2020 Awards – Best Cake

A glorious Boston Rhubarb doughtnut from the Donut ShopWelcome to the final 2020 Coffee Spot Awards shortlist of the day, the “Best Cake” Award, won in 2019 by Donut Shop. 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 haven’t had as much cake this year (in coffee shops, that is; I’ve had plenty at home), when I have, I’ve been treated to some absolutely fantastic cakes, buns, pies and slices.

You can see the shortlist after the gallery.

  • Bridge St Coffee, where I had slices of apple pie and cheesecake (on separate visits!).
  • At Ue Coffee Cafe & Kitchen, Amanda & I had caramel shortbread & banana bread.
  • While at Whaletown Coffee Co. it was flapjack and the final plum & almond Danish pastry.
  • Onto The Gardens of Caversham and the last slice of carrot cake.
  • Bean & Cole gave me what can best be described as a date-flavoured Chelsea bun.
  • Meanwhile, Iris & June served me the perfect chocolate and caramel slice.
  • More things to take home, this time Anonymous Coffee Co and a cruffin.
  • Finally, there's Black Rabbit Speciality Coffee and a slice of blackberry shortbread crumble.
Bridge St Coffee, where I had slices of apple pie and cheesecake (on separate visits!).1 At Ue Coffee Cafe & Kitchen, Amanda & I had caramel shortbread & banana bread.2 While at Whaletown Coffee Co. it was flapjack and the final plum & almond Danish pastry.3 Onto The Gardens of Caversham and the last slice of carrot cake.4 Bean & Cole gave me what can best be described as a date-flavoured Chelsea bun.5 Meanwhile, Iris & June served me the perfect chocolate and caramel slice.6 More things to take home, this time Anonymous Coffee Co and a cruffin.7 Finally, there's Black Rabbit Speciality Coffee and a slice of blackberry shortbread crumble.8
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There are eight Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.

The Bridge St Coffee logo, taken from the menu, with the words "Bridge St Coffee" in capitals inside a coffee stain.Bridge St Coffee

I visited Bridge St Coffee twice, both times for coffee and cake. On my first visit, I had the last slice of the apple pie, with big, tender chunks of apple in a shell of sweet shortcrust pastry. On my return, it was the turn of the rich and creamy cheesecake, with a thick, crumbly biscuit base. Bridge St Coffee has also been shortlisted for the Coffee Spot with the Best Basement Award.

A pair of pour-overs sitting on a table in the window of the Ue Coffee Roasters Cafe & Kitchen in Witney, slowly steaming in the afternoon sun.Ue Coffee Roastery Cafe & Kitchen

Amanda and I went to the Ue Coffee Roastery Cafe & Kitchen, where she had caramel shortbread and I had an awesome banana bread: a single, thick slice, served warm with a subtle banana flavour. On its own, it was really tasty, but it was even better covered in the Greek yoghurt and honey that came with it! Ue Coffee Roastery Cafe & Kitchen has also been shortlisted for the Best Filter Coffee Award.

A lovely flat white, made with the Dark Horse blend from Quarter Horse, and served in a gorgeous, handleless cup at Whaletown Coffee Co. in Sheffield.Whaletown Coffee Co.

Amanda and I also went to Whaletown Coffee Co., where she had a dark chocolate coconut flapjack (for lunch) and we shared the final plum and almond Danish pastry, which we took with us to enjoying later that evening. Whaletown Coffee Co. has also been shortlisted for three more Awards: Best Filter Coffee. Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot and Most Passionate About Coffee.

The colourful packaging, showing two brightly-coloured birds, of The Gardens of Caversham coffee bags.The Gardens of Caversham

The Gardens of Caversham is the latest venture from Reading’s Workhouse Coffee. I was there just before closing and managed to obtain the last slice of carrot cake, which was excellent, the rich, moist cake the perfect companion for the creamy icing. Don’t worry though: all the cakes are baked in the kitchen on site, so there was more the next morning. The Gardens of Caversham has also been shortlisted for the Most Popular Coffee Spot Award.

The new logo from the wall of Bean & Cole, featuring a pair of cartoon dogs, one holding an espresso cup and the other with a portafilter.Bean & Cole

It was something of a tradition this year that I either got the last slice of something, or was given something to take home. In the case of Bean & Cole, I was given what can best be described as a date-flavoured Chelsea bun. I had it with my afternoon coffee the following day and it was awesome, with a rich, chewy dough and a sweet, sticky topping. Bean & Cole is also on the Most Passionate About Coffee shortlist.

A black circle with the words "Iris&June" written in white inside itIris & June

When I revisited Iris & June after an absence of four years, I had the perfect chocolate and caramel slice, with a thick, biscuit bottom and a gooey chocolate top that was even richer than my coffee. Interestingly, Iris & June made it onto the Best Cake Award shortlist for that year (2016) as well (on that occasion for an awesome apple and blackberry pie).

The "Adventure" espresso at Anonymous Coffee Co. seen from above, with notes about the coffee from the roaster, Wood St Coffee.Anonymous Coffee Co.

Another take-me-home-at-the-end-of-the-day offering, Anonymous Coffee Co. gave me a cruffin (a cross between a croissant and a muffin), which was absolutely delicious, one of the best I’ve ever had. Anonymous Coffee Co. is also on the shortlists for the Most Unlikely Place to Find a Coffee Spot and Most Passionate About Coffee Awards.

Black Rabbit Speciality Coffee on the corner of the street, the door recessed in a cut-away at 45° to the windows.Black Rabbit Speciality Coffee

We bring this shortlist to an end with Black Rabbit Speciality Coffee and a slice of blackberry shortbread crumble. Consisting of a base of crisp shortbread, topped by a rich, sweet crumble, a layer of blackberry jam sandwiched in between, it was simply divine! Black Rabbit Speciality Coffee has also been shortlisted for the Best Coffee Spot near a Railway Station and Best Flat White Awards.


And the winner is Bean & Cole
Runners-up: Ue Coffee Roastery Cafe & Kitchen and The Gardens of Caversham

Don’t forget to check out the other 19 Coffee Spot Awards for 2020.


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7 thoughts on “2020 Awards – Best Cake

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