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Harvest Moon Bakery in Fort Smith

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You know I have no problem traveling around this state for a good bakery. Great news, I stumbled upon another winner: Harvest Moon Bakery in Fort Smith. Opened in 2018, the bakery specializes in a variety of items from sourdough bread to dinner rolls to doughnuts, and it’s all made right there in an open, expansive kitchen for all the world to see.

“Unlike many restaurants, we are happy to have an open view of our kitchen. Everything we make is made in plain view and we love giving our customers that upfront experience,” says co-owner Desirae Mastropaolo.

While everything I tried on my visit was outstanding, the crown jewel of the experience was the cinnamon sugar doughnut, rather, I should say: cronut. At Harvest Moon, they’re Halo doughnuts, and the process of making them from start to finish is a lengthy one.

“Our Halo doughnuts are something that really set us apart. They are made with our hand-laminated croissant dough. Each doughnut has 160 layers of high quality, New Zealand butter and dough. They are a two-day process to make and time is one of the most important ingredients when it comes to flavor. We then fry them and coat them with either our vanilla glaze, maple or chocolate icing, or cinnamon sugar. There is no other doughnut in Fort Smith anything like the Halo. It is truly the king of all doughnuts,” says Mastropaolo.

I imagine she’s correct, as I have never had anything like the Halo, at least not in Arkansas. After biting into one, I suggest spending the next few seconds admiring all the meticulous layers throughout the interior. It is truly a work of art.

The soft dinner rolls, as I found out the next day during a home-cooked meal, were just as memorable, as was the cheese Danish, chocolate croissant, and apple fritter, although I am kicking myself for not getting a loaf of bread at Harvest Moon.

“Our sourdough bread is how we got started. It is an authentic, long fermented dough made with just flour, water, and salt. We make everything completely from scratch using recipes that that we have done extensive testing with, making them the very best version we have ever tasted.”

And as with most bakeries this time of year, the holiday season is particularly busy. The folks at Harvest Moon will be ready.

“We always roll out some special treats for the holidays. Our pecan pie cannot be beat! It is sweetened only with real maple syrup and dark brown sugar. You can enjoy that traditional pecan pie flavor without the overwhelming sweetness of corn syrup. We also make pumpkin pie, pumpkin tarts, pumpkin cream cheese bread, apple spice cake with caramel buttercream, and fall-themed macaron flavors. When the weather gets cooler, we also make a French-style hot chocolate and a delicious wassail, which is a spiced apple cider.”

Anyone else hungry? If so, please go check out Harvest Moon Bakery in Fort Smith.

Harvest Moon Bakery
5441 S 24th (Fort Smith)
Phone: 479-242-1006
Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-3 p.m.; Closed Saturday & Sunday

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Kevin Shalin is a food writer living in Little Rock with his wife, Sara, and two daughters, Natalie (12) and Sydney (7). He started his own blog, The Mighty Rib, seven years ago while living in Houston. Six months later, he began writing for Eating Our Words, a Houston Press food blog. After a year in Boston, he moved to Little Rock, where he’s been for almost five years. During that time, he’s written for Little Rock Soiree, Rock City Eats, Treatsie, and Bourbon and Boots.

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