Photo courtesy of Shell's Sweets and Treats.

Times are tough so why not treat yourself by visiting one of these four new bakeries in the burgh. You’ll find some of Pittsburgh’s favorite desserts, along with unique treats worth trying. You can even get gourmet cookies for your pup to support a local nonprofit.

Shell’s Sweets and Treats, 500 Pine Hollow Road, McKees Rocks
While growing up in McKees Rocks, Michelle Turner spent a lot of time baking with her grandmother. Inspired by those memories, she left a career in banking to pursue baking full-time.

Located in the former Bob’s Donut Shop space, Shell’s Sweets and Treats specializes in donuts with at least 15 varieties each day — from traditional glazed to s’mores.

If you want to have your cake and drink it too, Shell’s offers milkshakes topped with a slice of cake. You’ll also find chocolate-covered strawberries and pretzels, cookies, funnel cakes, Belgian waffles, ice cream and flavored lattes. Turner does it all with the help of her son and daughter. Grandma would be proud.

Sweeten your Tuesday with a dessert taco. Photo courtesy of The Cakery.

The Cakery, 479 Perry Highway, West View
Amber Atkins loves feeding people. Last February, she opened The Cakery to do just that.

The bakery is quickly gaining a loyal following for its icing — a sweet but not too sweet buttercream — that goes into many of the menu items, including specialty cakes, cookies and apple crisp.

After consulting a nutritionist, Atkins — who previously worked in the banking industry — and her team decided to create desserts devoid of wheat flour and sugar — such as cheesecake bites, muffins and breads — for diabetics and folks livin’ the Keto life. Atkins substitutes ingredients such as almond flour, coconut flour, monk fruit and stevia glycerite.

Her specialty is creating new and unique takes on traditional foods, such as dessert tacos — vanilla or chocolate pizzelle shells filled with icing, cream cheese or other deliciousness. There’s a different flavor available each Tuesday.

“It’s become a passion,” she says, “and we offer a lot of things people don’t find anywhere.”

Photo courtesy of Father & Son Family Bakery.

Father & Son Family Bakery, 3912 Perrysville Avenue, Observatory Hill
New owner, same recipes.

Jeffrey Dzamko, a North Side native, grew up eating goodies from Schorr Family Bakery on Perrysville Ave. in Observatory Hill.

When the Schorrs closed up shop in 2019 after 45 years in the business, Dzamko stepped in to carry on the tradition that his lifelong friends started.

All of the beloved items are still on the menu — specialty cakes with scratch-made buttercream icing, donuts, lady locks and cookies — along with new items such as cannolis and bagels. Folks line up on Saturdays to grab a tiger tail, a long, braided, chocolate-covered donut.

In a few months, Father & Son will expand and re-open the second former Schorr location at 433 Perry Hwy. in West View. Through a partnership with Community Kitchen Pittsburgh, a nonprofit organization that provides culinary arts training to disenfranchised people, while helping them find stable employment, Father & Son give folks a lesson in bakery life.

Will they learn a thing or two about dessert? It’s a Schorr thing.

Photo courtesy of Cookies by Flaps.

Cookies by Flaps, Gibsonia
Hey, your dog wants a treat, too!

Michele Spangler’s been making dog biscuits for years. In December, after retiring from the health care industry, she started Cookies by Flaps to pay homage to her late Labradoodle, benefit a good cause and keep tails wagging.

The cookies, made from oat flour, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, blueberries, green beans and vegetable broth, are $10 a dozen.

“I’ve tasted them myself and they’re good,” says Spangler, who employs own her pooches as quality control-testers.

A portion of the proceeds benefits Band Together Pittsburgh, a nonprofit that provides musical programming, experiences and vocational opportunities for people on the autism spectrum. Spangler’s husband, musician John Vento, serves on Band Together’s board of directors.

In a little over a month, Cookies by Flaps has raised more than $1,000 for the organization. Orders can be placed through the company’s Facebook page or via email. Local delivery is available.

Still hungry? Check out our guide to Pittsburgh’s 17 best bakeries.

Kristy Locklin is a North Hills-based writer. When she's not busy reporting, she enjoys watching horror movies and exploring Pittsburgh's craft beer scene.