Pandemic-friendly Pastries | Restaurant Reviews | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Pandemic-friendly Pastries 

A few local bakeries made for the age of social distancing.

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ALEX SPRINGER
  • Alex Springer

Like many people just trying to get through this year in one piece, I've seized upon anything that breaks up the constant flood of bad news with a bit of sweetness. Few things have come to represent these little doses of mental inoculation as a curated box of goodies from one of our local bakeries. Like most everyone in the hospitality business, many bakeries have adapted their model to suit takeout and delivery, much to my relief. Throughout this tasty trip, I've discovered several new bakeries along with a few additions to some of my old faves. If opening a box full of cookies, cakes, brownies and biscuits sounds like it'll bring a little joy to your life, check these places out.

Buttered Bake Shop (Instagram.com/butteredbakeshop): Buttered Bake Shop is an online, delivery-only bakery based in Davis County. It's a great idea for the Door Dash era, but its contactless approach to getting baked goods in your mouth is damn near perfect for a pandemic. I love lots of things about this online outfit, but the most joyful thing about them is that their menu, updated via Instagram, changes every week. Placing an order is a surprisingly seamless process. You check out their Instagram page for the week's menu, then DM them with your order. They respond back with a request for your contact info, and accept payment via Venmo. Once the particulars are out of the way, you choose a Tuesday or Thursday delivery and, sure enough, you get a lovely box of baked yummies delivered right to your door.

My most recent order featured a flaky strawberry pop tart ($3), a package of pillowy English muffins ($7.50), an iced cinnamon roll ($3), some crisp, buttery dunkaroos with sprinkled frosting ($3), a caramelly square of millionaire's shortbread ($2.75) and a chocolate high-top cupcake ($3). Orders outside of Davis County also come with a $5 delivery fee, which is well worth the sight of a brown box tied up with string—which is just one of my favorite things—on your doorstep. Since my short-term memory is all but shot and I forgot what I ordered, it was like a bonus surprise to open my order and see what I got. The highlight of this box was the millionaire's shortbread—imagine a Twix bar from Beverly Hills. It's a perfectly cooked square of shortbread topped with soft caramel and a dark chocolate ganache, and it's killer.

Munchies (3838 S. Highland Drive, 385-252-8718, munchiesslc.com): Most bakeries are early-morning affairs that often close up well before dinner time. Munchies is the opposite of that, which makes it ideal for those late-night cake cravings—don't act like you don't get those. Before you visit Munchies, I'd recommend focusing on either one of their delectable cakes or their assortment of smaller snacks; it's much easier not to just buy everything you see when you make a conscious choice to curb your discipline. But, if a bit of sugared debauchery is what you're after, far be it from me to discourage a pastry shopping spree.

On the cake side of the menu, you'll find strawberry cream, guava, chocolate and pumpkin options, which vary in price based on whether you want a six-inch round cake or a full sheet. I've seen Munchies offer cake by the slice before, so it's worth stalking them on social media for an opportunity to try one of their options before committing to a full cake. I am particularly drawn to the strawberry cream because it's a fluffy cloud of effervescent bliss, but don't let that sway you. If you're not in the mood for cake, the Munchies Sampler ($8) comes with a cookie, a brownie and a mini whoopie pie, all of which are a good representation of Munchies' skill. Their brownies are the MVP here—rich, fudgy and enrobed within a glistening coat of chocolate decadence. Plus, Munchies has some great vegan pastries and cookies for those sticking to a plant-based diet.

Baking Hive (3362 S. 2300 East, 801-419-0187, bakinghive.com): I've loved this place since we all went on quarantine, but the pandemic seems to have brought out the best in the Baking Hive team. Not only have they been offering kid-friendly take-home baking kits, but their weekly delivery box has been a welcome sugar rush of surprises for me and my family. We snagged one of their lemon lover's boxes ($20) a few weeks ago, and it was wonderful. First of all, Baking Hive gets lots of style points for keeping things thematic—baked goods with a lemon theme is the kind of thing that I absolutely love.

The box came with soft lemon cupcakes, tart lemon bars, melt-in-your-mouth lemon drizzle cookies and mini-lemon cream pies—with crumbled lemon bars inside the filling, no less. Baking Hive makes some of the best lemon bars you can get, and their assembly of additional lemon-flavored desserts demonstrated just how talented their team is at getting that lemon flavor near unto sweet/tart perfection. On top of the amazing variety you get in these weekly boxes, they can also be delivered to your door. For best results, order one to come a few days in advance so you forget that you ordered it. It's the kind of surprise that'll give you enough juice to get through one more week.

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