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 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. 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
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. 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. 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