Bakes & Goods
Bakes & Goods is a nut-free bakeshop that has mastered the art of the lighter-than-air frosting. Those partial to a thick, creamy cupcake topping should probably look elsewhere. Bakes & Goods does its frosting with a whipped cream-like consistency--light, fresh, and sweet--though unfortunately, as I experienced, it's gone in a matter of seconds.
I visited the shop on Bathurst north of Lawrence in the afternoon (Editor's note: the bakery has since relocated to 2523 Yonge Street), a few moments after, coincidentally, owner Aileen Alvarez had left for the day. Aileen's career as an interior designer slowed following the birth of her second child, and she eventually decided to follow in her mother's footsteps and open her own bakeshop. And the North York shop is just as you would expect of a place selling cupcakes, cookies, and cakes; sugary-sweet in product and design, and brimming with pretty pink accents throughout.
The lone baker behind the counter was just one week new when I arrived, so she couldn't tell me a whole lot about the business in terms of history. But she did assure me, however, that each item is baked fresh on the premises, and no form of nut ever gets through the door. I considered making some sort of crack asking why she let me in, but decided to inspect the table of packaged goodies instead.
Along with fresh cookies and cupcakes behind the counter, Bakes & Goods has a variety of "fancy" cookies packaged and ready to go (some on sticks) in shapes such as butterflies, basketballs, flowers, and happy faces. Decorative bins are propped on a shelf for you to build your own gift basket, and there are samples of special occasion treats on display.
Of course, it was the daily cupcake spread that garnered most of my attention, a lineup that generally includes six flavours pulled from a wider roster. That roster includes varieties such as Red Velvet (a customer favourite), Choco Choco, Brownie Madness, Coffee Espresso, Cookie Crumble, and more ($2.50 each), paired alongside fresh cookies such as Oatmeal Chocolate Chip and Double Chocolate ($1.50).
Perhaps overwhelmed by all the colours, I went for the "Yummy Vanilla" cupcake, which was just lightly dusted with rainbow sprinkles. The cake was soft and moist (albeit, a tad crumbly), but it was the buttercream frosting (as per my introductory gush) that had me swooning. But, alas, gone too soon.
Photos by Jesse Milns