I vividly remember in the fall of 2018 driving on HWY 72 and noticing new signage that made me do a double-take: The Dessert Fork.
The attractive logo coupled with the appeal of what I assumed was a new bakery had me highly interested in what was to come.
It wouldn’t be until this week though that I finally made my way into the shop to check out what it was all about, and I’ll be the first to say that I’ve been missing out on what’s been going on at The Dessert Fork. Color me highly impressed because this wonderful bakery is doing just about everything right.
If you’ve been a guest before, you’re surely shaking your head in agreement. If you haven’t, you’re in for a treat.
What to Expect
In short, The Dessert Fork is a locally owned and operated bakery and the only one of its kind in Madison.
Inside features a walk-up counter and a large window with many desserts to choose from. There is always a pot a hot coffee going for guests who’d like coffee, and because McFarlin is a “tea person”, she has a slew of tea options available for purchase as well.
She even has a wall of merchandise with “gift shop style” items that are perfect for putting together something for a loved one’s birthday or other celebratory events.
There is currently space for about 10 people to dine-in at roughly five tables, perfect for a quick outing with one’s child, spouse, parent, or friend.
[Author note]: I cannot wait to bring my oldest daughter here. She is always asking to go on a “Mommy date”, and I know her eyes will light up when she walks into The Dessert Fork!
I wonder how many women have walked into the storefront and said “This is so cute!”… because it is. The pink and black color scheme lends itself to an inviting atmosphere where guests feel comfortable grabbing a seat with the sweet treat(s) they’ve selected. Typically the tables are adorned with white table cloths, but some of the decor has been temporarily suspended to allow for easier and more frequent cleaning.
Pauline McFarlin opened The Dessert Fork in November 2018 after operating her own at-home bakery for nearly five years.
“When I created my original business plan, I had a growth plan. This bakery was that growth plan,” shared McFarlin.
“I chose Madison because there was a need for a bakery here. We didn’t have one.”
She currently has four employees who are on a consistent baking schedule, allowing the shop to stay open from 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
What She Serves
“Everything is baked from scratch,” shared McFarlin. “We do not use any preservatives or artificial flavors.”
When asked what her most popular menu items are, she said that the strawberry pretzel salad is always a favorite. The red velvet cupcakes are her most popular cupcakes, and the lemon bars are a crowd favorite too.
During my visit, I was fortunate to sample a few of the most popular items, and they sure did not disappoint. The strawberry cupcake truly tasted like I was eating a strawberry in a cupcake form. The flavor was impressive. My daughters and I shared a chocolate cupcake, which we all raved over. They scraped every inch of icing from the plate! If you’re a coconut fan (I am!), don’t miss grabbing a coconut cream pie. Wow!
The common denominator with everything I sampled was that the flavor was spot-on. We enjoy grocery store bakery treats from time to time, but what’s happening at The Dessert Fork is next-level. McFarlin’s creations are products of carefully-crafted recipes with a homemade, fresh taste.
Also, have you ever enjoyed a dessert at Champy’s? Those were items baked at The Dessert Fork too.
Weddings and Events
“We love our walk-in customer base, but we are really known for our custom cakes,” shared McFarlin.
McFarlin says that she can prepare a creative cake for events of any size and that no event is too small. She shared that customers can give her a call or come in-store to give her their theme (if they have one) and that she’ll then find out more about the event, how many people are attending, and more about how she can tailor the cake and other desserts specifically for this event.
For wedding cakes, all brides and grooms are invited to do wedding tastings with full tasting plates.
“We love finding out the story behind the couple and believe in the cake as a means to tell that story at their wedding.”
McFarlin shared that even if a couple is planning to elope, she’ll make a cake for you.
“There is no reason not to celebrate with cake!”
When asked how the current health crisis has affected her business, McFarlin said that she’s really tried to look at it as a blessing. She says that she’s been able to reevaluate various aspects of her business and improve upon the things that she wanted to see done better, such as adding an option for online ordering.
“Since opening, I hadn’t had a chance to slow down, so even though parts of this have been hard, I’m really trying to focus at looking at it as a blessing. We really miss the hustle and bustle of our in-store customers though, and I really miss wedding season!”
Try The Dessert Fork
The Dessert Fork is participating in mid-August’s “Huntsville Restaurant Week” and will be serving $5 dessert duos and trios. McFarlin says that this will be a great way to try a variety of menu items and perfect for those who have never been to The Dessert Fork before.
Aug 14 Mini Chocolate Cake, French Macarons
Aug 15 Lemon Bar, Smore’s Brownie, Cookie Butter Bar
Aug 18 Lemon Brulee Tart, Chocolate Panna Cotta
Aug 19 Peanut Butter Pie Slice, Strawberry Thumbprint Cookie
Aug 20 Banana Pudding, Strawberry Panna Cotta
The Dessert Fork
107 Brookridge Drive Ste E2
Madison, AL 35758
Most photography in this article is by Whitney Briscoe for All Things Madison. Whitney has been serving the community and surrounding area for over a decade capturing weddings, families, events, food, and more. To learn more about booking Whitney Briscoe Photography for your wedding, family session, etc. please find her website here.
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