Saturday, October 25, 2014Partly Cloudy 11°C
Baked Goods

Beaches Bake Shop

Posted by Christina Cheung / Posted on September 8, 2014

beaches bakeshop torontoBeaches Bakeshop is the place to go if you're craving a taste of Sweden (beyond the mass-produced offerings of IKEA). This charming Upper Beaches spot has been around since 2008, but if like me, you're not lucky enough to live in the area, it can be a bit of a trek to make it over to this part of town for a visit.

The effort to get here is worth it though, especially if you're a Swedophile. I'm immediately drawn in by the homey, country-style decor, where clogs, Dala horses, pictures of Pippi Longstocking and a wall lined with Swedish cookbooks - not to mention the telltale blue and yellow flags - really emphasize the fact that the focus here is on the fika-loving Scandinavian country.

beaches bakeshop torontoOwner Anna Tvinnereim clearly loves food - and her native land. Originally from Stockholm, she taught cooking as a home ec teacher before moving to New York City as the executive chef at the Swedish Consul General's residence. While in the Big Apple, she fell in love with a Canadian, and after a stint in Portland, Oregon, the couple finally settled into this part of Toronto where Tvinnereim decided to open a place of her own.

beaches bakeshop torontoWhat this shop (and arguably Sweden) is most famous for are its cinnamon buns ($2.95 each). Cardamom added into the dough makes them distinctly Swedish, as does the coarse nib sugar sprinkled on top. These are a pleasure to eat and it's easy to see why they've been rated the best in the city; they're not as sickly sweet as many others I've tried and they don't immediately make me feel like I'm going to have a cavity.

beaches bakeshop torontoTvinnereim walks me through some of the other traditional Swedish treats she makes in-house. There are no-bake JoJo snowballs ($2.25 each), with oats, butter, sugar, espresso and cocoa rolled in coconut flakes. They're now called chokladboll in Sweden but Tvinnereim decided to name these ones after her daughter. There is also mazarin ($2.75), an almond tart with a shortbread crust and lemon icing. A customer who is clearly a fan of these comes into the shop to purchase the last three while I'm there.

beaches bakeshop torontoIn addition to the Swedish eats, lunch fare like soups, salads and quiches are prepared in the back kitchen daily. There are even plans to add gourmet wood-fire oven pizzas for dinner soon.

beaches bakeshop torontoA curated selection of imported Swedish pantry goods are also sold in the shop. You can get tubs of the nib sugar if you want to make your own cinnamon buns (Tvinnereim offers classes on how to make them too). There are also jars of pickled herring, Swedish chocolates and other delightful-looking packaged snacks. My favourite items are the tubes of Kalles creamed smoked cod roe ($5.95) that you squeeze onto some knäckebröd (Swedish crispbread - $6.25 for a pack). Add a slice of boiled egg and you've got the quintessential comfort food for Swedes.

beaches bakeshop torontoIt may be a bit of a journey for some to get here, but it's certainly a heck of a lot closer than flying all the way to the Nordic land itself to get your Swedish fix.

beaches bakeshop torontoPhotos by Jesse Milns

Discussion

13 Comments

/ January 21, 2009 at 05:11 pm
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Best Bake Shop Ever
Anna / February 5, 2009 at 10:44 pm
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If you are looking for some traditional Swedish treats please visit us at Beaches Bake Shop!!! From February to Easter SEMLOR will be served daily! Call to pre order! 416- 686- 2391
Laura Thomson / June 17, 2009 at 07:20 pm
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The problem with this place is nothing is baked here!!! You could get most of the items offered in Loblaws! Don't waste your time!
Anna replying to a comment from Laura Thomson / July 2, 2009 at 09:58 pm
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Sometimes customers are a problem.....
We do bake a large portion of the items sold right here at Beaches Bakeshop & Cafe'! Laura, if you decide to "waste some time" please come in and I will show you what we make! Among other things we offer Homemade soup from scratch, innovative and fresh salads (Quinoa, Red Rice, Orzo, Cous Cous), 3 different types of Quiche, the largest assortment of Traditonal Swedish Baked goods in Toronto (haven't seen that at Loblaws) and lots more!!
JP replying to a comment from Laura Thomson / November 11, 2009 at 01:53 pm
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It's true, when this place first opened, all the goodies in the display case were from Dufflet.

However, to be fair, in the past year or so, I've noticed that the baked goods appear to be made on premises. And they're quite yummy. The cinnamon buns and Swedish almond macaroons are standouts.
Souheil / March 25, 2011 at 08:27 pm
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Really authentic food, the best and most friend upslope ever.
Cinnamon buns to die for and many more.
Juanita / April 14, 2011 at 09:50 pm
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The service is always friendly and amazing there! My husband is half Finnish and loves those cinnamon buns!
Mark / September 5, 2011 at 12:35 pm
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Laura - New owners at an old location. Its like comparing the food that used to be served at Shopsy's at the new Oliver + Bococini restaurant at the same location. Perhaps the sidewalk is the same however the soul is new...
Ben / September 29, 2011 at 10:59 pm
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Thanks for the recommendation BLOGTO.

My partner and I Just crushed two of their cinnamon buns which came right from of the oven (the shop smelled amazing), next into our home and finally mouths. We were both pumped to be consuming deliciousness from what seemed to be a total local supported spot. I was playing frogger with baby carriages, other shop owners and random uniformed kids just to get to the ordering part. The women working there were friendly and not so much in that "I'm pretending to be your best friend" but "I appreciate you being in my establishment" kinda way. It's a little more real and very much appreciated. One of the ladies there had a rad choice of style, very bake shop/cafe appropriate. I know it may not matter much but I find it was a pleasant addition to the experience. I say why not make your spot pop with a solid outfit, it's the total package that leaves that lasting impression. I'm still thinking of which other treats I saw (Triple chocolate brownie) that I want to smash between my nose and chin.

Thanks.

ps.Check out Desmond & Beatrice (750A Queen Sweet East, 647352-2257) for other great Cinnamon Bun/treat options. I love options I can eat.
Patty / October 19, 2011 at 04:37 pm
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I often stop in for a grilled panini at lunchtime, and have never been disappointed. Anna and Rose have delicious and nutritious salads, and the quiches are sublime. As mentioned earlier, the cinnamon buns are going to reach cult status, they are that good! And truly baked on the premises. Glad they are in my neighborhood.
Laura / June 8, 2014 at 06:52 pm
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When we first moved to Toronto couple of months ago we visited Bake Shop and just fell in love immediately with Anna's cheerful Swedish personality and the amazingly delicious Semlas and Princess cake. (Made to order for your family gatherings and parties!) To us it was like a breeze from home!

Visited again this weekend and had an opportunity to try their mouth watering, and now famous, original Cinnamon Buns! They are extra soft and just right amount of everything: sugar, cinnamon and butter. The nip sugar on top just finishes it right.

This Cafe really shows what scandinavian delicacies are all about. You can taste they are made from scratch with tradition.

Not to forget that you can buy other scandinavian sweets and products from them as well from candies to shoes!

Niklas / September 9, 2014 at 06:55 am
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As a Swede who lives in Toronto this place is the only one I found so far with AUTHENTIC Swedish cinnamon buns and they are definitely baked there.

Just go to the terrible Fika in Kensington market who are clearly not run by anyone Swedish for a comparison.
Snorri / September 9, 2014 at 09:12 am
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I didn't know that they had Princess Cakes! Must order one for my mother's birthday!

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