Seven Days of Sweet Indulgence: Portland Edition
Drink Me, beckoned the potion. Eat Me, invited the cake.
Portland’s otherworldly confections call to us in much the same way the magical sweets summoned Alice. One lip-licking nibble of the Rose City’s dulcet delights is all it takes to tumble down the rabbit hole into a sugar-fueled adventure.
Day One | Blue Star Donuts
What better way to start your morning than with a buttery, brioche-based glazed cloud of happiness— aka, a Blue Star donut. Katie and Micah, founders, co-owners, and the brains behind the budding glazed empire (there are now outposts in Los Angeles, and Japan) have elevated the once low-brow nosh to newfangled heights. The ingredients for the dough are sourced locally—Shepherds Grain bread flour, Sunshine Dairy’s hormone-free whole milk, Stiebrs’ cage-free eggs, and European-style butter from Larsen’s creamery—as are the ever changing, seasonal elements used in the fillings and glazes. Each batch is slowly crafted by hand and takes upwards of eighteen hours until the dough is ready to brown in a sizzling bath of rice oil. Every donut is then hand-dipped, filled if needed, and ready to be savored.
The most recognizable offering in the case is the PR darling— Blueberry, Bourbon (the batter is liberally doused with Bulleit Bourbon) and Basil. There are, however, over a dozen other stunners from which to choose including: Chipotle Chocolate Ganache, Cointreau Creme Brulee, Pistachio, Orange, and Cocoa Nib, Dulce de Leche and Almonds, and Valrhona Chocolate Crunch—not to mention an anything-but-ordinary glazed and a never-a-plain-jane Sugar and Spice. All perfect for pairing with a steaming cup of inky, black Stumptown brew or a fragrant, Earl Grey from local tea purveyor Steve Smith.
Indulgence | Two perfectly-crafted donuts: Mexican Hot Chocolate and Maple Glazed and Bacon. Ideal for a mad tea party for one.
Blue Star Donuts | 1237 SW Washington Street | Portland, Oregon | 97205 | 503.265.8410
Day Two | The Cakery
Award-winning cookbook author and baker Julie Richardson infuses her lovely vintage-inspired cakes with a dash of nostalgia and a dusting of adoration for the corner of the world she calls home. Inspired by the abundant offerings of the farms and orchards of Oregon and the local’s love for baking from the heart, this classically trained pastry chef set out to pay homage to her home state in the sweetest way possible—via an always enchanting mélange of eggs, sugar, butter, and flour.
Reimagined classics including Vanilla Dream Cake (buttery gold cake with vanilla bean buttercream), Lovely Lemon Cake (light lemon chiffon cake with tart lemon curd ), Carrot Cake (spicy cake loaded with carrots walnuts and raisins) and Mocha Cake (coffee and chocolate devil’s food cake) flirt, cajole, and tempt from their spinning carousel to be devoured by the slice or wholly.
Indulgence | A slice of Pink Cake (devil’s food cake with raspberry buttercream frosting) as elegant as the White Queen and guaranteed to make you swoon with delight.
The Cakery | 6306 SW Capitol Highway | Portland, Oregon | 97239 | 503.546.3737
Day Three| Quin Candy
Candy is Magic is the mantra that rules this black and white bijou space nestled between Powell’s Books and Ace Hotel. Owner and sugar-spinner Jamie Curl, formerly of Saint Cupcake, reimagines adored childhood candy classics using high quality, locally-sourced ingredients: fresh cream and butter for the caramels, Oregon cherries and berries for the lollipops and gumdrops—as well as Water Avenue coffee beans, Smith tea, Jacobsen Salt, and Union Wine (wine lolly anyone?). While the offerings change according to whimsy and the season, a few enduring favorites include: Chocolate Dreams Come Chew (creamy, chewy chocolate squares), Smoky Cola Gumdrops (coke, smoked sugar, and a shimmer of salt), Maple and Cracked Black Pepper Caramels (think maple kissed bacon), and Cherry Lollipops (Oregon-grown Sweetheart cherries and sprinkle of love).
One thing is certain, whatever you choose will send you hurtling back to childhood on the Nostalgia Sugar Express.
Indulgence | A bag of Smith Tea Lord Bergamot Caramels (a whisper of orange and a shout of black tea). It’s a mad combination, but then all the best… are.
Quin Candy | 1022 W. Burnside Street | Portland, Oregon | 97209 | 971.300.8395
Day Four | Petunia’s Pies & Pastries
Pretty, pink, and oh-so-girly. Petunia’s Pie & Pastries is the homecoming queen of the Portland sweet scene. Everything on the menu is gluten-free, vegan, and if we are being honest—as close to guilt-free as a girl can get. Not only that, all the ingredients used are locally-sourced, seasonal, and of the highest quality available.
