Bake Them Pretty
Bake Them Pretty takes the total bakery count on Harbord Street up to four, having opened just a few days before Almond Butterfly a few doors down. What used to be Chilango Cycles is now a sweet shop selling freshly made cupcakes and French macarons, and specializing in custom cakes and other made-to-order confectionary goodies.
Owner and mostly self-taught baker Tolinda Trinh identifies as a perfectionist, and it shows, from the lovely cake and candy displays in the window to the classy mix of ornate, modern and girly decor in the space itself. Trinh's shop was previously by Vaughan Mills for five years before she decided to move it down to Harbord Village.
The selection of cupcake flavours changes daily, with classics like red velvet with vanilla bean cream cheese frosting ($2.50 each) and gourmet creations like Caramel Apple - an apple spice cake with sea salt caramel buttercream frosting ($3.50 each) - baked daily on the premises from scratch, so there are no preservatives added.
Likewise with the French macarons, a colourful and dainty collection of rotating flavours that include Pistachio, Lemon and my personal favourite, Creamsicle - a light and clean, orange-flavoured macaron filled with orange and vanilla cream ($2 each, $11.75 for six or $23 for a dozen).
Trinh's niche is specialty cakes for weddings ($3.50/serving) and other special occasions ($4/serving). Everything she makes is edible, and she can make anything work.
Some particularly interesting requests she's filled? A cake made to look like heartburn medicine beside a bunny (?!), and another where a mohawked turtle is smoking and holding a bottle of beer. Not much advance notice is needed, either: 24 hours for cupcakes, four days for a custom cake and one to two months for a wedding.
Demi-cakes will soon be added as daily offerings at the store, and Trinh is also looking into perfecting a gluten-free recipe for her treats. Look out, Almond Butterfly!
Writing by Christina Cheung. Photos by Jesse Milns.