2013 Awards – Best Cake

Bea's of Bloomsbury on Theobald RoadWelcome to the next Coffee Spot Awards Shortlist for 2013, the “Best Cake” Award, which was won in 2012 by Bea’s of Bloomsbury. Despite what it says on the tag line, the Coffee Spot’s not all about the coffee. After all, what would a cup of coffee be without a decent slice of cake to go with it? So, cake plays a major part in the Coffee Spot and this Award celebrates the Coffee Spots which excel in the cake department.

This is another of my favourite Awards and while I didn’t visit as many dedicate cake spots this year, I was treated to some absolutely fantastic cake experiences along the way.

You can see the shortlist after the gallery. 

  • Freemans Coffee in Edinburgh: best flapjack ever!
  • Nude Espresso: cakes baked on the premises in Soho Square.
  • Soho's Foxcroft and Ginger: the best muffins in the world?
  • Flour Bakery + Cafe, Boston, serving up some fantasic baked goodies
  • Hart's Bakery: best pastries and cinnamon buns in Bristol
  • Angelina, Paris, home of the Mont Blanc
  • Nest, Brighton, home of the awesome Bakewell Tart
  • M1lk in Balham, purveyors of incredibly fine cake
Freemans Coffee in Edinburgh: best flapjack ever!1 Nude Espresso: cakes baked on the premises in Soho Square.2 Soho's Foxcroft and Ginger: the best muffins in the world?3 Flour Bakery + Cafe, Boston, serving up some fantasic baked goodies4 Hart's Bakery: best pastries and cinnamon buns in Bristol5 Angelina, Paris, home of the Mont Blanc6 Nest, Brighton, home of the awesome Bakewell Tart7 M1lk in Balham, purveyors of incredibly fine cake8
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There are eight Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.

Comfy Sofas in Freemans Coffee, Marchmont, EdinburghFreemans Coffee

Freemans, in Edinburgh‘s leafy Marchmont, could easily have been nominated in any number of categories. However, it gets the nod here for the outstanding flapjack (baked on the premises) that I had which was one of the all-time best flapjacks I’ve ever tasted.

The Chalk Board at Nude Espresso's Soho Square Cafe: We roast & blend all our coffee at our roastery, just off Brick Lane. East Espresso Blend: 60% Brazil, 20% Nicaragua, 20% El Salvador. Decaf: Organic Del Obispo. Free Coffee when you buy any bag of beans!Nude Espresso, Soho Square

Despite the picture which focuses on the coffee, Nude Espresso on Soho Square also majors in the cake department. Everything is baked on the premises and, better still, it’s done right there in front of you on the counter. So you can literally watch them bake your cake and then eat it. What could possibly be better than that?

 

Foxcroft & Ginger's rhubarb and custard muffin, with a slice removed to reveal the liquid custard in the centre.Foxcroft & Ginger

Foxcroft & Ginger is another that could have been in multiple categories, including, had I thought to create the award, “Best Basement“. However, the outstanding creation to come out of Foxcroft & Ginger is this: (probably) the world’s best muffin. Served warm, with chunks of real fruit and a liquid custard centre, if there is a better muffin then I’ve not tried it (the rhubarb and custard muffin is pictured).

The Flour Bakery + Cafe at 1595 Washington Avenue on a sunny morning in late February 2013Flour Bakery + Café, South End & Back Bay

The Flour Bakery + Café, with four branches in and around Boston, nails its colours firmly to the mast with the name and backs it up with some seriously tasty goodies. It also serves some surprisingly good espresso!

Hart's Bakery, in one of the arches under the Approach Road to Bristol Temple Meads StationHart’s Bakery

What can I say? Hart’s Bakery, in one of the arches under the Approach Road to Bristol Temple Meads Station, is a local legend, providing cakes, pastries and sour-dough bread to some of Bristol‘s best Coffee Spots. Not only that, but it’s a Coffee Spot in its own right, serving excellent coffee, cakes and lunches. You can even sit and watch Laura and her team of bakers at work. Hart’s has, by the way, the best cinnamon bun ever.

The Mont Blanc from AngelinaAngelina, rue de Rivoli

Angelina is a legend in Paris, creators of the famous Mont Blanc, itself reason enough to visit. There’s also a great range of other cake and sweet treats, along with hot chocolate, breakfast, lunch and pretty decent coffee. All of this is served up in sumptuous surroundings by uniformed waiters and waitresses, adding a touch of Parisian style to the proceedings on the rue de Rivoli.

An amazing slice of Bakewell Tart from Nest, Brighton.Nest

Nest, in Brighton‘s North Laines, put the “lounge” into coffee lounge and also served me one of the best slices of Bakewell Tart I’ve had in many years. This is no mean feat since I am a bit of a Bakewell demon myself and know a good one when I see one!

The (red) neon sign on the back wall of M1lkM1lk

Rounding things off is Balham’s M1lk, a great Coffee Spot, Brunch Spot and, since it’s in this shortlist, Cake Spot. I was served the most amazing hazelnut cake, perhaps the best slice of cake I’ve had this year. It had a perfect structure, crumbly enough to be light, but moist enough to hold itself together.

Special mention should also be made of Little Italy’s Caffé Roma in New York City, home of the famous St Joseph Cake, Cardiff’s lovely Waterloo Tea, which as well as excelling at tea and coffee also has some fabulous-looking cake, and Talkhouse Coffee in Portobello which has St John’s Doughnuts!

And the winner is Hart’s Bakery
Runners-up: Foxcroft & GingerM1lk

You can find all 20 of the 2013 Coffee Spot Awards here.


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