In our household, birthdays are a multi-cultural event. Certain things are a "must" namely Chinese food for the birthday dinner, a breakfast tray loaded with baked goodies for the birthday celebrant and of course, a birthday cake. For some members of the household, the Cake is Sacred and immutable. For my husband and elder pup, only one kind will do: a Princess Torte. A princess torte for the uninformed, is typically made of layers of vanilla [yellow?] cake interspersed with raspberry jam, vanilla custard and whipped cream all overlaid with a solid sheet of marzipan.
When I first learned of my [future] spouse's fondness for this particular cake, I thought I'd make a good impression by making him his favorite birthday cake. PAUGH! As best I can tell, even Swedes [at least the ones in LA] don't bother trying to make a princess torte--this is the sort of thing that comes from the bakery. And like any dutiful spouse, I located a fine bakery source for the cake which provided us with many tasty birthday treats. Regrettably, princess tortes can’t be shipped. So when we moved to Seattle, my first big anxiety attack [after how do I get to the nearest Ranch 99 and score some fu?} was where to buy The Birthday Cake.
Thanks to fellow hounds, I trekked to Bellevue to the only bakery I could locate that made that particular cake. When we brought the first one home, I opened the package to find it was an ungodly shade of green.
Okay, you in the know are probably thinking all princess tortes are an ungodly shade of green. Yes but this was the wrong ungodly shade--a painted on watered down kelly green as opposed to the traditional first grass of spring green. And the taste had elements of green food coloring dye mixed with lots and lots of sugar with the green dye overwhelming the taste of the cream, the cake and the raspberry. Still the celebrant, my husband, was happy with it [isn’t that what counts?] so I resigned myself to a future of less than optimal princess tortes.
But no more. In the midst of the winter storms, I got an email about a new bakery called Svedala Bakery which opened in the Public Market section of the Pike Market, a bakery specializing in all manner of Swedish baking, including the elusive princess torte. The smallest pups and I raced over to purchase elder pup’s belated birthday cake. On the first attempt the shop was closed but our second visit was mostly a success. They were sold out of cake but one could be ordered and they did have a nice looking cardamon braid. We bought a cardamon bread, ordered our cake and waited with baited breathe and hungry tummies.
The cardamon bread was delicious—lots of cardamon and that chunky pearl sugar used in scandinavian baking. The family swede gave it two thumbs up. We could hardly wait to try the cake. When we got our cake, it was perfect–just the right taste balance of all the layers. Best of all–to my mind–the marzipan was not too sweet. I was told that Svedala Bakery uses all natural ingredients so their princess torte is not the traditional ungodly green nor will they paint your cake with icky tasting food coloring but you can choose between pink and natural marzipan color which is sort of tan. Elder pup chose pink which turned out just fine. The lettering on the cake was nicely done and the icing seemed to be some sort of butter cream–I typically do not like decorating icing on bakery cakes but this was yummy.
This weekend we were back at Svedala Bakery for a second birthday princess torte as well as treats for my husband’s birthday breakfast tray. We were delighted to see that Svedala carries mazariner [sp] which is a little cookie type crust filled with an almond paste like center topped with a splat of icing. I’ve always seen mazariner with white icing but Svedala also does them with raspberry. I would describe the raspberry but it vanished down elder pup’s throat before I could say “hey can I ......” We also tried a Skane gingerbread–this is the soft type not the hard gingersnap type–as well as some almond sprinkled cookies [short breadish type, 3 to a bag] and a small sticky bun. Everything was wonderful and delicious and alas, there were no leftovers.
Svedala Bakery is located in the small permanent stalls area at 1st and Pike. If you are standing outside facing the illuminated market sign, they are inside on the left down from the newsstand, next to the salami people or inland from the pig and the flying fish people. Their specific address is 93 Pike Street, #3, the telephone number is 206-890-9774. The hours are currently 10am to 5pm Monday through Saturday. I ordered our second cake by email to the owner firstname.lastname@example.org and they were very responsive and able to have my cake ready on Saturday afternoon even though I placed the order at 8:30pm Friday night [bad wife! Bad wife!] They have a website at www.svedalabakery.com though right now there isn’t much information on it.
We will definitely be back and I urge partial to princess torte and good Swedish baked goods to try them out. As I understand it, they started their business just as all the nasty weather hit and like so many businesses, were closed or snowed out during too much of December. But they are making great & yummy stuff and I wish them much success.
93 Pike Street, #3,
Seattle WA 98101
10am to 5pm Monday through Saturday.
93 Pike Street #3 Seattle WA (8101