artistic presentations. For example, the Fraisier has a marzipan finish decorated with a white-chocolate-dipped strawberry and is cut to expose sliced strawberries within.
Editor's pick: The Royale—a dense chocolate-mousse cake topped with chocolate petals cupping whole hazelnuts in the center.
1300 Bank St., 410-522-6900.
The counters are piled high with all sorts of treats—cheesecake, pannetone, and lush fruit pies. But proprietor/baker Carminantonio Iannaccone also turns out one of the most delicious tiramisus in town, which makes sense. He claims to have invented the treat laden with ladyfingers, mascarpone, and Marsala wine in his native Italy.
Editor's pick: Tiramisu, of course.
Makin' Whoopie! Fun Fact
According to food historians, Amish women baked whoopie pies and packed them in farmers' lunches. When the farmers would find the treats in their lunch pails, they would shout “Whoopie!"
Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Maine have all laid claim to the prestigious title of 'Birthplace of the Whoopie Pie'