Click through the above gallery for more favorite chocolate desserts in Sonoma County.
Few foods are as widely used and frequently craved as chocolate.
For thousands of years, tracing back to the ancient cultures of Mesoamerica, the substance extracted from cocoa beans has been brewed into alcoholic drinks, used in sacred rituals, traded as currency and consumed for its medicinal properties. Once sugar was incorporated into the mix to cut the natural bitterness of the cocoa, chocolate confections became one of our most beloved treats — to be gifted to loved ones in heart-shaped boxes or enjoyed all to yourself (no judgment here).
The U.S. National Confectioners Association has listed Sept. 13 as International Chocolate Day, in honor of famed chocolatier Milton S. Hershey’s birthday. And what could be a better way to celebrate this delicious holiday than to devour some chocolate treats, guilt-free?
In a culinary haven such as Sonoma County, you don’t need to look far to find delectable chocolate goodies for any occasion. From cake to cookies, pie to pavlova, check out some of the best chocolate-based desserts from around the county.
To find the best artisan chocolatiers in the county, click here.
Downtown Bakery & Creamery, Brownie Cupcake: A rich, dense dark chocolate brownie in cupcake form, topped with a smattering of powdered sugar. Easily the most crave-worthy chocolate dessert for $3. 308 Center St., Healdsburg, 707-431-2719, downtownbakeryhealdsburg.com
Noble Folk Ice Cream & Pie Bar, Maple Chocolate Walnut Pie: Swiss chocolate filling loaded with crunchy, toasted walnuts and laced with maple syrup, all set in a buttery heritage pie crust. 116 Matheson St., Healdsburg, 707-395-4426; 539 4th St., Santa Rosa, 707-978-3392, thenoblefolk.com
Quail & Condor, Chocolate Chip Cookie: Big-as-your-hand chocolate chip cookies that are crunchy on the outside and chewy in the center. Plus, they’re gluten-free. 149 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg, 707-473-8254, quailandcondor.com
Costeaux French Bakery, Chocolate Decadence Torte: Living up to its name, this dense and decadent cake has intense chocolate flavor, with a dark chocolate ganache finish. 417 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg, 707-433-1913, costeaux.com
Sebastopol Cookie Company, Double Fudge Cookie: A deeply chocolaty, chewy fudge cookie loaded with melty chocolate chips. 168 N Main St., Sebastopol, 707-824-4040, sebastopolcookiecompany.com
Patisserie Angelica, BOS: Named for winning “Best of Show” at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair, the decadent BOS cake has smooth dark chocolate mousse between two layers of chocolate biscuits, interlaced with house-made raspberry preserves and whole berries. The cake is glazed with a rich chocolate ganache and topped with a “rose” of chocolate shavings. 6821 Laguna Park Way, Sebastopol, 707-827-7998, patisserieangelica.com
Petaluma Pie Company, Chocolate Coconut Cream Pie: Velvety coconut milk cream meets fudgy chocolate cream, nestled in a buttery, flaky crust and topped with Straus whipped cream and toasted coconut shavings. 125 Petaluma Blvd. North, Suite D, Petaluma, 707-766-6743, petalumapiecompany.com
Magdelena’s Savories & Sweets, Dark Chocolate Espresso Roll: A large, vegan, dark chocolate cinnamon roll with espresso frosting. A vegan breakfast of champions. 5306 Old Redwood Highway, Petaluma, magdelenas.com
JM Rosen’s Cheesecake, Chocolate Fantasy Cheesecake: Rich chocolate mousse sandwiched between a layer of Rosen’s original New York plain cheesecake on the bottom and topped with a layer of dense, old-fashioned chocolate cake. The cake is covered in a dark chocolate shell and topped with a garnish of chocolate flakes. 74 East Washington, Petaluma, 707-773-4655, jmrosencheesecakes.com
Criminal Baking Co., Brown Butter Brownies: One of the most popular items in the shop since its opening, the gluten-free brown butter brownie is rich, moist, chewy and extremely chocolaty. 808 Donahue St., Santa Rosa, 707-888-3546, criminalbaking.com
Red Bird Bakery, Chocolate Croissant: Perfectly flaky, buttery croissant piped full with rich chocolate and topped with a chocolate drizzle. Bakery locations in Cotati, Sebastopol and Santa Rosa, plus at farmers markets county-wide. Cotati phone: 707-521-9838, Sebastopol phone: 707-827-3112; redbirdbakery.com
Valette, ItsNotA ‘Snickers Bar’ Deux: An upscale, deconstructed Snickers bar: A layer of dark chocolate ganache over sea salt-infused caramel with cocoa nib tuile and peanut powder. 344 Center St., Healdsburg, 707-473-0946, valettehealdsburg.com
Sweet T’s Restaurant, Mississippi Mud Pie: An Oreo-cookie crust filled with a slab of mocha ice cream, topped with a dollop of whipped cream, and drizzled with Ghirardelli chocolate sauce and house-made caramel bourbon sauce. Pure southern hospitality in chocolate dessert form. 9098 Brooks Road South, Windsor, 707-687-5185, sweettssouthern.com
Bird & The Bottle, Double Chocolate Mayo Cake: Layers of chocolate mousse and chocolate fudge with a sprinkle of fleur de sel (French sea salt), all filled in a glass jar. 1055 4th St., Santa Rosa, 707-568-4000, birdandthebottle.com
East West Cafe & Restaurant, Vegan Chocolate Cake: A rich, three-layered chocolate cake so decadent you won’t believe it’s dairy free. 557 Summerfield Road, Santa Rosa, 707-546-6142, eastwestcafesantarosa.com
Cafe La Haye, Chocolate Silk Cake: Dense, fudgy chocolate silk cake atop a pecan-walnut and fleur de sel crust, complemented with a side of airy, house-made ice cream. 140 E. Napa St., Sonoma, 707-935-5994, cafelahaye.com
Wild Goat Bistro, Sea Salted Caramel Cake: Gluten-free chocolate buttermilk cake with buttercream and a salted caramel filling, coated in a rich chocolate ganache and a salted caramel drizzle. 6 Petaluma Blvd. North, Suite A5, Petaluma, 707-658-1156, wildgoatbistro.com
Risibisi, Flourless Chocolate Cake: Warm, melt-in-your-mouth flourless chocolate cake with a dollop of whipped sweet mascarpone, a drizzle of berry sauce and fresh strawberries. 154 Petaluma Blvd. North, Petaluma, 707-766-7600, risibisirestaurant.com
Blue Ridge Kitchen, Mississippi Mud Pie (Kinda): More like an artfully prepared cocoa pavlova, with milk chocolate pudding stuffed in a fluffy meringue, topped with whipped vanilla cream, Oreo crumbles and an ornate chocolate garnish. 6770 McKinley St. Suite 150, Sebastopol, 707-222-5040, brkitchen.com
Terrapin Creek Cafe & Restaurant, Chocolate Cake: Moist chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting, toasted coconut and candied walnuts, drizzled in vanilla bean and caramel sauces. 1580 Eastshore Road, Bodega Bay, 707-875-2700, terrapincreekcafe.com