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Cakewalk in Wallingford, Seattle

Cafe Au Lait Cupcakes Closeup
Never have we come across a neighborhood more in love with its name than Wallingford, a neighborhood with a low-key hippie persona in Seattle. In fact, on a recent trip there we noted all of the below "W" word references...all within a half-block.

However, strangely, just a few blocks from the main drag, the boundaries get blurred; according to some sources Wallingford's boundaries are thought of as Stone Way N to the west, Lake Union to the south; Interstate 5 to the east, and Woodland Park and NE 60th St. to the north. While some call the retail stretch along North 55th street "Tanglewood", we're counting it as Wallingford for added deliciousness in this Cakewalk; however, we have not included any bakeries south of 36th Street, because to us that just feels more like Fremont.
 But boundaries and name obsession aside, we're happy to say that sweetness abounds in Wallingford; here are some of our Cakewalking favorites:

Pastries in Wallingford 
Boulangerie: Pining for pithiviers? Craving a croissant? Jonesing for--ok, we'll stop. The pastry here is buttery, flaky, and sweet--but like most French pastry, it's best enjoyed fresh; a good stop for the morning hours. Plus, we can't confirm, but we expect, that this bakery served as inspiration for the one in the book Pastries by Bharti Kirchner. Cakespy Note: for what it's worth, we far prefer their flaky items (croissant, pain au chocolat) to their choux pastry items (éclairs, etc) here. 2200 N 45th St.; (206) 634-2211.


Custom Request, Undressed CuppieThe Erotic Bakery 

The Erotic Bakery: Everyone in Seattle knows about this place, and if they say they don't they're lying. Their name pretty much says it all--cakes, cupcakes, cookies and candies are all erotically charged here, decorated with naughty bits built to order. While we thought that places like this were more about shock value than fine baking, we must say we were amazed at the meticulous amount of detail that goes into their fondant "sculpture" pieces--and naughtiness aside, the quality of the baking surprised us as well; the cookie we sampled was actually quite toothsome. Not life-changing, but pleasantly surprising nonetheless. 2323 N 45th St; (206) 545-6969.

Love that logoPastries at Fuel (Muffins by Fresh Flours)
Fuel: We love a good logo, but it's even better if, like Fuel, your products are just as good. Our friendly barista made a killer Americano, and the pastry case was stacked with goodies from Fresh Flours (we approve of the Green Tea muffins) and Mighty-O Donuts; what's not to love? We went to the 1705 N. 45th St. location; online at fuelcoffeeseattle.com.
Hiroki: Hiroki is rather unassuming from the outside, but inside there's some magic being cooked up: signature desserts include Green Tea Tiramisu, Gâteau Basque, and chocolate-orange cookies. The standard is clearly very high in Chef Hiroki's kitchen; everything is exceedingly well-made and precise. If we must be completely honest though, sometimes we feel unsophisticated when faced with elegant desserts like these; so to us, this would be more of an after-dinner place than an everyday haunt. Then again, nobody's ever going to accuse us of having too much class--you know how common our tastes can be2224 North 56th St., (206) 547-4128; online at hiroki.us.
Marionberry Scone from Irwin's
Irwin's: Situated in an unlikely residential area, Irwin's boasts a case full of gorgeously carbohydrate rich treats, many of which (muffins, scones and cookies) are made in-house. We hear it's not a good choice for the morning rush, as service can be slow--but in the early afternoon, we couldn't imagine anything nicer than spending some quality time with one of those shortbready-rich little fruit-studded scones. We've not sampled their savory fare, but have heard mixed reviews. 2123 N 40th St; (206) 675-1484.

This is a really big macaroon.Julia's in Wallingford 
Julia's of Wallingford: Julia's seems to be one of those places that people either love or hate. To us, the retail bakery feels like a portal to 1993--with cases full of hippie-ish cookies, oat bars, and hearty treats like the coconut macaroons the size of your fist, it gives us memories of a time when it was cool to wear "Save the Whales" t-shirts, stirrup leggings, and Birkenstocks--all at the same time. Perhaps it's the memory of these awkward years that scares off some. But moreover we like Julia's, what with their hearty, mostly beige-hued baked goods; we don't like their cakes quite as much, but think they're worth a visit. 4401 Wallingford Avenue N., 206-633-1175; eatatjulias.com.

Mighty-O, Mighty Pleasure!Mighty-O Donuts, Seattle 
Mighty-O Donuts: We didn't even know that these donuts were vegan the first time we tried them, but we did know that we liked them. These donuts are not for the feint of heart--none of that light-as-air business here. These donuts are seriously dense, cakey, and seriously tasty. While you can get Mighty-O Donuts at coffee shops and grocery stores throughout the city, the flagship is worth a visit: seasonal flavors and a full variety of flavors you won't see in other stores are here, plus all those vegan employees are just so freakin' cute. 2110 N. 55th St., 206.547.0335; online at mightyo.com.

Trophy CupcakesRed Velvet Cupcakes, Trophy Cupcakes
Trophy Cupcakes: You've heard us rhapsodize about Trophy Cupcakes before, and we'll do it again. Tucked away from street view in the Wallingford Center (a renovated former schoolhouse), Trophy embodies the full spirit of celebration, with impeccable decor, cute party products...but of course, most importantly--beautifully crafted, and toe-curlingly good cupcakes (read our interview with owner Jennifer Shea here!). Our favorites? The Chai Cardamom, Hummingbird, and of course, the one that Martha made famous. 1815 N. 45th Street, in the Wallingford Center; online at trophycupcakes.com.


