Every once in awhile I get an opportunity to try something that I’m actually excited about.

Between the stacks of really bad products from PR pitch folks who don’t seem to realize we write almost exclusively about Metro Detroit, to the well-meaning Europeans who got in touch and thought that someone has flooded the Lodge freeway and it’s now used as a river because there’s so little vehicle traffic, we get some.. Interesting and creative.. Ideas thrown our way.

But today was all about the Paczki. See, Fat Tuesday is coming, and when it comes to these delicious desserts (or, really, breakfast if you’re going to stand in line in the morning), it’s a special holiday for Detroiters near and far.

Detroit-based Avalon Bakery made available a tasting assortment of their three flavors of baked paczki to try. Their options are lemon curd, raspberry preserve, and vanilla custard. We took them to the kitchen at the Bamboo Detroit co-working space to get reaction and try them for ourselves.

At first, I was a bit skeptical. After all, these are baked. The paczki I know and love is deep fried. And since it’s Fat Tuesday coming up, and I love fried food, and I do celebrate Lent, I wasn’t sure I wanted to cut corners. In short, this review could have gone very badly for them.

On the other hand, these are only about 300-360 calories each compared to between 400 and 700 calories for the non-baked dish.

May the filling be ever in your favor

Avalon is known for their ingredients. The fillings, we’re told, are all natural with no artificial flavors or ingredients. They did not disappoint. Let’s break it down, from last to best.

Vanilla Custard

vanilla Paczki Avalon Bakery

Although really good, we ranked this number three compared to the other entrants. The dough to filling ratio wasn’t perfect for our tastes, but it was still really good if you like vanilla custard with a chocolate top.

Lemon Curd

Lemon Curd Avalon Paczki

So good. The ratios were right, the sweetness was there, and the consistency of the filling was on point.

Raspberry Preserves

Raspberry Paczki Avalon Bakery Detroit

In my and the rest of the random tasters unscientific opinion, this was the top of the heap. There was a tartness that was welcomed and it felt the most decadent. If you’re worried about seeds as sometimes is in raspberry items, there were none in our sample.

Bottom line: These were all great. It’s like picking a favorite child, but I had to. Sorry Timmy.

You can pre-order a dozen of the mixed baked paczki for $25 online and then pick it up at one of the three locations on Tuesday, February 28. Avalon has three locations. There is one in Midtown Detroit, one over on the East Side of the city, and one in Ann Arbor.

They will have paczki available for you to buy on the day of in case you don’t need a dozen, or you want a different amount of each flavor. However, I would suggest getting there early.

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