True Confections, which opened in 2009, is nestled in the Grove Arcade in the heart of downtown, near the American Pinball Museum. This coffee shop sets itself apart from other bakeries by the quality and innovativeness of its offerings. It’s also the self-declared home of the “Best Iced Coffee” in the greater Asheville area. (We think it’s good, but are not yet ready to endorse this statement.) The atmosphere at True Confections is relaxed and friendly, and no one rushes you if you prefer to linger over your coffee. The hours extend well into the evening, which makes it a great place to meet up with friends after work.
Most of True Confections’ success can be credited to its owner, Carole Miller, a Culinary Institute of America graduate who has been baking professionally for more than 20 years. Her passion for using the finest baking ingredients and making all items from scratch shines through in the quality and wonderful tastes at the coffee shop.
While the menu clearly favors baked goods and coffee and tea beverages, there are a few entree-type items available, such as the breakfast quiche. Vegetarians and vegans will find plenty of menu items to interest them, including the vegan chocolate cake that is amazingly light and moist. There are also some gluten-free options, such as the graham cracker cake, which features chopped pecans instead of flour, and the macaroons made with almond paste.
What keeps True Confections from being a five-star establishment is the service. Sometimes the service is fast and friendly. Other times, the servers act like you’re putting them out by visiting the coffee shop. Still other times, there are too few servers (often just one) to handle the crowd.
A few of our favorite menu items at True Confections include:
The lemon bars at True Confections are among the best we’ve ever tasted, and we’ve tasted dozens. These have a shortbread crust and a delicious lemon custard filling that melts in your mouth.
Caramel Peanut Butter Cheesecake
The name says it all — and this confection lives up to those promises. Yummy!
Coconut Cream Pie
True Confections’ version of this traditional dessert is often the reason we stop by in the middle of the day. The rich pie crust is loaded with a toasted coconut filling and topped with coconut milk whipped cream.
Carole’s Signature Sour Cream Fudge Cake
If you only have the time and budget to try one item at True Confections, make it the sour cream fudge cake. This three-layer cake made with brown sugar and sour cream and topped with a chocolate fudge icing is to die for.
Definitely not your average restaurant carrot cake, True Confections’ version is three layers of goodness with lots of nuts, raisins and carrots and topped with a rich (but delicious) cream cheese icing.
-Like other bakeries, True Confections has a much better selection of baked items the earlier in the day you visit.
-Nab one of the patio tables for some of the best people-watching in downtown Asheville.
-You can custom-order cakes and other dessert items with 48 hours’ notice and a small plate deposit. They also make cupcakes, cakes and other confections for wedding receptions and other large parties.