Bake Shoppe is the newest embodiment of the Wedding Cake Shoppe , a bakery cafe at College and Ossington that had sold delicious cupcakes and custom cakes for the past five years.
Full disclosure: I've met owners and sisters Cindy and Sarah Coelho countless times before. I used to live directly across the street, and came to know the ladies when I left a negative review about their counter staff years back. Their personal reply won me back, and for a time, they were my go-to for special occasion cupcakes, even though the shop stocked little else to entice locals like me to drop in.
The new name was much needed. The word "wedding" printed on all their packaging was inopportune for day-to-day cupcake-giving, and I remember peeling their labels off or stickering over them on more than one occasion.
Lesson(s) learned. The newly rebranded shop still does beautiful custom wedding cakes, though the tiered examples have been relegated to one wall in the store.
The cupcake selection has been scaled back to just three daily flavours and are now joined by an assortment of nostalgic confections and colourful birthday cakes.
Pink neon letters and a candy-coloured commission from ansermysteriousdate peek out from behind display cases stocked with cookies, squares and cakes. A collection of cake stands divides the kitchen from the retail spot, while a handful of tables and a bar rail welcome guests to stick around for a treat and espressos ($2-$3.25) from I Deal Coffee, housemade hot chocolate ($3.25), or just a plain cold glass of milk ($2.50).
Pop tarts ($3.25) filled with Nutella or seasonal jams from Parkdale's Kitten and The Bear are far superior to the boxed grocery-shelf version. The pie-pastry shell is buttery and flaky, and the fillings are plentiful enough that they ooze out of your pastry as you're eating.
There are also assorted squares like pecan bars ($2.25) and triple chocolate brownies ($3.25), plus something that looks like a Rice Krispie treat, but turns out to be way, way better.
I'm talking about Ruffles marshmallow squares ($2.25), which substitutes the puffed-rice cereal for crushed potato chips, merging salty and sweet in each bite.
Bake Shoppe is open Tuesday to Friday from noon until 9pm; an hour earlier on Saturdays, and from 11am to 5pm on Sundays.
Photos by Jesse Milns