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« A Cake Bakes in Brooklyn: An Outer-Borough Version of Basbousa for Serious Eats | Main | Pastry Road Trip: Peanut Butter Cookie from On The Rise, Bozeman MT »
Sunday
Sep272009

Pastry Road Trip: A Bakery Twilight Zone Moment at Sweet Pea Bakery, Bozeman MT

Peanut butter and jelly bar, Sweet Pea Bakery
A week or so ago, somewhere in the Midwest, I think I entered a bakery twilight zone. Let me tell you my story.

On my recent pastry road trip to Chicago, I had a route which included stopping in Bozeman, Montana on my way out, and Butte on my way back home. However, as fate would have it, I got behind schedule and ended up driving through Bozeman after business hours. Oh well, I figured--I'll visit bakeries in Bozeman another time.

The week went by and I had many delicious pastries along the way to and from Chicago.

On the day that I would be passing back through Montana, though, something unusual happened. I had fallen asleep with the TV on in the hotel room, and when I awoke in the morning, what should be on but a Food Network feature on the Sweet Pea Bakery in Bozeman and their amazing key lime torte.

I figured this was as close as I would ever get to receiving a sign from the heavens that I must visit this bakery. Forget Butte--I was going to Bozeman.

And so I did. And when I arrived, the staff was super friendly...and they knew who I was (I think this is how you know you're a big deal). I was able to talk cake with owners Carrie and Seth (who I had just seen on--gasp--TV!), and all I can say is that they are basically my new heroes. It's easy to see why they have been voted Bozeman's best bakery, like, every year since the earth began--just look at what's in their bakery case:
Sweet Pea Bakery, Bozeman MT
A gorgeous and decadent-looking chocolate torte;
Sweet Pea Bakery, Bozeman MT
A pretty-as-a-picture cheesecake;
Sweet Pea Bakery, Bozeman MT
a fruit tart that would make Carmen Miranda jealous;
Sweet Pea Bakery, Bozeman MT
and, of course, their famous Key Lime Torte.

How do pastries get so pretty? Well, owner Carrie studied graphic design in college, and it definitely comes through in the aesthetic of the impeccably decorated sweets.

Since I felt that it would travel well, I took one of their peanut butter and jelly bars (pictured top) with me--and it was definitely a good decision. The buttery, cookielike crust was perfectly complemented by a sweet and slightly tart jam, and the crumb topping added a lovely crunch and density. And though I know it might be sacrilege to mention savories here, I did get to sample their spanokopita too--and it was delightfully flaky and flavorful, and a perfect treat for the road.

So what would I call this experience? Bakery kismet, at its most delicious.

Drive to Bozeman and visit Sweet Pea Bakery now--they can be found at 2622 W. Main Street, Bozeman (406)586-8200; online at sweetpeabakery.net. If you can't visit, well then, at least keep updated via Twitter!
Sweet Pea Bakery on Urbanspoon

Reader Comments (10)

Yay! I'm glad my state has represented so well. :) The Sweet Pea Bakery is beyond awesome, it's true. And I was so excited about that Food Network special too! And a WHOO! and high-five to you for being a known celeb! That's got to be a great feeling. :)

September 27 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

Lauren: Woot! I loved Montana. It is so gorgeous! Bozeman is the place I spent the most time (not even that long, alas!) and I was really taken with the culture, the people, the awesome downtown architecture...it was great. Can't wait to go back and visit even MORE bakeries.

September 27 | Unregistered CommenterCakespy

i love your blog! i am a new reader. i just started a few days ago. i love baking and seeing what other people have come up with. i want to open a bakery someday and be able to make my own creations. i have some that would be a big hit! thanks for your awesome blog.

September 28 | Unregistered Commenterolliebelle20

I never would've expected so much happening in Montana. That torte looks fabulous.

September 28 | Unregistered CommenterTender Branson

Those desserts look delicious! What a find! The key lime torte is unusual and I'd love to try it.

September 28 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara

Oh cool, you were in Chicago!

I've never heard of this place, I don't think, but I'll try and stop by next time I'm there. The chocolate torte looks cute, and I love the piping detail.

September 28 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

shhh... Don't tell anyone how amazing Bozeman really is, my plan: to retire one day and live at the foothills of Yellowstone as a Pastry eating Park Ranger!!!

One day... one day!

Seriously though, your pictures are yummy! And I am sad that on my last trip through Bozeman, I somehow missed the boat on Sweet Pea Bakery.. Curses!!

September 28 | Unregistered Commenterbadly_drawn_cookie

My family and I just got back from vacationing in Montana, and we spent an afternoon in Bozeman! I wish we had known about this place before our trip, but we will be sure it pay it a visit next time we are out west!

September 28 | Unregistered CommenterMelleah

Wow! Gorgeous sweet treats!

September 28 | Unregistered Commenterjamieofalltrades

Oh, these pastries are so beautiful. That cheesecake looks beyond amazing!! Once again, I'm so happy to be reading about your sweet adventures in Boz, makes me want to go back right away.

October 6 | Unregistered CommenterDeanna
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