Location: 28 Bathurst Street, Toronto
Donut Monster is a really acclaimed doughnut joint from Hamilton that recently opened a location in Toronto’s Stackt Market. I’ve been hearing nothing but good things about their doughnuts for a while now — if they hadn’t opened an outpost in Toronto, taking a long drive to Hamilton might have been in order.
I’m so glad I didn’t drive all the way to Hamilton for this.
I tried the Cherry Cheesecake Bullseye, which features sour cherry pie filling, cream cheese icing, and a graham cracker crumble.
I know a lot of people are more concerned about a doughnut’s fillings/toppings than anything else, and on that level this was pretty decent — the balance between the tart cherries and the sweet frosting was actually quite good.
But the doughnut itself was seriously disappointing; it was dense and dry and boring. It was like Wonder Bread. There’s nothing to it. I’m pretty sure the prepacked doughnuts you can get at the supermarket aren’t much worse.
It certainly wasn’t unpleasant, but from a high-end doughnut place it’s a huge let-down.
Location: 755 Queensway East, Mississauga
My first time hearing about La Casa Dolce, an Italian bakery in Mississauga that specializes in desserts, was when I recently saw a photo of the Pumpkin Butter Tart on Instagram.
Obviously, I felt an immediate and overwhelming urge to eat it ASAP. Why? Look at it, that’s why.
Butter tarts are delicious. Pumpkin pies are delicious. Surely when you cram the two desserts together, you must end up with something magical. Right…?
Well, maybe not.
It’s certainly not bad; it’s one of those things that would be very difficult to completely mess up. But the one-note sweet butter tart is nothing special, and it completely overwhelms the comparatively subtle pumpkin pie filling.
The crust is the weakest part — it’s soft, doughy, and bland. The tart is mostly inoffensively tasty, but that crust does its best to bring the whole thing down. It definitely makes me wary to go back and try some of La Casa Dolce’s other baked goods.
Oh, and that stuff on top that looks like cream? It’s actually Cool Whip or something similar. It’s not great.
Location: 28 Kensington Avenue, Toronto
I’ve tried to get the cinnamon bun from Fika Cafe a few times, and it’s been sold out every time.
I finally got one. It was worth the wait.
Fika Cafe is a Swedish bakery and coffee shop in Kensington Market; they sell a Swedish-style cinnamon bun, and it’s fantastic.
It’s basically like a cross between a Swedish cardamom bun and a more traditional cinnamon roll, and it’s so damn good. It tastes more strongly of cinnamon than cardamom, but that slightly floral cardamom taste is definitely there; it’s a delightful balance.
Everything else about it is pretty much perfect — it has the perfect amount of sweetness, with a light sugary glaze and additional pops of sweetness and texture from the pearl sugar on top. It’s pretty restrained, however, so if you’re expecting a Cinnabon-esque sugar-bomb, look elsewhere.
The pastry itself is dense but not too dense, with a nice chewy texture and just the right amount of fluffiness. And of course, the aforementioned cinnamon/cardamom balance is just right. It’s one of the best pastries I’ve had in a while.
Location: 1121 Queen Street East, Toronto
I’ve already mentioned Bobbette and Belle, a delightful bakery on the east end (they also have a location north of the city).
I quite enjoyed the last cupcake I had here — the cookies and cream — but the pineapple coconut variety I just had blew it out of the water. It was outstanding. It might have been the best cupcake I’ve ever had, and that’s not a proclamation I make lightly.
Holy moly it was so good. I only have the one photo, because I wasn’t planning on blogging about it, but then I ate it and of course I have to blog about it.
The balance between the fluffy buttercream icing and the perfectly moist cake is phenomenal, and the coconut and pineapple flavours work incredibly well together. That’s not to mention the toasted coconut on top, which adds more flavour and a delightful crispiness.
Seriously: it’s ridiculous how delicious this cupcake is.
Location: 1121 Queen Street East, Toronto
I kind of hate going to a good bakery, because I want to eat that, and that, and that, and that, but there’s only so much room inside my stomach. It’s kind of like Sophie’s Choice, but at least she only had two children to choose between; there’s like a dozen things here that look delicious.
I wound up going with the Cookies and Cream cupcake at Bobbette and Belle, but there were so many other pastries I could have picked. Everything looked great.
I’d say I chose pretty well. The cupcake features a chocolate base topped with an Oreo-infused frosting. It’s delightful. The cake is nice and moist, with a satisfying chocolatey flavour. And the frosting is sweet (but not overly sweet) and creamy, with a nice balance of cookie chunks. It’s one of the better cupcakes I’ve had in a while.