We must warn you; do not read this post on an empty stomach.
Some people come to the country for the sunsets, others for nature walks, but there’s a select group of people who tour with their taste buds – and this post is dedicated to those travellers as we round up the best country bakeries in Southern Queensland Country.
From traditional baked treats to unexpected surprise patisseries that bely the small country towns you’ll find them in, the bakers of Southern Queensland Country are always pulling something fresh out of the oven.
1. Zest Pastries, Southern Downs and Granite Belt
It’s not often you come across a pastry so good you’d consider driving three hours from Brisbane for a bite. But you haven’t met Zest Pastries in Stanthorpe, yet.
Head pastry chef and owner of Zest, Stephen Lambert, was trained by Swiss pastry chefs so you know every baked good at Zest is made to precisely perfect conditions.
Everything from the room temperature to the way the ingredients are weighed out are as precise as a Swiss watch and the proof is in their pudding (or should we say, pastries).
Made with only the freshest, locally-sourced ingredients, the hardest decision you’ll make at Zest is choosing which of the artisan-crafted pastries to try first – will it be the twice-baked almond croissants, custard eclairs or fruit danishes?
If savoury pastries are more your thing, make your way to the hot cabinet to discover Zest’s range of gourmet savoury pies, sausage rolls and quiches – think local organic lamb pie with the flakiest buttery pastry.
If lockdown increased your interest in baked goodies, follow their Facebook page for information about their instore pastry and bread making classes where the pastry team teach you the tricks of the trade.
A: 54 Maryland St, Stanthorpe QLD 4380
P: 07 4681 4320
2. The Goomeri Bakery & Coffee Shop, South Burnett
You can’t miss the French-style bakery with its bright yellow signage, red brick shop front, greenery and décor as you head along the Burnett Highway.
While the store hasn’t been around for long (since 2017), it has more than made an impression in the region with a convoy of travellers making the pitstop to Murgon for one of Goomeri’s pastry parcels.
Put away the calorie counter when you visit the Goomeri Bakery, with chocolate eclairs, strawberry dacquoises, maple bacon danishes and French baguettes fresh from the kitchen.
Need some time to think about which pastries you’ll take home? Potter around the store to look at locally made preserves, jewellery, flowers and herbs for sale before making your decision.
A: 29 Moore St, Goomeri
P: 07 4168 4400
3. The Bakers Duck, Toowoomba
If they were handing out awards for the prettiest pastries in the region, The Bakers Duck would hold the trophy.
The Toowoomba bakery has gathered a cult social media following since opening in 2015, with their 10,000 followers, refreshing their feeds to stay up to date with their daily specials.
Serving a specialty range of pastries such as a lime and coconut meringue twice baked croissant, strawberry cheesecake pastries and Snickers flavoured cruffins, this is one bakery you’ll want to save room for seconds.
Don’t have a sweet tooth? The team also create drool-worthy savoury items including pies, sausage rolls and quiches.
The secret to their scrumptious treats? Using high quality and locally sourced ingredients from around the region, naturally.
The in-store experience is worth the journey with an onsite florist, Belmont Botanical also sharing the space.
Hungry for more? Check out these cafes you must check out on your travels in Toowoomba.
A: 124 Campbell St, Toowoomba City
P: 1300 339 592
4. Tins & Trays, Lockyer Valley
The new kid on the bakery block, Tins & Trays is the brainchild of former Gatton girl, Sophie Litzor.
The pastry chef has returned home to create Tins & Trays, a patisserie serving breakfast, lunch and delectable homemade pastries.
While the pastries are as pretty as a picture, the shop is equally as impressive, set inside a 114-year-old Queenslander with manicured lawns and rose gardens.
Taste the difference at Tins & Trays, who sources all ingredients from the local farmers who make up the salad bowl of Southern Queensland Country.
A: 97 Railway Street, Gatton
P: 0407 090 635
5. Antony’s Bakery and Patisserie, Toowoomba
When you’ve been awarded the title “King of the Baker’s” not once, but twice at the Toowoomba Show (in 2019 and 2020), you know a bakery is worth adding to your ‘must visit’ list.
Antony’s Bakery and Patisserie is a family-run bakery in Rangeville, south of the Garden City, serving all your favourite baked treats like apple turnovers, vanilla slice as well as their popular lemon curd pie.
We’ve also heard rumours of a savory pie called the Beef Ron Burgundy, which sells out quickly once locals hear it’s on the menu for the day.
Want to dine with a view? Choose your favourite treats, pack the picnic blanket and head to one of these top picnic spots.
A: 2/52 High St, Rangeville
P: 07 4613 5531
6. Blackbutt Bakery, South Burnett
When national TV and radio station listeners have consistently crowned this bakery’s pies the best in Queensland, you know you’re in for a treat.
Just one a bite of the pastry parcels from the Blackbutt Bakery in South Burnett and you’ll understand why.
The bakery is well-known for their unusual pie flavour combinations such as the Big Mack pie (just like the famous burger), the sausage sizzle pie (inspired by a Bunnings sausage sizzle), chicken carbonara pie as well as classic flavours including slow cooked beef Shiraz bourguignon and cheese with smokey bacon and beef.
If you’ve got the room, finish lunch off with a sweet treat – you didn’t drive 150km from Brisbane to count your calories, did you?
A: 34 Coulson St, Blackbutt
P: 07 4170 0525
7. Mace’s Hot Bread, Western Downs
Their product is so good, Mace’s Hot Bread also supplies bread to local cafes, restaurants and grocery stores in the Miles region.
Their pies and sausage rolls are filled with only the best produce from local suppliers, Devon Court Herefords and Chaplains Butchers, so you can be rest assured you’re cutting down food miles, albeit not carbs, with a visit.
Not just a bakery, Mace’s serve meals including baked spuds, toasted sandwiches, fresh salads and sandwiches – all available for takeaway or better yet, pull up a chair at their outdoor dining area and garden.
Be sure not to leave until you’ve tried their specialty sweet treat, the cronut!
A: 3 Pine St, Miles
P: 07 4627 1592
8. Cake’A’licious, South Burnett
Cake’A’licious by name and nature – the specialty cakes and cupcakes served at Cake’A’licious in Kingaroy taste as good as they look.
Choose from cupcake flavours including fairy bread, crème caramel, Golden Gay Time and other sweet treats including pecan pie, coffee and mascarpone filled profiteroles, decadent sticky date pudding and homemade savoury quiches.
Happen to be visiting the region on a Wednesday? Head to Cake’A’licious to enjoy a high tea of sweet and savoury items all made in house (you’ll need to book in advance).
If it’s just a flying visit, you can still pick up a takeaway dessert box with a mixture of their best-sellers.
A: 177 Kingaroy St, Kingaroy
P: 0438 715 096