Food editor’s pick - 9 places in Suffolk to indulge in cake
- Credit: Contributed
From slices of sponge just like your mum used to make, to flaky pastries, and modern confections, there’s practically nothing our county’s talented bakers can’t do. Here are just a few places where you can indulge your sweet tooth.
Mama Bear’s Cake Bar, Saxmundham
Mama Bear (AKA Rebecca) set up her perfectly pink cakery in Saxmundham six months ago having struggled with post-natal depression after the birth of her youngest son.
She says it’s “always full of happy smiles and calorific bakes...along with a few bubbles” adding that the shop is busier than ever.
“I found baking to be very therapeutic, and opening this was a dream come true.”
Rebecca spends most of her days in the kitchen at the shop decorating birthday and wedding cakes, and conjuring up beautiful treats for the counter, which is filled with cookie pies, rocky road, cupcakes, brownies and blondies – available for delivery via Click It Local.
Mama Bear’s newest creation is a menu of loaded milkshakes. But, as its licenced, you can also enjoy a glass of bubbly with your cake or afternoon tea.
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Little Pig Bakery, Stowmarket
It’s almost one year since Zoe and Tristan Hasler moved their successful baking business from Alder Carr Farm to Stowmarket – and locals are loving the couple’s creative touch when it comes to all things cake.
As well as selling speciality sourdough loaves, pastries and savouries such as homemade Scotch eggs, quiches and interesting sandwiches, the shop bursts with sweet confections.
Tristan’s signature bake is the cruffin – a handmade muffin-shaped croissant, filled and topped with everything from the components of lemon meringue pie, to delicate custard and raspberries. Brownies are very popular too, with Zoe saying their sell-out flavours are cookie dough and s’mores.
Dust With Cocoa, Harleston Market
Sadly the Dust with Cocoa shop in Framlingham has closed, but you can still find baker Debbie’s creations just over the border at Harleston’s weekly market on Wednesdays.
“We’re there offering a range of our best-selling cakes, cookies and brownies,” Debbie says. “It’s hard to pick our absolute favourite, but our caramel cornflake brownie is the bake that we can never take off the menu, that people never buy just one of, and that you daydream about!”
Debbie changes what’s on offer at the market each time so there’s always something new to sample. “We also have some beautiful retail items from Meri Meri & Eleanor Bowmer, such as cupcake kits and brightly printed tea towels,” she says.
The Box, Southwold
Only open on Saturdays, the baked goods being churned out by chef John Spillings are quite simply almost too good to eat. Johnny posts what’s available on the website at the beginning of every week, giving customers the chance to order in advance (so they don’t miss out).
There’s always incredible bread from his Penny Bun Bakehouse, and a feast of pastries and cakes, as well as other local produce to buy, such as beef from his brother’s farm nearby.
What does he recommend?
“It’s always hard when anybody asks you what your favourite is,” says Johnny. “Especially when it’s your ow bakery as I tend to make things that I enjoy eating!
“One of my most recent favourites is our chestnut chocolate twist. It’s a bit of a spin on a classic Mont Blanc – chocolate and caramel ganache sat on a twisted croissant pastry, topped with a chestnut and rum mousse, a little milk chocolate caramel, and textured chocolate pieces.”
Specials this week include passionfruit and coconut meringue tarts, raspberry and chocolate bicolour croissants, and iced chocolate, almond, walnut and marmalade twists. Go to thepennybunbakehouse.co.uk/menu
Rachel Halls once said she’d never bake again. Now she’s created a baking empire in Ipswich, with customers quite literally queuing up the street to get their mitts on her cakes and savouries, treat boxes and afternoon teas.
The Clapgate Lane flagship store always has dozens of generously portioned goodies to choose from, and sells American snacks too.
You’ll find a blend of good old classic bakes such as fluffy Victoria sponges, chocolate cake and cornflake slices on the menu, alongside new modern classics infused with the likes of BIscoff and Nutella.
The new Crème Egg stuffed cookies look to be a big hit as the countdown to Easter begins.
Woosters, Bardwell, Bury St Edmunds, and Hadleigh Friday market
Visit one of the market stalls or physical shops for award-winning bread (the seeded sourdough and fluffy white batch loaf are amazing). And you cannot go home without one of their malt loaves which are quite simply up there with the best in the country, staying malty, sweet and sticky for days. Slice a wedge, warm it up and slather with butter.
Woosters brownies are a joy to behold. As are the almond croissants – filled (and topped) with oodles of frangipane.
Two Magpies Bakery, Woodbridge, Aldeburgh, Southwold, Darsham
Another haven for excellent bread and savouries (don’t leave with a few cheese twists). We recommend the doughnuts, the fudgy brownies, the new chocolate cherry amaretto cake, and the tiramisu cake.
Baked By Humphries, Sudbury Market, Saturdays, 8am
You’ll find the Humphries sisters on the market in one of the cutest little street food trucks we’ve seen – you can’t miss it!
Jessie Humphries has six years of cheffing experience and 10 years in the marketing and business world. She set up the mobile cakery in lockdown, with a mission of taking brownies, blondies and other sweet treats.
“We’re both brownie girls at heart,” says Jessie, “our favourite is our gooey chocolate fudge brownie swirled with our homemade salted caramel.”
Recent bakes from the ladies have including a triple chocolate cookie pie loaded with milk and white chocolate, crunchy chocolate balls and Magic Stars, and triple chocolate fudge brookies filled with Nutella and chocolate buttercream, coated in chocolate...and topped with a Bourbon biscuit.
Pump Street Bakery, Orford
An award-winning purveyor of sourdough bread and chocolate, there’s more to this bakery than dough. The Orford café/shop’s brownies are delectable. The chocolate-dipped palmiers divine. And don’t get us started on the Canadian-style bear claws – puff pastry filled with almond frangipane.
A bestseller, and available online for delivery, are the slightly boozy, gloriously caramel-edged Eccles cakes which are just at home alongside a wedge of artisan Cheddar as with a cup of tea.