When I was growing up, it wasn’t officially Easter until I opened the door to our clothes dryer.

That’s where my mother, Juanita “The Easter Bunny” Velasco, always stashed my basket filled with candy, a chocolate bunny, and other sweet treats nestled on a bed of fake grass.

To this day, I instinctively check the dryer on Easter Sunday. One never knows.

Maybe your Easter Bunny will grace your basket or dinner table with treats from one of these Alabama bakeries or gourmet sweet shops.

Chocolata Artisanal Chocolatier (Birmingham)

Chocolata specializes in craft confections made with single-origin cocoa from South America using “carefully handcrafted recipes and divine intuition,” says owner and experienced chocolatier Kathy D’Agostino. Her Easter collection includes Mister Bunny, Chillin’ Bunny, and Sweater Bunny in various clothes and repose, along with a classic chocolate bunny. Chocolate eggs are filled with fruit and nuts. In the Easter Surprise, an egg-shaped hollow shell is filled with novelty chocolates. Rounding out the collection are Easter Basket Popcorn, and Nutty Bunny Bark. 

Tee’s Cakes and Pastries (Chelsea)

Let’s start with Tee’s cake pops, decorated to look like bunnies or Easter eggs, and covered with pastel sprinkles or candies. Open for more than a quarter-century, the multi-generation family-run business off U.S. 280 also makes full-sized and tiered holiday-themed cakes, (one popular decoration resembles a rabbit that’s face-planted into the icing). Cookies, and mini cakes also follow the spring holiday theme.

Peggy Ann Bakery (Huntsville)

Generations have enjoyed sweets from this venerable bakery, which opened in 1953. You’ll find seasonal cookies, cakes, and pies at Peggy Ann, including “egg-hunt” cupcakes, and cookies decorated to look like Easter eggs, carrots, and candies. Petit fours also spring forward with designs evoking early-season blooms. Peggy Ann’s signature loopy bunny design is the centerpiece of Easter-themed petit fours and cookie boxes.

Flour Girls Bakery (Mobile)

Specializing in custom cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and brownies, Flour Girls Bakery founder and owner Sherrie Pickett has plenty to work with at Easter. The bakery’s cute rabbit-shaped cake toppers made from cookies can turn a plain cake into a Bunny Cake. Past cookie designs include cross shapes with flowers piped on top, and bunny shapes topped with spring blooms.

Gigi’s Cupcakes (Montgomery, Opelika)

Gigi’s franchise footprint in Alabama has reduced in recent years, in part due to the pandemic-related economic downturn. But outlets for the Nashville-based chain remain open in Montgomery and Opelika. Recent Easter-themed treats include a cake decorated in yellow frosting to resemble a baby chick, one that depicts a bunny diving into the center, and cookies for DIY decorating.

Continental Bakery (Mountain Brook)

The Birmingham area does not lack for beloved bakeries. But for many families in and near Mountain Brook, the Continental Bakery is a mandatory stop in any season. The French-style bake shop, opened by Carole Griffin in 1985, is known for both traditional and creatively conceived breads, cookies, pastries, cupcakes, and cakes. It may be a carrot cake covered in mult-colored swirls of icing, or sweets resembling dyed Easter eggs. Seasonal cookies are shaped and decorated to resemble tulips or baby chicks. Colorful Easter macaron flavors include lavender white chocolate, Alabama-grown strawberry, and coconut.