Some ridiculously huge pie at Zoka"Zoka" Bar 

Zoka Coffee: The pastry case here is an absolute feast for the eyes, overflowing with deep-dish pies in flavors from a vaguely virtuous blueberry to an absolutely sinful chocolate peanut butter; cookies ranging from vegan thumbprints to dense chocolate truffle cookies, to the decadent "Zoka Bar"-- a multilayer confection of coconut, chocolate, butterscotch and walnuts cradled on a graham cracker crust (reminiscent of the Magic Cookie bar from Magnolia Bakery, or the Bakedbar of Brooklyn). We love it all, and everything (except for a few bread items like bagels) is made in-house at their own commercial bakery. Sweet. A few different locations, but we visited 2200 N. 56th St.; online at zokacoffee.com.

Any other Wallingford favorites? Let us know!


Also, we've not yet been to brand-new ice creamery Molly Moon in the Wallingford Center--has anyone else? We'd love to hear your thoughts!


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Reader Comments (39)

Green tea muffins sound interesting. Next major super-food-drink that I predict will pop up in baked goods in 2-3 years: yerba mate. Well, maybe sooner now that I've said that. One of my fellow grad students is putting out a great paper soon (at least he'd better be) about how amazing it is, and with some nice green/ tea-like notes and great health benefits I see good things coming.

May 17 | Unregistered Commenterchou

I wanna Trophy Cupcakes store in my suburb!

May 18 | Unregistered CommenterCakelaw

Cakespy I see this and Im hungry!!!!all is beauty, what's nice store!! xGloria

May 18 | Unregistered CommenterGloria

Nice post..it was good to read your thoughts on it !

I just love your cakewalk spying!! Great post :) I just adore that first pic such a yummy cupcake mmmmm

Rosie x

May 19 | Unregistered CommenterRosie

SoHo: Did you end up going to Molly Moon? How did you like it?

Hilary: Yea!! You'll be in town at a nice time for it if you're coming to Bumbershoot!

Susanna: Their donuts are so good they defy any "vegan" or "nonvegan" labels--they're just tasty! A must-try.

Diva: Thanks! Good thing it's too cool for school, cos we were too busy sneaking M+M's during school to really learn much. Kidding!

Katy: Ah, afterschool candy. The sweetest taboo.

Glamah: Ha! And yes, they are all really nice bakeries!

Ricky: Me too, looking at it again!

Rachel: Ooh, the salted caramel sounds amazing! How was it? Too bad that you have to move back to the other building when you've been in bakery central! I hear Ezell's has great cornbread though!

RecipeGirl: You come to seattle and a cakewalk is in order!

Dana: It was a delicious few days (multiple visits in an effort to not get too TOO fat)

Obsessive Foodie: $69 please!

Dhanggit: It's a whole lot of fun! Glad you enjoyed!

Melisser: We do too! Not only the taste but they're so cute too.

Caked Crusader: Thanks! It's a great neighborhood for bakeries!

Grace: Ha! It's not bad as jobs go, I will say.

Aran: It's not a huge neighborhood--what can I say, we Seattleites just love our carbs! And a lot of Seattle people (not me) do things like rock climbing to burn off calories. I just walk everywhere.

And...I was right there with you in the fashion faux pas department!

Veggiegirl: It's just one neighborhood in Seattle! Oh the delights that await you when you visit!

Amanda: No, I don't think you're alone.

Bunny: Yup! Sugar high!!!

Christina: We rather like them. Worth a try!

Cupcakegirl: Come visit!

Jerri: It's nice to walk around as well...but you can see what the lure is for us!

Bazu: Thank you!

Lina: Thanks so much! You're sweet.

Passionate Baker: Seattle is indeed a great bakery town!

Chou: I can see your point. I keep on seeing yerba mate around Seattle at whole foods or the co-ops...I wouldn't be surprised to see it as a baked good trend next!

Cakelaw: Duh, everyone does! :-)

Gloria: Glad you enjoyed!

Anamika: Thanks! Our thoughts were delicious.

Rosie: Thanks! And it was yummy. :-)

May 19 | Unregistered CommenterCakespy

Great Wallingford tribute!
It's not a cake joint, but Molly Moon's ice cream shop just opened and it's very much worth checking out. All local all organic ingredients, tons of fabulous flavors (strawberry balsamic swirl-need I say more?)

If you like ice cream even a little, you'd best get your butt out there. Trust me.

May 19 | Unregistered CommenterBrittany

I think this is a sign that I need to visit Seattle very, very, very soon. Great review coupled with excellent photos... Trophy Cupcakes? I nearly licked my monitor.

I think this is a sign that I need to visit Seattle very, very, very soon. Great review coupled with excellent photos... Trophy Cupcakes? I nearly licked my monitor.

Yummie !!
I'll be passin' here

This is great! Did you forget Essential Baking Company? Yummmmmm.....

May 24 | Unregistered CommenterNora Bee

Discovered your site, and I'm so excited to learn about all the other bakeries around the
Wallingford area. We live at Trophy Cupcakes and go there everytime we visit Daddy at UW, so we can't wait to check out the other places.

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