Drew and Emily of Lovely and Dapper Desserts
Everyone has their favorite baked good, but cake rules supreme. Cake is the treat served at birthday parties and weddings; it’s so closely associated with happy events that cake instantly elevates a snack break to a celebration. The cakeries in our region offer so many different specialties that even if you usually prefer pastry, you’re sure to find a cake worth celebrating.
So, don’t wait for a special occasion to treat the kids — you can make any day special when you let them eat cake.
15 Nickerson St., Seattle
Byen Bakeri, located near the Fremont Bridge on the north side of Queen Anne, is an artisan Scandinavian bakery offering a wide selection of cakes by the slice. You can find a classic mocha or carrot cake, but the real draw is the uniquely Scandinavian offerings meant for sharing, such as the gooey, chocolatey Swedish kladdkaka, and the showstopping prinsesstårta (“princess cake”), a Swedish sponge cake layered with jam, custard and whipped cream, and wrapped in marzipan. The frosting on some of the sliced cakes is replaced with marzipan.
6322 Sixth Ave. S., Seattle
Cakes of Paradise in Georgetown specializes in cakes with tropical flavors, such as passionfruit, guava, mango and coconut. The bakery’s Hawaiian vibe extends to the cakes’ visual designs, which often include fruit and flower toppings. For an especially festive option, try the rainbow cake, with its multicolored tiers topped with guava, lime and passionfruit stripes. If you’re not a tropical fruit fan, check out the pudding-like frosting on the chocolate dobash cake.
6601 Carleton Ave. S., Seattle
Getting your hands on a slice of Deep Sea Sugar and Salt cake takes some commitment. Consider pre-ordering in the morning (Thursday–Saturday) to guarantee the flavor you want is still there when you get to the front of the (often long) line for your afternoon pickup at the Georgetown shop. But these slices, with up to six layers of cake, are worth the trouble. In addition to classic, sophisticated flavor combinations like salted caramel and vanilla bean custard, it offers unusual options such as London Fog, an Earl Grey cake with honey syrup and bergamot cream, and a carrot pineapple cake. Seasonal specials add variety to the mix. Look for Funfetti Oreo and cardamom pear in October.
707 First St., Snohomish
Grain is not just a cakery, but its cakes are unique to the region. Last year, the bakery committed to becoming completely gluten-free, and there are vegan options on offer, too. With flavors like s’mores and coconut mocha, you won’t miss the wheat or the dairy. Ingredients are local and seasonal, so don’t be surprised to see fresh flowers and berries adding as much flavor as beauty to the offerings. Pick up slices at the Snohomish storefront, or keep an eye out on social media for its pop-up events and farmers market appearances.
2224 N. 56th St., Seattle
If you can’t decide between cake and cheesecake, head to a cakery that offers both. Among the half dozen or so items at Hiroki, in Seattle’s Tangletown neighborhood, you can find classic cheesecake and a French-style chocolate cake. But the top sellers bring the two together: Green tea tiramisu has layers of mascarpone cream cheese and chiffon cake; and the honey cheese mango is a creamy unbaked cheesecake that replaces the crust with a foundation of buttermilk chocolate cake. Genius.
This pop-up shop of the international Lady M Confections Co. inside Bellevue Square sells slices of Lady M’s signature mille crêpes cake. Twenty paper-thin handmade crêpes are layered with light pastry cream to produce a subtly sweet cake-like experience in a variety of flavors, including tiramisu, chocolate, green tea and ube.
Pop-up locations vary
Only a year old, Lovely and Dapper Desserts doesn’t have a permanent home yet, but you can find it at the Fremont, South Lake Union and Burien weekly markets. Its tiny, Instagram-friendly cake towers consist of three layers of moist, dense cake with fluffy buttercream frosting. Emily and Drew, the couple behind the biz, offer four flavors at a time, rotating through dozens of variations on old family recipes, guaranteeing something new every time you find them.
2301 E. Union St., Seattle
On weekends, this Central District doughnut shop adds raised cake to the menu. It offers two flavors each weekend (announced on Instagram). With flavors ranging from kid favorites like cookies and cream to creative and sophisticated pairings such as fig and chèvre, the cakes draw inspiration both from traditional American cakes and the super light and fluffy styles you find at Asian bakeries. If you’re in the Central District and need cake on a weekday, Shikorina Pastries (shikorinaseattle.com), Hana Yohannes’ sustainable, inclusive bakery, is only a block away and offers a rotating daily cake available by the slice.
3421 Fremont Ave. N., Seattle
Possibly Seattle’s oldest cakery, Fremont’s Simply Desserts has been baking its dense, rich layer cakes and cheesecakes in classic flavors from scratch for 20 years. Located near the Fremont Bridge, the tiny shop always has half a dozen or more options available by the slice. But bring cash — it still doesn’t accept credit cards.
2811 Sixth Ave., Tacoma
Some devotees will argue that the Sunday-only cinnamon rolls are the best thing about The Cat & Rabbitt Cakeshop in Tacoma. But even if you agree, you can’t deny the draw of the shop’s buttercream-frosted cakes. A rotating daily menu of cake slices are available from the takeout window. But bring your own utensils, because you won’t want to wait until you get home to take a bite. Also, plan to go early; once the shop runs out of slices, the window closes.
2315 N. 45th St., Seattle
If you’ve never had a Latin American tres leches cake, the offerings at Wallingford’s Tres Lechería may come as a soggy surprise. But if you’re already a fan of the creamy, milk-soaked sponge cake — so named for the three kinds of milk in the recipe: evaporated milk, condensed milk and heavy cream — you’ll instantly recognize the offerings at Tres Lechería as some of the best. More rich than sweet, the traditional and horchata flavors of these generously portioned slices are the mainstays. But Tres Lechería also makes bolder flavor choices, such as matcha, and sweet corn and honey, as well as one seasonal offering that changes monthly, most recently, pumpkin spice.