CakeSpy Undercover: The Salvadorean Bakery, White Center

Let's take a moment to celebrate new experiences.

I'm talking, of course, about CakeSpy's visit to The Salvadorean Bakery (what did you think I was talking about?).

This is a bakery visit that was a long time in the making. I've heard great stories; I've even sampled some of the goods (including their famous Tres Leches Cake). But until a couple weeks ago, I had never actually visited the retail location.

But oh, I was so glad I did. And you will be, too, when you go.

When you first walk in, you'll be impressed and delighted by the array of baked goods, in a big, beautiful expanse of glass bakery case. In a variety of colors, textures, and flavors, it's fun to take several minutes to decide on your ideal pastry assortment.

Ultimately I settled on a couple of the the Pastelito de Leche, the Sandino de Mango, the Pastel de Crema, and the Maria Luisa de Pina.

The Pastelito de Leche (rice flour cookie filled with sweet Salvadorean style custard), were sort of like sweet, milky custard-filled little empanadas. The crust itself wasn't too sweet but the filling was, which added a nice contrast, and it they were crusted with sugar which made them sparkle prettily in the sunlight (pictured top).

The Sandino de Mango (a cookie filled with mango jam), which were crumbly little morsels held together with a sweet, sticky jam which once again, was a nice contrast to the not-too-sweet dough.

The Pastel de Crema (white cake willed with bavarian creme, and dusted with cinnamon), was probably my personal favorite, with a thick layer of cream on top which kept the cake more moist than the other pastry specimens sampled, and nicely contrasted by the spicy cinnamon for a sort of horchata-esque flavor.

And finally, the so-pink-it-almost-hurt Maria Luisa de Pina (white cake filled with pineapple, topped with meringue), which was good, but a drier sort of cake (not stale--just drier in texture) so a good candidate to be paired with a strong, milky coffee, or ice cream, or both.

Of course, you'd be a fool not to try their specialty, the Tres Leches Cake. Officially, it translates to "Three Milks"--but unofficially, it translates to "Triple Yum".

Moreover, the baked goods were on the drier end of the scale, but as mentioned in the description of the Maria Luisa, this is not to say they weren't fresh. Now, maybe a reader or three can help here, but it seems that many baked goods which have roots in Central America do err toward dryness. Upon looking at several Pan Dulce recipes, it does seem that many of them call for shortening or margarine (or lard!) rather than butter as a primary source of fat--could this be the reason? Or perhaps the fact that in Central America, where coffee is also quite popular, pastries are made drier to pair well with it? (CakeSpy Shrug)

The Salvadorean Bakery, 1719 SW Roxbury Street; online at

Salvadorean Bakery on Urbanspoon

Great Balls of Cake: Cake Balls from 3.14 Bakery, White Center, WA

...and to think, I was about to order a cookie.

It's true: when I recently made a trek to finally visit two West Seattle bakeries I'd never visited in person, I had all but settled on a cookie at 3.14 Bakery (as you'll recall, I have tried their cinnamon rolls, thanks to Stacy!).

But on my way to the register to pay, I saw this unassuming little sign:

OMG! Cake Balls! Forget you, cookie!

And so I got the Red Velvet covered in white chocolate.

There is a problem with these cake balls, and it is the fact that the amount of joy resulting from the $1 price tag is simply not in line. These are dollar bites of heaven. Beyond rich cake, kept moist by a protective wall of white chocolate, these are not high cuisine, but they're awfully tasty. (Disclaimer: CakeSpy loves white chocolate)

If you find yourself in West Seattle, get one. Or ten. You decide.

Cake Balls! (and they have other stuff too). From 3.14 Bakery, 9602 16th Ave SW, Seattle. On Facebook here.

Cakewalk in West Seattle

We've heard that Eddie Vedder, who resides in West Seattle, occasionally goes by the pseudonym "Wes C. Addle". Certainly a neighborhood capable of leaving such an impression must have some great virtues, not to mention some great bakeries.

Cakespy Note: Sunday is a great day to visit West Seattle due to the farmer's market, which is a wonderful opportunity to try a bunch of great Seattle pastries all in one place. 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Sundays through December at the corner of California Ave. SW and SW Alaska; online at

Here are Cakespy's highlights from West Seattle:

Alki Bakery: The Alki Bakery has a location in the Seatac Airport and additionally sells wholesale to Tully's, so we were a bit skeptical that the pastry might taste a little...well, mass-produced. Although the sandwiches didn't look like anything exceptional, the cinnamon rolls and shortcakey scones left quite an impression. 2738 Alki Ave. SW (at 61st Ave. SW); online at

Bakery Nouveau: Bakery Nouveau is a little bit like a hot girl who knows that she's hot. With some pretty high accolades and a hotshot pastry chef, it's got a lot of pressure to live up to: and it does. Rows of French patisserie-style pastries line the glass shelves with American favorites like cheesecake (all Paris-ed out with Laduree style macaroons) and sexy carrot cake slices with velvety frosting. 4737 California Ave. SW (between SW Alaska & SW Edmunds Sts); online at

Coffee to a Tea With Sugar: The sign reading "Happy Hour--half price cake 7-9 p.m." bodes extremely well at this cute cafe, and we were willing to forgive them for the cutesy name and the inexplicable beeping sound that kept on going off. The cupcakes are beautiful, dense and completely fulfilling. They're available on a rotating basis; take their cupcake menu home and read it before bed for sweet dreams. 4541 California Ave. SW (between SW Oregon & SW Alaska Sts).

Eats Market Cafe:
We imagine that under the dictionary listing for dessert, the pictures must look something like the pastries made by Eats Market. Homemade (but of course by someone much more skilled than you) and classic, think perfect buttery cupcakes, rich and chewy bars, and some extremely handsome sweet crostata with fruit. Sunday at the West Seattle Farmer's Market, California Ave. SW and SW Alaska; storefront at 2600 SW Barton St; online at

Herban Feast: A little taste of Herban Feast's fare at the Sunday farmer's market has left us hungry for more. Their crumbly lemon-rosemary shortbread cookies were wonderful, and their full dessert menu online looks even better. Sunday at the West Seattle Farmer's Market, California Ave SW and SW Alaska; online at

Little Prague Bakery: If your Grandma came from the old country, maybe she told you stories with a funny accent and served you rich strudels after school. If that wasn't your childhood, visit Little Prague Bakery today and make up for lost time. Sunday at the West Seattle Farmer's Market, California Ave. SW and SW Alaska; storefront at 6045 California Ave. SW (between SW Raymond & SW Graham Sts).

The Original Bakery: This bakery is homey and almost completely lacking in pretention; the moment you walk in, you feel as if you've walked into another era. The cookies have a slightly nordic flavor, and the doughnuts are rich and satisfying. 9253 45th Ave. SW (at SW Willowood Rd).

Shoofly Pie Co.: This new pie bakery may have an identity crisis (the facade is just this side of garish, the inside is erring on too minimalist), but luckily the pie suffers none of this turmoil. The crust is gorgeously misshapen; the fillings are alternately smooth and rich on the cream pies and delightfully oozing on the fruit pies; it's worth the trip. 4444 California Ave. SW (between Genesee & Oregon Sts).

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