The idea to create a niche product for those who shared owner Lisa Clark’s own food sensitivities have taken her from home kitchen to farmers’ market stall to brick and mortar storefront. The bakery cases are brimming with signature sweets: Sour Cherry Pie, Chocolate Mocha Mousse, Coconut Berry Passionfruit Cake, Marionberry Pie Cheesecake, and Pecan Sticky Buns. Not to be missed is the special frozen confectionary collaboration with Salt and Straw— Coconut with Petunia’s Salted Caramel Bars. Revel in a scoop of the icy sweetness atop a sugar cone or sandwiched between two Snickerdoodles for the ultimate summer treat.
Indulgence | Coconut Passionberry Babycake (raspberry-filled coconut cake topped with passion fruit buttercream) and a glass of bubbles. Go ask Alice. I’m sure she will agree.
Petunia’s Pies & Pastries | 610 SW. 12th Avenue | Portland, Oregon | 97205 | 503.841.5961
Day Five | Pie Spot
Armed with culinary arts degrees and a pocketful of pie-filled dreams, Ashley and Jessica set out to bring the humble blue-collar classic to the hungry masses. There was, however, a hitch in the plan. How to eat a slice of pie while strolling a street fair or farmers’ market? Never short on ideas, the two baked up a new concept—the Pie Hole. Ditch the plates, the forks, and the need to sit while still being able to indulge with abandon. Dubbed the “cupcake of pies” these hand-formed sweeties boast a butter-rich crust and a flavor burst that belies their diminutive proportions. Peanut Butter and Chocolate, S’more, Brown Butter Pecan, Raspberry-Rhubarb. Served, if desired, with a scoop of vanilla or a dollop of cream. Tasting is believing that pie-in-the-sky dreams really do come true.
Indulgence | Marionberry Pie Hole. So heartbreakingly delicious it would render the Queen of Hearts speechless.
Pie Spot | 521 NE 24th Avenue | Portland, Oregon | 97232 | 503.913.5103
Day Six | Wiz Bang Bar
I scream, you scream, we all scream for Salt and Straw ice cream.
Hark back to the frosty delights of childhood via the newest addition to the Salt & Straw empire—Wiz Bang Bar. Soft serve ice cream in myriad, magical incarnations grace the Pine Street Market menu board: in a cup, on a cone, with sprinkles or a magic shell, sandwiched between two cookies, or on a stick.
Once again, ice cream alchemist, Tyler Malek, mixes a few simple, locally-sourced ingredients—Alpen Dairy cream, Woodblock chocolate, and Oregon black truffles to name three—and spins them into otherworldly frozen confections. On offer at this this modern day version of an old-school retro soda fountain are new twists on old favorites: Single Origin Chocolate and Salted Sweet Cream Super Duper Bars (a riff on Dairy Queen’s Dilly Bars), a Salted Malted Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Concrete (think Blizzards), Ancho Chile and Mexican Vanilla Tacolates (an homage to the Choco Taco) as well as other assorted novelties, shakes, floats, and of course, straight up soft serve.
Salt & Straw is infamous for its innovative collaborations and Wiz Bang doesn’t disappoint— from Union Wine to Woodblock Chocolate. The most creative? The boozy float! Salted Caramel Stout by Breakside Brewery (made with ribbons of Salt & Straw caramel) topped with Salted Sweet Cream soft serve. One sip and you’ll agree, being an adult sometimes has its perks.
Indulgence | A swirl of Smoked Oregon Ham soft serve and a hand-dipped magic shell of Oregon Black Raspberry. A curiously sweet and delightfully smokey flavor explosion that will lead to the ponderance of six impossible things before breakfast—including the pure genius of the pairing.
Wiz Bang Bar@Pine Street Market | 126 SW 2nd Avenue | Portland, Oregon | 503.384.2150
Day Seven | Little Red’s Bake Shop
Easy bake, easy bake, fast as you can….
The tale of Little Red’s Bakeshop begins with a wonderfully grand Willy Wonka-esque delusion of a world made wholly of chocolate and an Easy Bake to make sure it stayed that way—one perfect brownie at a time. While the pastry-filled road in between child- and adulthood was wrought with diversions of fairytale proportions—a degree in graphic art, a career in event planning, and a foray into the tech world—Jenni Welliver finally found her way back to the oven. Training at San Francisco’s Baking Institute coupled with a stint at French baker Michel Suas’ shop readied Jenni to spin her own sugary sphere.
Today, Jenni owns Little Red’s Bakeshop. A charming patisserie combining childhood nostalgia (Easy Bake, aside) and French baking techniques. The results? Expertly crafted jammy cherry poppy seed loaves; mini fruit tarts filled with vanilla bean pastry cream, fresh berries, and apricot glaze; spicy, sweet cardamom buns; whimsical mustache sugar cookies; and of course, chocolately, salted brownies. Sugar never looked or tasted this wonderfully delicious.
Indulgence | Everyday’s a Party sprinkle-coated cake—as tall as the Mad Hatter’s chapeau and just as whimsical.
Little Red’s Bakeshop | 1401 SW Yamhill Street | Portland, Oregon | 97205 |503.706.8748