Melbourne's top 10 cafe cakes 2016

Matt Forbes' orange blossom and blueberry (left) and mandarin marmalade and chocolate custard doughnuts at Cobb Lane.
Matt Forbes' orange blossom and blueberry (left) and mandarin marmalade and chocolate custard doughnuts at Cobb Lane. Photo: Anu Kumar

There's more to the Melbourne cafe scene than poached eggs and avocado. We love our sweet treats – why else would we be lining up at 7.30am for croissants, descending on doughnut pop-ups en masse and going wild at the launch of an all-vegan deli? Sometimes flour, butter and sugar is all the motivation Melburnians need to get up in the morning.

Raspberry, lychee and rose doughnut, $4.50

You can get one (or two) of pastry chef Matt Forbes' doughnuts at many a cafe around town, but come to the source for the full effect: his rich brioche doughnut filled with raspberry-lychee jam and rose-infused custard hits the sweet spot.

Cobb Lane Bakery, 13 Anderson Street, Yarraville

Honey cruller from Shortstop Coffee and Donuts.

Honey and sea salt cruller, $4

These twisted little pastries are the perfect foil to a mug of black coffee. Hand stretched, deep fried then dipped in local honey and organic milk, with a last-minute salt sprinkle.

Shortstop Coffee and Doughnuts, 12 Sutherland Street, Melbourne


Lemon curd madeleines, $8

These delicate little French cakes are baked to order in Melbourne's far west: the chefs at Jack B Nimble pop a blueberry and lemon rind-laced batter into the oven for eight to 8-10 minutes then deliver them, three to a serve, fluffy on the inside, crisp on the outside. Enough to share? That's up to you.

Jack B Nimble, 132 Mitchell Street, Maidstone

Choc-chip cookies from EARL Canteen.

Choc-chip cookies from EARL Canteen. Photo: Chris Hopkins

Chocolate, walnut and sea salt cookie, $2.50

Earl Canteen, now with six inner-city locations, make so many of these cookies each day they had to buy a special super-size mixer just to handle the batter: they're chewy and bittersweet with a good lick of salt. Here's how to make them.

Earl Canteen, 500 Bourke Street, Melbourne (also at Emporium Melbourne, QV and other locations)

Strawberry shag, $9

Why have a raspberry beret when you can have a strawberry shag? This baby-pink seven-layer cake has a base of butter, coconut and egg whites sandwiched with buttercream and laced with strawberry preserves.

Beatrix Bakery, 688 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne

Mandarin and blueberry cake, $4.50

Baker Michael James' gluten-free cakes change seasonally; we love the cool-weather version made with mandarin puree, ground almonds and whole blueberries served with a dust of icing sugar.

Tivoli Road Bakery, 3 Tivoli Road, South Yarra

Bakewell & Co pies.

Pecan (left) and cherry pies from Bakewell & Co. Photo: Kristoffer Paulsen

Bakewell & Co cherry pie, $7 (per slice)

Camilla Clark of Collingwood-based Bakewell & Co makes a delightful Twin Peaks-style cherry pie that's not too sweet: all-butter crust, a filling made from hand-pitted cherries and a lattice layer to top it off.

Everyday Coffee, 33 Johnston Street, Collingwood; Capeside Coffee, 3/119 Capeside Street, Heidelberg

Lemon tart at Candied Bakery.

Lemon tart at Candied Bakery. Photo: Bonnie Savage

Dulcey brulee $4.50

These individual tarts are built on a "French-style" short crust (think lots of butter) and a filling that's 60 per cent Valrhona Dulcey Blond white chocolate, 40 per cent cream and sugar, with a burnt sugar crust for a satisfying crack.

Candied Bakery, 81a Hudsons Road, Spotswood

Vegan chocolate brownie, $5

Vegan food doesn't have to be frankenfood, saysbaker Shannon Martinez – her gluten-free, vegan brownies contain real chocolate (a 70 per cent cocoa bar that's naturally dairy free) and a "yoghurt" made from soy milk. Flavourings change weekly: think pistachio and olive oil; salted caramel; ancho chilli; or rocky road.

Smith and Deli, 111 Moor Street, Fitzroy

The cult croissants at Lune Croissanterie.

The cult croissants at Lune Croissanterie. Photo: Supplied

Kouign amann, $6

This traditional pastry from Brittany, France is served "Parisian-style" in coils. The "KA", as it's known in-house, is laminated like a croissant with Pepe Saya unsalted butter, flakes of Murray River Gourmet salt and added sugar, then baked in a buttered, sugared mould until caramelised – and delicious.

Lune Croissanterie, 119 Rose Street, Fitzroy