It’s a delightfully challenging time of year, with so many events to attend and so many parties to give. With the ordinary demands of family, friends and work amped up to a seasonal fever pitch, sometimes that holiday cake, pie or cookie the host or hostess hopes will look and taste perfect is the last thing they have time to make.
Lucky for Salem, there are a number of local bakeries and businesses that are primed to assist with outstanding holiday treats. We list only a few.
Save a little time for yourself, and patronize these great businesses!
Cascade Baking Company
229 State Street, Salem
The delicious smells that waft from the rear of this unique Salem institution could be bottled and sold for a ransom. Owners Stephen Perkins and Debra Edwards have perfected an international assembly of delicious holiday breads, each beautiful in its own unique way.
Possibilities include: authentic Danish Julekage (jewel cake,) European Nut Bread, German Christmas Stollen (and irresistible, adorable mini-stollen!) Welsh Bara Brith, covered in local honey, Panetonne, the Italian Christmas bread – and more.
“All are very rich with eggs, butter and milk,” Perkins says, “and the flavors are all different; vanilla in the Panetonne, fresh nutmeg in the stollen and fresh cardamom in the Julekage.” The shop offers delectable samples of all the offerings that will likely cause you to buy more than one kind.
Edwards, who learned she was gluten intolerant, bakes many gluten-free varieties of these holiday breads at the company’s separate gluten-free bakery.
335 State Street
Dana Heuberger has operated her popular confectionary since 2011, offering exquisite cupcakes, cakes and candies for parties, drop-ins or “just because.” Her “cupcakery” on State Street is cloaked in elegant pastels and filled with whimsical seasonal decor – worth the stop in itself. A holiday elf is perched in a different spot every day – free cupcake to the child that finds it first!
The Sugar.Sugar website displays its signature party cakes in Chocolate with chocolate buttercream frosting, Vanilla with vanilla buttercream frosting, Red Velvet and Lemon Coconut, all frosted according to your pleasure. There are also a nearly endless number of additional flavors and custom designed cakes, and a wide, ever-changing variety of gorgeous cupcakes. Give a call for a consultation with the in-house cake designer and get exactly the look you imagine.
More than 150 candies are available at Sugar.Sugar and can be combined in holiday gift bags with special ties as well.
48-hour notice is all that is required for special holiday orders, so contact Sugar.Sugar and stop worrying about dessert!
Little Lois Café
1211 Edgewater Street NW
Lois Robertson has owned this charming, welcoming café for just a little over a year now, and it is regularly filled with happy diners. In addition to the sandwiches and soups the café serves, it also creates freshly made desserts for home entertaining, on both party trays (free delivery!) and to pick up in person. Always call ahead, because these scrumptious goods go fast.
Select from: Pumpkin Bars, Brownies, Lemon Bars, Peanut Butter Bars, Chocolate Éclairs, Giant Cookies: Chocolate Chip, M&M, Oatmeal Raisin, Snickerdoodle, Peanut Butter, and Dunkin’ Platter.
One popular cookie is the award-winning Chocolate Crinkle Cookie, a wintery vision under powdered sugar, which won “First Place” at the Oregon State Fair.
“Hospitality is a passion,” Robertson says. “I love having people over to our home and serving them a good homemade meal. Little Lois Cafe is an extension of that.”
3815 Devonshire Ave NE
This Mexican bakery is one of Salem’s best go-to location for Latin treats, such as Torta de Mil Hojas (“thousand layer cake”) and Tres Leches (“three milk cake.”) Cakes should be ordered ahead, in person, and generally come in three sizes, depending on the number of people you are entertaining.
Of special importance during the holiday is the Rosca de Reyes (king’s ring.) Order this cake ahead; it is baked three days before and two days after January 6, when families celebrate the Dia de Reyes (“Kings’ Day,”) the day children may receive holiday presents from the Three Wise Men (not Santa Claus.) Tiny baby Jesus are baked into the Rosca de Reyes (two in the small one, three in the medium-sized one and 5 in the large.) If your piece contains a baby, say the Maravilla’s staff, you are responsible for hosting a dinner and providing tamales for everyone in February.
Not a bad idea, no matter your culture. Maravilla’s es muy bueno!