81A Hudsons Road Spotswood, VIC 301503 9391 1335
|Opening hours||Wed-Sat 7.30am-4pm, Sun 8am-4pm|
Three words should be all it takes to get you interested in Candied Bakery: apple pie shake. Planning a visit now? This frothy cinnamon-scented concoction is a crazy blitz of apple pie and vanilla soft-serve, with chunks of apple and hunks of pastry that are too large to be slurped through the fat straw. It's a dessert in a cup but drinks don't land in the dessert stomach so it shouldn't stop you from having cakes and biscuits, too.
Candied Bakery opened in November 2012 in the safe hands of Orlando Artavilla and Toula Ploumidis, the couple who founded Sugardough nine years ago, when you could get a parking spot in Brunswick East. Once again, the patissier-chef pair looked for a developing location and this time they chose lucky Spotswood.
Their bright, airy bakery is a neat mix of new and nostalgic. Quality beef and tremendously flaky puff pastry jazz up the old-school Aussie minced beef pie. House-made tomato ketchup in a squeeze bottle is rich and bitey. Sweet doughnuts are filled with the Italian custard that Orlando's mum perfected for her zuppa inglese trifle – they're super.
An American influence – or, more specifically, a passion for cult New York bakery Momofuku Milk Bar – shines through in the sweet and salty Crusty Brownie Pie, a dark chocolate slab with a layer of sugar-crusted pretzels, and the soft-serve machine, which rotates flavours such as Milo and peanut butter and jelly. Kale tarts and spinach pies have a contemporary Australian edge but the brie sandwich is served American style in a basket with potato crisps. You'd be unlikely to find cheese and ciabatta of such fine character at a diner in the US though.
Many people grab and go – a blue-cheese croissant for now, a loaf of sourdough for later – but stay a while if you can. The coffee is excellent and there are happy tunes on shuffle. Ordering at the counter makes it easier to be seduced by a fig danish, say, or moist vegan raspberry cake.
The only downside of daily baking is that stuff runs out – don't come at noon hoping that the breakfast munchers have left you a bacon-and-egg brioche. But hold the tears, you can always shake off the no-brioche blues with a blended apple pie.
3.5 stars out of 5