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Cakewalk: Mostly Doughnuts in Sultan and Monroe, WA

Homer Simpson Donut, Fresh + Fancy Donuts, Monroe, WA
No doubt about it, it was a dark Monday this week, what with the financial crisis and all-time stock market lows. Needing a bit of reprieve, we took to the road to clear our minds and get some sweet relief by way of sugary carbohydrates. Heading a mere 45 minutes out of Seattle, it was if we'd escaped these urban worries: with a pastoral backdrop including ponies, cows, farms and mountains, we set to tasting some delicious baked goods. Without consciously seeking it out, we ended up gravitating toward doughnuts on most of the trip. But in retrospect, doesn't it make sense? After all, when you split it in half, sharing a doughnut is like sharing a smile. Here's a recap of our adventure:

We walked up to our first stop, Sky River Bakery, only to meet disappointment--apparently, they're closed Sunday and Monday. Now, will you allow us a slight rant? (Thank you). These are awful days for a bakery to be closed--Sunday being the perfect day for a leisurely morning cinnamon roll, and Mondays being a day on which we could all use a sweet lift. That aside, we will grudgingly admit that it looked like a cute place from the outside. Sky River Bakery, 117 1/2 W Main St, Monroe, WA 98272, (360) 794-7434; online at skyriverbakery.com.


Delicious Concha, La Talpita
Luckily for us, before we pulled away we spied the word "PANADERIA" across the street; while we don't speak Spanish, we know that this vital word means deliciousness awaits. Though it was a dimly lit grocery filled will all sorts of Mexican groceries and sundries, they had a surprisingly full case of Conchas, pan dulce, and other hispanic specialties. The concha, while perhaps not the best we've ever tasted, certainly did soften the blow of our first stop being closed. La Talpita, 118 W. Main St, Monroe, WA.

Sultan Bakery DonutSultan BakeryBig Foot, Sultan BakeryFruit bars and cream puffs at Sultan Bakery

Our next stop was the wonderful Sultan Bakery, which doubles as a cafe-diner and was well attended at 11 am with early lunchers and laborers taking coffee breaks. This place moves at a slower pace than urbanites might like, but ultimately your patience will be rewarded. We chose the "bigfoot"--a maple bar shaped like, well, you know, as well as a few iced cake doughnuts. While the maple icing on the bigfoot was delicious, it was the cake doughnuts that really shone--cakey, and with just the slightest, very delightful, bit of "bite" in the icing. Sultan Bakery, 711 W Stevens Ave, Sultan, WA 98294 (360) 793-7996.

Old School BBQ
At this point, if you'll allow, we'd like to give a shout-out to one place for savory fare, just because its very presence astounds us: Old School BBQ, a roadside barbecue joint housed in an old school bus. As if that wasn't cool enough? It's right next to the Reptile Museum (at which, in case you were wondering, you can get espresso too). If that doesn't sound like a recipe for complete awesomeness, we don't know what does. Read about one foodie's experience at Old School BBQ here. We couldn't find the address or phone number, so we'll include the contact info for the Reptile Museum: 22715 State Route 2, Monroe, WA - (360) 805-5300‎.

Buttermilk Maple bar, Fresh + Fancy Donuts, Monroe, WAFresh + Fancy Donuts
Our final stop was Fresh + Fancy Donuts in Monroe. Nestled in an unassuming strip mall, the yeasty, sugary doughnut smell embraces you the moment you walk in; the employee was adorable, friendly and as sweet as the doughnuts. We picked up some pink frosted doughnuts that would make Homer Simpson proud, as well as a buttermilk bar with maple frosting and a sweet glazed cruller. The doughnuts were absolute perfection, with the oil seeping in just enough for a tantalizing crunch in each sugary bite. 19983 State Route 2, Monroe, WA 98272 (360) 863-0782.


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Reader Comments (23)

i love the mix of "high" and "low" on cakespy--- the history of the eclair,on to cake walk in small town washington... always so much variety and lots of fun! total triple threat with the BBQ bus, reptile zoo (??) and espresso. likely the best date two people could ever have: brisket, iguanas, lattes... :)

October 5 | Unregistered Commenterlyndsay

I used to live in Monroe and still visit the Northwest when I can. It's a shame about SkyRiver not being open. But if you do head that way again call ahead and ask them to make up some Dill Scallion bread, it is certainly worth the drive. And the owners are the sweetest people, though maybe it's because they are have known me since I was 4!

Regardless it put a smile on my face to see that you had made the trip to Monroe... and yes even Sultan!

October 5 | Unregistered Commenterteressa

interesting info and really nice doughnuts :-)

October 5 | Unregistered CommenterSnooky doodle

so do you guys work out a lot? Visiting bakeries sounds like a fun way to spend the day!

October 5 | Unregistered CommenterAmylouwho

awww, man...I wish we had neat places like that around here. One of the few remaining independently owned bakeries in downtown Indy closed just last week. Although the owner was a bit of a turd, they did have good stuff.

I come here and I think why Im hungry??? and of course I know why!! beatiful pics!!! Gloria

October 5 | Unregistered CommenterGloria

this was all in one day? wow! it would take me about a week, what with all the buckling and unbuckling of car seats :)

can you mail me a doughnut?

Yum yum yum :)
Conchas are a subset of pan dulce, btw. Messy crumbly tops, but totally worth it :D
Maranitos and conchas are my favorite pan dulces <3

October 5 | Unregistered CommenterTeaspoon

Heck yeah, a repitile zoo. I am so dragging my husband out for BBQ and lizards.

October 6 | Unregistered CommenterPeabody

your job makes my job feel like scooping up donkey dung for a living. :)

October 6 | Unregistered CommenterGrace

OOOh I want a "big foot"!

October 6 | Unregistered CommenterEB

I work in the financial world - so maybe I should take a little field trip like this one!

October 6 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah

It seems the good people of Monroe WA are doing their part to maintain the "average American eats X kilos of sugar per year"...hang on...pounds, I meant pounds...

Wow, that is a whole pile of frosting and pink dye, isn't it? Not to mention the sprinkles and 100s and 1000s! Impressive!

: )

October 6 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

That first image you have of the pink sprinkled donut ... true heaven. That is the most perfect pink I have seen. This just confirms that I absolutely adore looking at pretty baked goods! You guys are always so interesting at cakespy. I dream of seeing these special treats. Lyns

That first image you have of the pink sprinkled donut ... true heaven. That is the most perfect pink I have seen. This just confirms that I absolutely adore looking at pretty baked goods! You guys are always so interesting at cakespy. I dream of seeing these special treats. Lyns

October 6 | Unregistered CommenterLyns

Field trips, leave the city, carbs, big foot - sounds so much better than everything we're hearing on the news. After today, I'm almost afraid to turn on the t.v. news in the morning.

October 6 | Unregistered Commentergiz

I haven't received ANY update alert emails for Cakespy in ages :0(

October 7 | Unregistered CommenterVeggieGirl

Interesting information and a great post cakespy!! I always come away hungry viewing all those wonderful bakes....

Rosie x

October 7 | Unregistered CommenterRosie

There is so much personality in each of those little places. How fun to try them all out. Now I'm craving sprinkled donuts though!

I SO wish these cool places existed in my neck of the woods. Too many strip malls here. ALL looks SO divine. I would kill for a doughnut right now!

October 8 | Unregistered CommenterPrudence

Lyndsay: Thanks! I know, isn't that bus awesome?!?

Teressa: Yeah, Sky river looked like a good one--oh well, always next time!!

Snooky: Oh yeah they were!

Amy: Walk, not work out. Working out gives me hives.

Courteous: Have you ever been to Long's doughnuts? I have heard they are good.

Gloria: Ha! Don't come here if you're dieting!

Abigail: They weren't all eaten at the same time. :-)

Teaspoon: Whatever type of pan dulce it is, I know we like it!!

Peabody: Totally!! You've got to go. Totally awesome, that place!

Grace: Depends...what is your job?

EB: I want another one!

Deborah: You totally should!

Amanda: Yup! Thank you, good people of Monroe. As you can see -- we ALWAYS go for pink.

Sweet Cuppin: I know, that is the most perfect color for doughnut frosting, isn't it?

Giz: I concur, sometimes you just need a sweet break!

Veggiegirl: Did you get this week's? I need to check. I still got mine so I hope it didn't go to your spam filter or something!

Rosie: Thanks!

Satisfying: Good! Go get one!

Prudence: Sometimes the best places are in strip malls! :-)

October 11 | Unregistered CommenterCakespy

oh my stomach is growling. i have a real thing for fried dough...

October 13 | Unregistered CommenterAran

sky river ROCKS!
My three pregnancy cravings have been satisfied there!
(and I'm always sad when they are closed too.)
Ham and Cheese Biscuits
Morning Glory Muffins
Lotta Lemon Muffins

November 9 | Unregistered CommenterAlyce
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